Well, since the bloviating has slowed over the holiday weekend, I thought I'd throw something up to annoy or otherwise entice people into into commenting. Undoubtedly, the roster is going to look different next year and the only real question is what approach will SB take. Rather then go player by player and discuss the merits or drawbacks of particular players, this is more of time wasting, "You be the GM" exercise.
Though it's oversimplified a bit, I think the title fits the general scenario in front of SB this summer. Does he want to go for just one big player (cough-Suter-cough), two mid value players, or one mid value player and another fistful of retreads? Given the general tenor of comments this blog, the outlook is likely that no matter what he does, it's going to suck. I'm not quite that cynical, but I would agree this has to be a year where SB does something meaningful that represents genuine change from what the team has done the last two years.
From the top, we know what the deal is with coaching. If Q has any ability to critically admit faults to his approach last year, we might see some changes. That's likely wishful thinking on my part, but I don't think everything will pivot on Q. Roster wise, I try to give SB the benefit of the doubt and choose to believe he has tried to basically tread water while whittling down his cap hits and trying to move a few prospects forward. While that's not criminal to me, it's also not showing a serious commitment to winning a cup. Both teams that will play for the cup this year have taken some risks, just as Tallon did when he built the Hawks cup team. Whether SB trades a core, or some prized prospects or goes through free agnecy, it's time he took that risk.
Since it's been mentioned elsewhere that Suter is a possibility, I'll call that the ten dollar bill for change approach. Right off the bat, I would see it as a looking backward hope. We had an expensive puck moving D guy who everybody felt was kind of soft. Suter may not be that same guy, but he is also not its exact opposite. A signing like that will excite people, but it will also tie up a lot of cap space and will not add any depth where it is sorely needed. I won't say it would hurt the team, but I really don't think it will move the team forward.
Looking at the cap geek list of free agent D guys, there are some intriguing names. I'm not going to go through throwing specific names out there, but I believe there is likely a player or two there who can come in and bring something needed at at 2/3 of what Suter will cost if not cheaper. While the list of centers in free agency is not very exciting, there are one or two names for wingers that again could add some of what we feel this team needs, which is size and grit. The two fives approach is not the best solution as it will leave the team still in a spot of trying to get it done with inexperienced prospects. But of the three approaches, it's better then one ten or a five and a fistful of singles.
Speaking of that, I could see a lot of possibilities for the five and five singles approach. Burish and Fraser will be available and Fraser could be coming off a second cup. Given that bowman has more or less taken this approach the last two years and given that he has already resigned Carbomb and Mayers, there is a very real possibility this could happen. While I could see this approach improving the team, I don't see it making them cup ready.
All that said, my suggestion is that it's time to break a fifty and trade a core a player and take a risk. Though I like some of the names in free agency this year, or am at least intrigued by some, too many of them are either too old or are too cheap for a reason. What the Hawks have in abundance is skill and a ton of mismatched players that don't compliment that skill. LA took some gambles this year and it's paying off for them. Considering how many players are not on the market, making a trade seems like the best possibility to bring back crucially needed depth for concentrated top end skill. I'll hang up and listen to your answers