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04-09-2012, 01:53 PM
Mayor Bee
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Originally Posted by CapnCornelius View Post
I laugh that this is even being talked about as if it was a hot streak. The team went .550 in a 19 game period. That isn't exactly Lazarus rising from the dead.

To complicate matters further, the best player on that roster is not likely to be back next year.

Spinning the record post-deadline as some sort of grand victory is desperate move is a desperate management team.

For those who forget about that 2005-06 team, it should be a warning as to why keeping the status quo in management and coaching could be disastrous. Our coach was Gerard Gallant and many people took the "hot finish" (better than this year's with no trades of significance to account for the improvement) as a sign of good thigns to come the next season.

Instead, Gallant got the team off to a horrendous start and was fired to bring in Ken Hitchcock. Doug finally was axed the following spring.

I for one hope we don't get to see history repeat itself. The time for change is now, not after this management group costs us another season in the abyss.
I'm not presenting this season post-deadline as anything. I'm merely pointing out that a commonly-presented argument (that there is always a late-season surge) is a myth.

I'm going to swing briefly into football for a moment. The Baylor Bears have traditionally been a bottom-feeder, occasionally rising up into the Bluebonnet Bowl or some other crap. Grant Teaff was their head coach for a long time, and most years they bounced somewhere between 5-6 and 7-4. He retired, and his offensive coordinator Chuck Reedy took over. This was before the 1993 season; Teaff had been there for 21 years. His last five years, Baylor was 6-5, 5-6, 6-4-1, 8-4, and 6-5.

Reedy's Baylor team went 5-6 the first year, then he had a good recruiting class and went 7-5. Not only that, the team tied for the conference championship, the first time they'd done so since 1980. He had another good class and went 7-4; after that season, the Southwest Conference dissolved and Baylor went into the Big 12. Reedy was known for having a good eye for talent, being a good recruiter, and having his teams ready.

Anyway, Baylor had a combination of injuries to key players, players lost to graduation, and just plain bad luck. The team went from 7-4 to 4-7, but the future looked good. Instead, the AD called Reedy in, more or less slammed his fist down, and made some grand pronouncement about how "We are BAYLOR, we should have continued on to 9-3 or 10-2, and you cost us all of this. You call them 'reasons', I call them 'excuses', so clean out your office." Reedy was out the door, and was replaced by Kevin Steele....he couldn't recruit or coach, and Baylor went 2-9 and 2-9. He was fired and replaced by Kevin Steele, who went 1-10, 2-9, 3-8, and 3-8. Guy Morriss came in, and he went 3-9, 3-8, 5-6, 4-8, and 3-9.

(The source for the Reedy story is a former coach at a rival school who knows him fairly well)

If a new GM were to come in, there are two things that could happen.
1) Do very little, giving everyone a year or two to actually show what they can do before making any moves.
2) Come in and immediately clean house on the roster and in the farm system.

Now, coming in and making a bunch of moves assumes that whoever would come in actually has a good eye for talent. Is that someone who's likely to get NHL players and excellent prospects from the late rounds, as Howson has actually done and continues to do? Think what you will about the guy, but there is no disputing that he's done a damned good jon in the draft. And outside of the draft, he's gotten good lightly-regarded prospects from elsewhere...things like dumping Tom Sestito and getting Michael Chaput. Look at some of the trades this year, where everyone else around the league said that Columbus got hosed, and yet...and yet they've turned out well. Every person who observed the Blues couldn't believe that someone actually wanted Nikita Nikitin, and look what he did. Ditto Pittsburgh with Mark Letestu, and especially everyone around the league with Jack Johnson.

Looking at it from the outside, I'm inclined to believe that there's already been assessments made on who's going where in the offseason, including players who aren't pulling their weight. A new GM would either stall that entirely (meaning yet another year of Steve Mason), or the wholesale dumping of players who may not be there yet but probably will be. I mentioned Dale Tallon, who had a fully-stocked farm system and most of an NHL roster when he came in...the drafting plummeted as soon as he came in, and that's not something that's beneficial under any circumstances. Would a new GM be able to draft better? I can say with 99% certainty that you can put anyone from the world of hockey in to draft for Columbus, and they will absolutely not do a better job. And since trades are every bit as much about talent assessment as drafting is, will there be a big improvement in the likely return on someone who's traded? I also say no to that.

I really don't care if I end up being vindicated or not. I'm willing to wager a sizable amount that I will be, but I'd rather actually see what I say will happen actually happen in the next year than to have everyone look back on what could have been and realize that I was right.

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