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-   -   What does everybody think of Muckler's job in Ottawa? (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=97212)

Darth Milbury 08-11-2004 11:39 AM

What does everybody think of Muckler's job in Ottawa?
 
I have mixed feelings about what he has been doing as a GM. I thought he made a few shrewd moves at last year's deadline. Getting Varada was smart, even though one could argue that Ottawa overpaid. I just think a few of his moves this summer were questionable. The goaltending issue could come back to haunt Ottawa, for example, if Hasek is not healthy or unable to return to form at the age of 39. I was also surprised that Muckler didn't get more for Bonk, particularly with Bonk eventually winding up in his own backyard.

Anyway, I still think that Ottawa has one of the best (and maybe even the best) teams in the NHL, and I still see them as being the main roadblock for Tampa next year. But, I not completely sure that Muckler has made the right deals.

Thoughts?

Trottier 08-11-2004 11:53 AM

The verdict is not in yet.

Ottawa's window for capturing a Cup remains wide open.

Bird Law 08-11-2004 11:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trottier
The verdict is not in yet.

Ottawa's window for capturing a Cup remains wide open.

I agree.

I think he's done an admirable job so far, but I won't push forward to judge him completely. This is Ottawa's year to shine. If they don't do it this year, than they might become the St. Louis Blues (always contending, almost winning, but not quite).

50 Mission Cap 08-11-2004 12:12 PM

Quite frankly I consider him to be another of those who were associated with Oilers who have been getting a free ride because of it.

The Bondra trade was brutal. Not for the stance of the player himself, but the reasoning behind it. You should not be strengthing an already strong position when you still had obvious holes in your lineup. He should have addressed the goaltending situation, which everyone but him seemed to acknowledge was a problem.

Signing Ray last year was nothing more then giving an old friend a little cushion.

Why they traded for De Vries when they are already strong on D was also beyond me.

Since becoming GM he has added his old buddies from Buffalo, and depleted the Sens farm system of some very good prospects. While their famr system is not in shambles, it's definately not the powerhouse it once was.

The Mars Volchenkov 08-11-2004 12:17 PM

I don't think he's done a good job really.

His best move to date is the Peter Schaefer for Sami Salo trade. He moved a strength for a weakness and Schaefer has been great in Ottawa. It also helped Vancouver.

Other than that, his moves have been questionable. We overpaid to get Smolinski, who is as inconsistent as you can get. Varada has no scoring ability, but it was a solid move as Jakub Klepis doesn't look too special and we needed the grit. deVries could improve this year under a new system, but I still think it was a bad trade. Rachunek would sure look great next to Redden because we've got no one there right now. The Hasek move could be great, or be awful.

If Ottawa wins the cup this year, then I won't worry about those deals for now. But I really question what he has done so far.

trentmccleary 08-11-2004 02:51 PM

The perfect GM in theory is supposed to;
1) fill holes
2) keep the farm system well stocked
3) keep the payroll low

Realistically, a GM can only achieve 1 or 2 of those goals.

So far,
- Muckler hasn't filled glaring holes. Like the PF (even 2nd or 3rd tier PF) Pierre Gauthier was trying to attain 8 years ago when he picked up guys like Prokopec and K.Brown. Unless Edward "Varada" Scissorhands" was the answer. :dunno:

- Prospects have been traded to acquire redundant assets such as DeVries, Smolinski, Bondra.

- The players he has acquired have increased the payroll substantially.

Muckler hasn't done any real damage yet... but one can't help but think that this is how a team like the Rangers gets built.

Darth Milbury 08-11-2004 02:56 PM

Varada was filling a hole - the third line banger. And, Smoke was a reasonable acquistion too - playoff depth for a player Muckler didn't think he could sign.

I think the Hasek deal could prove to be his undoing though. What are you guys going to do if Hasek can't bounce back from his injury?

ErnestoGuevara 08-11-2004 03:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darth Milbury
Varada was filling a hole - the third line banger. And, Smoke was a reasonable acquistion too - playoff depth for a player Muckler didn't think he could sign.

I think the Hasek deal could prove to be his undoing though. What are you guys going to do if Hasek can't bounce back from his injury?


The answer is quite simple.... play Prusek... and I think that this is Muckler's biggest mistake, he really thinks Prusek can be the next Hasek.

trentmccleary 08-11-2004 03:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darth Milbury
Varada was filling a hole - the third line banger. And, Smoke was a reasonable acquistion too - playoff depth for a player Muckler didn't think he could sign.

I think the Hasek deal could prove to be his undoing though. What are you guys going to do if Hasek can't bounce back from his injury?

It wasn't so much the trade, as Mike Fisher was injured at the time. But the decision to re-sign him. With the exception of the fact they are RH and LH, I could scarcely tell the difference between Smoke and Bonk during a game. Add White and the fact that Spezza should be the first line C this season and we understand why Bonk was traded for very little. Four centres for two spots.

I don't mind the Varada deal. Klepis was a weak pick in a weak draft. The problem is that he can't fill our need for someone who can screen and dig pucks out of a scrum in the crease.

The funny thing is that I'm not as concerned about the Hasek deal as you are.
I liked Lalime. I thought he was adequate. But I believe that Prusek is around the same level right now. Ray Emery has been in the minors for two years, while he didn't have a great year last season, I believe he'd be a capable back up. He's got to get some time in though.

So if Hasek goes down, we're basically in the same situation we've been in for the past 2 years.

CH4 08-11-2004 03:18 PM

Muckler will kill this team
1st: He should never fire Martin, a great and respected coach, ok, he did not win in playoffs but did Murray did!!! No
2nd: he should have way more for bonk and for Lalime if he was not so stressed about trading them

Ottawa was second in my heart but now think I prefer Toronto and Vancouver

I agree with him to take a chance with Hasek, but it is a big guest

Volcanologist 08-11-2004 03:31 PM

I don't think he's done that good of a job.

The Rachunek-de Vries deal I really didn't understand. Karel wanted out, but they traded a younger cheaper more skilled defenceman for an older less skilled more expensive one. de Vries was not very good after he was traded there, either.

Hasek is a gamble but obviously after that game 7 Lalime had to go.

ErnestoGuevara 08-11-2004 03:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CH4THECUP
Muckler will kill this team
1st: He should never fire Martin, a great and respected coach, ok, he did not win in playoffs but did Murray did!!! No
2nd: he should have way more for bonk and for Lalime if he was not so stressed about trading them

Ottawa was second in my heart but now think I prefer Toronto and Vancouver

I agree with him to take a chance with Hasek, but it is a big guest


The team needed a new mentality, a new style of play and therefore a new coach.
Bonk and Lalime were two of Martin's favorites and Jacques always defended them (this is one of the biggest reasons Lalime wasn't traded at the deadline, Martin had confidence in him). If Martin was fired these players needed to be gone and vice versa because alot of people were asking to trade Lalime and Bonk for a long time... Martin wanted to keep them and had confidence in him. Well he went into the playoffs with these players and lost with these players also. I see the Bonk and Lalime trades as salary dump, they money Muckler saved by moving them will help pay Chara, Phillips, Havlat, Schafer, Prusek and other RFAs of the team.

I don't want to make this thread all about Martin's firing but I really don't think it was a bad move by Muckler. In fact it was more something he had to do then something he wanted to do... Senators fan were asking for a change of the core of the team and alot of people were angry with Martin, Lalime and Bonk who had been with the team for a long time. Other than Alfredsson, Redden and Phillips; Bonk and Lalime were the longest serving senators, only they weren't performing as well as the first 3 so it's normal people wanted them out. It's the exact same thing with Martin, who had been here since the beggining, people wanted him out for nto playing Spezza, using Bonk too much, starting with Lalime, not letting Havlat do what he wanted offensivly, not playing BOndra on the point on the PP or whatever other reasons there might be.

Spezza 08-11-2004 03:43 PM

You know what, I'm going to stick up for Varada. When Varada was he played on the Bonk - Hossa line and I think he really helped Bonk play more aggresively down the stretch and into the '03 playoff run. Was always being a pain.

I think the disappointing thing about Varada is his durability, he's only played in 41 reg season games for us - he's hardly played!

I think canning Jacques was the right thing to do. He just couldn't fire the guys up enough to beat Toronto. Patrick was always going to struggle with the pressure next season, every little thing would be blown out of proportion. Hasek, while not ideal was the best option IMHO.

Hossa 08-11-2004 03:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darth Milbury
I think the Hasek deal could prove to be his undoing though. What are you guys going to do if Hasek can't bounce back from his injury?

I am by no means a Muckler fan. I'm still fuming over the de Vries trade and to a lesser extent the Bondra deal. de Vries especially ticked me off because we got slower, older, far more expensive, and all de Vries really did was bring a Cup ring. Maybe he should have been better, but he wasn't. Rachunek was a more valuable member of the team than de Vries.

But that's not the point.

The point is that the Hasek deal was done if nothing else, out of necessity. Lalime could not stay. For any number of reasons Lalime could not return...the biggest reason being public relations. Searching the history of the Sens board back to the Leafs series shows you just how people reacted to Lalime's failures in Game 7. He had to go.

The reality is that Hasek was the most experienced goalie on the market, and there weren't any other significant upgrades. Guys like Weekes are by no means a real upgrade over Prusek in terms of ability or in terms of experience. Sean Burke is more or less the only goalie out there who might have made sense over Hasek, but the reality is that he wasn't even the starter in Philly last year, and he hasn't won a playoff series in about 15 years or something.

So in essence, we either get Hasek doing his thing, and he's proven he can be a dominant clutch goalie, just not lately, or we get an untested but talented goaltender in Prusek leading the charge. THe only problem is both Prusek and Hasek play a similar style, and the hockey gods wouldn't have it any other way, both get hurt a lot. That's the potential kicker.

But all in all, it's almost a necessary risk. Prusek may or may not have been able to carry the load. There aren't really any other goalies who would be real upgrades on Lalime/Prusek, except Hasek. If Hasek flunks, we're back where we would have been otherwise. If he thrives...well, let's just hope that it leads where we all hope it does.

shadoz19 08-11-2004 03:46 PM

I think he has done an ok job. I question why he traded for Bondra and not for Zhamnov/Lang/Nylander/Nedved. They didn't need another right winger. He needs to acquire more grit. That showed in the Toronto series.

As far as Martin, I'm not suprised. The announcers during the series (yeah i think it was ESPN) were saying either Martin would be gone if they lost or Spezza would be traded. I know they said Martin benched Spezza cuz he was a defensive liability. Considering his production in the regular season and their lack of it in the playoffs, I understand why Martin was fired. Good move by Muckler.

shadoz19 08-11-2004 03:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hossa

The reality is that Hasek was the most experienced goalie on the market, and there weren't any other significant upgrades. Guys like Weekes are by no means a real upgrade over Prusek in terms of ability or in terms of experience. Sean Burke is more or less the only goalie out there who might have made sense over Hasek, but the reality is that he wasn't even the starter in Philly last year, and he hasn't won a playoff series in about 15 years or something.

Didn't Burke exercise a player option in Philly? Osgood wouldn't have been a bad replacement, but he didn't really become available until Lalime was traded.

Egil 08-11-2004 04:02 PM

Rachunek was never the same player after Game 7 vs NJ last year, and he wanted out. So Muckler's hands were tied (and he got a defenseman to replace him, at the deadline, which is good).

The Lalime dump followed by the Hasek signing was, simply put, the ONLY option. Lalime had a POOORRR year in the regular season (and was a large reason why we had to play Toronto in round 1 instead of say Montreal). Tack on the debacle that was game 7, where he basically completely blew any chance Ottawa had, and you have a player who NEEDS to go. We also have an excelent backup in Prusek, and even a reasonable 3rd option in Emery (if we get desperate). Hasek, is a gamble, BUT, due to the goaltending depth in the organization, its a gamble worth taking.

Klepis for Varada was a good deal. Varada, at 26, wasn't a typical deadline acquisition (as he was a RFA after the year), and has fit in wonderfully on the team.

Gleason for Smolinski is a bit more questionable, BUT, we could easily have won the cup after acquiring him, so it was also a reasonable move. I also liked resigning him, as it showed a certain level of commitment from the organization.
It also appears that we were having some difficulty in signing Gleason, so trading him was probably our only option.

The Bonk deal was another "forced" deal, as we didn't want to shell out 3.5 mil for Bonk. Montreal, who managed to tack on a couple years got him for slightly less, but still a considerable chunk of change. We didn't need, nor want to swap goalies with anyone (ie Garon or Huet), and got a pick. It was certainly a better move than the alternative, which was to not qualify him.

While I don't feel firing Martin was necessarily the best move, at a certain point, you need to change. This is why Queneville was fired, why Hitchcock was fired, etc. Even though the GM knows that they have a good coach, you sometimes need a new philosophy behind the bench. Firing Martin during the year last year would have been a mistake, firing him after the playoffs was a reasonable move.

He has also signed all our core guys, has made seemingly good draft selections, and hasn't squandered fistfulls of cash.

The Bondra trade didn't work out. I don't think it was a bad move though (and hopefully we resign him). It was clear he got injured in the last game of the year, and wasn't 100% in the playoffs. It was also clear he wasn't fully up to speed on our PP, or our systems by the time the playoffs rolled around. Kovalev was havining similar problems in Montreal until halfway through the first round, but when it clicked, it clicked. I also like the idea of "strengthening a strength", as if Hossa/Havlat/Alfie get injured, we EASILY replace them with Bondra. And while that isn't a huge issue in round 1, by the time round 4 roles around, you never know.

Hossa 08-11-2004 04:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shadoz19
Didn't Burke exercise a player option in Philly? Osgood wouldn't have been a bad replacement, but he didn't really become available until Lalime was traded.

You may be correct on Burke.

With respect to Osgood, he's a bit of a roll of the dice guy. Yes, he's won the Cup, but he isn't exactly a playoff hero the way Hasek is. Hasek is a better risk than Osgood.

brucegarrioch 08-11-2004 04:55 PM

I rarely post here, but I figure I'll toss in my two cents as well.

I echo similar sentiments as a few others that have posted in this particular thread, and many similar in the rationality behind some of the moves made by Muckler in his tenure here in Ottawa. While he has acquired players that have seemingly flourished under Ottawa's system, primary example being Peter Schaefer, he has also rolled the dice and gambled on quality players in their own right, but that failed to address any of Ottawa's weaknesses.

As 50_Mission_Cap outlined earlier, Muckler has a penchant for glorifying our strengths in an attempt to mask over our palpable weaknesses; inevitably this tactic will backfire and the result will be a similar one to last season and preceding ones: an early playoff exit and a bitter taste in the mouth of both management and fans alike.

With respect to his biggest moves, I think Muckler has been able to stabilize and solidify our bottom six forward position, but the top-six forward, albeit loaded with a potent arsenal of offensive prowess, still has some obvious holes: primarily; Varada and Smolinski are not top-line left wingers on any perennial contending team and Todd White is not a first line center; the catalyst for his rise to success is largely attributed to Daniel Alfredsson and Martin's willingness to play him in every facet of the game. With Martin no longer here, I expect White's production and value to the organization to take a slash to the throat.

Unless Muckler can address our top-six forward position and acquire a much-needed left-winger with tenacity and size, as well as a legitimate number one center, his tenure here will be forever questioned. The move for Bryan Smolinski addressed Ottawa's need for a versatile 40-point winger that brings veteran leadership and a savvy attitude that, ideally, will rub off on the rest of the team. Many people question the Smolinski move but he plays his position and his role quite well within the organization, albeit, slightly over-paid. Similarly, Vaclav Varada, in the limited time he's actually been playing has provided the team with extra physical fore-checking that wasn’t really prevalent prior to the acquisition. The move for Peter Bondra was absolutely brutal and needs no explanation. I'll reserve comment on Greg de'Vries until I actually see what he can do under the Senators system for a lengthy period of time, along with a stable defensive core.

Darth Milbury 08-11-2004 05:08 PM

The thing to remember about Varada is that Muckler was not trying to acquire a power LW that would score 30 goals a year. He was trying to acquire a big physical forward for the third line. I personally thought it was very smart move at the time. He has acquired the physical top six forward you guys are looking for, because those sort of players are so hard to get.

Burke's Evil Spirit 08-11-2004 06:59 PM

He's done a lot of things wrong. The contracts of Bryan Smolinski and Greg de Vries are horrid (and giving up the better Rachunek for de Vries is downright insane). He took way too long to address goaltending and coaching, and I don't like how Bonk was dumped for nothing (he was traded at the worst possible time).

He's done some stuff I liked, like adding Varada and Schaefer, and trading for Bondra at the deadline (which didn't really work out, but I liked the move when it was made...it wasn't readily apparent that Bondra was goin to flame out like he did).

At this point, I'll give him 5/10.

CREW99AW 08-11-2004 07:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 50 Mission Cap
Why they traded for De Vries when they are already strong on D was also beyond me.

.

I didn't like the de vries trade either.I thought a good prospect who wasn't on the nhl roster+a pick,would have been enough.

Poikilitic 08-11-2004 10:35 PM

muckler's still alive?
Pretty good job i say he's doing. He made the Yashin deal right. Chara kicks ass man. Look at Yashin now? Does he still play?

BwayBshirt 08-12-2004 12:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fulcrum
muckler's still alive?
Pretty good job i say he's doing. He made the Yashin deal right. Chara kicks ass man. Look at Yashin now? Does he still play?

actually, marshall johnston was the gm when the sens made that trade if i'm not correct. muckler didn't come along until june 2002.

cyrisweb 08-12-2004 04:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MyCaptain11
actually, marshall johnston was the gm when the sens made that trade if i'm not correct. muckler didn't come along until june 2002.

So much for that theory.. The answer to the question in the topic will be answered this season by how well Hasek does and how well the team does.


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