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02-14-2004, 01:08 PM
A Fistful of Dollars
Join Date: Jan 2004
Overall, I think he has done a good job. I think his personality irritates some people and sometimes he shoots from the hip which gets him in trouble. Certainly when you have longevity in his business there are a list of trades that work, those that don't and those that are inconsequential. The ugly public feud with the Lindros group was embarrassing to all involved, too. But Clarke made a good trade with the Rangers despite having little leverage. (For what it is worth, I was a huge Lindros fan when he wore the Flyers uniform and was saddened to see him suffer another injury this season).
Oftentimes, naysayers will point to his trade of Adam Oates and the goaltenders lack of success in the playoffs; I think his coaching carousel was suspect until he hired Ken Hitchcock. Flyers goalies have been somewhat spectacular in regular season play though it is dwarfed by their failures in the post-season. Statistically, Flyers goalies have been 1st or 2nd the last 4 seasons (two made the top 5 in 1999-00) and the last time they didn't have a goalie rank in the top 7 was, ironically, their last Cup appearance in 1997. Numbers can be made to prove any point and the important fact is they haven't won a Cup.
He has made many successful trades over the years and has John LeClair, Eric Desjardins, Mark Recchi, draft picks that turned into Simon Gagne and Joni Pitkanen, Kim Johnsson, Robert Esche, Keith Primeau, Tony Amonte, Sami Kapanen, and Michal Handzus to name some.
And let us not forget, he left the Flyers twice: once to go to Florida and once to go to Minnesota. Part of the time he was gone, the Flyers went five straight seasons without making the playoffs. Remember those days? I do and it was not pretty.
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