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11-15-2011, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by cgf View Post
Winning isn't just about talent though. Winning is about that talent learning how to win, and so yes we're no longer in the assembling assets phase of our rebuild, but that doesn't mean we're ready to contend for a cup either because our young core needs to learn on their own. That's why you pick up bargain guys so that you don't commit yourself to more expensive guys but instead let the young guys become the players they're going to become and then use that cap space you've been saving to add the right pieces to give us exactly what's need and not just "bringing in more talent". Then you consider the CBA coming up and all of the youngsters we're going to have to re-sign and you start to understand that we still need to be very careful with our cash to make sure we can make the big moves that we'll need to really push this core to contender status.

Our youngins might be developing a little better if we had another competent top 6 winger or two, but it's not like their growth is being seriously impeded by our talent level since we're still far from the cellar and being a lousy team.
I'm tiring of the "we're waiting for the new CBA" excuse. That's no reason to hug the salary floor like an action movie hero on a helicopter landing skid.

I'm also not expecting these guys to be Stanley Cup contenders this year, nor am I expecting it next year, or even the year after that. What I AM expecting is progression, and what I'm seeing is regression. True, Sacco got these guys to overachieve and maybe raised our expectations a bit prematurely, but I keep hearing about how this team has been working toward being an up-tempo, puck possession team. The personnel I'm seeing now are absolutely NOT a puck possession team, nor or they dynamic, nor are they up-tempo. But they're not really a defensive-oriented team either. Frankly, I don't know what the hell they are. And given the fact they changed their mind about naming a captain, it appears they might not know either. This is a team missing an identity, partially because management abruptly changed their approach last season when they realized they went overboard with speed and skill at the expense of size and strength. IMO they overcompensated in that regard, getting rid of every last undersized puckmoving defender in favor of bigger, tougher blueliners. There was no reason to jettison Liles if they were going to surround him with bigger bodies. He only became a liability when we lost Quincey right after trading Hannan and had guys like Shattenkirk, Hunwick, Cumiskey, and Holos rotating in and out of the lineup. Conversely, we traded away a lot of forwards who gave us a semblance of a puck possession game and replaced them with unskilled grinders (in the case of Kobasew, unskilled is an understatement). No surprise, the few forwards who actually do thrive on a puck cycling, puck possession game (Duchene) have struggled.

You want a team that needs to chip it in, grind it out, and score garbage goals? Fine. Then put the personnel out there who can do that. Guys like Lindstrom can't do that. Guys like Kobasew can't do that. And to have put so many eggs in the fragile basket known as Peter Mueller for actual finish is (and I'm going to keep saying this) inexcusable. Even a rebuilding team needs to have some kind of blueprint for success in the here and now. I don't see that right now. How is this team supposed to score consistently? They're not playing well enough at either end of the ice right now, and that's not just coaching, that's management icing an inadequate team when they know damned well they could've done better.

I am glad this team isn't spending like drunken sailors. But I'm also concerned that this organization, from top to bottom, is missing an identity, and frankly I've lost confidence that they have a firm plan in place. A lot of the moves of late simply don't mesh together well. There's a lot of finger-crossing and places where I feel management is completely contradicting themselves. That doesn't speak well about a rebuild. I feel more and more like these guys are turning into hockey's version of the Rockies, with a General Manager who seemingly changes his "plan" every season and when they don't lead to sustained success, making panic trades to try and fill in the very holes he created through botched deals, bad drafts, and over-reliance on prospects who simply didn't pan out. Thankfully it ain't THAT bad yet, but I feel it's moving toward that.

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