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As our players return, what do we do?


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We have a number of top-six-level players who are set to return to the lineup in just the next couple of weeks. This is a GREAT thing, but it is also a problem:


What should we do to make room for these returning players? Do we:


1. Send down our younger players back to GR since they are waiver-eligible? If I'm not mistaken, we can send down any or all of Berggren, Soderblom, and Veleno, who I believe are waiver-exempt. But should we send ANY of them down?


Berggren, our most-recent call-up, has done nothing but impress me since he was called up. Not only has he played well, he has made those playing around him better! How can we possibly think about sending a kid who has done everything we could ask him to do and more back down to GR?


Soderblom is on a 6-game point streak. Veleno is on a 4-game streak himself. Both have vastly improved their games. Veleno is really starting to come into his own now. He looks fast, and is playing much better defensively. Soderblom is also improving defensively, and is starting to contribute regularly. 


Can we really send any of these guys down without either messing with their minds or sending the message to the team that even if you earn play time, you may not be rewarded with it? I know it preserves our talent, but is it really in our best interests long-term?


2. Press our luck and test the waiver system by sending down some of our lower-line veterans.


The worry here is that we will be potentially giving away our talent for nothing. I think this idea is stupid out of the box. To me it's the worst thing we could do is get nothing for something. I say trade before doing this. Teams may be looking for grinders to round out their teams for the playoffs.


3. Trade away some wingers who are occupying roster spots that would prevent the young kinds from being where they belong.


This, to me, is the smart way forward at this point. I appreciate the service Adam Erne has given us, but Soderblom deserves his spot. Veleno should be replacing Suter at center and/or Berggren doing so at wing. Zadina, while I would prefer not cutting him loose, at this point, to me he's the one who has to put up or shut up. The other three are putting up now. Don't want to give away a Tage Thompson, but the leash on Zadina had better be SHORT, and trading him away before he continues to show he has little potential value could be smart.


I think we may be busy before the trade deadline, not selling to set us up for a higher draft pick as much as selling because the value of the roster spots is higher than the value of these players' experience is at this point. We can still make the playoffs! If we play somewhere near our potential, with the talent that we have, it is very possible. And losing Suter and.or Erne isn't going to affect our long-term. They aren't going to be core players as we rise in playoff/Cup competition.


Is it time to cut bait?


What say ye? (looking at you @yave1964!)

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Berggren is the real deal, 20 goals 50 point floor, probably 25 goals, 70 point ceiling. The problem is he is one of the few forwards who could be optioned to Grand Rapids without risking losing him to waivers. He is scoring very well for a guy who is usually 10th or 11th in ice time aong the 13 forwards.


  Soderblom has had some good and bad games, very raw but looks like he has the potential to be a bottom six forward for a decade. He also can be optioned to GR and likely will be.


  Vrana is due back any day, he has frustrated me to no end with his inability to stay on the ice, he shows such ability he should giv our 20th ranked scoring a nice boost.


  Bert has to get back on the ice and start scoring or he will fetch pretty much exactly nothing if we deal him.


 To me, IMHO Suter should be the odd man out, he is too inconsistent and is a nice 13th forward, spare part. 


  The forward lines should look something like this










honestly, that is scoring and defense from all four lines. The one concern would be Rasmussen who is becoming one hell of a winger but we need him at pivot, unless we move Veleno up the third line and slot Suter on the 4th but that forces either Berggren to the AHL or Erne to the bench.






Zadina is a tough call, 9 games, 0 points, then injured. Honestly he was playing solid other than the non scoring. Time is coming to make a decision soon on him.


Bertuzzi. He is the key going forward. Honestly, i dont want him resigned, not at the money and term he will want anyway. I know before the season he was being offered around for a top four defenseman he still has some value but not as much as at the beginning of the year. I would trade him for whatever we can get, it would allow for either Soderblom or Zadina to slot in. It frees up a decent amount of cap space and would allow us to make a run for a defenseman as well. 


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