Not signing Thornton and not being able to sign Iginla are an obvious trend towards the style from the infamous Dave Lewis era. How did that work out again?--- Lewis made Chara into Christain Erhoff and clearly made it known that he not only hated fighting but overall physical play as well. A creampuff like Mark Mowers was absolutely adored by Lewis who played him over a tougher, more physical player. Lewis changed the entire culture of this team and the result wasn't pretty.
Three years ago we had easily the toughest and most feared team in the league as we won the cup. Unless this situation is addressed by free-agency (Cody McCormick would be a good addition) I expect a boring, season where we play roughly .500 and make a first-round exit from the playoffs.
Before someone suggests that Chara, Lucic and Millar/Mcquaid handle the fighting, let's take a look at that. Chara is 37 and not someone who is even that skilled as a fighter. Lucic, while very capable, is one of our best offensive threats. Miller is still unproven and Mquaid plays 5-6 games per year.
We *need* to add grit to the fourth line. Example: Is Jordan Caron a better player than a McCormick? Do we want to see Caron float for another year instead of having a guy who can rough things up when needed? Unfortunately Claude seems to have a strange Mowers/Lewis-like infatuation with Caron which makes our situation even more troubling.