Kukla's Korner

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Can Anyone Replace Byfuglien?

from David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune,

Yes, I have studied the Hawks’ payroll enough to know that uneasy lies the NHL head that wears the crown because the salary cap soon will shrink and refit it. I have heard all the hype over the potential of the Thrashers players coming in return and the value of the first- and second-round draft picks. But I also know that the words from respected NHL voices during the Stanley Cup finals about the unique talents of the 6-foot-4, 257-pound Byfuglien still echo in my ears.

As good as Kris Versteeg and Andrew Ladd are, I don’t recall hearing as high of praise about them or any other supporting player. I don’t recall any playoff teams worrying about devising specific game plans to counter any Hawk more than they did for Byfuglien. Spare me the spin that Byfuglien underachieved during the regular-season — the postseason measures true value to a franchise.

Why not start dealing with somebody who didn’t have a playoff hat trick?

If Byfuglien weren’t considered such a difference-maker, why did the Sharks agree to take two marginal players from the Thrashers to help Atlanta get under the NHL’s allowable limit to consummate the trade? Sharks GM Doug Wilson wanted Byfuglien out of the Western Conference as badly as Roberto Luongo did.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dustin+byfuglien

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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