Puck-rakers has just posted the following:
The Dispatch has learned that defenseman Martin Skoula has signed a tryout agreement with the Blue Jackets.
Skoula, 29, is a big man (6-3, 225) who plays like a smaller man. He possesses decent offensive skill, but had a hard last few seasons with the Minnesota Wild. Skoula was in camp with Florida on a tryout agreement, but was released from that deal recently when the Panthers signed Dennis Seidenberg.
Forecaster's take on Skoula:
ASSETS: Is a solid two-way defenseman with excellent offensive potential. Owns a very projectable frame.
FLAWS: Still gets himself caught out of position too often, or makes the wrong play at the wrong time. Needs to use better judgment in the defensive zone and boost his production level.
CAREER POTENTIAL: Top four defenseman.
He also shoots left.
He also rang up 4g, 12a and a -12 in 81 games for the Wild last season. His career high in points came back in the 2001-2002 season when he posted 31 points with the Avalanche. The last four seasons however he has failed to crack that 20 point barrier.
My reaction? Well if nothing else it's another option.
Clearly Howson and Hitch remain concerned about our blueline and are staying active out there. This also tells me that after two weeks of camp nobody within the system has really jumped out and grabbed a spot.
While Skoula is certainly not the answer to our puck moving problem he would provide depth as an legit NHL body which is a plus.
For Skoula he has a real shot comin here. He's got 9 seasons worth of NHL experience behind him and a bunch of injuries already piling up on the Jackets blueline working in his favor.
That -12 and -16 in the defensive responsible Wild system is a huge red light however. Skoula will need to show quickly he can be responsible in his own end if he hopes to get a contract offer.
He certainly won't want to repeat this performance:
Not sure what his chances will be coming into camp this late in the game and if he were to get offered a contract no doubt it would be a 1 year deal under the 1 mil dollar range.
This is a classic low risk high reward Howson move. We'll see where it goes.
Thanks to Max for the heads up on the news!
Fire away - thoughts on Skoula?
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Labels: Martin Skoula