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02-09-2004, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Hockey Mojo
Of the five players mentioned, only one has proven his top pick and X-Man is still in development! Drafting is a no brainer, you draft the best player available when it comes to your turn to pick. When and if we ever become contenders, a GM's magic is when his first pick is 25th and down the line. Finding those diamonds in the rough in the third, fourth and fifth picks is where you show your expertise. DW has picked in the TOP 5 three times and the TOP 10 once! DW and everyone else needs to stop making excuses for the poor performance of our Thrashers this season. Every team in playoff contention have gone through their share of injuries and problems (Avs, Red Wings, Flyers and Leafs). You fill the void, not pray. You can add the ownership limbo, CBA uncertainies, injuries, lack of UFA signings in the off-season, and death of a player into the many problems why the Thrashers are not a playoff bound team. You must over-come your adversities! DW and the Thrashers over promised and didn't deliver! They should under promise and over deliver the next time. Let's don't be harsh on DW, please, someone must take the wrap and he's the man in charge. Take Rhodes, Burt, Maracle, Rheirden, Krupp and many others, I hope DW doesn't gamble while he's in Las Vegas because he'll lose his pants! He's not a betting man, because he takes no risks! From all his off season and in-season acqusitions, you would think he was the one who worked in a spare parts factory. When it comes to stocking the farm of prospects in hopes of a bountiful harvest and that's HOPES OF A BOUNTIFUL HARVEST, there are no guarantees that any player will be worth his weight in gold. Hey folks, all in all when goals fall short, expectations fall short and opportunities fall short what do you do? You don't make excuses, but take responsibiliy.
You don't make a complete assessment of your players until 5 years after drafting. As a new franchise there is a roadmap that has to be in place for long term goals of competitiveness. I disagree with your statement that only one of the players has proven his worth. Heatley was an Allstar MVP last year, Kovalchuk is one of the most dynamic players in the league, last year Lehtonen was voted the top prospect in the world by HF(If my memory is correct), Stefan is a solid two way player, Exelby is as tough as they come, and Coburn is still salivated as a solid two way blueliner.

With an expansion franchise there is no quick fix, and you could dump lots of great youth to get some aged veterans and get to the playoffs for a couple years.

The rumoured trade offer for Kovalchuk was Markov, Garon, a first, and a couple other players. Would that have you closer to the playoffs today? Possibly. But over the long term that would have hurt the franchise.

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