2019 - 2020 Roster ...

I’m probably still too tired/fragile after the weekend to think things through properly, but my thoughts -

Any changes we make are likely to be of the enforced kind. Some players looking at careers outside of hockey, or simply feeling it a bit much at the end of the season.

Or, and the one I like the least, perhaps a few who get tempted elsewhere.

Goalies - I wouldn’t change Bownsy. My one thought is whether Murdy would like to get more ice time, and so might explore his options elsewhere. Lawday is a very good prospect and one I’d like to see continue as he did this year.

Defence - an area where we could see some change, even if everyone stays at the club. Mosey being a permanent forward gives us a big speed boost up front, but does leave us with a hole to fill. One I’d like us to fill with a Strachan/Blood style player. I also see Batch’s post world champs future as a forward. So Fournier, Richie, Louis, Schiestel + 2 new bodies.

Forwards - I mean there are some really obvious ‘keeps’ here. Martin, Linglet, and Dixon are probably the least controversial comments ever.
I feel very sorry for Joey Haddad with the injuries he’s had over the last 2 years, and would love to see him in full flow again.
I think Livingston has been a force in the tail end of the season, and would like to see him stay.
Duggan is here for another 2 years, and I believe Pope is in a second year next season.
The questions are around players in the latter stages of their career - do they want to continue on? Ulmer has had a great year, but does he carry on?
I’d say the forwards will look something like:
Hedden Martin Benti
Linglet Dixon Pope
Haddad Mosey Duggan
Livingston Myers Batch

I’d assume we carry a spare forward, with Mosey and Batch able to cover back, with Rutkis continuing much as he has done this year.

But who knows, I could be entirely wrong!
thought this was popes 2nd year...
 
This is my prediction for next seasons roster.

Returnees

Bowns
Richardson
Fournier
Louis
Reddick
Batch
Martin
Linglet
Dixon
Hedden
Bentivoglio
Mosey
Myers
Duggan
Rutkis - possible 2 way again


Retired/Not re-signed

Murdy
Schiestel
Pope
Ulmer
Haddad
Morissette
Livingston
 
This is my prediction for next seasons roster.

Returnees

Bowns
Richardson
Fournier
Louis
Reddick
Batch
Martin
Linglet
Dixon
Hedden
Bentivoglio
Mosey
Myers
Duggan
Rutkis - possible 2 way again


Retired/Not re-signed

Murdy
Schiestel
Pope
Ulmer
Haddad
Morissette
Livingston
See I'd keep Livingston, Schiestel and Ulmer just so the first two can really show what they can do with a full season, and Ulmer I'd want back to do his last season and give him a proper send off
 
See I'd keep Livingston, Schiestel and Ulmer just so the first two can really show what they can do with a full season, and Ulmer I'd want back to do his last season and give him a proper send off
It’s not necessarily who I would keep or get rid of. It’s just my prediction. For example I’d keep Ulmer as well. I think he’ll retire though
 
It may be contraversial but if I could (somehow) decide things...I wouldn’t change a thing. There’s nobody I want to get rid of.

That being said I think we may experience some issues with retaining a lot of players based on the following:

Netminders:
Bowns - will have a standing offer with the Devils for as long as he wants it. A decent performance at the World Championships and who knows if an offer will come in from abroad.

Murdy - Big summer for Tom. Stick with us, continue to play second fiddle and slowly move away from the ice or see if another side wants to take a punt on him. If we iced Lawday that would free up a Brit slot but TK hasn’t been singing his praises. Would be happy to keep Murdy but he has to do what’s right for him.

Defence:
I think Fournier will undoubtably attract some attention from overseas after the season he has had. Schiestel too may want to move on - just something says to me that he won’t be back. Which is a shame as he really made a difference when we were struggling with our transition play. Replacing both will be difficult and I think we’ll end up signing at least one, if not two stay at home D-men.

Forwards:
Ulmer - nobody could blame him if he wanted to hang up his skates. But he’s still got it and scores big goals at the right time. Could see him retiring and us needing to find a centre for the third line (unless we move Myers up).

Linglet and Dixon - I would love both of these guys to stay, but they could both play at a higher level (even at Chucky’s age). Both on the MBA which they started in October. I checked it out and the course runs for either a year or 16 months which means unless they (Cardiff Met) have an arrangement with the Devils which means they (Linglet and Dixon) can finish early they will be studying until October at the earliest, which could be a bit late for next year somewhere else. That’s the straw I’m grasping on to!

Hedden - not on the MBA this year, maybe he was offered it for next year? Although with Benti taking the spare slot when Blood left you would have thought Hedden would have been next in line. Strange one. Would love to see him back though. That Benti-Martin-Hedden line has so much chemistry.


Livingstone - given he moved his entire life here from Germany I doubt he did that for just a short term deal. He’s been great since joining and would be happy to have him back.

Morrisette - a change of role this year has affected his numbers. Rumours last year of him retiring and joining the coaching team were unfulfilled. I reckon when he does retire the club will do something properly for him so I don’t think it will be this summer. Which will be fine by me. (That being said, maybe I should’ve waited until after tomorrow evening to post this!) He puts himself about and whilst his numbers haven’t been great, the role he does with Myers on the PK especially is undervalued by some.

Pope - had a rough year at times. But got through it. Had to move lines but found some late chemistry on the Linglet-Dixon-Pope line. Two big apples on the POFW. I still think he has a lot to give to this side but this season he’s been overshadowed by the new signings. Needs to increase his points next year for me but really like the guy.

Also one final point: unfinished business. The Playoff win hopefully won’t be enough for some of the guys who may have been thinking of a one-and-done situation. If we hadn’t won anything I’d be more confident of Linglet for example wanting to give it one more shot. With the Playoffs won, maybe it’s less a case of unfinished business. I hope not.

Therefore I think our recruitment this summer will be about replacing the talent we lose. And I have faith in Lord and Todd to have been on top of that for a while.
 
Also, on a slightly off topic note, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone so pleased to win a trophy as Chuckie Linglet.

Incredibly humble for someone who had such a major part in us winning it. Also a better dancer than Reddick (though, unfortunately for poor Bryce, I think that goes for the majority of people)
 
Also, on a slightly off topic note, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone so pleased to win a trophy as Chuckie Linglet.

Incredibly humble for someone who had such a major part in us winning it. Also a better dancer than Reddick (though, unfortunately for poor Bryce, I think that goes for the majority of people)
My point being, I can imagine Linglet wanting to do that again, so hopefully he sticks around.
 
I hope the signings for next season are announced a bit different to last season, the slow drip feeding of announcements was pretty boring last time around.
They won’t announce at the start of the summer, which would give everyone else in the league a 4 month headstart on prepping to play against them and alter recruitment plans.

So if it’s not drip fed then it’s announce everyone at the end - which is exciting but a LONG time away.

I don’t know the perfect way to do it. I like the drip feed, but I appreciate a lot don’t. Also the prospect of a couple players being announced at open training evening near the end of off season is good.
 
my would love and hope to keeps: martin benti hedden dixon linglet duggan mosey fornier louis richie. This isnt to say i wouldnt be happy to see us resign some of the others but i think those guys over the course of the sesson have been excellent.

for me replacement wise id change the following:
matt pope: i think he has been poor in large spells of a significant amount of games. The online stuff that went on was wrong but as benny blood proved, you can use social media in a positive way and i think off ice Pope also didnt help himself. id replace him with an actual power forward. someone who does throw hits, score some goals and willing to drop the gloves. we missed this guy in our forwards this year.

morrisette: i think that should be his last one. blocks shots etc but he has limited us on that 3rd line with scoring as he's completely lost his touch for goal. he got in decent areas and missed almost every time. for me your 3rd line still needs to be scoring regular and if myers is your 4th line centre then i believe this is an area for significant improvement.

haddad: never looked up to his previous heights, being slower and making less hits whilst also becoming a bit of an injury prone player. i personally would at this point make a change to a younger less injury prone guy. This was a tough one but in recruitment i believe you have to make tough calls.

mosey for me should go back into the forwards and we need a big D man back there. louis as our only decent sized one i think played a significant role in us not retaining our title. blood leaving left a gap we didnt fill. in the season before we got Strachan. an ex nhl big stay at home d man. his impact was massive. we need that guy.
 
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I don't think announcing re-signings early would make opponents change their recruitment strategy. The teams will just build a team around the coaches style of play and tactics. There are 10 opponents who all play different styles so they wouldn't sign player x because we signed player z.
You just keep your player search for new signings close to your chest until that player is signed.
 
my would love and hope to keeps: martin benti hedden dixon linglet duggan mosey fornier louis richie. This isnt to say i wouldnt be happy to see us resign some of the others but i think those guys over the course of the sesson have been excellent.

for me replacement wise id change the following:
matt pope: i think he has been poor in large spells of a significant amount of games. The online stuff that went on was wrong but as benny blood proved, you can use social media in a positive way and i think off ice Pope also didnt help himself. id replace him with an actual power forward. someone who does through hits, score some goals and willing to drop the gloves. we missed this guy in our forwards this year.

morrisette: i think that should be his last one. blocks shots etc but he has limited us on that 3rd line with scoring as he's completely lost his touch for goal. he got in decent areas and missed almost every time. for me your 3rd line still needs to be scoring regular and if myers is your 4th line centre then i believe this is an area for significant improvement.

haddad: never looked up to his previous heights, being slower and making less hits whilst also becoming a bit of an injury prone player. i personally would at this point make a change to a younger less injury prone guy. This was a tough one but in recruitment i believe you have to make tough calls.

mosey for me should go back into the forwards and we need a big D man back there. louis as our only decent sized one i think played a significant role in us not retaining our title. blood leaving left a gap we didnt fill. in the season before we got Strachan. an ex nhl big stay at home d man. his impact was massive. we need that guy.
Can't argue with any of this. Jake has been a great servant for this club but I think it's time for a change. Brilliant penalty killer and block shotter but I'd liketo think we can get a replacement that will give us all that and a bit more offensively. A major difference between us and Belfast in the last 6 weeks of the season was their depth. They had regular goals coming from their 3rd and 4th lines where as we didn't.
I also agree about Pope. To be fair to Matt I thought he had a good Play off campaign. I just think there was a lack of consistency throughout the season. I appreciate he fell down the lines this season but when he was re-signed I'm sure Lordo was hoping for more than 14 goals in 60 games.
Let's be honest we can't let the win on Sunday paper over the cracks (And I'm not saying there are many cracks) Nobody was happier than me on Sunday that we won but Bownsy won us that final. I can't fault our effort and I was proud of the boys on Sunday, Belfast ended the season with a stronger roster than ours.
 
my would love and hope to keeps: martin benti hedden dixon linglet duggan mosey fornier louis richie. This isnt to say i wouldnt be happy to see us resign some of the others but i think those guys over the course of the sesson have been excellent.

for me replacement wise id change the following:
matt pope: i think he has been poor in large spells of a significant amount of games. The online stuff that went on was wrong but as benny blood proved, you can use social media in a positive way and i think off ice Pope also didnt help himself. id replace him with an actual power forward. someone who does throw hits, score some goals and willing to drop the gloves. we missed this guy in our forwards this year.

morrisette: i think that should be his last one. blocks shots etc but he has limited us on that 3rd line with scoring as he's completely lost his touch for goal. he got in decent areas and missed almost every time. for me your 3rd line still needs to be scoring regular and if myers is your 4th line centre then i believe this is an area for significant improvement.

haddad: never looked up to his previous heights, being slower and making less hits whilst also becoming a bit of an injury prone player. i personally would at this point make a change to a younger less injury prone guy. This was a tough one but in recruitment i believe you have to make tough calls.

mosey for me should go back into the forwards and we need a big D man back there. louis as our only decent sized one i think played a significant role in us not retaining our title. blood leaving left a gap we didnt fill. in the season before we got Strachan. an ex nhl big stay at home d man. his impact was massive. we need that guy.
Couldn’t agree more apart from Haddad, he’s lost a bit of pace but his puck retention is so good he can afford to get away with it. I would give him another year.
 
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