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01-20-2004, 01:08 AM
  #10
Mike8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark0v
sorry but i don't buy it ;may be he never saw most of those players , and i am not sure that the scouting staff was not already there so , ...

i think that Gm have an idea about the first rounders and that he's giving his ok.But i am sure that for all the others , he lets his scouts do the job...
Of course he lets the scouts do the scouting! That's their job. His job is to make sure he hires the right scouts.

You don't need to 'buy' it. It's in the job description. General Managers ensure the franchise is in good shape; short and long-term. General Managers are hired and fired based on their reputation to surround themselves with good staff. Lou Lamouriello has his reputation because he's managed to build an incredibly strong scouting staff led by Conte in New Jersey. He gets the credit because he's the one that hired Conte and is responsible for his doing a good job.

Houle also has pro scouts to tell him if Rucinsky, Kovalenko and Thibault is a good return for Roy and Keane. They watch those players play before a trade much more than Houle does. Should we then blame those scouts instead of Houle?

Most General Managers also have financial advisors to help with contract negotiations. Some teams even delegate that work exclusively to assistant General Managers. Should we blame those advisors for bad contracts instead of the GM?

There is also the case of player development. There are specific positions for that to which General Managers delegate their work. If young players are not fulfilling their promise on a consistent basis, should we blame him or the GM?

Everything hockey related in an organization is the responsibility of the General Manager. Human resources, delegating work to the qualified personnel, and surrounding yourself with proven staff is the number one priority for a General Manager. This is why Andre Savard was seen as a good hiring: he has connections throughout the NHL and brought them to Montreal when he was hired (namely Timmins and Madden).

This means that GMs are judged by all aspects in a club; from the coaching (Therrien was often criticized as part of the reason for Andre Savard's demise because Savard never had an opportunity to hire his own man), to scouting (Sather's tenure ran out in Edmonton because of his incompetence at the draft table), to contract negotiations (A.Savard's inability to be fiscally responsible is another reason for his downfall), to player development (prospect bust after prospect bust led to Houle's demise), etcetera.

This is why it's fair to criticize Houle for all the busts he drafted over the years, but terribly unfair to take away the credit he deserves for making some decent trades and some good draft picks in the latter stretch of his time as GM.

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