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02-27-2008, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by brianhatesu View Post
I'm just curious, but how what exactly do people consider Doug's bad mistakes.
Can I start from Day One?

"Sure, sounds good. We'll take a 9th-rounder and Jan Caloun in exchange for NOT taking Evgeni Nabokov in the expansion draft".

My problem with MacLean stemmed from the fact that he made moves with fans and media in mind. If the media said that there weren't enough "heart" guys, he'd get one (or someone who had received the label erroneously). If they said he didn't have enough tough defensemen, he'd get one (again, who had received the label erroneously). If they said that he didn't have enough guys who could wield a cutlass and use Gregorian chant, he'd somehow find one of those.

In all honesty, his trades weren't that bad. His free agent signings and post-first round drafting left a LOT to be desired. Signing Luke Richardson, who had done nothing in his career except show himself to be nothing more than a 5th/6th defenseman and ask him (well past his prime) to be on the top pairing was nuts. To sign a guy who had topped 15 points in a season once, including two years next to Mattias Ohlund, and ask him to score (since he sure couldn't do anything else) was nuts. To sign a long succession of players who had only shown that their best days were past and that their prime was middling at best to big contracts was the way he did things.

It reminds me of when Martin Lapointe first became a free agent, and his agent told the Detroit front office that they had to match a 4-year, $20 million offer they had received. One of the Wings' guys looked at the agent and said "You're a liar" or "You're lying". Minutes later, Lapointe signed with Boston for $5 million per year.

Many GMs in depth-heavy sports like baseball and football have had great success by focusing on and signing a larger number of the B-level players, rather than going after the A-level and coming away with nothing. Yet there are a few in hockey and too many fans who believe that it's impossible to have success without a bunch of All-Stars. Look at New Jersey during their run. Who was their #1 center? Who were their top forwards? After all, having Brodeur and Stevens is fine, but they still needed scoring.

If memory serves me correctly, their top center for their first Cup team was Neal Broten, with guys like John MacLean and Stephane Richer being asked to carry the offense. It was four lines of B-players with nary a star, and their veteran leader (and oldest player) was the 35-year-old Broten; there were only five 30-year-olds on a team that was praised for veteran leadership.

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