#1- This team is still not far from being good. The hard part is over, and they have talent. Forward depth and the entire blue line needs work, but we have a franchise player that we haven't had since Perrault. Even Briere and Drury couldn't dictate the game like Eichel does, and he's only 20. Eichel is the centerpiece of this franchise, and the GM and coach decision should be filtered through that. Some may say that a 20 year old shouldn't have that much power, but most 20 year olds aren't tanked for. He is what we hoped he would be and now we need to build around his strengths and weaknesses. The first order for the new coach is to make Eichel captain. Connor is captain, Auston soon will be. Let's not kid ourselves into saying Jack isn't the face of the franchise. I wouldn't even mind co-captains with Jack and ROR a-la post lock out Sabres before D-Day 7/1/07. Whatever works, you need a C on his chest in some capacity.
#2- I hope Lindy is Czar and Phil Housley is coach. It is very Pegulaish but this one might work. Both are certainly qualified for those positions and would keep the local vibe they seem obsessed with.
#3- Sam Reinhart, the biggest decision of the offseason. I have always loved him playing with Jack but around February it became clear that it wasn't working for Sam's development. He needs to be the facilitator of a line, slowing the game to the speed that he thrives at (not a knock on his literal speed, which still needs work). Keep them on the #1 power play together and let their magic thrive there. If they use him as trade bait, theres only one player he should be traded for: Hanifin.
#4- Murray being fired was surprising, but probably needed to happen simply to remove the face of the tank. The biggest concern with tanking was what it does to the culture of the franchise. We loved Murray during the tank because he wanted exactly what we did: last place. It's hard to turn that mindset off. Not saying he intentionally made a bad team out of the tank, but to focus on being noncompetitive and then overnight try to build a competitive roster is hard to do. He was in too deep, and giving out bad contracts to guys like Moulson and Ennis didn't help. He would have spent this offseason tip toeing around his mistakes as opposed to cutting his losses. A new GM will add a valuable fresh perspective on this roster.
#5- I hope these moves don't make Antipin sign elsewhere. If you think about it, he was probably coming here for one reason and it wasn't Dan Bylsma or Tim Murray (see point 1 for answer). He's an active D man who would excel with a puck carrying player like Eichel. Hope he's still coming.
#6- Change the jerseys to royal blue. I lived in the DC area when Ovie first came in and that team changed it's identity with the uniform change from black to red. The Oilers are doing the same with their orange unis. This team and this fanbase needs to turn the page, and this would be the simplest and most visible way to do so. Cue the Bob Seger.
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Edited by CGorman, 20 April 2017 - 12:13 PM.