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10-24-2012, 11:56 AM
Mayor Bee
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Originally Posted by CapnCornelius View Post
I think lost from your "moving up" talk is the fact that the Jackets would have moved up had Howson made the decision that seems obvious from your argument on Day 1--rebuild. If the cupboard was as bare as you argue, he should have seen this and made the hard decision to sacrifice the moment for the future. He didn't. Had he, the Jackets could well have selected even higher than they did in those early years.

I've said for some time that Howson's problem was that he straddled the fence between "win now" and "build for the future" when he should have went all in one way or the other.

Hopefully with Davidson's arrival there is a clear direction whatever it is and that direction is communicated to the fans. Enough secret plans that only Rick Nash gets to hear about.
Interesting theory, considering that a good 90% of the anti-Howson group is convinced that this team is in much worse shape in every way than the day that he took over. The idea that the cupboard was bare, which to me seems plainly obvious, is still very much a minority opinion.

I enjoy historical "what-ifs" though. Let's say that Howson came in and announced a rebuild. The team had been suffering from four straight years of falling attendance; would a rebuild announcement have caused a hemorrhage of STHs and other hardcore fans? Would it have caused the value of players on the roster and in the farm system to plummet? Would it have damaged the team's ability to sign free agents, knowing that they were simply depth and wouldn't be around to see anything resembling contention? I say "yes, yes, and yes". In other words, it would have crippled (possibly irreparably) the franchise.

For all the talk about "Howson shouldn't have talked about Nash, now there's no leverage", the suggestion that a rebuild should have been announced immediately or at least early on would have done exactly that and to a much greater extent. A shift in the value of one player compared to a shift in the value of 40+ guys under contract and 60+ on the reserve list...yeah.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that I didn't see the cupboard as being bare back in 2007. Nor in 2008. And by 2009, as it became clear that several of Dougie's favorite prospects weren't prospects at all, I started to look a bit more closely. Dougie is right that anyone would have taken Brule in 2005 or Brassard in 2006. We all knew it. We heard about the great Kris Russell, or the bruising power forward Alex Picard, or the cannonading Andrei Plekhanov. We knew this not just from the CBJ side, but from around the league. So I don't know that it was possible for anyone to come in in 2007 and declare "We're screwed, let's start over."

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