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Jumping To Conclusions - The Forwards In June

BUT IT’S JUNE

Yes, I know it’s June.  But in the interest of pending the draft and free agency, let’s take a look at what the team might look like in a couple of weeks.  Here’s what I got:

HALL – NUGENT-HOPKINS – EBERLE

HEMSKY – GAGNER – YAKUPOV

PAAJARVI – HORCOFF – JONES

HARTIKAINEN – BELANGER – EAGER

A few things (and a few predictions)

  • More often then not, I’m hearing about moving Hall to centre.  It’s a good idea on paper (Horcoff gets 3rd line minutes and Hall would be the centre of one of two powerful lines), and if it works, great.  I’m not sold on it happening outside of practice.
  • If the line of 83-89-Yakupov gets together, hold on to your hats.  I’ve got Hemsky at LW a lot faster than Hall at C.
  • Don’t say this too awfully loud, but I don’t have 94 penned in for a reason.  If Smyth felt he received a fair contract offer, he would’ve signed it quickly.  That hasn’t happened, and unless something changes in the next two weeks, I’m not brimming with confidence.
  • No Hordichuk.  I’ve beaten this to a pulp, but there’s no good reason to sign a guy to play 2 minutes a night.
  • Paajarvi will start the season on the Oilers.  Paajarvi was sent down to OKC to get his wings a bit after an eight point, 41 game outing.  He finished with 25 points (7-18-25) in 34 games with OKC, and it would be a surprise to not see him
  •  While Eric Belanger no doubt had a bad season, look for him to rebound a little bit.  Guy has been an upper 30 point a season player for the majority of his career.
  • Ryan Jones at 3RW is going to make some folks scream.  I like it better than Eager, who is a likely 4RW.

I’m completely sold on the top two lines.  Management might go and try and sign someone for the bottom six, but unless it involves moving Eric Belanger, I don’t see them being too tremendously active when free agency begins.  If Ryan Smyth comes to an agreement with the team, he’d be a fine fit at 3LW.  Each day that goes by, I’d put less and less stock in that happening.

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