Three questions to ask aloud
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11-26-2011, 09:46 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: The Wild West
Over the past few years Montreal seems to find itself in the same situation. The team is a candidate to make the playoffs but is always a struggle. It seems to come down to the last two or three games of the season.
It has left management/ownership in a conundrum. The team is not bad enough to blow up and not good enough that adding one key piece will put them over the top.
As a result there is a hesitation to make a change at the coaching level. If the move backfires even a little bit, we slip out of a playoff spot. The same goes with the insistence on playing veterans over younger players. The team needs every point it gets and doesn't have the luxury to let these younger players develop.
These are short term decisions that have an impact on the long term development of the team. Every year it is the same story. The courage to make a coaching change or to move out some veterans in return for youth seems to be lacking.
When was the last time we traded a true veteran for young promising talent. We always seem to be adding older talent at the expense of youth. I think this is partly a function of Martin's mindset and partly on the intense pressure to succeed every year in Montreal. The result is we compromise the opportunity to build a team capable of some success over the long term for a wee bit of short term success.
And when you define short term success by squeaking into the playoffs and hoping for a series of upsets, is it really success.
In answer to your questions, I do think the team needs a change behind the bench. I also think management/ownership needs to develop a vision for the future. It's not so much the evaluation of talent that I have a problem with, it is the reasoning behind some of the moves that trouble me.
Yes, we can keep the under-performing vets and hope to squeak into the playoffs once again. If that is what you want, keep Martin, keep the past-their-prime vets and keep those who really don't fit into the model of a successful team.
Or go out on a limb. Take a long hard look at what it takes to succeed on a consistent basis in this league and then identify those players that you want to build the team around. Players that you want here next year, two years from now and three years from now. Then make an effort to assemble a supporting cast to support those players.
All I know is that I am tired of defining success as the occasional winning streak, an 8th place finish, or quoting stats about the superiority of our PK or PP or any other obscure tidbit of information that make us feel better about a mediocre team.
One thing is certain, the current approach hasn't resulted in any dramatic success but just more of the same.
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