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04-05-2013, 02:34 PM
Change is good.
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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I've read through the thread and done some thinking about the Gabby trade since it happened and here's where I come out:

To begin with, I think that they decided to pursue a full-on rebuild just prior to the previous lockout and that plan was "derailed" by Jagr's unexpected success and Lundqvist's unexpected development. They tried to catch that lightning in a bottle and jump the process with ill-advised FA signings. It bit them in the ass.

During that same time, however, they also started to draft better (due in no small part to Gorton and Clark) and developed a pipeline of kids that started to grow and grow to become one of the more successful in the league in terms of forward depth and defense. So, when they didn't bring Jagr back and cut ties with Gomez and Drury, they finally started to head in the right direction, building off of that pipeline.

Since then, it's all been about rational disposition of assets. Unfortunately, there's been some atrocious luck (Cherepanov, Sauer), their own egos got in the way multiple times (not drafting Tarasenko, letting Zherdev walk for nothing) and in a couple of cases things just haven't worked out (Gabby's decline, Richards’ mysterious suckage), but for the most part it's been about maximizing assets to steadily build towards a more complete, well structured team that is well positioned under the cap.

My response to the Clowe trade was that we had paid too much. For a healthy, in-his-prime Clowe the price would have been a steal. For a guy who's injured, potentially bolting after 12 games, and perhaps starting to decline, it seemed like an overpayment. That first game certainly seemed to show a guy who's got a lot left in the tank - whether he can maintain it, they sign him and the deal makes sense is still up in the air.

My response to the Gabby trade was... that I didn't know how to react. Normally, I don't like trading the best player in the deal, but by the same token, I recognize that he was not working here this year and he was out after next anyway. So, my hesitancy was around the return. I have always liked Brassard, but I didn't know enough about Moore or Dorsett to judge. I was floored we didn't get a first in the package. Again, I was obviously pleased with the first game, but again time will tell.

What I can say, however, is that in the context of the trend towards attempting to maximize assets and build a more complete, well structured team (that is well positioned under the cap), this makes a lot of sense. You've gone from a team that had a variety of holes and a number of imbalances to the most coherent roster I can recall since the 90s - and it's young and well-positioned under the cap to boot. We have four well-balanced lines with players all playing in their proper positions. We have a full D-corps (especially when Staal gets back), with only one guy playing on his off side. We have the world's best goalie. If things go right, this is a well-built team with a solid farm system that is positioned to compete for years to come.

Of course, that is still subject to "if things go right". That first game could very easily have been an anomaly. We could still have overpaid for Clowe and undersold Gabby. Clowe could be on the downswing; he could leave this summer for nothing. Brassard might not be the player I think he is. Moore might never fully develop. We may be looking for scoring again this time next year. But I do see a plan here since Gorton entered the picture and this seems to fit it.

Given the trend, I would expect Richards to go either this summer or next. On his contract, under the current rules and given his production, he is not a rationally disposed asset. To a certain extent, the timing will depend on the development of Brassard, Lindberg and Miller.

Likewise, I expect one or more of our Dmen to be flipped this summer or next year to recoup the hole we'll likely be creating in the pipeline with the loss of picks in the Nash and Clowe trades. Staal, McD, MDZ, Moore with Skjei coming all on the left are not rationally disposed assets, even if Moore can play the right side. To a certain extent, the timing will depend on the development of McIlrath and what other RH Dmen they can acquire.

I don't like all the decisions they’ve made over the last five years – BUT, I do see a plan here. I don’t like Torts personally and I’m not sure that his tactics are the right ones, but at the very least management and the coach seem to be on the same page in terms of building a complete, cup-contending team.

I agree that continual roster turnover in and of itself is not a good thing – BUT, I don’t think you avoid it just to avoid it either; if the team isn’t performing and/or you have the holes and imbalances I mentioned above, you’d be silly not to address them in the name of stability.

I have my reservations, but I’m excited by the direction overall.

Then again, I also recognize that it’s in the nature of a fan to take a positive view.

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