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02-09-2006, 01:53 AM
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I agree with some of the criticism of Trotz. it seems at times like he's coaching the team as if he's still sending out Krivo, Lambert, and Daigneault. it's very painful to watch at times and it does seem like he's slow to adapt.

In his defense, this is the growing pain type of year that expansion teams have to go through. We're the best we've ever been record-wise, which is exciting for all of us fans who have toiled with the team since day one, but it's also a frustrating tease. He's still dealing with the hand he was dealt. Just as easily as you can point to how poorly mixed our team is and how he's not adapting and how we've barely won any games against good teams since mid-December, he didn't assemble the team and if the mix of players is so poor that we're more than 2-3 players away from being a great team, it could also be argued, imo, that he's done a good job squeezing out as many wins as he has with the mix of roster/injuries he was dealt. Smithson and Fiddler have played a combined 77 games this season! We've been 4th in the conference almost all season. That's Smithson and Fiddler.

Let's not forget it's Paint-dry Poile we're dealing with and I think he took the conservative route after the lockout. (shocker ) He has found some diamonds in the rough, he has generally traded well and drafted well, but there could be a couple of more years of this if he sticks with his young picks and Trotz.

The career timing of our roster sucks. We are still painfully holding onto the past in a couple of respects (Johnson/(formerly)Stevenson on the team, Walker on the top 2 lines) and we're painfully relying on a future that's just not ready (Hartnell's jeckyll/hyde, Hamhuis not making the leap yet, Suter's rookie wall, Weber's shuttle year, Upshall pinched out, Radulov is a little too young, Tootoo is trying to find the balance in his game, and Erat/Hall/Legwand never quite seem to fully get over the hump).

Look at our defensemen situation.

I think it's really great that we have Suter, Hamhuis, Parent, Weber, and Klein. If you took the career potential of those guys individually and put them on one team, we would have a dominant 4-5 years. Unless there is a major stroke of luck in the development department, can we really expect to be anything better than inconsistency during Vokoun's prime without moving 1-2 of the above and infusing some veterans and grit? As good as they seem to be, even when Klein and Weber are "nhl ready", they're going to have 2-3 rocky seasons until they fully get it. That's ok to absorb in general, but Hamhuis still has another year and Suter probably has another couple of years. And, this is assuming they are all what they seem to be. They still have to develop into something more than they are and I believe defenseman are known to mature later than forwards.

Beyond all of that, is Trotz the right guy to get the most out of these young players? even if you somehow like Trotz's system, even if you think he's a great guy, all of our young players have only heard one voice their entire career. Sometimes development comes from hearing a new voice. I'm not in the room and don't know the answers, but Leipold and Poile will soon be at a crossroads in terms of making some tough decisions on how to have a team that can truly be considered a cup contender.

For now, just get into the playoffs, get the kids the experience and give the marketing department some ammo for a non-lockout offseason.

And, really look in the mirror on the topics of Trotz and Greg Johnson...

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