Hi everyone. My name is Andi D., and I'm a writer over at the Avs' blog, Mile High Hockey. This offseason, I'm looking to write a series of posts on the players the Avs might target during free agency. Our team is in desperate need of a #2 defenseman, and Matt Carle's name has come up in conversation more than once. On top of that, after reading articles such as this, it looks as if he's one of the few quality UFAs that may actually make it to the market instead of being resigned. I must admit that after seeing his stats and the fact that he played in Denver during college, I'm very intrigued by him. However, I've not seen him play very much, so instead of basing my post solely off numbers or observations from just a couple games, I'd much rather hear what sort of a player he is from the people who would know best - the fans who watch him all throughout the season.
Anyway, I've already lurked around some recent threads, and from what I've gathered, Carle is a bit... polarizing. People seem to either love him or hate him. Even if he doesn't end up with the Avs, he's someone I'd like to know a little more about. If you could help me out by answering even some of these questions, I'd really appreciate it.
1. Do you think Matt Carle will hit free agency, and if so, what do you think his worth on the market will be? Where might he like to sign?
2. What sort of a defenseman is he? Is he a strong 2-way player, or does he tend to really shine in one zone or the other? Does he jump into the play very often? How badly does he sacrifice his defensive responsibilities while in the attacking zone?
3. How often does he make you want to throw something at your TV? I've heard he isn't so great when it comes to turnovers - does he simply need to work on his stick-handling techniques, or does he just do really stupid things with the puck for no reason at all? And how often does he look overwhelmed or flustered on either end of the ice?
4. Is he a good skater? Do you think he could keep up on one of the fastest teams in the league?
5. I gather he's not big into hitting. Does he shy away from contact, and does this lack of physicality end up hurting his overall game? How good is he at poke-checks and other forms of stealing the puck? How often does he drop the gloves to defend his teammates? Does he ever get in fights to help spark his team?
6. Is he a hard worker? Will he stay late after practices? Does he come back a noticeably better after the off-season, and does he improve throughout the year? And how often does he look flat, lazy, or disinterested during a game?
7. What's he like off the ice? Is he considered a leader or a "good locker room presence" by the team? Does he do charity work? Would you (or your awesome Russian goalie) consider him an all-around "good guy"?
That's all I can think of for right now, but if there's anything else you'd like to mention, I'd love to hear it. Thanks, and good luck in the playoffs!