Thread: Speculation: Rick Nash - The Frenzy...continues
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07-02-2012, 12:05 AM
Mayor Bee
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Originally Posted by stryfe604 View Post
Just an outsider who has pretty much stayed out of the whole Nash thing but, this question is for CBJ fans. How confident are you guys in Howson's abilities? And one more thinkg, do you guys still chuckle when they call you BJ fans?
I certainly do not speak for everyone (as my user title attests to), but I have more confidence than most in Howson. He's made several very good trades, the drafting has improved dramatically (the notable blemish being Filatov), and it hasn't translated to the ice.

I'm of the opinion that, when he took over in 2007, the team from top to bottom was stocked with so little talent that it would take several years to even become "mediocre". This is in retrospect; at the time, no one knew how bad the prospects in the system really were. The NHL roster was middling at best, and the best players (except Nash) were old and past their primes. But the farm system was totally barren. From top to bottom, I can probably say that the CBJ in 2007 had the least talent of any NHL team, and there may be quite a gap between them and 29th.

How little talent was there, you may ask? When Howson took over, the long-running joke was that if a forward went down to injury, the next move would be to call up Alex Picard or Geoff Platt from the AHL; they were the two next-best guys. If a defenseman went down, it was either Filip Novak or Derrick Walser. That was seven years after entering the league. There's an excellent thread on our board that details the MacLean drafts and trades, and also the Howson drafts and's night and day. But I don't think anyone realizes how immense of an uphill climb it was to simply hit 75 points in a season.

You may say that Chicago was in a similar situation...partially true. But they were largely stocked from 2001-04, with the Toews and Kane picks and Campbell signing putting them over the top. Many teams who were poor from 2005-09 were simply waiting for their prospects to mature; most of them came into the system before 2007. Every one of those drafts was an opportunity forever lost. 2003...All-Stars galore. Even Atlanta, whose front office could read Superman comic books and never figure out who Clark Kent was, got Tobias Enstrom. Columbus got Zherdev, Dan Fritsche, and Marc Methot.

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