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07-30-2012, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Jakomyte View Post
There are two major holes in your argument:

1) This '1-year tank' you are talking about gives absolutely no guarantee of short-, mid-, or long-term improvement. Just ask teams like Edmonton, Columbus, NYI, etc. that have been at or near the bottom of the league forever. I'm sure their fanbases would kill for their team to have a successful season, even if they don't win the cup. There are just as many examples of cup contenders that did not require a series of high draft picks (Detroit, Boston, Philly, NYR, Vancouver) as their are those that succeeded because of their high-pick talent (Pittsburgh, Chicago).
There is no strategy in the history of pro sports that comes with a 100% guarantee. As such, it's completely non-sequitur to argue that a strategy sucks because "it doesn't have 100% certainty of succeeding". No strategy does. Further, just because no strategy comes with guarantees doesn't mean that your favorite strategy is the best one. The point is to pick the strategy with the highest probability of success.

Now for your examples:

1) Columbus is a poorly managed team. Not relevant.
2) Islanders are not allowed to spend above the cap floor, and they're still recovering from the Millbury era. Not relevant.
3) Edmonton has Yakupov, RNH, and Hall. They're in a better position to compete for the cup in the next 3 years than the Habs.
4) Detroit drafted Lidstrom in the 3rd round, Zetterberg in the 6th round, and Datsyuk in the 7th round. Good luck with that. They can't reproduce that success -- no team can -- and that's why they are in a slow decline. In a few seasons they will resemble the Calgary Flames.
5) Boston signed Zdeno Chara as a UFA. Excellent move. That might be the greatest UFA signing in the history of the NHL. It's a low-probability strategy. Shea Weber is not going to be a UFA next summer.
6) Philly's a great team. I like how they traded Richards and Carter for Schenn, Couturier, Voracek and Simmonds. Holmgren is a great GM, I hope we see such vision from Bergevin. An analogy would be Bergevin trading Andrei Markov to Washington for Kuznetzov and Forsberg.
7) Vancouver made the stanley cup finals by drafting high. Their offense depends on the Sedin twins, who were drafted 2nd and 3rd overall.
8) Rangers? They traded Gomez for McDonagh and then used the cap space to sign Marian Gaborik. I can't even imagine a comparable level of ownage that Bergevin could pull off. The following year they brought in Brad Richards because he wanted to live in NY, and the year after that Rick Nash waived his no-trade clause for the Rangers because he wanted to live in Manhattan.

A lesson in statistics 101:

Astute readers will point out that I attributed low probability to three different teams: Red Wings, Rangers, and Bruins. They will say that you can't do that too often. Actually, you can.

Winning the cup is a very rare thing. Thus, in order to be one of the best teams in the league, you need everything: luck and skill. If you're selecting stanley cup contenders you are necessarily selecting for teams that have had luck.

I'll note that the luck of the Red Wings, Rangers, and Bruins are not the same. Red Wings got lucky in the draft. Rangers are lucky in that they are based in the world's most beloved city and got in touch with Bob Gainey when he was at his dimmest and then being able to cash in Marian Gaborik. Bruins are lucky in that they managed the best UFA signing in the history of the NHL. Anaheim was "lucky" in that they had Scott Niedermayer's brother under contract, which got them a cup. The Habs might get this lucky, or they might not. It does help that there are many ways to be lucky. However, they probably won't.

If you see a good opportunity, say Corey Perry goes UFA next year, then take that opportunity. Carry the flexibility to capitalize on these opportunities when they present themselves. But don't expect these opportunities.

Meanwhile, a consistent theme among the bulk of recent cup contenders: Vancouver, LA, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Carolina all relied on high draft picks. There are fewer teams getting high draft picks then there are teams trying to get lucky, yet more of these teams have success.

Originally Posted by Jakomyte View Post
2) The Montreal Canadiens are a business, period. You can talk all you want about your strategy will help us win the cup (no proof of that at all), but every single home game, 21,273 fans come to the Bell Centre and want their team to win. Believe it or not, the majority of fans probably don't think about hockey in terms of managerial moves that can help in 5 years (i.e. the HFboards fan), but in terms of "GO HABS, WIN THE GAME!!" The management of the team has the responsibility of providing the best entertainment product available, game in, game out, regardless of whether their team is a 'contender' this year, in order to satisfy fans, and justify the price of their product. I certainly paid less attention to the Habs during the latter half of last season, because the games they played didn't matter. Also, there's no way an NHL coach will play his backup goalie ahead of his starting goalie just to reduce the chance of winning, that is ridiculous! You can call me a bad fan, or say "but you missed watching player X develop!", but ultimately I got siginificantly more entertainment value out of the 2009-2010 team that made the conference finals, even if some look back and say they were a fluke/outmatched.
This thread was put together (and probably the whole foum) to discuss a strategy to build a stanley cup contending team, not to discuss how to further line Molson's pockets.

Go buy a case of Molson Dry. That will fulfill your priority.

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