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Sunday, April 6, 2008

Stat of the day

Prior to the All Star Break the Columbus Blue Jackets were shut out just twice and had a record of 25-20-6.

After the All Star Break the Jackets were shut out 4 times (not counting what may happen later tonight) and went 9-15-6.

This team's problems did not start at the trade deadline. It was a month before that.

Also Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun says this morning that Ron Hainsey will play his last game as a Blue Jacket tonight and that "he'll be one of the most sought after free agents on the market". Of course we'll here from the pundits that he put up 30 points "even on a weak Columbus team" --- I say have fun over paying for a 5/6 defensemen at best. Of Ron Hainsey's 32 points, 22 have come on the PP and all of his 8 goals have been on the PP.

Ron has certainly improve here but he has a long way to go before I'd remotely consider paying him 4+ mil a year which is what some team will do.

Jan Hejda on the other hand - Howson needs to find a way to lock this guy down.

-LTL

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree. Ron Hainsey is Tom Preissing. The Kings fell for his 'numbers' on a good Sens team and he has delivered 8g 16a 24 pts -6 which is about all a player of his skill can muster. Do we want to pay him 2.75 million? I don't. Not for Ron Hainsey. He is light, can't make a play, can't keep the puck in at the line, can't defend, can't play vs. other teams top players. No thanks.

BK said...

I completely disagree. Hainsey is a legitimate #3 or 4 on a good team. He is fine and what are you going to replace him with anyway? Rome looks good, but Russell OKT, and Wilson will just be adequate next year. You think the team can build around Klesla? Hejda cannot put up the points tha the team needs so badly.

$3 mil is the right price to pay for him.

Anonymous said...

He isn't fine. He is borderline terrible. He is a minus player who has never played vs. the other teams top players.

He doesn't bring anything more than Wilson doesn't bring. In fact, Wilson has shown more than Hainsey has in the limited experience he has.

Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

How do you figure he is a 3/4 on a good team? The jackets are trying to become a 'good team' and basically need a #1 and a #2 d man (possibly Redden or someone of that ilk). Then you have Hejda and Klesla who are going to eat big minutes playing vs. other teams top players and then you have the 5/6 pairing. Either Rome/Russel, Wilson/OKT. So where would you put Hainsey? He isn't a top pairing guy, he isn't a shutdown guy, nor is he a good pk'er--so, he might fit in the 5/6 pairing.

So do you still think 3 million is a good price to pay for Hainsey?

Priessing was a 5/6 guy in Ottawa and had similar numbers to Hainsey. Ottawa was 'a good team' last year were they not?

BK said...

OK, tell me who is #1 and #2 on next season's miracle team? Wilson, Rome, or Klesla? You better get somebody good to replace Hainsey because none of those guys is going to be the answer.

Look, Hainsey isn't the best guy out there, but the team has nothing coming up. If he played on Dallas or Pittsburgh or another good team, he would be their #3 or #4.

Anonymous said...

Bk,

Yes the Jackets would replace Hainsey. They have 20+ to spend and there are some decent options on the UFA market (UFAs: Campbell, Redden, Liles, Rosival, Commodore, Lilja, Mara, Salvadore, Orpik, Miller)

Then of course there are some RFAs who could be targeted (RFAs: Pitkanen, Suter, Weber, Meszaros, Eminger, Green) or target a signed guy like Ryan Whitney.

In fact they need two guys minimum on the blueline - three if they don't resign Hejda.

XXX XXX
Klesla Hejda
Russell/Rome/Wilson/Tollefsen/Methot

That last group battles it out for the 5/6 spots.

Bottom line this team DEAD LAST in goal scored -- dead last. They desperately need to upgrade their skill on the backend and up the middle and paying a Ron Hainsey 4 mil a year is not the answer. If it was then we wouldn't have the 28th ranked PP that he is the primary QB for.

We can't stick with the status quo.

-LTL

BK said...

You probably didn't know anyone read your blog so closely.

First, I said paying Hainsey $3 mil is acceptable; now you say $4 mil? I like Hainsey (among the current crop of CBJ d-men), but $4 mil is too much.

"UFAs: Campbell, Redden, Liles, Rosival, Commodore, Lilja, Mara, Salvadore, Orpik, Miller" I don't think Campbell will come here, Commodore is past his prime, Orpik is a less-skilled Klesla, Lilja would be nice, but Detroit will try to keep him (and Chelios will sign cheaply just to play), Salvadore? really? Miller, I have no opinion.

To add one thing to an earlier post of mine: It is easy to get good numbers on a good team. Priessing has better numbers because Ottawa scores a sh*tload more goals than Columbus.

You can criticize Hainsey all you want (and he deserves his fair share) but you also have to hold Klesla accountable.

Anonymous said...

Preissing's numbers were inflated because the Sens scored a bunch of goals? Isn't that what good teams do?

Tell me, bk, what 'good team' would Hainsey be a top 4 on? He wouldn't be. He isn't that good. Some team WILL pay 3 or 4 million for him and they will regret it. He is too small, not physical enough, can't man a pp, can't see the weak side of the ice, and can't kill a penalty to save his life and he can't get his shot through 5 on 5. He is a minus player playing vs. 3rd and 4th line players. That doesn't say something to you?

A bigger, more competitive player with a decent shot will easily replace him. Heck, Clay Wilson has made him moot in the few games he has played.

If the jackets are stuck paying Hainsey 3-4 million and have him as one of their top 4 we haven't made the progress we need to make.

Klesla deserves his share of criticism as well. He and Hejda, in my mind, aren't even real shut down defenders--they are just the best that we have. On a good team, Klesla would be a 5 possibly a 4. There is no way he is a top 4 d man either.

The blueline of this team is PATHETIC overall and Hainsey is a part of that.

His play improved since he was sat out way back when, but he still is a 5/6 guy on a good team.

Any of those guys listed by the previous poster would be legit top 4 guys. Making excuses for why they wouldn't come here is not the point. Signing Hainsey to 3 million dollars by default is exactly what got this team to where it is.

Scott is going to have to up his game and maintaining status quo because *sigh* 'who else we gonna get' is pathetic. It is his job to upgrade the team. He did a poor job at the deadline so I am nervous about this summer, however, from what I have seen of Hainsey, we could do better than him for 3 mil.

Anonymous said...

Bk,

I'm glad you read the blog that closely...thank you I appreciate it.

The reason I put 4 mil for Hainsey is b/c that is what I think some foolish team will pay for him -- I just hope its not ours.

Your right though, Klesla definitely deserves his fair share of criticism however the difference is he's signed for 2 more years as an average cap hit of 1.6 mil - for what he brings that is a pretty good contract. If Klesla wanted 3 or 4 mil..heck even 2.5 or greater..I'd be saying the same thing -- hit the road.

Anonymous..bang on...Howson is on the hot seat starting as soon as the final horn blew tonight versus St. Louis. He absolutely must upgrade the defense...he can't fail.

Anyhow...good points by everyone..I love to read the feedback.

-LTL

BK said...

I believe I stated that Hainsey would be a #3 or 4 on Pittsburgh or Dallas. Probably the Rangers and Philly, too.

Hainey is worth IMO no more than $3 million. However, you can see that player salaries are creeping up again and he might be worth more on the market. That is not to say that the Jackets should pay it. We had enough of that during the MacLean years when he would top any offer out there when pursuing UFA's like Marchant and Foote. So if the market is giving Hainsey a value of $4 mil, don't pay it. It's like looking at houses in Tartan Fields.

Once again, if you don't like Hainsey, OK, but who are you gonna replace him with? You named all kinds of names, but as of this moment, none of them are signed by the CBJ. So we can't go dumping on Hainsey until we take care of business.

I also stand by my assessment of Klesla; he is not the guy to build your defense around nor is he any better than Hainsey. He even makes more money than Ron, by the way.

Don't fall in love with Clay Wilson on the first date, either. I like him, but he needs work. Will he be durable enough for the NHL? Can he be consistent, something he has not shown in Syracuse?

Finally, I understand your despair over the team defense, but imagine how much better things would be if the forwards got open once in awhile and then could actually hang on to a pass from the defense? And what if they could put in the rebounds from point shots? We might be an average NHL team if they could do those things.

Anonymous said...

I just looked at the flyers roster (philly isn't what I would consider a good team either--and Hainsey might still only be better than Kukkonen--MAYBE). There is no way Hainsey is a top 4 on the Stars roster.

There is simply no fit for Hainsey here. You heard Scott last night state that we needed 2 d men, right? Well, that is a top 1 and a top 2 (ie. Not Hainsey). Then we have Klesla and Hejda and then we have 2/44/29/55/4. No fit for Hainsey there either.

Clay Wilson: There is no question that the kid needs work, but offensively he has shown that he is more capable and with better instincts than Hainsey already in the few games he has played (7)--compared with Hainsey's 224 games in NHL. Defensively he is no worse than Hainsey. They are both small and light so that is a wash.

Wilson comes at a half a million less than Hainsey as it stands now and we could likely resign him for about 2 million less than what Hainsey is going to make thus freeing up $$ to put towards a real top 4 d man.

We are discussing whether or not Hainsey should be signed for the 3 million he is going to get, and the response by at least a few people is hell no. I have listed very legitimate reasons as to why not and the other poster has listed potential replacements. To say that we cannot dump on him because those guys aren't our players is silly. If we do sign him for that money we are in a world of trouble.

Recycling players who we know are incapable for more money than they are worth is evidence that nothing has changed within the org.

What Klesla has to do with this conversation is beyond me. I am still trying to figure out what made this guy a 1st round pick.

We have the 2nd lowest scoring defense core in the league behind St. Louis. The shots from the point rarely got through (as evidence by their numbers). Our forwards were pathetic as well, but to say that it is the forwards fault that our d sucked is beyond absurd. Both groups sucked in their own special ways.

If the d could actually get the puck out of their own zone with any kind of efficiency the other team wouldn't have felt so comfortable sending in two forecheckers thus hemming them in.

We couldn't headman the puck to save our life. Our forwards may have scored more had we had a more rapid transition. We may have scored more had the defending forwards on the pk didn't feel so brave as to pressure our point men constantly. They did so because they knew (after the first month of the season) that our d men couldn't make a play nor could they handle it.

Our forwards were inept in many ways but our blueline collectively was at an all time new level of ineptitude.

Retaining Hainsey at his skill set for 3 million would be indication that we are 'stuck' and have not upgraded. In fact we got worse because we would then be tying up too much money in a substandard player.

BK said...

I'll make some final points and then drop out of this thread.

Francois Beauchemin. We gave up on him (as did Montreal) and now what?

You say that Hainsey is not at the same level as Trevor Daley and Matt Niskanen of Dallas? I would rank Zubov, Robidas, and Boucher higher, but those other two?

Hainsey is 6'3" and Wilson is 5'11" But in the new NHL, size is not that important anymore.

Klesla is important because you need a foundation to build the defense around. Since you want to discard Hainsey, I assume that you want to retain Klesla. If not, then who is your foundation?

I can't convince you that Hainsey has some value anymore than you can convince me that he is worthless and should be thrown away. I merely gave you some points to consider.

Anonymous said...

Hainsey doesn't play near as competitive as either of those guys--plus, they are younger. Trevor Daly is THICK. Hainsey is 6'3" but plays small. Daly is smaller but plays a much heavier game.

Hainsey gets schooled in the corners just as Wilson does so that is a wash, but offensively Wilson has shown way more than Hainsey already.

Doug Maclean gave up on Beuchemin. This has nothing to do with Hainsey and the way the team's standards and expectations are now. That was an idiotic trade and we are still paying for it. The way Doug ran things and the way things are viewed now are two different things. You can't paint them with the same brush.

We don't have much of a defensive foundation to build around which is the problem. Why Klesla is a cornerstone in your mind is beyond me.

I am not saying Hainsey doesn't have value--he scored more points than any of our d men, but that isnt' saying much. There is no place for him on our roster IF and only IF they do what they say they are going to do (sign two top 2's, resign Hejda and let the bottom pairing come from our existing stock).

You don't put him in the top two. That leaves him in the 5/6 pairing--which is about right. Only for 3 million dollars it would be an move of Doug Maclean proportions to resign him for that money and play him there.

Teams with good d: Wings, Ducks, Canucks, Minny, Sharks--no way he is a top 4 guy on any of those teams.

Niskanen is only playing because Zubov is hurt. There is no way he would crack that top four when healthy.

You can say he is worth this or that all you want, and someone will give him the 3 million dollars just as they gave Priessing the 2.75 in LA--these are not guys who you want in your top 4. If you do have these types you end up just like both the kings and Jackets did.

BK said...

On second thought, I will come back one more time.

OK, I'm guilty of not explaining my Beauchemin remark. I brought up Beauchemin to say that the teams (remember Montreal) gave up on him too soon. I posted this in that regard. You are right when you say that MacLean gave up on him and that you did not.

But I do want to take you to task for saying that Daley plays thick. Huh? I looked for this stat or attribute and couldn't find it. I remember my college coach saying I played with a thick head and I'm pretty sure that he didn't mean other parts of my body or game.

Finally, I keep bringing up Klesla because you do not tell me who the defense will be built around. Are you saying that the foundation is TBD? Is Hainsey the root of all the CBJ problems?

That's it from me. I enjoyed your posts and this blog.

Anonymous said...

I never said that he 'played thick'...I said that he IS thick. He is built like a freight train. Hainsey is skinny and plays like it.

I don't think the jackets blueline has a foundation. The jackets blueline is a big reason why they struggled so desperately (I have already stated reasons in previous posts) Hejda and Klesla are the best of what we have in terms of shutdown guys, but they are still just average.

Is Hainsey the root of all that ails the jackets, absolutely not, but the discussion began as to whether or not Hainsey would be worth spending 3 million on.

A top 4 defenseman is a guy who can kill penalties (Hainsey cannot--he DOES kill penalties here but that is because our blueline is depleted and not NHL calibre) and a guy who can play on 2nd pp unit (which Hainsey can do). A top 4 can also play against other teams good players. Hainsey gets schooled by those players.

So, based on that criteria he fits one of the three--is that worth 3 million? Nope, it isn't. If he says he will stay for less, yet the jackets find the top 2 guys they are looking for, I still don't think there is a spot for him.

It would be hard to not resign him for 1.2 million or so, but would he want to play less minutes in the 5/6 pair where he belongs? (based on the notion that the jackets fill the top pair with players who actually should be playing there) I highly doubt it.

His 8 goals on the pp were great. His inability to maintain the puck at the line sustaining pressure in the offensive zone was not great. His bashing the puck into shin pads on, not only shots, but shoot in's was disgraceful. His inability to win a one on one in front of the net cannot be overlooked. His inability to come up with the puck in the corner is unacceptable.

These are things that will not be noted by the team that signs him for 3 million come July 1--his agent will make sure that all that is noted is his point totals. The important thing is that the jackets aren't the ones handing him that cash. If we do we will continue to wallow in mediocrity and below.