Hi all, new to AC but been a lurker here for awhile, and I've written two fan posts on microsoft word (in case my browser crashed) that I'm posting here now to share with other Ducks fans.
Here is the first, which I wrote in response to the general feeling about some of the Ducks young players that I've noticed from other Ducks fans over the season, as well as comments I read about the Bobby Ryan trade.
First of all, I respect everyone's opinion, but I don't agree with the post-Bobby Ryan trade ideas some Ducks fans are coming up with that say "OK now let's just throw in someone disposable like Kyle Palmieri to get a dman and we're set."
Kyle Palmieri (and Etem) is the reason we could afford to trade Bobby Ryan in the first place. Kyle Palmieri was better than Bobby Ryan last year in my opinion, he just didn't always get the minutes to show it. But when he did he was money, automatic, that speed, hands, and maybe the best shot on the team, if not one of the best (wrist) shots in the NHL, means goals. Lots of goals.
Kyle Palmieri is not a thrown in. He is not expendable. He is not, like, some potential 20-goal-scorer only-when-playing-with-elite-linemates like a Devin Setoguchi who you would trade for a 2nd round pick. Palmieri has better balance, hands, shot, and hockey sense than someone like Setoguchi. Other than lacking elite size and power, Palmieri has every tool in the toolbox to develop into a core player on this team if he isn't already. He has top line, 30-35 goal, 65 point type of potential, and really his floor at this point is a valuable 25 goal guy on the 2nd line. He's still very young and it's just clear to me that like Bruce Boudreau last year who only gave him 12 minutes many nights when he deserved more, many fans don't recognize what an important player he is for us.
We're kind of spoiled because we have so many young players, and I think that's what causes some Ducks fans to undervalue many players. But you have to realize that on many other teams, Palmieri would actually be their best young player, and their fans would be talking about him like their next star player.
And for presumably the same reason, I also see people writing off Peter Holland, saying things like he's the "odd man out," or just talking about him with a general sense of apathy because "we have Etem and Palmieri and Bonino so who cares about him" type of attitude. But again, I feel that's just because like we've become so spoiled from having all these great prospects, Ducks fans are losing sight of the fact that it's not normal. Holland would be the best prospect on many other teams. In fact he might still be our best prospect!
Holland is not expendable. At all. He's not the odd-man out either! He is our future second line center. Forget future, he IS our second line center. Like Palmieri, he didn't get any ice time last season, but what I saw from him, he's already a second line center in the NHL, and the advanced stats back that up. He's an excellent possession player, a need for the Ducks, and we all know he has the skill to turn that into goals and points as well. Speed, pretty good size and reach, balance, excellent hands, this guy is a can't miss prospect and he's ready to break out. That's why I'm almost not sure if I want Derek Roy or Grabovski. Obviously Roy is gone now, but normally I'm one of the most gung-ho free agent fans out there, always wanting to sign the big names. But because I know what Holland can do, and that he's probably a better player than either of those other options already with all the upside in the world, I'm more on the fence, although adding more good players can never hurt and we can find spots for them hopefully.
Many of you are probably thinking, what about Nick Bonino? I hope Bonino continues to improve as well. He took a huge step last season. But Peter Holland is our future at second line center. He has much more upside than Bonino. I like Bonino though, and if he can keep playing almost to the level of a second line center, but we slot him on the 3rd line after Koivu retires, that just gives us another advantage of having a really top notch 3rd line center.
So just because we have a ton of great prospects, people shouldn't devalue Palmieri and Holland, who just so happen to be two of our best, and two of our most NHL ready.
But where people are correct is that we have sooo many top prospects, and really just not enough roster spots for all of them. That's also why, despite getting a suitable return in terms of overall asset value, many fans were upset with getting more prospects and a future draft pick in exchange for Bobby Ryan when we already have too many top young prospects and "good" players. What we needed is a top defenseman, and Bobby Ryan should have been able to get us one in a straight up deal.
But as long as Bob Murray acquires one unilaterally, it will all work out just as well. But what I'm saying with regards to Palmieri and Holland is that if he's going to trade from our surplus of prospects to get a top defenseman, it shouldn't be ones like Palmieri and Holland who are already huge parts of our team, and already NHL players essentially, because this team is ready to win a Cup next year, and trading impact players from our NHL roster makes zero sense for a "win now" team when we have so many true futures to deal instead. So maybe it's Smith-Pelly who is the odd-man out, as much as I hate to say it. Maybe it's Noesen, although I don't know enough about him, and he might actually be a big part of our team next year as well. Mostly, it should be our 1st round pick next summer. (Ours, not Ottawa's. That's key. They could tank, you never know. We won't if Murray does this thing right).
But this team is poised to win the Cup next year, and multiple Cups in the next few years, if Murray manages the team correctly starting with this season, which I'll write more about in my next fanpost, and Peter Holland and Kyle Palmieri are both going to be important pieces in our success. So fellow Ducks fans, please don't underestimate these guys! 29 other GMs would be love to have prospects like that in their pipeline. It's only because we have literally the deepest stable of young players I've seen in the last 10 years, which is what I'm talking about with all this Cup/dynasty talk in case you weren't sure, that any fan would ever question young players this talented on the verge of breaking out.
Please be sure to check out the next fan post I will be posting right after this as well, which will focus on why the Ducks should be on the verge of a dynasty if Bob Murray handles the team correctly in the immediate future.