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17. March 2012 at 2:45 #7206ConfGenKeymaster
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But there are a handful of young Kris Letang Jersey emerging defensemen who will give Brian Burke (assuming he returns as GM) and his management team pause. For instance, hard to imagine a guy like Ryan McDonagh won’t be part of the mix for Team USA given his emergence as a key part of a New York Rangers team that is among the most difficult to play against in the league. Keith Yandle, the slick young defenseman for the Phoenix Coyotes, would appear to be an almost sure bet to be on the team, while Kevin Shattenkirk of the St. Louis Blues has become an integral part of the Blues’ surprising success. John Carlson made his mark on the international stage for the U.S. juniors a few years back and is a mainstay for the Washington Patrick Marleau Jersey Capitals. And how about a guy like Nick Leddy, who has shown great promise since coming over to Chicago? Where will Jake Gardiner, one of Burke’s prized young defensive assets, be in terms of his evolution in two years? Or Justin Faulk, who has matured so quickly along the Carolina blue line? Those young players are going to put a lot of pressure on incumbents like Jack Johnson and Ryan Whitney. If Burke is going to assemble a fast, skilled puck-moving blue line for the big ice in Sochi, it appears he’ll have lots of options and lots of hard decisions.Some folks were wondering why we were so critical of Ales Hemsky’s two-year, $10 million deal with the Edmonton Oilers and less skeptical of Mikhail Grabovski’s new five-year, $27.5 million pact. Well, it’s really a case of simple math.First, let’s start by David Backes Jersey saying it’s a moot point to debate whether anyone who has never scored 30 goals in an NHL season or topped the 60-point plateau is “worth” more than $5 million a year, as is the case with Grabovski.What is more illuminating is to examine the two teams’ options when it came to these players and what were their relative needs.The Oilers have a plethora of young talent up front. They are woefully thin on defense. Hemsky, while skilled, has shown nothing to suggest he can play more than 60 or so games per season given his lack of durability, so his two-year deal seems more than a little bloated and a misguided use of resources for a team that appears stuck in a perpetual rebuild. The fact he wanted to stay in Edmonton is a bonus for a team that struggles to attract top players, and he does not have a no-trade or no-movement clause, Alex Pietrangelo Jersey although one GM told ESPN.com that the $5 million annual cap hit is in effect a no-trade clause, so all in all, his deal remains a curiosity.
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