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04-13-2013, 06:21 PM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Amherst, NY
Originally Posted by
My thoughts on Darcy:
Good trade seller (when he sells). Gets the most for his players or doesn't move them at all. This fits perfectly with the narrative that he's conservative about making big moves and tends to overvalue his own players. The flip side, though, is that he doesn't necessarily sell when it would behoove him to. There were more than a few people calling for this rebuild for a while.
Bad trade buyer. Darcy has a handful of good trade buys: (1) Briere, (2) Drury, (3) Zubrus, (4) Barnes. I don't know who else you put on that list as guys that we've picked up via trade that really helped the team much. Maybe we'll end up adding Hodgson. Again, this fits with the narrative that he's conservative and overvalues his own players.
Mediocre drafting. In 16 years, which I think means ~112 players drafted, he's picked three all-stars, if I'm not mistaken (Campbell, Vanek, Miller). A lot of wasted first round picks in that time. You have to be able to show a little higher batting average if you're going to win cups, because you build cup-winners in the draft.
Mediocre cap manager. A number of years where we were within $5M of the cap and yet weren't in the playoffs tells me that he isn't good at building bargain teams. Part of this isn't his fault, I think - he's had to overpay players because he has a bad market and a bad team to sell them. You have to pay more to keep people around when they see you letting both of your captains walk.
Briere-Drury defined his tenure. People are tired of hearing it, but the team still hasn't recovered from this, IMO. If Briere and Drury don't walk, we almost certainly make the playoffs the next two years. If Briere and Drury don't walk, we're in a much stronger position to sign FA's in the succeeding years. We
can't say we've replaced them. No GM is good enough to guarantee success. It takes some luck and patience, and Darcy had both pay off unbelievably in 2006. When that kind of fortune strikes, very few other GMs are then forced to dismantle their success. If Chicago had been forced to let Kane and Toews walk in their summer of discontent, e.g., they'd be a completely different team to this day. Briere and Drury weren't quite on that level, but they still left a resounding ripple that has affected the expectations and perception of this organization and its architect to this day.
In the years the Sabres drafted poorly in the 1st round, look at the next ten picks....do you recognize any of them? The problem is that the Sabres have done just well enough to draft lesser players. In the NHL (more than any sport) you have to draft high to win.
A question for you... How many teams have won the cup, in the last decade, without a top two pick? More than that... How many without two
top 4 picks?
The answer is ONE. The Red Wings...and they had AT LEAST 3 HOF'ers in the starting line-up.
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