Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/02/14 at 07:33 AM ET
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
The Stars coach was asked what he felt he could do with his two new “top-six” forwards Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky, and he answered with bemusement.
“Well,” he said with a chuckle, “I think the options are almost limitless.”
When Stars general manager Jim Nill made a trade early Tuesday to acquire Spezza from the Ottawa Senators and then later in the day signed Hemsky to a three-year free-agent contract for $4 million a season, he solved a lot of problems for Ruff.
One, he created a real second line that will take pressure off of leading scorers Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. Two, he propped up a sagging power play (23rd in the NHL at 15.9 percent) and created the possibility of two solid units on the man advantage. And three, he allowed Ruff to ponder a third line of Antoine Roussel-Cody Eakin-Ryan Garbutt that cashed in for 47 goals last season.
“You look at what we have now, and we really have a great top nine,” Ruff said of moving the Eakin line from second line to third. “You can do a lot with that. You can create mismatches, you can get away from matchups [the other team wants], you can juggle your personnel.”
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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.
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