It focuses on rookies, as you'd expect.
One comment is to underline again how little depth there is on defense. I thought I must be missing someone it’s so shallow. Picture me searching high and low for another player last week when I put most of this together – that’s pretty much what I did, going through all the press releases since July one more time. Nope, that’s it. Yikes.
Someone who works in hockey operations once said to me, “forwards are a dime a dozen” – in other words, you can always go out and get another one. Goaltenders and defense, they aren’t a dime a dozen. So lack of depth there is more concerning.
Thoughts on the vets that didn’t work in a prospect-oriented piece:
The choice of captain is more important this year than ever due to the locker room problems from last season. As for who it will be, it's important to point out that the decision comes down from above, not up from below, so consider that in your calculus. Colby Armstrong was brought in to provide leadership, and his name should be part of any discussion. He'll almost certainly get one of those A's vying for the C that Anderson talked about today.
Whoever is on Kovalchuk's line probably won’t be complaining about ice time. One thing Anderson does have in common with Bob Hartley is a tendency to lean heavily on his top lines.
A few thoughts from today's press conference:
1. Waddell's lips said he was excited to start the year, but the rest of him didn't. The passion wasn't there, and doesn't seem to have been for some time.
2. Anderson said that they have things in mind regarding the first line center that might catch people off guard -- and no one followed up and asked more about that. Odd.
3. DW was asked why not hire Anderson earlier in the year. I didn't watch DW's response, I watched Anderson waiting through DW's response.
Oh and here are the results of the last poll, the number of games that rookies will play in 2008-09. Not many of you voted, it's a hard question I guess.
50-100 -- 5%
101-150 -- 11%
151-200 -- 19%
201-250 -- 27%
251+ -- 36%
The most popular choice was 251+. I would say that if that's the case, be prepared for a losing season because it means there were a lot of injuries. I think I voted 151-200. Last year it was 210.