posted Mar 6, 2006 at 03:49PM
I must admit I do get some "nightmare" scenarios, and it is more than potentially getting a useless toad like Barnaby or a proven play-off no show like Bertuzzi. Muckler says he does not want to do a trade in which he "subtracts" from the team. But the reality remains that if he brings some outside help in someone who is currently playing is going to be a healthy scratch.
Whoever it is, he is not going to be happy and he wouldn't care if Muckler brought in the second coming of Gretzky. More than just dressing room chemistry issues (remember losing Tugnutt for Barasso) I have this great fear that Murray will axe Vermette. I just keep getting this feeling he doesn't like Vermette. When push comes to shove he always picks someone else. He has never given Vermette a crack on the power play even though Vermette has more goals and offensive skills than the others. If there is a big face-off in the last minute he will put Kelly out there even though Vermette's face-off percentage is much better. In one game when we were behind by one goal and short-handed he even had Neil out there playing with Alfredson. Vermette a proven short-handed goal scorer was left to cool his heels.
Looking at the "back-six" I would rank them in the following order"
with Kelly/Varada on the "bubble" Varada is a grittier, tougher forward than Kelly but in the end I give the nod to Kelly mostly because he and Vermette are a proven PK pairing and we will need that in the playoffs.
My fear is that Murray would rank them as follows
with Varada/Vermette on the bubble.
We will see what shakes out.