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10-20-2013, 10:10 AM
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SingnBluesOnBroadway
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The fish rots from the head down...

All talk of trades or replacing the coach is simply re-shuffling the deck chair on the Titanic. As long as this current front office remains in power the team will never move beyond what it has been ó a middle of the road team that might win a round of two in the playoffs. Any thought that this team is a Cup contender is delusional.

The GM's lazy, quick fix, smartest-guy-in-the-room mentality has trickled down to every part of this organization ó and that includes the purported draft master Gordie Clarke and the supposed personnel wizard Jeff Gorton. The inability, or unwillingness, to look beyond the season thatís right in front of them is what keeps this the franchise in a constant revolving door of mediocrity.

But the laziness of which I speak is no more evident than in the fact that the team lacks an identity and organizational philosophy. Because creating an identity and team philosophy takes time and hard work. Thatís why it seems the GM, and the AGM are basically throwing darts while blindfolded when it comes to signing players or making trades. And that results in making moves in a vacuum with no forethought whatsoever (see the madness of the Nash trade, Gaborik trade, Torts firing timeline as a good example of that short-sightedness).

So what is this team? Or what do the powers that be want it to be?

If they are a gritty in your face team, then thereís no place for Taylor Pyatt, Mats Zuccarello, Derick Brassard or Benoit Pouliot on this roster.

If they are a puck control, up-tempo, push the pace team, they simply lack the personnel and talent to play that way ó and a coach (or coaching change) canít change that

The lack of an organizational philosophy is also the reason for the stunning failure in free agency. Sure, the high profile signing bustsóDrury, Gomez, Redden, Kasparaitis, Holik and possibly Richardsóare well documented (and donít tell me the Gomez contract was OK because they got McDonagh, that was never the intent when Gomez was signe). But consider this: since the first lockout, this GM has spent $32.275M on bottom six, place-holder, gap-fillers in Arron Asham, Mike Rupp, Donald Brashear, Derek Boogaard, Benoit Pouliot, Taylor Pyatt, Dominic Moore, Ruslan Fedotenko, Jason Ward, Ville Nieminen, Aaron Voros and Patrick Rissmiller. How is it that in 13 years, the team has not been able to develop players who are better than the names listed above?

Maybe it will be that history will show that the greatest achievement of the John Tortorella years was the ability of the coach to serve as a buffer between the sloppy, lazy mentality of the front office and his players. He was able to defuse Glen Sather's blustering gobbledegook of "Our goal is to win the Stanley Cup" with something that the players could control "We're going to outwork you every shift." Now that heís gone, things seem to have reverted back to the way things were ó especially without Ryan Callahan. Maybe the biggest message that firing Torts sent was this: the inmates now run the asylum.

The fact is every part of this team deserves blame. But the true failure is with the directionless decision makers at the top Itís been 13 years and they have failed thoroughly to build an identity, philosophy or even long-term strategy. Just let that sink in for a second, itís taken 13 years to get this team toÖ.here.

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