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djavan 02-14-2004 10:40 AM

bobby clarke...
 
hello flyers fans,

just wanted to know what the overall views were on bobby clarke as gm of the team...

they haven't won a cup yet under him and have had some very disappointing playoff performances, but when you consider that he's always kept the team in the upper echelon of the league, is not afraid to make moves when they are needed (getting these d-men and burke lately) and in hiring hitchcock (perhaps he was forced by snyder) proved that he wasn't afraid to bring in a coach who was perhaps his equal or even better... very much unlike the team they're playing this saturday afternoon (2-14-04)

RoDu 02-14-2004 10:43 AM

he does good things, and some bad, but basicaly there is no one better to replace him with, so we keep him around

GKJ 02-14-2004 10:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by flyerfanofthepeg
he does good things, and some bad, but basicaly there is no one better to replace him with, so we keep him around

brian burke could be available...

Toonces 02-14-2004 11:03 AM

Your going to get a lot of intresting answers with this one.

I think Bob Clarke is a pretty good GM for the most part, but it prone to make gut decisions that just turn out badly. Since Clarke has gotten on the scene he has certianly done alot of good by turning the team into one of the deepest talent wise in their history.

The big problem with Clarke is that he tinkers a little too much with the team rather than giving players time to gel. He has done this less in recent year. People will point to Comrie as another blatant example of this, but I really don't think Comrie was ever part of this teams long term plans, but Clarke saw him as a potential steal valuewise.

Clarkes most famous trade (besides the Oates debacle which is infamous) which brought John LeClair here will always be his biggest fleecing, albiet completely by dumb luck. The best deal he has made was argueably the Pitkanen trade, which to this day I still don't understand how we got him. Clarke should also get alot of credit for the Lindros trade. We got an alful lot more than we really ever should have for the guy. Johnsson is a stud bar none, and the fact that we got him plus via trades, other valuable peices for the roster (Sami K, Brashear) makes that deal look fantastic.

Clarke will always be hated around here for the Oates deal, and the critisim is rightly fair, alough it must be mentioned that Ouellet has not done anything really yet. Even with him here we might be in the same boat we are in now. Ouellet is however an exelent prospect and this move was a poor one, to put it lightly.

The critisim about not having won a cup is also fair. In hindsight, the 97 team IMO was not really strong enough to take it all. I think we got hot at the right moment, and hit all the right opponents just to make it that far. The season I'm the most upset about, and will never forgive the team for is the 2000 debacle. Up 3 games to 1 against the Devils, you HAVE to put them away. Sure, Lindros was a distraction, but that team should have been able to do it without Lindros. I beleive if the Flyers got out of that series, they win the cup over Dallas in 6.

All in all, Clarke has done a pretty good job, but his sometimes shortsighted and reactionary trades will keep him from being an exelent GM unless he deleivers "The Cup".

FearTheFlyers 02-14-2004 11:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by go kim johnsson
brian burke could be available...

shudder

HFNHL Commish 02-14-2004 11:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OneSpeedOnly
shudder

It's intelligent responses like this one that make reading the HF Boards so enlightening... ;)

If the Flyers were to replace Bob Clarke, which they won't, I can't think of too many GMs out there that would be a better choice than Burke. With a relatively strict budget, Burke has managed to put together a competitive, contending team for three years in a row. He's also managed to keep his core of Naslund, Bertuzzi, Jovo, and Ohlund intact. Not bad, considering the state of the franchise when Quinn left.

One name that needs to be brought up in this conversation is Dean Lombardi, currently a Flyers scout. Lombardi's young, and did an excellent job of constructing a San Jose Sharks team that was well on its way to becoming a Cup contender...until they self-destructed last season, that is.

Steve L* 02-14-2004 12:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by flyerfanofthepeg
he does good things, and some bad, but basicaly there is no one better to replace him with, so we keep him around

Lombardi? Look what he did with the Sharks.

GKJ 02-14-2004 12:05 PM

Good point about Lombardi. I had not known he was in our system. I would think that someone would pick him up rather quick this offseason, if a team was to change GMs. For instance, if Larry Pleau was to be let go.

capn89* 02-14-2004 12:10 PM

I hate to say this, but I think as far as this team goes this year, will be the farthest the flyers will ever get under bob clarke. He can put good teams together, but he just hasn't put a championship team out on the ice... he'd be good for the middle of the road teams out there in the nhl, to get ther competitve every year, but that's at best. Oh well, that's just my opinion.

ObeySteve 02-14-2004 12:30 PM

We need a GM who is going to build a Cup-winning team from scratch.

GKJ 02-14-2004 12:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ObeySteve
We need a GM who is going to build a Cup-winning team from scratch.

That is something Lombardi could do, moreso then Burke. Burke can get players to take paycuts.


We really need a guy like Brian Burke to take part in CBA neogotiations. Trevor Linden is on his team and he is also president of the NHLPA.

MiamiScreamingEagles 02-14-2004 01:08 PM

Overall, I think he has done a good job. I think his personality irritates some people and sometimes he shoots from the hip which gets him in trouble. Certainly when you have longevity in his business there are a list of trades that work, those that don't and those that are inconsequential. The ugly public feud with the Lindros group was embarrassing to all involved, too. But Clarke made a good trade with the Rangers despite having little leverage. (For what it is worth, I was a huge Lindros fan when he wore the Flyers uniform and was saddened to see him suffer another injury this season).

Oftentimes, naysayers will point to his trade of Adam Oates and the goaltenders lack of success in the playoffs; I think his coaching carousel was suspect until he hired Ken Hitchcock. Flyers goalies have been somewhat spectacular in regular season play though it is dwarfed by their failures in the post-season. Statistically, Flyers goalies have been 1st or 2nd the last 4 seasons (two made the top 5 in 1999-00) and the last time they didn't have a goalie rank in the top 7 was, ironically, their last Cup appearance in 1997. Numbers can be made to prove any point and the important fact is they haven't won a Cup.

He has made many successful trades over the years and has John LeClair, Eric Desjardins, Mark Recchi, draft picks that turned into Simon Gagne and Joni Pitkanen, Kim Johnsson, Robert Esche, Keith Primeau, Tony Amonte, Sami Kapanen, and Michal Handzus to name some.

And let us not forget, he left the Flyers twice: once to go to Florida and once to go to Minnesota. Part of the time he was gone, the Flyers went five straight seasons without making the playoffs. Remember those days? I do and it was not pretty.

GoneFullHextall 02-14-2004 01:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by go kim johnsson
brian burke could be available...

:joker: :joker:

bobbyboucher24 02-14-2004 03:05 PM

Count me as a Bob Clarke supporter. Yes, I am not happy with every trade he has made, but I try to see it through his eyes. Lets face it, how many of us could do his job better than he could. Does everyobe realize how difficult it is to be a gm, not just worrying about players and their abilities, but salaries/contracts. I think some people will hate every move Clarke makes. I remember on another board I used to frequent where some idiot hated the trade of Fedotenko and 2 picks for Pitkanen. His blind hatred of Clarke showed through in everyone of his posts. The fact of the matter is, that he does a good, not great, job. Some people will always hate him, and others will try to look at his deals rationally. Its OK to criticize him and his trades, but blind hatred I can do without.

FlyersFan 02-14-2004 03:30 PM

Since the infamous Oates trade, I think he's been one of the best GM's in the league, if not the best. I think he learned from that.

I don't have any problems with Clarke. How many times have we heard about how great the Flyers are on paper, but can't do anything in the playoffs? Is that Clarke's fault? Besides, who is available who could do a better job (besides 90% of posters here)?

MiamiScreamingEagles 02-14-2004 05:26 PM

Here is the other issue about the Adam Oates trade that is too often overlooked. Among the picks traded to Washington was a 2002 first rounder, the 26th overall choice which the Caps then gave to Dallas.

Clarke later acquired the 4th overall pick in 2002 from Tampa Bay and selected Joni Pitkanen for Rusty Fedotenko a move that may not have been made had he not done the Oates deal.

In 2003, the Flyers had two first rounders and chose Jeff Carter and Mike Richards. People have the perception that the Flyers gutted their future by getting an over-the-hill Oates. It isn't like the original Russ Farwell/Jay Snider deal acquiring Eric Lindros which raided the Flyers immediate future.

Brad* 02-14-2004 06:21 PM

I would say Clarke is in the top 1/3 of GM's in the league to be perfectly honest.

FlyersGuy69 02-14-2004 09:07 PM

I think that Clarke is one of the best GM's in the league. he always has the Flyers very competative and is willing to make moves or spend money to do so. yes, he has made a couple questionable trades/signings but has made alot more good/great ones to more than make up for them. I think that the biggest negative about Clarke is that he is stubborn to a fault with wanting to do things his way. the one thing that I am sure of about Clarke is that he want's to see the Flyers win a Cup more than any of us do. this is not a job to Clarke, it's his life because he is everything that the Flyers are.

Rails 02-14-2004 11:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by go kim johnsson
brian burke could be available...

Has he won a cup?

anonymous* 02-15-2004 07:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MiamiScreamingEagles
Here is the other issue about the Adam Oates trade that is too often overlooked. Among the picks traded to Washington was a 2002 first rounder, the 26th overall choice which the Caps then gave to Dallas.

Clarke later acquired the 4th overall pick in 2002 from Tampa Bay and selected Joni Pitkanen for Rusty Fedotenko a move that may not have been made had he not done the Oates deal.

In 2003, the Flyers had two first rounders and chose Jeff Carter and Mike Richards. People have the perception that the Flyers gutted their future by getting an over-the-hill Oates. It isn't like the original Russ Farwell/Jay Snider deal acquiring Eric Lindros which raided the Flyers immediate future.

People seem to lay the Lindros deal at Clarke's feet when discussing trades, that really needs to be understood once and for all.

My only problem with the Oates trade is that Clarke didn't see that Barber had already lost the team, it seemed obvious to me, but I'm not as close to the situation as Clarke, and of course they are buddies. Oullet(sp?) was felt expendable because they had Niitymaki and I don't think anyone right now has a problem with him.

The only trade I don't like and will never understand is the Manderville for Tibbets. The team wasn't so strong that Manderville should have been scratched so often in my opinion and I doubt I need to explain why Tibbets is trash, still.

JCD 02-15-2004 08:45 AM

Clarke is an average at best GM. Flyers have a huge bank book to keep them competitve: Clarke can buy his way out of mistakes.

Drafting: Clarke is great at hitting with his 1st round picks. After that, he is well below par. How many NHLers has Clarke drafted after the 1st? In over a decade now, Cechmanek is about it. That is a pretty poor record. His success with the 1st round is notable though.

Trades: For every good trade, you have a bad trade. For Pitkanen, you have Oates. For LeClair, you have Coffey. For each of them, you have 2 more meaningless ones. Clarke has yet to realize that stability and success are related. Flyers have a roster turn-over that looks like an expansion franchise and not a Cup Contender.

Addressing Needs: This is far and away Clarke's biggest shortcoming. Either he stubbornly refuses to admit the current situation doesn't work, or he is too blind to notice. It is a pattern that repeats year after year. In the mid-90's we were on our way to the Cup. Clarke continually failed to put the supporting cast in place neccesary to take the next step. Mainly, it was failure to get a competent goalie in net. This last year, we shuddered in dread when Clarke stated his goaltending phillosphy: it doesn't matter who is in net unless it is the best in the league. Clarke lived by that mantra, Cechmanek is the only goalie in 8 years that started 2 post-seasons in a row. Clarke seemed to forget that Parent won him those Cups.

What is more troubling, is that while goaltending was being ignored, he was tinkering with areas already strong. Screwing up team chemistry and create log jams. Take the 1998 season. We were coming of a Stanley Cup appearance. Goaltending was clearly our weaklink, followed by a thin defense corps. Clarke signed Gratton. Why? Gratton was an up and coming player, but he was a center and we had Hawerchuk (hadn't retired yet), Brindy, Otto plus prospects in the system (i.e. Prospal) at that position. Gratton was decent, but forced us to juggle line-ups all year trying to accomodate 5 centers on the top-2 lines.

Clarke passed on CuJo because Beezer was cheaper. Beezer would have been adequate, but Clarke has systematically removed every trace of speed from our blueline over the past 2 seasons. Coffey, Niinimaa, Dykhuis, Svoboda were out for Samuelsson, Richardson, McGillis and Babych. It is only recently that we have regained any jump on the blueline.

PR Nightmare: Chaos follows Clarke. The Lindros fiasco is well known, but the ugliness remained with the Flyers after Lindros left. Some of the things Clarke does directly (Nielson went goofy on us...), others are indirect results. Clarke's frenetic roster turnover creates a fractioned locker room (the 'core' and the outsiders) and he makes no secret about taking sides in confrontations. Clarke has his favorites and he has his disliked. At times, this lets the inmates run the asylum: the Barber fiasco and running of Cechmanek.

In All: In terms of GM skills alone, Clarke is decent. Why Clarke is not a GM is that he doesn't seem to operate with any sort of vision. He works by the seat of his pants. There is no evidence of a 3- or 5- year plan. The constant turnover, the failure to address needs, the overstocking of positions while ignoring others, the coaching revolving door all lead me to be that not even Clarke has any idea where this team will be in 2 months, let alone 2 years.

That lack of vision is totally unacceptable in his position. If Clarke worked under the direction of somebody who DID have a plan, he might be a good GM. He doesn't. Clarke is the highest position in the organization and takes orders from nobody (outside of Snyder, but that is a different story).

Bottom line: Clarke runs the Flyers like a 13 year old playing EHM. Trade after trade after trade. Stubbornly building and rebuilding and rebuilding a team according to some model that doesn't work (big, slow and poor goaltending). Trades off young players on a whim. Routinely overstocks one position while ignoring others. Throws money around like it was nothing.

The Flyer's window for winning the Cup has all but closed. Clarke has never built a Cup winning team in his career and, barring divine intervention bestowing him with a sense of vision, he never will. Right now, the Flyers are following the same pattern which his past teams have, only Comcast's pocketbook as prolonged the decline.

FlyHigh 02-15-2004 09:14 AM

Remember about drafting, it aint all Clarke. I forget the exact name of the scout, but Clarke was going to take someone else in a draft. The scout was literally begging Clarke to take Gagne and Clarke relented, but anyway, it is the scouts who are more responsible for the drafts than Clarke is. Also, the Kapanen and Amonte trades were purely the other teams clearing some money, so no one should delude themselves about that.

That being said, I think Clarke has done a pretty good job and except for Oates, his trade record has been decent. The Boucher for Handzus and Esche one is great with Handzus on pace for over 50 points and Esche a likely No.1 guy. We all know about LeClair and Recchi and Desjardins for Zubrus practically. The Pitkanen one was also very good, a 3rd liner and 2 2nds in a weak draft for a All-Star d-man is very good. Overall has done a decent job, but the thing that has killed him is that he hasn't paid nearly enough attention to goaltending.

Pontifex Maximus* 02-15-2004 11:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JCD
Clarke is an average at best GM. Flyers have a huge bank book to keep them competitve: Clarke can buy his way out of mistakes.

Drafting: Clarke is great at hitting with his 1st round picks. After that, he is well below par. How many NHLers has Clarke drafted after the 1st? In over a decade now, Cechmanek is about it. That is a pretty poor record. His success with the 1st round is notable though.

Clarke has done a good job in gaining assets in the later rounds:

2001: Seidenberg, Sharp
2000: Lefebvre (turned into Amonte), Cechmanek, Kelly (turned into McAllister)
1998: Niittymaki, St. Jacques (turned into Kapanen)
1997: Pelletier (turned into Primeau), Fedoruk
1996: Boulerice
1995: Somik, Tertyshny
1994 (Clarke draft?): Forbes, Selivanov, Hedberg

Also others like Pletka, Divisek, Hubacek, Lank etc that at least made their NHL debuts (which means at some point or another they were highly regarded in the organization).
Quote:

Originally Posted by JCD
Trades: For every good trade, you have a bad trade. For Pitkanen, you have Oates. For LeClair, you have Coffey. For each of them, you have 2 more meaningless ones. Clarke has yet to realize that stability and success are related. Flyers have a roster turn-over that looks like an expansion franchise and not a Cup Contender.

You can sort through his trades here:
http://www.flyershistory.com/cgi-bin/trade.cgi

You can argue that perhaps he lacks direction, but he wins most trades.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JCD
PR Nightmare: Chaos follows Clarke. The Lindros fiasco is well known, but the ugliness remained with the Flyers after Lindros left. Some of the things Clarke does directly (Nielson went goofy on us...), others are indirect results. Clarke's frenetic roster turnover creates a fractioned locker room (the 'core' and the outsiders) and he makes no secret about taking sides in confrontations. Clarke has his favorites and he has his disliked. At times, this lets the inmates run the asylum: the Barber fiasco and running of Cechmanek.

Does PR really matter?
Quote:

Originally Posted by JCD
In All: In terms of GM skills alone, Clarke is decent. Why Clarke is not a GM is that he doesn't seem to operate with any sort of vision. He works by the seat of his pants. There is no evidence of a 3- or 5- year plan. The constant turnover, the failure to address needs, the overstocking of positions while ignoring others, the coaching revolving door all lead me to be that not even Clarke has any idea where this team will be in 2 months, let alone 2 years.

That lack of vision is totally unacceptable in his position. If Clarke worked under the direction of somebody who DID have a plan, he might be a good GM. He doesn't. Clarke is the highest position in the organization and takes orders from nobody (outside of Snyder, but that is a different story).

How can you say he doesn't have a plan? Wouldn't you say his plan is to have a deep, defensive oriented team run by one the best coachs in the NHL?

FearTheFlyers 02-15-2004 11:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HFNHL Commish
It's intelligent responses like this one that make reading the HF Boards so enlightening... ;)

I don't recall asking you to critique what I post.

Quote:

If the Flyers were to replace Bob Clarke, which they won't, I can't think of too many GMs out there that would be a better choice than Burke. With a relatively strict budget, Burke has managed to put together a competitive, contending team for three years in a row. He's also managed to keep his core of Naslund, Bertuzzi, Jovo, and Ohlund intact. Not bad, considering the state of the franchise when Quinn left.
I never said anything about Brian Burke and the quality of GM he is, I hear they have an ok team out there, however, Brian Burke has NEVER won anything, So he is no upgrade over Bobby at all. My comment was based on the fact that I can't stand Brian Burke, he is an ignorant, egotistical person. Whenever he is interviewed I can't help but stop and wonder why he's being so rude to the journalist. If I had to listen to Brian Burke whine and complain about why his team isin't winning every day i'd go crazy.

Steve L* 02-15-2004 11:46 AM

The things I fault Clarke are stupid things like the Tibbets and Oates trades. His inability to admit the goalie is the most important position which leads onto the most important thing. 0 cups as a GM.

Ultimately thats what he shold be judged on.

I do have hope though because he would never trade for Russians and he seems to have got past that, I hope he changes his mind on the goalie issue.


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