General Stars Talk IV: The Prequel
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05-08-2012, 07:59 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Originally Posted by
I started to post this in the playoffs thread but it didn't seem like the right place so I'll put this here...
I wonder how these last few years would have played out had we not made the trade for Richards back in 2008. Keeping Smith could have drastically changed our fortunes when Turco began to decline.
There's too many variables to say yes or no, IMO. Smith didn't even turn into a good starting goaltender for 4 years ... well I guess he technically skipped good and went straight to excellent in PHX.
One variable though is was TB the issue with the "Safe is Death" let's have the goalie facing multiple odd-man rushes mantra could have been the issue? Probably.
Then, assuming he stayed in a more structured system like Dallas' at the time with Tippett, does Dallas get to the Conference Finals without Brad Richards? Turco was honestly exceptional in the playoffs, but the emergence of Eriksson and Richards chemistry in the playoffs that year were also big for the team.
So next possibility, without the added firepower of Richards, Dallas goes out in the first round. Tippett is now 1-6 in Dallas playoff series including 0-5 of the last 5. Plus, the team was atrocious down the stretch that year. They limped into the playoffs. How can we say with any confidence that Tippett holds on to his job after that season?
What if everything was just fine, Dallas still made the Conference finals? Injuries still catch up with Sergei Zubov and Philippe Boucher. Norstrom still retires for his girls. Dallas is still left with a young, weak defense. Dallas still doesn't have the resources to replace any of them. Turco's declining skills obviously didn't help, but it's not like Smith was effective with a poor defense in Tampa Bay either.
It seems rather silly to make excuses for money with how PHX is performing right now, but that hurt the Dallas Stars. Their management didn't navigate the financial issues as well as PHX.
Maybe one plus for your point would be Dallas focusing more on defense rather than spending close to $8 million on one offensive player. I think it's reasonable to say building a strong defensive team is much cheaper than building a dynamic offense. If you focus your limited resources on defense instead and keep Mike Smith there is something to that.
However, even without Brad Richards, Les Jackson/Brett Hull are still at the helm of the team, and their ultimate decision to acquire Brad Richards would seem to indicate they were more concerned with goals and offense. Wouldn't it be more reasonable to assume they still neglect the defensive side of the puck and just go chase a different offensive player?
I just don't think it's as simple as substituting one player for the other in a "what if" discussion.
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