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03-28-2013, 11:40 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
In my opinion, 2 main things
1. Lack of truly developing our own players is coming back to bite us hard. We are letting too many players develop at the NHL level. We don't have any mid level players stepping in that can be effective now on cheap contracts.
2. Players in the primes/veterans not living up to their contracts. In my opinion, this is both a cause and a result of point 1. We've traded away the youth and picks we needed to develop for players in or after their primes, which CAN be OK. But we've got little to show for that. Carle walked, Pronger got injured, Mezsaros is always injured and/or is not that good. We re-signed Coburn and Hartnell and they are not performing to their pay.
Then you move onto the UFA signings like Briere and Bryzgalov. In my opinion the monster contracts like these need to never be signed again unless it's a total no brainer. Even talbot to an extent, big length and probably a number against the cap higher than what he brings.
The UFA market has burned us and swallowed up dead cap space. I think a much better strategy is to use the UFA market to augment holes in your lineup with mid level guys. The demand pressures and fact that these guys are all in or exiting their primes mean these are generally bad value.
Building a good team under the cap is all about allocating your resources (cap space) approriately not only by position and age but also to retain flexibility when things go wrong. And the they will. It's simply not worth having good Briere for 4 years and then bad Briere for 4 more, as an example. This is something that paul holmgren has failed at. I don't know if the cause is really #1 or #2, but when you do good at #1 you aren't pressured to screw up in #2.
In retrospect, theres alot of signings and trades that really did not have a long term view in mind.
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