Lowe's strength as a GM
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10-05-2003, 10:09 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Wandering the globe
Originally Posted by
When we saw the Jagr/Kovalev deals we all laughed. The Weight deal is not better yet we are supposed to see it as a good return? That's what I have a problem with. All GMs have done bad trades, but whenever one is made by Lowe all we see is excuses instead of the bashing every other GM gets after a bad deal.
I see what you're saying, but I think you're only proving my point: who was laughing at the Jagr deal? I predicted there would be a crap return and there was. I have to think that the only fans who were surprised with the returns are those fans who mistakenly believe that a quality player like Jagr will always return equal quality.
Regardless, that's a bit of a nitpick by me. Lets take the McPhee-Clarke transaction involving Oates. Is McPhee a genius because of this trade? Should Lowe's trades (or anyone elses') be held up to the same standards? The deal was a few months of Oates for Ouellet, and a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round draft pick. Before answering, consider:
Is McPhee a genius trader because Clarke (let's say) was willing to overpay? If you say that McPhee isn't a genius because of extenuating circumstances (Clarke's desperation), then surely one must be able to grant an excuse of extenuating circumstances to GMs who are on the other end of the stick. I'm referring to Weight and his circumstances that made it improbable (like the Jagr situation) that anyone would pay full player value.
McPhee failed to get even a single roster player back. If picks and future do not matter (so says Mizral, right?), then Clarke won bigtime. If picks and future DO matter, then this needs to be acknowledged in Lowe's deals. For example Niinimaa, IMO, had a short future with the Oilers. Not as short as Oates for Philly, but the point is the same: future for now is a hard trade to evaluate.
I'd like to offer up another point for discussion. IMO the most critical capabilities of any GM is (a) the ability to sense how soon his team could win it all, and (b) the resolve to either "go for it" if its close or have the smarts to purposefully forgo some of the present in hopes of building for the future. I don't really know if many GMs are really evaluated well in respect to responding to a teams' realistic chances. Clarke, for instance, may actually be seen to have won the Oates trade even though it didn't really work out. In my view knowing that one has to build for the future is likely to be the tougher route to follow because a GM will have to live with a "loser" label years before possible vindication. It takes balls to give up a better chance to go to the second round this year if one believes one has a better chance 3 years from now to get to the finals. This is a tough route also for job security. Even if I don't like some of Lowe's trades, IMO he's clearly trading for the future and I admire the confidence and resolve.
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