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The South"weak" Division in 2 years

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Old
04-07-2004, 02:31 PM
  #26
cws
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discostu
We've heard this for years. The Southeast has been, by far, the weakest division since the league has moved to it's current format. I'm skeptical that there will be a significant improvement in just a couple of years.

Anyways, that's my perception of each team. TB and Atlanta are the best bets to really make some noise. Those are the only teams that have shown that they are willing to stick to a longer term plan to build for greater success. At most, I see this being a "fairly-competitive" division, but I don't ever see it as the "powerhouse" many people hope it will become.
As a fan of one of these teams, I pretty much don't like it when someone says that the SE will become one of the better divisions. Adds more fuel to that already huge bonfire. Like we don't have enough comments on how these teams suck and don't deserve to be in the league.

With the exception of a handful of teams in the league, nothing is set in stone. No way of knowing who might fall off the map and who might turn into a viable contender for the long haul, especially with this CBA crap hanging over our heads. I don't forsee any division or team being bad or dominant five years down the line (my crystal ball is on the fritz). I just think it's a tad bit insane to say 'team a' or 'division b' will be great in five years. Especially since we base it on only what it there currently, and we don't even know how that will pan out much less what future changes will mean. I know, that's a part of what these boards are for and on occasion it is interesting to speculate on how good your team could possibly be in the future. I'm just not buying into any argument about future powerhouses or future flops.

Sorry if I sounded way too cynical on that. Didn't mean to direct that at you. It was meant for pretty much everyone. I felt a rant coming on, had to let it out. Just hoping that my ramblings didn't sound too insane.

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04-07-2004, 02:49 PM
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ObeySteve
And they got murdered both times in the finals...


Because we all know how well the Flyers did the last time they made the finals.

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Old
04-07-2004, 02:51 PM
  #28
discostu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwsieben
Sorry if I sounded way too cynical on that. Didn't mean to direct that at you. It was meant for pretty much everyone. I felt a rant coming on, had to let it out. Just hoping that my ramblings didn't sound too insane.
No, all fair comments. What I posted were just my impressions on where I think each team is going. I also don't think you can set anything in stone, but you can evaluate each team's long-term plan, and chance at future success, as long as you realize that it's just an opinion, and likely will not pan out the way you expect.

However, where I feel where many people go wrong in trying to judge future success, is that they only look at the quality of the prospects and young players. Many people seem to forget that the organization itself plays a huge role in shaping and developing their talented prospects into a fully functional team.

Most of the teams in the Southeast have shown poor long-term planning in the last few years. I feel some of this is due to the nature of their market. There's more pressure to produce a winner immediately, than say, Ottawa, or Minnessotta, which have a stronger "traditional" hockey background, and where fans will be reeled in just by the prospect of high level hockey. This makes it much harder to stick to a long-term plan. For a dramatic turnaround, it will require great long-term thinkers in the management positions of these franchises, and personally, I don't think they have them yet.

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Old
04-07-2004, 02:53 PM
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luongofan
Oh yea, I can't wait for Dudley to silence all his critics

I wish he would hurry up

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Old
04-07-2004, 02:59 PM
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s7ark
I don't know guys.



1. Tampa is a good team now, but they also had a field day cleaning up against those teams listed here all year. I don't think they would lead the conference if they were in the Northeast div.
A field day?

This is horribly inaccurate and is just assumed.

Tampa's Divisional Records:

vs. Atlantic Division: 16-4-0-0 (losses to NYI-3, NYR-1, 8-0 vs. PHI/NJ)
vs NorthEast: 9-7-2-2 (TB gained 22 points from NE divsion. OTT gained 23 from NE)
vs. SouthEast: 13-8-3-0 (tied with ATL for most points gained by SE team from SE division)

Can we please put to rest the "TB's record is a product of their division talk?"

TB's core is still pretty young (STL, Lecavalier, Richards, Kubina, Sarich, Boyle) and Khabibulin is 31 or 32 (don't have it in front of me). The key for TB will be replacing Stillman, Andreychuk, and Cullimore in the next few years. If they can hold on to Khabibulin, or get the performance they've been getting from John Grahame, they will be a perrennial East contender. No reason to think they can't be another Ottawa. They have the money and the young talent and the coaching.

RE: Florida... Good points, Luongofan, but I think I like Lehtonen more than you seem to. I think ATL will get "there" faster than FLA, CAR, and WSH.

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Old
04-07-2004, 03:05 PM
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s7ark
I don't know guys.

Just to play devil's advocate for a second

1. Tampa is a good team now, but they also had a field day cleaning up against those teams listed here all year. I don't think they would lead the conference if they were in the Northeast div.

Or the Northwest for that matter.
13-8-3 against the SE isnt exactly a field day or cleaning up. They had a better record against the Atlantic which was 16-4. Well they were 2 games over .500 against the NE so its not like they fared all that badly.And 4-0-0-2 against the NW for that matter. The "field day" against Southeast is not the reason theyre up on top of the conference.

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Old
04-07-2004, 03:30 PM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockeyfan02
13-8-3 against the SE isnt exactly a field day or cleaning up. They had a better record against the Atlantic which was 16-4. Well they were 2 games over .500 against the NE so its not like they fared all that badly.And 4-0-0-2 against the NW for that matter. The "field day" against Southeast is not the reason theyre up on top of the conference.
Not a Lightning fan, but for whatever reason, the South East teams play each other tooth-and-nail.

The Bolts earned first seed in the East, they had an amazing record against teams like Flyers, Devils, and Bruins.

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Old
04-07-2004, 03:42 PM
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vburnette


Because we all know how well the Flyers did the last time they made the finals.


Hey, I'm just discussing the topic at hand.

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Old
04-07-2004, 04:20 PM
  #34
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I think they'll be better, but I would be very surprised if they were superior. As others have said, young prospects are nice but some won't play up to potential and some will outright bust. That's just the way the sports world works.

I also think that some people forget that free agency can have a big impact on how good your team is. Certain key players on these teams could choose to leave via free agency in the next couple years, not saying they will, but it's a consideration that needs to be looked at. Assuming the UFA age stays the same in the next agreement, within three years the following players will all be up for free agency (unless they've signed a long term deal of which I am unaware).

Carolina - Brind'Amour, Weekes, Irbe, O'Neill, Wesley, Hill, Ward, Wallin, K. Adams, Murray.

Tampa - St. Louis, Cullimore, Neckar, Andreychuk, Khabibulin, Modin, Sydor, Stillman, Roy

Washington - Kolzig, Witt, Miller

Atlanta - Kaberle, Tamer, Kozlov, McEachern, Sutton, Tremblay, Nurminen

Florida - Not much really Lilja, Odelein, Audette


Now I'm not saying that all of these players *will* leave via UFA just tossing it out there for discussion as something to keep in mind. This also assumes that the UFA age is not lowered in the new CBA.

Carolina I think will have a very tough time in the coming years, no matter how good the young talent is coming up, look at how much talent they'll have to replace in the next 3 years (or pay UFA prices to) just in order to tread water (and that doesnt include them already losing Francis). Washington as well doesn't look all that hot (of course Ovechkin should help). They only had 2 NHL d-men to start with and they lost Gonchar this year, Witt could be gone as well in 3 years time. Eminger looks good but who's going to fill the other 5 spots on D? Anyway just some things to keep in mind when talking about how good team X is going to be in the coming years.

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Old
04-07-2004, 04:39 PM
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oceanic39
A field day?

This is horribly inaccurate and is just assumed.

Tampa's Divisional Records:

vs. Atlantic Division: 16-4-0-0 (losses to NYI-3, NYR-1, 8-0 vs. PHI/NJ)
vs NorthEast: 9-7-2-2 (TB gained 22 points from NE divsion. OTT gained 23 from NE)
vs. SouthEast: 13-8-3-0 (tied with ATL for most points gained by SE team from SE division)

Can we please put to rest the "TB's record is a product of their division talk?"

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Old
04-07-2004, 05:12 PM
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loveshack2
I think they'll be better, but I would be very surprised if they were superior. As others have said, young prospects are nice but some won't play up to potential and some will outright bust. That's just the way the sports world works.

I also think that some people forget that free agency can have a big impact on how good your team is. Certain key players on these teams could choose to leave via free agency in the next couple years, not saying they will, but it's a consideration that needs to be looked at. Assuming the UFA age stays the same in the next agreement, within three years the following players will all be up for free agency (unless they've signed a long term deal of which I am unaware).

Carolina - Brind'Amour, Weekes, Irbe, O'Neill, Wesley, Hill, Ward, Wallin, K. Adams, Murray.

Tampa - St. Louis, Cullimore, Neckar, Andreychuk, Khabibulin, Modin, Sydor, Stillman, Roy

Washington - Kolzig, Witt, Miller

Atlanta - Kaberle, Tamer, Kozlov, McEachern, Sutton, Tremblay, Nurminen

Florida - Not much really Lilja, Odelein, Audette


Now I'm not saying that all of these players *will* leave via UFA just tossing it out there for discussion as something to keep in mind. This also assumes that the UFA age is not lowered in the new CBA.

Carolina I think will have a very tough time in the coming years, no matter how good the young talent is coming up, look at how much talent they'll have to replace in the next 3 years (or pay UFA prices to) just in order to tread water (and that doesnt include them already losing Francis). Washington as well doesn't look all that hot (of course Ovechkin should help). They only had 2 NHL d-men to start with and they lost Gonchar this year, Witt could be gone as well in 3 years time. Eminger looks good but who's going to fill the other 5 spots on D? Anyway just some things to keep in mind when talking about how good team X is going to be in the coming years.
You're forgetting Halpern, Zubrus, Pettinger, etc.

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Old
04-07-2004, 05:15 PM
  #37
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By the way... I thought it was the SouthLeast, not Southweak.

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Old
04-07-2004, 05:55 PM
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EroCaps
You're forgetting Halpern, Zubrus, Pettinger, etc.
You're right I did miss Halpern, and probably a few others born before July in '76 (Halpern's b-day is May '76). Zubrus and Pettinger will still be pretty young though even in 3 years. Zubrus is only 25 and Pettinger is 23.

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Old
04-08-2004, 12:36 AM
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discostu
No, all fair comments. What I posted were just my impressions on where I think each team is going. I also don't think you can set anything in stone, but you can evaluate each team's long-term plan, and chance at future success, as long as you realize that it's just an opinion, and likely will not pan out the way you expect.

However, where I feel where many people go wrong in trying to judge future success, is that they only look at the quality of the prospects and young players. Many people seem to forget that the organization itself plays a huge role in shaping and developing their talented prospects into a fully functional team.

Most of the teams in the Southeast have shown poor long-term planning in the last few years. I feel some of this is due to the nature of their market. There's more pressure to produce a winner immediately, than say, Ottawa, or Minnessotta, which have a stronger "traditional" hockey background, and where fans will be reeled in just by the prospect of high level hockey. This makes it much harder to stick to a long-term plan. For a dramatic turnaround, it will require great long-term thinkers in the management positions of these franchises, and personally, I don't think they have them yet.
I still shouldn't have jumped on the comments like I did though. You were stating your opinion and it had validity, something that is fairly rare around these parts. Forgive again the temporary insanity.

I haven't followed the other teams as closely as I have Atlanta, so I really cannot speak with any certainty about how they have or haven't gone with a long term plan. But from what I've seen, Atlanta has rarely if ever deviated from a long term philosophy. They've had more than a few chances to do so, which mostly involved trading their high picks for established players (ie the Coburn pick for Comrie which was thankfully nixed at the last minute).

This season they tried to take that next step and hit the playoffs. When the injuries hit big time in January, Waddell talked with Chicago and Columbus about acquiring Sullivan and Sydor respectively (this was before they eventually got traded). But the team was in the process of being sold; the new owners had no power whatsoever to approve the moves and the old ownership said no to increasing the payroll. That makes sense from the old owners (AOL/Time Warner). The sale was already agreed upon, it was just a matter of time. Why would they pay more to the team when there was no justifiable reason to do so? They weren't legally or ethically required to do so, so they didn't. I don't have a clue if both those players could have been acquired even under good circumstances, but it's pretty safe to assume that at least one of the players would have been traded for. But the sale didn't get finalized until a week ago, that's unfortunately the way it goes.

In any event, we haven't given up the core of young talent the team has and the new ownership looks willing to put more money towards the team. Don't know how that'll play out with the new CBA, but it looks promising for the future regardless of those changes that will inevitably occur.

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Old
04-08-2004, 09:29 AM
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PanthersRule
Look at the amaizing strength of the Southeast division in a few years. This division will be the toughest and best in hockey. In two years this is what I expect the standings to look like.
It's all speculation. Sort of like how every SE fan I talked to before the season crowed about how strong the division was, and then ONE team makes the postseason.

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Old
04-08-2004, 10:20 AM
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwsieben
In any event, we haven't given up the core of young talent the team has and the new ownership looks willing to put more money towards the team. Don't know how that'll play out with the new CBA, but it looks promising for the future regardless of those changes that will inevitably occur.
True. Atlanta has been one of the best of the teams in question at sticking with a long-term plan. What has the potential to derail them is Heatley and Kovalchuk. When you have two young players at such a high calibre, there will be the urge to focus on the players, and not the team as a whole. So far, we haven't seen Atlanta succumb to that yet, so it bodes well for their future, but the potential will always be there, and all it takes is one moment of impatience to make a bad deal that can set the team back.

The Coburn-Comrie deal is an excellent point however. I think a lot of GMs, in the position that Waddel was in may have pulled the trigger on that deal. While it may have had short term gains, and could have even gotten Atlanta in the playoffs, it wouldn't have been a smart move in the long term. They need a guy like Coburn to build their blueline around. Kudos to Waddell for having the clarity to pass on this deal. I think in the long-term, it'll be clear that he made the right move.

There's more to Atlanta's needs than that though. They need a better group of defencemen, not just a blue-chip prospect either. They need to start finding overlooked guys around the league that could fulfill a top-4 role for them. When I look at what Pothier is able to do for Ottawa right now (he's been getting top 4 time paired with Redden recently) you can't help but wonder at what impact he'd have on the blueline for the Thrashers if they kept him. Finding guys like this will be Atlanta's biggest test, IMO. If they can do this, I like their odds at being a favoured Stanley Cup contender in a few years.

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Old
04-08-2004, 10:28 AM
  #42
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Of course, this year the Northeast has FOUR playoff teams, and Buffalo nearly made it 5 out of 5...

 
Old
04-08-2004, 11:27 AM
  #43
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Where was someone saying the NE division was weak this year?

Relax, no one is ripping on the Leafs here.

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Old
04-08-2004, 12:18 PM
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discostu
True. Atlanta has been one of the best of the teams in question at sticking with a long-term plan. What has the potential to derail them is Heatley and Kovalchuk. When you have two young players at such a high calibre, there will be the urge to focus on the players, and not the team as a whole. So far, we haven't seen Atlanta succumb to that yet, so it bodes well for their future, but the potential will always be there, and all it takes is one moment of impatience to make a bad deal that can set the team back.

The Coburn-Comrie deal is an excellent point however. I think a lot of GMs, in the position that Waddel was in may have pulled the trigger on that deal. While it may have had short term gains, and could have even gotten Atlanta in the playoffs, it wouldn't have been a smart move in the long term. They need a guy like Coburn to build their blueline around. Kudos to Waddell for having the clarity to pass on this deal. I think in the long-term, it'll be clear that he made the right move.

There's more to Atlanta's needs than that though. They need a better group of defencemen, not just a blue-chip prospect either. They need to start finding overlooked guys around the league that could fulfill a top-4 role for them. When I look at what Pothier is able to do for Ottawa right now (he's been getting top 4 time paired with Redden recently) you can't help but wonder at what impact he'd have on the blueline for the Thrashers if they kept him. Finding guys like this will be Atlanta's biggest test, IMO. If they can do this, I like their odds at being a favoured Stanley Cup contender in a few years.
Agreed about the Dmen. We got lucky with Sutton, getting him for a guy who hasn't threatened an NHL lineup since. Whether he's top four is debatable though. Kaberle is iffy, passes too much which is a shame because he does have a good shot.

I'm kinda 50-50 about the Pothier trade. At the time, we needed someone like McEachern and despite the injuries he has done a good job. We could surely use Pothier now, but that's the way it goes sometimes. Unfortunately, not all Waddell's trades work out like Zainullin for Savard. Still, not the worst trade I've seen.

Finding the right combo of players on the backline is the number one concern right now. That could and probably will be the biggest hindrance towards becoming a contending team in the next few years. I'm hoping the FA market can provide at least one gem, with the farm system pulling off a miracle and finding one as well. Mostly hopes and dreams at this point though. Unfortunately, as always, we'll have to wait and see.

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Old
04-08-2004, 12:54 PM
  #45
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I believe that the Caps have a tremendous, deep pool of prospects, but it will take far longer than two years for the team to be competitive. They will have two or more drafts in the top five, I think, before they crawl out.

The team's strength right now, its core assets, will be from the 2002 and 2004 draft classes. That is to say, players that are presently 20 and 18 years old, respectively. Give the Caps a good five years. Until then, they will be playing for high picks and developing their players through a patient nurturing process. Exciting hockey, but probably not all that successful. For now they are probably setting their sights on Crosby, and should be in the thick of the lottery again. They have a long way to go.

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04-08-2004, 01:58 PM
  #46
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Originally Posted by Vincent_TheGreat
I'll be surprised and in awe if Carolina still has a team.
:troll:

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