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The Flyers Mismanagement of Assets

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Old
01-06-2010, 10:18 PM
  #51
sobrien
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Originally Posted by mm6492 View Post
The Flyers have made man moves over the past few years, trading many players and picks. Looking back on these moves, have we mismanaged in the salary cap era? Have we hurt our future in an attempt to win now year after year?

TRADES
Josh Gratton and 2 2nd Round Picks for Denis Gauthier
Joni Pitkanen (former 1st) and Geoff Sanferson for Jason Smith and Joffrey Lupul
2nd Round Pick for Martin Biron
1st Round Pick for Rights to negotiate with Hartnell and Timonen
1st round Pick for Steve Eminger
Steve Eminger and Steve Downie (former 1st) for Matt Carle
Denis Gauthier and 2nd Round Pick for Patrik Hersley and Ned Lukacevic
Scottie Upshall and 2nd Round Pick for Daniel Carcillo
Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa (former 1st) and two first round draft picks for Chris Pronger

MAJOR FREE AGENTS
Daniel Briere: 8 Years 52 Million
Scott Hartnell: 6 Year 25.2 Million
Kimmo Timonen: 6 Years 37.8 Million


Looking at the trades, the Flyers have made many mistakes. We paid 2 2nd round picks for Gauthier, then paid a 2nd round pick to get rid of him. We gave up a 1st round pick in a deep draft for Eminger, who we soon flipped for Matt Carle but had to give up another former 1st round pick (Steve Downie). They had too give up a 2nd round pick along with Upshall just to get under the salary cap and have the ability to bring up Giroux.

Since 2006 IMO, the Flyers have mismanaged many of there assets, and I wonder/expect to feel the impact of this in the next few years as our prospect pool drys out. We have not replenished the system the way that I feel is neccesary for a NHL team to do in the salary cap era.

I understand that this has been discussed before, and brought up many times, but I just want to get peoples take on how we have managed many of our assets.


Im glad everyone is concerned about our future, but I'd prefer to try and win ASAP, which is what Homer built/is building/will continue to build this roster to do. I can almost guarantee that no one in that organization or any fans wanted 06/07 for another season or two, and we should be happy that players like Briere, Hartnell, and Timonen signed here right after that debacle.

We needed a goalie and Homer did the best he could do by dropping a pick to get Biron. Picks for Timonen and Hartnell....if you SERIOUSLY want those picks back over those two guys regardless of their contracts, something is wrong with you. I'm tired of hearing fans ***** about the Pronger trade and the Upshall trade. I'm far from the biggest Matt Carle fan, but getting him for Downie and Eminger was a good trade imo.

As previously mentioned, yeah hindsight kicks in. I'd drop Briere's contract by 2-3 million if i could. Timonen's by maybe a million (he's been worth every penny imo), and Hartnell's by 1-2 million. But Clarke was FAR from perfect, he would frequently give up young talent for 35+ year old rentals for the playoffs, and he's the reason we're STILL paying a 3.5 million dollar cap hit from Mike Rathje. (thankfully that ends this offseason).

Holmgren was a genius for turning this team around after 06/07, and now he's turning into the bad guy because the team is (was) killing itself from the inside. Just give it a rest.

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01-06-2010, 10:19 PM
  #52
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The thing with Gauthier wasn't even that we gave up 2 2nd round picks, it's that we did it for the wrong guy, when others were available for much less, and Gauthier was not an NHL-player but he got paid like he was a top-4 defenseman


Quote:
Originally Posted by sobrien View Post
Holmgren was a genius for turning this team around after 06/07, and now he's turning into the bad guy because the team is (was) killing itself from the inside. Just give it a rest.
Depended on who you talked to at the time. There wasn't a lot of people who liked the Pitkanen trade at the time.

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01-06-2010, 10:27 PM
  #53
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Me, too, or I certainly wouldn't be surprised by the axe, and if I had to petition to keep my job, it'd be touch-and-go.

At the same time, if I were Mr. Snider, I think it'd be reasonable to conclude that Holmgren has gathered good pieces, just not the right ones, and it's rare to accomplish both.

Carter, Giroux, Gagne, Coburn, Hartnell, Timonen (to a lesser extent) - they have all failed to meet the expectations of most observers.
They have, certainly. The problem is, that the GM failed to properly prepare for such a circumstance. It was reasonable to assume that trading away 52 goals in Knuble and Lupul would be difficult to replace.

Gagne and Briere, with their injury histories, should not have been counted on as heavily as they were. Giroux and van Riemsdyk were also being counted on pretty heavily to mitigate the losses of Knuble and Lupul.

I also think that Holmgren badly misjudged the chemistry issues from adding strong personalities like Pronger and Laperriere to this particular group of guys.

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01-06-2010, 10:34 PM
  #54
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Originally Posted by DrinkFightFlyers View Post
A) This season is far from over so you can't rule out a Stanley Cup.

B) Nothing is certain. Trading for the big guns to win now or waiting on prospects. At least when trading for the guys like Pronger you know what you are getting, and it is isn't because of Pronger that this team is in the position it is in. Trading for a sure thing (and when I say sure thing I don't mean a guaranteed Cup, I mean sure thing in the caliber of player you are getting) IMO is a better option than waiting and hoping on prospects/picks. Now that's different if you are a team like Tampa Bay or Carolina where youth is all you have. In this team's situation, first round picks the next three years (or however many they traded away) aren't going to help them for years to come. Look at JVR, yes he is a good player and will be, but it took him three years to even make it to the NHL. So is it better to wait three years and hope that whoever we got in the next draft turns out to be an NHL star in three years, or get a Hall of Famer on a team who appeared to only need one big presence on the blue line to get the Cup? I know it hasn't turned out like a story book ending thus far, but I'd rather gamble on a Hall of Famer to help win a cup than someone who has never and may never make an impact in the NHL.
Until the Flyers beat a couple of good teams in a row, I can pretty much rule out a Stanley Cup. This team still has some serious issues. Beating the crap out of a bad Toronto team is one thing. Winning 4 out of 7 against Pittsburgh, New Jersey or Buffalo is something else.

What have we got in Pronger? He hasn't played like an elite defenseman. He hasn't been a big physical presence. He hasn't been an especially great leader. I'm not saying he's been bad-he's probably been their best defenseman. But, for the price they paid, he needs to be among the best in the NHL.

The problem is, by adding Pronger, they lost scoring depth-which they are sorely missing right now. They had to go cheap in goal, which may still turn out well-despite Emery being ranked 30th or lower in most statistical categories, I think he has played well.

Is the season over? No. They have a fairly favorable schedule and might be able to right the ship yet. But time is running out. They can't afford to have games like they did against Ottawa any more.

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01-06-2010, 10:35 PM
  #55
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Originally Posted by go kim johnsson 514 View Post
The thing with Gauthier wasn't even that we gave up 2 2nd round picks, it's that we did it for the wrong guy, when others were available for much less, and Gauthier was not an NHL-player but he got paid like he was a top-4 defenseman




Depended on who you talked to at the time. There wasn't a lot of people who liked the Pitkanen trade at the time.
I loved the Pitkanen trade. I hated Pitkanen.

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01-06-2010, 10:43 PM
  #56
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Originally Posted by go kim johnsson 514 View Post
The thing with Gauthier wasn't even that we gave up 2 2nd round picks, it's that we did it for the wrong guy, when others were available for much less, and Gauthier was not an NHL-player but he got paid like he was a top-4 defenseman




Depended on who you talked to at the time. There wasn't a lot of people who liked the Pitkanen trade at the time.
Most people loved it im pretty sure. The guy was a tree stump in his own end, and didnt try until the puck was moving up on Offense.

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01-06-2010, 10:52 PM
  #57
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imagine a group of forwards that looks like

Gagne Richards Giroux
Hartnell Carter Briere
JvR Umberger Upshall
Powe Betts Laperiere

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01-06-2010, 11:01 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by sobrien View Post
Most people loved it im pretty sure. The guy was a tree stump in his own end, and didnt try until the puck was moving up on Offense.
I hated that trade. It was asinine that we didn't get back a young puck moving D in return...we ended up getting Carle a few trades later because of this.

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01-06-2010, 11:05 PM
  #59
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well Lupul got us Pronger partly

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01-06-2010, 11:15 PM
  #60
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well Lupul got us Pronger partly
Well, we could have made a play for Jay-Bo too...so who knows. But, at the time, I thought the deal was dumb and in the context of the time still think it was dumb.

Getting someone like Gilbert or whatever would have made far more sense to me.

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01-07-2010, 07:21 AM
  #61
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Lately I think it might just be a character issue. It reminds me of Ed Wade's Phillies teams. On paper they were always expected to contend for the division or wild card, but they never lived up to expectations. The Gillick comes in and gets rid of some of the laid back veterans and brings in some players with character. It also allowed players already on the roster like Rollins and Utley step up in leadership roles. Sometimes I think that is what is needed here.
Good analogy.

I think you are right about the character thing. Sometimes you see teams that are carried by a small handful of guys but most championship (or near-championship) runs are made by teams whose players take turns making big plays.

The Flyers don't seem to have that this year.

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01-07-2010, 07:27 AM
  #62
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Originally Posted by JSaq View Post
They have, certainly. The problem is, that the GM failed to properly prepare for such a circumstance. It was reasonable to assume that trading away 52 goals in Knuble and Lupul would be difficult to replace.

Gagne and Briere, with their injury histories, should not have been counted on as heavily as they were. Giroux and van Riemsdyk were also being counted on pretty heavily to mitigate the losses of Knuble and Lupul.

I also think that Holmgren badly misjudged the chemistry issues from adding strong personalities like Pronger and Laperriere to this particular group of guys.
Good points, all.

I had forgotten Knuble.

Time marches on and the cap interferes, to be sure, but it is true that

Giroux and van Riemsdyk

for

Knuble and Lupul

is a dreadful swap (at present).

Agreed with your last point too. I think there is no doubt that Pronger and Laperriere (and I'll guess Timonen, too) looked at how the young guys were running their locker room and found it wanting.

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01-07-2010, 08:19 AM
  #63
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Most people loved it im pretty sure. The guy was a tree stump in his own end, and didnt try until the puck was moving up on Offense.
i think it really came down to how you saw the deal.

smith for sanderson and lupul for pitkanen

or

pitkanen for smith and lupul for sanderson.

i saw it the first way and didnt like it very muich. i would have done smith for sanderson even though we already had hatcher just because i hated sanderson. but i was at the time really ticked off we traded pitkanen. the flyers had been looking for puckmoving d forever and traded one off before hed had a chance to develop.

if you saw it the second way it allowed us to upgrade at two positions and did eventually allow us to go on a nice playoff run.

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01-07-2010, 09:17 AM
  #64
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I hated that trade. It was asinine that we didn't get back a young puck moving D in return...we ended up getting Carle a few trades later because of this.
I agree the Flyers needed another puck mover, but the problem was the teams that were interested in Pitkanen (Edmonton, Carolina) desperately needed to add puck moving defenseman so I think it's wishful thinking to think they would have gave one up for him. For them it would have been just a lateral move which isn't what they were looking to do.

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01-07-2010, 11:09 AM
  #65
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Originally Posted by JSaq View Post
Until the Flyers beat a couple of good teams in a row, I can pretty much rule out a Stanley Cup. This team still has some serious issues. Beating the crap out of a bad Toronto team is one thing. Winning 4 out of 7 against Pittsburgh, New Jersey or Buffalo is something else.

What have we got in Pronger? He hasn't played like an elite defenseman. He hasn't been a big physical presence. He hasn't been an especially great leader. I'm not saying he's been bad-he's probably been their best defenseman. But, for the price they paid, he needs to be among the best in the NHL.

The problem is, by adding Pronger, they lost scoring depth-which they are sorely missing right now. They had to go cheap in goal, which may still turn out well-despite Emery being ranked 30th or lower in most statistical categories, I think he has played well.

Is the season over? No. They have a fairly favorable schedule and might be able to right the ship yet. But time is running out. They can't afford to have games like they did against Ottawa any more.
The wins against good teams will come, show some faith in the team. They beat NJ twice this season already out of three, but I guess that doesn't count. And they are 1-2 against Buffalo. Pitt has beaten them every time but you can't win every game all the time, especially against the league's top teams.

Pronger absolutely has played like an elite defenseman. Yeah, he has made some mistakes on the ice and made some bad plays, but guess what, every player does that from time to time. He is blocking shots and clearing the crease every time he is on the ice. I don't see how you could say Pronger hasn't played like an elite defenseman.

The bottom line is, that even if Pronger was playing absolutely terrible hockey. Like in danger of becoming a healthy scratch, the trade for him still made sense. Yes we gave up a lot, but he is a Hall of Fame player still in his prime. You can't fault Homer for going after him, even if he doesn't turn out the way you want. As a GM all you can do is make the moves that make the most sense at the time. Think of it this way, if the Flyers were on the verge of being a Cup contender (like they were last year) and all they needed (seemingly) was a top flight defenseman and instead of going out and getting one, they did nothing and kept the same team as last year. Then you would be saying, "Pronger was available...How can Homer not go after a Hall of Fame defenseman?" You have to strike when the iron is hot.

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01-07-2010, 11:41 AM
  #66
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Originally Posted by RoDu View Post
imagine a group of forwards that looks like

Gagne Richards Giroux
Hartnell Carter Briere
JvR Umberger Upshall
Powe Betts Laperiere
5.25 + 5.75 + 0.82 +
4.20 + 5.00 + 6.50 +
1.65 + 3.75 + 1.50 +
0.52 + 0.55 + 1.16 = 36.65 +

6.33 + 1.30 +
6.25 + 3.44 +
0.86 + 0.52 = 18.70 +

1.50 + 0.93 = 2.43 +

= 57.78

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01-07-2010, 11:43 AM
  #67
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Originally Posted by mm6492 View Post
The Flyers have made man moves over the past few years, trading many players and picks. Looking back on these moves, have we mismanaged in the salary cap era? Have we hurt our future in an attempt to win now year after year?

TRADES
Josh Gratton and 2 2nd Round Picks for Denis Gauthier
Joni Pitkanen (former 1st) and Geoff Sanferson for Jason Smith and Joffrey Lupul
2nd Round Pick for Martin Biron
1st Round Pick for Rights to negotiate with Hartnell and Timonen
1st round Pick for Steve Eminger
Steve Eminger and Steve Downie (former 1st) for Matt Carle
Denis Gauthier and 2nd Round Pick for Patrik Hersley and Ned Lukacevic
Scottie Upshall and 2nd Round Pick for Daniel Carcillo
Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa (former 1st) and two first round draft picks for Chris Pronger

MAJOR FREE AGENTS
Daniel Briere: 8 Years 52 Million
Scott Hartnell: 6 Year 25.2 Million
Kimmo Timonen: 6 Years 37.8 Million


Looking at the trades, the Flyers have made many mistakes. We paid 2 2nd round picks for Gauthier, then paid a 2nd round pick to get rid of him. We gave up a 1st round pick in a deep draft for Eminger, who we soon flipped for Matt Carle but had to give up another former 1st round pick (Steve Downie). They had too give up a 2nd round pick along with Upshall just to get under the salary cap and have the ability to bring up Giroux.

Since 2006 IMO, the Flyers have mismanaged many of there assets, and I wonder/expect to feel the impact of this in the next few years as our prospect pool drys out. We have not replenished the system the way that I feel is neccesary for a NHL team to do in the salary cap era.

I understand that this has been discussed before, and brought up many times, but I just want to get peoples take on how we have managed many of our assets.
Agreed....I have always mentioned when people started kissing Homer's ass that he hasnt been that great at all.....Any baffoon with half a brain can go out and throw big money at the best FA's on the market. He got lucky with the Zhitnik move. Parent may still become good but we basically got nothing in the Forsberg deal. If the Pronger deal doesnt bring a cup its an epic fail in my opinion and we have like 0 cap room to sign a goalie next year.

Now that you have put it all down on paper it really convinces me even more how mediocre at best he has been as a GM.

Not sure I am ready to show him the door this season, I would give him one more with the new coach here, but I certainly would be closely watching him if I were Snider or whoever the hell does that these days.

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01-07-2010, 11:46 AM
  #68
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This thread kinda sucks to be honest. I mean, I am hopped up on cough syrup right now, but it seems so one sided.

Lupul was a lazy overpaid turd, we are lucky to have dumped him to Anaheim. We got Coburn who still has VALUE for freaking Zhitnik. We turned Downie and Eminger into Carle, which worked out really well. Eminger and Downie both suck. Carle is on our first pair and is doing well. I am sick of the Upshall-Carcillo racket. I'm no fan of Carcillo, but whatever. Upshall is only producing with lots of PP time, time he would never get here.

The Jones call up and Gauthier trades were both awful, but it shows that Homer is true to his word, which is something the players respect. In retrospect, when you look at some of these deals years later some are bound to look awful and some are bound to look good.

You can play this stupid guessing game and re-evaluate things all day, but the fact of the matter is 2nd round picks have next to no value in the NHL. The percentage of 2nd rounders who turn into anything is low.

Why dont you guys look up the names of the people drafted with those picks. No great shakes there I bet.

I mean, we should be proud the Flyers are so good at drafting in the later part of the 1st round of the draft, that's incredible.

Agree on Lupul, but who made him overpaid? Holmgren.

Coburn for Zhitnik was a steal, though Coburn seems to be regressing, not progressing.

Eminger and Downie both suck? Well, Eminger does, and Homer gave up a 1st for him.

Upshall for Carcillo is a wash. Why throw in a 2nd rounder though?

2nd rounders may be worthless, but Brad Richards was taken in the 3rd round and has one more point than the annointed one, Sidney Crosby. (I know it's not that draft year, but Philly almost always trades it's 2nds away) Plekanec is in 11th in scoring and could have been taken in the 2nd (3rd rounder) I could go through the list of players that were or could be taken, but I'm sure you get the point. Not nearly as valuable as 1sts, but hardly worthless, though the Flyers (not just Holmgren) have always treated them this way. Pretty sure every single prospect we have left was taken after the 1st round.

Agree on how well the Flyers draft late in the first round. Isn't this a damn good reason NOT to trade 1sts away? Holmgren has traded 4-1sts and 4-2nds (not to mention numerous 3rds etc) in his short stint as gm. Hows that working out for us?

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01-07-2010, 11:50 AM
  #69
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I agree the Flyers needed another puck mover, but the problem was the teams that were interested in Pitkanen (Edmonton, Carolina) desperately needed to add puck moving defenseman so I think it's wishful thinking to think they would have gave one up for him. For them it would have been just a lateral move which isn't what they were looking to do.
Eh, I have to think there was a deal to be worked out...I think Holmgren had a standing infatuation with Lupul (I might be remembering this wrong) and Smith is obviously a player you can appreciate. Problem with Smith was he was too far over the hill. In addition, trading Smith was PAINFUL for Edmonton at an emotional level, so I have to think there might have been some more wiggle room there...

Gilbert was also kind of fringe at that point...

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01-07-2010, 11:56 AM
  #70
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Until the Flyers beat a couple of good teams in a row, I can pretty much rule out a Stanley Cup. This team still has some serious issues. Beating the crap out of a bad Toronto team is one thing. Winning 4 out of 7 against Pittsburgh, New Jersey or Buffalo is something else.

What have we got in Pronger? He hasn't played like an elite defenseman. He hasn't been a big physical presence. He hasn't been an especially great leader. I'm not saying he's been bad-he's probably been their best defenseman. But, for the price they paid, he needs to be among the best in the NHL.

The problem is, by adding Pronger, they lost scoring depth-which they are sorely missing right now. They had to go cheap in goal, which may still turn out well-despite Emery being ranked 30th or lower in most statistical categories, I think he has played well.

Is the season over? No. They have a fairly favorable schedule and might be able to right the ship yet. But time is running out. They can't afford to have games like they did against Ottawa any more.
Agreed. I stop short of saying I am disappointed in Pronger, but I did expect a little more. I do believe that he is the type of player who will make his biggest impact in the playoffs. I wasnt a huge fan of that trade however.

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01-07-2010, 12:04 PM
  #71
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Agreed. I stop short of saying I am disappointed in Pronger, but I did expect a little more. I do believe that he is the type of player who will make his biggest impact in the playoffs. I wasnt a huge fan of that trade however.
I don't know what to make of Pronger. When the team was playing well out of the gate, he was otherworldly. I mean, literally, he was putting up completely absurd numbers...PPG, no one was scoring when he was on the ice, etc. When the team went in the tank, his level dropped off noticeably with it.

So, when this team has its **** completely back together at some point, are we going to be thrilled again? We'll see...

The next 20 games are going to be interesting...they're clearly starting to get better. They're getting Emery back...if they can go on a nice run, they're going to be right back in the playoffs, and if they can go on one of those uber 20-game runs, it's tight enough that they can get right back to competing for the division/4 seed.

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01-07-2010, 12:09 PM
  #72
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Agree on Lupul, but who made him overpaid? Holmgren.

Coburn for Zhitnik was a steal, though Coburn seems to be regressing, not progressing.

Eminger and Downie both suck? Well, Eminger does, and Homer gave up a 1st for him.

Upshall for Carcillo is a wash. Why throw in a 2nd rounder though?

2nd rounders may be worthless, but Brad Richards was taken in the 3rd round and has one more point than the annointed one, Sidney Crosby. (I know it's not that draft year, but Philly almost always trades it's 2nds away) Plekanec is in 11th in scoring and could have been taken in the 2nd (3rd rounder) I could go through the list of players that were or could be taken, but I'm sure you get the point. Not nearly as valuable as 1sts, but hardly worthless, though the Flyers (not just Holmgren) have always treated them this way. Pretty sure every single prospect we have left was taken after the 1st round.

Agree on how well the Flyers draft late in the first round. Isn't this a damn good reason NOT to trade 1sts away? Holmgren has traded 4-1sts and 4-2nds (not to mention numerous 3rds etc) in his short stint as gm. Hows that working out for us?
Coburn for Zhitnik was lucky at best.....The only thing Homer gets credit for on that is bullying an even worse GM.

The thing with Upshall is that there were many of us who were wishing to see him get more ice time here....Knowing full well that we were probably going to lose Knuble this year, and most likely have to move Lupul for cap reasons for whoever, Upshall would have been a good stop gap while guys like Giroux and JVR developed. Instead, I think one of the many issues with this team is that, like in 2006, we have put to much on a couple young players to really step up and they havent to their expectations. Upshall could get some PP time and top 6 icetime on this team. And if he is capitalizing on those opportunities in Phoenix, doesnt it show that he deserved that opportunity?

Put it this way, Upshall is making just $200k more than the "wasted cap space from Jones going through reentry waivers.

We could have had

Gagne Richards Hartnell/Upshall
Upshall/Hartnell Carter Briere
JVR Giroux Powe
Kalinski Betts Lappy

Not that Upshall would change much about this team this year, but he could have bought some development time for JVR and Giroux, and when you factor in the waste of cap room on Jones, plus the $500k for Pyro and the money Carcillo is making, I rather have Upshall on this roster.....Not to mention he was a big part of the chemistry.

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01-07-2010, 12:16 PM
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Eh, I have to think there was a deal to be worked out...I think Holmgren had a standing infatuation with Lupul (I might be remembering this wrong) and Smith is obviously a player you can appreciate. Problem with Smith was he was too far over the hill. In addition, trading Smith was PAINFUL for Edmonton at an emotional level, so I have to think there might have been some more wiggle room there...

Gilbert was also kind of fringe at that point...
You may be right about his infatuation with Lupul, but you also have to look it from the Edmonton's perspective. They were coming off a season where their D was horribly unbalanced. Marc Andre Bergeron was the only puck mover they had and he was ultimately traded to the Isles that year. Many felt their struggles was due to the immobile defense and Lowe's #1 focus was to acquire puck moving defenseman that summer. Gilbert was just a prospect at that point, but he did look good in his stint with the big club and they were in the position where they desperately needed to add.

I agree it was painful for them to deal their captain, but like you said he was over the hill and they needed to get more mobile on defense. I am not sure they would have given up Gilbert especially when it didn't seem like there was a ton of interest in Pitkanen from other teams.

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01-07-2010, 12:25 PM
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Coburn for Zhitnik was lucky at best.....The only thing Homer gets credit for on that is bullying an even worse GM.
Well I think Homer deserves credit for that deal in fairness, but that one deal doesn't make him a genius as some like to think. He just took advantage of a team that was desperate. It wasn't unlike the Markov for Williams deal. Both teams were desperate for a veteran defenseman and were willing to pay a hefty price for the success they hoped to achieve.

It goes in the plus column for Homer but doesn't outweigh the negative. Most of his deals since then have been weak although Legein for Ratchuk will be a good one.

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01-07-2010, 12:27 PM
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You may be right about his infatuation with Lupul, but you also have to look it from the Edmonton's perspective. They were coming off a season where their D was horribly unbalanced. Marc Andre Bergeron was the only puck mover they had and he was ultimately traded to the Isles that year. Many felt their struggles was due to the immobile defense and Lowe's #1 focus was to acquire puck moving defenseman that summer. Gilbert was just a prospect at that point, but he did look good in his stint with the big club and they were in the position where they desperately needed to add.

I agree it was painful for them to deal their captain, but like you said he was over the hill and they needed to get more mobile on defense. I am not sure they would have given up Gilbert especially when it didn't seem like there was a ton of interest in Pitkanen from other teams.
All of this is true, but then I think you should be spinning it into a three-team deal to land that type of player. Outside of cap management, my primary issue with Holmgren is that this roster always seems to be notably imbalanced somewhere. Because we traded for Smith we ended up with a bit too much of a grunt blueline without enough puck skills... then we're making deals for guys like Eminger and whatnot, before going and getting Carle (the defense the following year was a joke at the start of the season). Now we have a goaltending imbalance...and even if Emery proves to be a solution, he's going to have restructure this team's salary distribution in order to make that work.

If you're trading a guy like Pitkanen, you really need to replace him with someone to offset the skill set you're giving up. Say what you will about Pitkanen, but the dude can provide some punch from the back.

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