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08-06-2012, 11:19 AM
  #624
jwolf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
What if the team is 8th-12th place?
Well, it depends on what 8th to 12th means in the standings. Are we in 8th, 5 points up on 9th? Are we tied with 3 other teams for 8th or within 3 points of 12th?

Assuming you mean the latter, it's a tough decision for any team, no doubt. The important thing is to look beyond mere stats and evaluate whether your team - in the grand scheme of things - is on the rise or is just not good enough - long term.

If Bergevin sees a team that is competing every night and wants to play together and wants to win together; if he sees a youth core coming together and pushing each other, than I think he gives them every opportunity to scrap it out. If he sees that his team is gassed, not fighting for the puck, old and not jelling, I still think he's in the driver's seat: he has 4 picks in the top-60 next year with one of the best talent evaluators in the business. Added to which he also has a bunch of 1 and 2-year contracts that will be expiring before too long, so it's not like he's locked in with this team forever.

Whatever happens, an 8 to 12 place finish this year is not the worst thing in the world for a last-place team. Rarely do teams go from 15th to elite from one year to the next. I think it would be good for them to fight for a PO spot this year. Whether they make it or not. They have a lot of prospects on the cusp to feel hopeful about and plenty of picks to make some noise in next Summer's draft.

This is as close to a brand-new team as we've seen in a long time. New management and development people means a new philosophy and new attitude that will soon pervade the entire team. Acquiring players like Mackinnon is great, but it's less important to me than creating a winning attitude throughout the organization.

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