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-   -   Article:Waddell stood pat for too long! (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=50560)

Hockey Mojo 02-08-2004 12:11 PM

Article:Waddell stood pat for too long!
 
Some may disagree with Jeff Schultz's article in Sundays sports addition in the AJC, but I think it was right on! Given everything that has happen this season, the buck stops at his desk. I'm not saying he's a bad GM, but he must take full responibility for the team. Now that the playoffs are almost if not out of reach for the Thrashers will Waddell start his preaching, "we must play meaningful games the rest of the year and the 5 year plan in building a franchise?" I suggest everyone go see the movie MIRACLE, it will make you alot feel better when it comes to hockey!

officeglen 02-08-2004 12:35 PM

Right now the article is at:
Waddell stood pat for too long

Quote:

Waddell says he has trade talks every day. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay, a division rival, deals for a top-four defense- man in Darryl Sydor.

Waddell says he won't make a trade just for the sake of making a trade. Mean- while, Philadelphia picks up a skilled holdout center, Mike Comrie, whom Edmonton previously dangled in front of Atlanta, and a puck-moving defenseman, Danny Markov

Waddell says he won't panic. Meanwhile, Boston phones Vancouver and deals for ex-Thrasher defenseman Jiri Slegr (who could've plugged a hole). Los Angeles gets Martin Straka from salary-dumping Pittsburgh. Colorado trades for Steve Konowalchuk (that was back in October, because some general managers like Pierre Lacroix don't wait until it's too late).

Waddell says it's tough to make a trade because so many teams still think they're in the race. Well, that shouldn't be a problem for too much longer here.


I have to agree that the GM has been too inactive.

dunwoody_joe 02-08-2004 04:15 PM

It reminds me that DW also took too long to pull the trigger on Frasier.

Seems our GM is a bit risk averse.

Peter Sidorkiewicz 02-08-2004 05:17 PM

Let's not be too harsh on DW. I believe the sale of the team to the new owners is still not finalised and if it was, you would expect that the revisied budget DW gets, would start next season. Heck I can only remember a couple of bad moves he has done during his time at GM.

1. Signing Damian Rhodes to a big money long term contract
2. Letting Andrew Brunette sign with Minnesota

btn 02-08-2004 05:19 PM

He should have written this piece a month ago. Atlanta's sports media is way to easy on the locals.

Brunette had one good year with Minny, the worst affect of that decision was that "the captain" Ray Ferraro sulked and sleepwalked through the next season because his good buddy Bruno wasn't around.

I think DW has been pretty solid on trades(when he has made them) and drafting. However his FA pickups have generally disapointed and he cannot assess NHL ready goaltending talent if his life depended upon it. The Thrashers have not had NHL quality players between the pipes, ever.

I would also agree with the risk adverse suggestion. He is just unwilling to give up quality to get quality. I believe Audette is the most talented player he has ever traded, and that was only at the trade deadline.

cws 02-09-2004 12:21 AM

Little or no depth in the organization to trade with (that excludes the players he would be completely moronic to trade), the ownership limbo that likely took away his ability to add payroll, and the fact that he wanted to trade because of injuries which is a very weak bargaining position. That's been the case since early January, doesn't exactly bode well for making a good trade.

You can criticize him to hell and back if you want, but in my opinion he didn't have too much choice in the matter. Way too much going against him to pull off a good trade. And I'd much rather see him stick with these players than trade away a valuable piece of the future just for the short term gains.

Either Schultz wanted to write a scathing piece that would grab attention or he is frustrated like the rest of us. Let's face it, our luck and timing has been horrific and some of the team hasn't come through when we really needed it. Not a good combo.

Slats432 02-09-2004 09:35 AM

I agree with Don Waddell to a point. Atlanta could have easily had Mike Comrie. But is Braydon Coburn and a pick worth it? If I were a Thrasher fan, I would have been glad that my GM didn't take the short term problem and make it into a long term problem.

Don is doing a good job developing the franchise, and when you look at Heatley, Kovalchuk, Lehtonen, Coburn, Stefan, Exelby you would have to agree that he is doing the right thing.

Reign Nateo 02-09-2004 10:38 AM

Danny Markov and Mike Comrie would really solidify the Thrashers, but there are a lot of assets to give up to get those type of guys. There is a lot of time left, and most GM's want to wait and see what the market will be like post-All-Star. There may be a lot of teams making guys available soon...

Hockey Mojo 02-09-2004 11:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slats432

Don is doing a good job developing the franchise, and when you look at Heatley, Kovalchuk, Lehtonen, Coburn, Stefan, Exelby you would have to agree that he is doing the right thing.


Of the five players mentioned, only one has proven his top pick and X-Man is still in development! Drafting is a no brainer, you draft the best player available when it comes to your turn to pick. When and if we ever become contenders, a GM's magic is when his first pick is 25th and down the line. Finding those diamonds in the rough in the third, fourth and fifth picks is where you show your expertise. DW has picked in the TOP 5 three times and the TOP 10 once! DW and everyone else needs to stop making excuses for the poor performance of our Thrashers this season. Every team in playoff contention have gone through their share of injuries and problems (Avs, Red Wings, Flyers and Leafs). You fill the void, not pray. You can add the ownership limbo, CBA uncertainies, injuries, lack of UFA signings in the off-season, and death of a player into the many problems why the Thrashers are not a playoff bound team. You must over-come your adversities! DW and the Thrashers over promised and didn't deliver! They should under promise and over deliver the next time. Let's don't be harsh on DW, please, someone must take the wrap and he's the man in charge. Take Rhodes, Burt, Maracle, Rheirden, Krupp and many others, I hope DW doesn't gamble while he's in Las Vegas because he'll lose his pants! He's not a betting man, because he takes no risks! From all his off season and in-season acqusitions, you would think he was the one who worked in a spare parts factory. When it comes to stocking the farm of prospects in hopes of a bountiful harvest and that's HOPES OF A BOUNTIFUL HARVEST, there are no guarantees that any player will be worth his weight in gold. Hey folks, all in all when goals fall short, expectations fall short and opportunities fall short what do you do? You don't make excuses, but take responsibiliy.

Slats432 02-09-2004 12:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hockey Mojo
Of the five players mentioned, only one has proven his top pick and X-Man is still in development! Drafting is a no brainer, you draft the best player available when it comes to your turn to pick. When and if we ever become contenders, a GM's magic is when his first pick is 25th and down the line. Finding those diamonds in the rough in the third, fourth and fifth picks is where you show your expertise. DW has picked in the TOP 5 three times and the TOP 10 once! DW and everyone else needs to stop making excuses for the poor performance of our Thrashers this season. Every team in playoff contention have gone through their share of injuries and problems (Avs, Red Wings, Flyers and Leafs). You fill the void, not pray. You can add the ownership limbo, CBA uncertainies, injuries, lack of UFA signings in the off-season, and death of a player into the many problems why the Thrashers are not a playoff bound team. You must over-come your adversities! DW and the Thrashers over promised and didn't deliver! They should under promise and over deliver the next time. Let's don't be harsh on DW, please, someone must take the wrap and he's the man in charge. Take Rhodes, Burt, Maracle, Rheirden, Krupp and many others, I hope DW doesn't gamble while he's in Las Vegas because he'll lose his pants! He's not a betting man, because he takes no risks! From all his off season and in-season acqusitions, you would think he was the one who worked in a spare parts factory. When it comes to stocking the farm of prospects in hopes of a bountiful harvest and that's HOPES OF A BOUNTIFUL HARVEST, there are no guarantees that any player will be worth his weight in gold. Hey folks, all in all when goals fall short, expectations fall short and opportunities fall short what do you do? You don't make excuses, but take responsibiliy.

You don't make a complete assessment of your players until 5 years after drafting. As a new franchise there is a roadmap that has to be in place for long term goals of competitiveness. I disagree with your statement that only one of the players has proven his worth. Heatley was an Allstar MVP last year, Kovalchuk is one of the most dynamic players in the league, last year Lehtonen was voted the top prospect in the world by HF(If my memory is correct), Stefan is a solid two way player, Exelby is as tough as they come, and Coburn is still salivated as a solid two way blueliner.

With an expansion franchise there is no quick fix, and you could dump lots of great youth to get some aged veterans and get to the playoffs for a couple years.

The rumoured trade offer for Kovalchuk was Markov, Garon, a first, and a couple other players. Would that have you closer to the playoffs today? Possibly. But over the long term that would have hurt the franchise.

Buffaloed 02-09-2004 02:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by btn
I would also agree with the risk adverse suggestion. He is just unwilling to give up quality to get quality. I believe Audette is the most talented player he has ever traded, and that was only at the trade deadline.

It's a tough proposition to give up quality when the depth isn't there to take it's place. The same risk doesn't exist with clubs that have stockpiled prospects and/or have the payroll to engineer favorable trades and sign free agents. Maybe Waddell could have done a little better, but he's done well adding veterans inexpensively while building a young, talented core for the future.

I suspect Waddell and other GM's are waiting for the new CBA, when in all likelihood, there will be a bevy of affordable UFA's. There's going to be an awful lot of young players currently in the $1-1.5 million range who haven't quite panned out, that won't be receiving qualifying offers in a salary cap enviroment.

Hockey Mojo 02-09-2004 02:57 PM

[QUOTE=slats432] I disagree with your statement that only one of the players has proven his worth. Heatley was an Allstar MVP last year, Kovalchuk is one of the most dynamic players in the league, last year Lehtonen was voted the top prospect in the world by HF(If my memory is correct), Stefan is a solid two way player, Exelby is as tough as they come, and Coburn is still salivated as a solid two way blueliner.


True, Heatley was an AllStar MVP last year, but some have questioned if Heatley can return back to the player he was before the accident. We all hope he can some day. Kovie's the player who stands out at the moment. Lehtonen is one of the top prospects, but not NHL proven. Stefan is a very good two-way third line center, coming from a weak 1999 draft. X-Man is tough, but not yet NHL proven. Coburn like Lehtonen a top prospect, acouple years away.

ATLThrashers15 02-09-2004 05:26 PM

Here is a good piece written by MattG on the SmirkinChicken...It is worth a read and then YOU decide what you want...

Quote:

Schultz is generally wrong but...

A) DW should have patched our hole at Center by acquiring a veteran with faceoff and passing skills. We started the season with Savard, Stefan, Aubin and Robitaille. This is a very weak collection of centers to begin with but by January we were playing games with only Stefan being healthy. We have lost games during January because we are soooo weak at center. My guess is that among UFA Oates, Ronning and guys like Y. Perreault somebody could have been had relatively cheaply who would have helped bridge the gap while Savard was out. So, yes I would agree with that DW deserves a bit of criticism for not making a modest deal to bring in a veteran centerman during a make-or-break period that would determine whether we made the playoffs or not.

B) Schultz is completely wrong for criticizing DW for not making a major deal.

Here are the facts. The Atlanta Thrashers must live within a budget. That budget is largely going to be determined by fans buying tickets. Atlanta is not Detroit--people are only willing to play so much for a ticket. The fact of the matter is that the Thrashers have in real terms reduced ticket prices every season (by either holding them steady while inflaction rises or actually reducing the price).

What this means is that the Thrashers will always have to spend less than the Detroit, Philadelphia, Rangers, etc. Does this mean you can't compete? Hell, no. But it does mean that you can only afford a handful of expensive players on your roster at any given time. The way you become a contender on a budget is to develop your draft picks because the CBA lets you underpay them until they are 30. It is not fair--but that is how the system works.

So next year the Thrashers roster will probably have Heatley, Kovalchuk, Lehtonen, Slater, and Coburn--who will all be underpaid relative to their contributions to the team. Now you augment that cheap core talent base with modest priced players like Savard, McEachern and Kozlov and you're got a team that can begin to contend. As your core players age and demand more money you will shed the contracts of Kozlov and McEachern.

The key here is that your underpaid young talent will allow this team to contend for a period of several years. The playoffs are always a bit of crap shoot. Player injuries, hot goalies and random luck play a significant role in who wins and who loses. As a GM you want to position your team so that you have several years where you have a legitimate chance to contend for the big silver chalice before your roster becomes too expensive and you have to rebuild again.

Now if you're stupid like Jeff Schultz and you trade away grade A prospects for players who are further along in their career path--that means that you will have to pay those guys more money--AND YOU HAVE SHORTENED YOUR WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY FOR WINNING THE STANLEY CUP. The facts are that even if this team added a Bill Guerin and made a successful push for the playoffs we were absolutely not going to win the Stanley Cup! Just look at our defensemen. Trading away a top prospect just so we can lose in the 1st round of the playoffs is very shortsighted.

Hockey Mojo 02-09-2004 10:47 PM

From MattG on SmirkrnChicken:
Now if you're stupid like Jeff Schultz and you trade away grade A prospects for a player who are further along in their career path that means that you'll have to pay those guys more money AND YOU HAVE SHORTENED YOUR WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY FOR WINNING THE STANLEY CUP.The facts are that even if the team added Bill Guerin and made a successful push for the playoffs were not going to win the Stanley Cup! Just look at our defense. Trade away a top prospect just so we can lose in the 1st round of the playoffs is very shortsighted.




Matt it's passed your bed time and mom wants you to go to bed, you have school tomorrow! I can sense you have no hockey knowledge whats so ever, but that's OK, there's a learning curve for you in Atlanta.
First, WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY for the Thrashers. Since there has never been a window of opportunity for the Thrashers you can't even mention those words. You can't talk about a playoff dance unless you've been there or even came CLOSE. DEFENSE, your're right, their a bunch of prospective defenseman turn into forwards and then back to defenseman. DW the GM picks or signings. Up grading the defense was his No# 1 priority this past off season so he said. How can we lose the first round when we haven't even came close to a playoff birth! OUR GOAL THIS YEAR WAS TO MAKE TO THE PLAYOFFS< BOTTOM LINE!
DW knew what we needed during the off season DEFENSE and what did he give us Majesky. After the accident we need a centerman/forward and what did he give us, two forwards off the waiver wire. Budget, who sais budget? What is our budget? At this pace, your hard earned money for Thrashers tickets is being pissed down the toilet while their building the franchise. Long live the KNIGHTS!


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