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01-31-2013, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by DefenseMinister View Post
Only thing Murray could have done to help was to find a coach as good as Maclean immediately instead of on his 4th try and if he found a goalie like Anderson earlier. Even then, it would have only improved things somewhat, the underlying issues around the lack of depth were still present.

I disagree strongly with your contention that there was a lot of depth on that squad. The team had 3 elite players that they leaned on heavily. It was actually the beginning of the spiral if you look at things in retrospect.

The combination of the core players having their deals coming up which forced the team to essentially cap out to keep them and the lack of any viable young cheap players that could be moved up to provide depth and become the next transition of star players killed them.

The only major move Murray could have made to alter things would be to trade some of his core players for youth in order to replenish the system and provide financial flexibility to bring in other top players. But the timing of all of Heatley, Spezza, Alfie, Kelly, Emery and Fisher's extensions all came very shortly after their Cup final run and the organization would have been crucified by the fanbase if they hadn't brought back the heroes from that team.
The team had Spezza, Fisher, Vemette, and Kelly down the middle with two elite wingers, and and pretty solid support cast. That's about as deep as it gets in terms of forwards. I think there definitely could have been moves to be made to augment that core - starting with the hiring of a coach who wasn't John Paddock.

They actually remind me quite a lot of the present-day Flyers, with a deeper offense and worse goaltending. It will be interesting to see how they tackle some of the same issues we faced 5 years ago.

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