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David Poile, from good to stagnant (long)

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Old
03-16-2010, 03:12 AM
  #51
dulzhok
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Originally Posted by Conando View Post
.
I think Poile is probably the best GM in the league if you just want to build a team that makes the playoffs year after year (like he did in Washington). Well, maybe 2nd after Ken Holland. But, obviously, Washington didn't feel like he was man to take them to the next level. Ironically, they went to the finals the next year. I don't know what significant moves McPhee made the next year to get them to the finals.

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03-16-2010, 08:00 AM
  #52
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Poile's drafting since 2003 has been almost spectacular, though. I am not going to disagree on some points concerning his passivity and inability to acquire pieces that are needed, but he has huge pluses as well.

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03-16-2010, 08:06 AM
  #53
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in the era of the salary cap the "go for broke" strategy just isnt acceptable anymore. In the old days teams with unlimited money could make a risky deadline trade, depleting their draft picks and prospects, and know they could go out the next summer and buy all the replacements they needed. that just doesnt happen much any more.


and as for Poiles final years at Washington from how I remember it being told he got fired after he finally did make some risky moves and they didnt pan out right away.
Their loss was our gain.

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03-16-2010, 08:46 AM
  #54
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I think Poile is great for our franchise in terms of his ability to make a low budget, competing team. That has been proven. What remains to be seen is if he can build a team which can make noise in the playoffs. So far, he hasn't shown the ability to do that.

He's good at baby steps forward, with the inability to make the risks to take that next jump.

The question is then this, could our market handle a riskier GM? And note that my question is not the title of the other Poile thread on here.

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03-16-2010, 09:05 AM
  #55
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I'm not sure I understand the comparison of the Preds to the Sharks. Sharks have been around 7 or 8 years longer then the Preds. And more important the demographics of the area, Nashville has around 1.5 million in the greater metro area while San Jose is somewhere over 4 million.

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03-16-2010, 09:45 AM
  #56
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Blame the GM for first round exits?

You can not overstate the effect of injuries going into the playoffs.

Knock on wood. It is actually mid-March and our injury scratches are nil. No broken legs, no broken orbital bones, no back strains, no mystery blood clots ....

That has not been true since the 2004 playoffs.

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03-16-2010, 10:52 AM
  #57
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Originally Posted by dulzhok View Post
Nope, I'm dead serious. They have a big fan base, and they are making hockey work in a non traditional market.

The Sharks also have over 6 million people in their metro area and Nashville has 1.6 mil. I think Poile has done a pretty good job in a tough place to build a hockey franchise. It's not a traditional market, has had ownership issues, doesn't have deep pockets. He built a team from the back line out. The Preds have arguably the best young defensive corps in the NHL. They have some defensive potential in the AHL. All in all up to this point I think he has done a good job.

With that being said, building a new franchise and maintaining a franchise are 2 different things. He has to continue to keep this franchise on the move upward. Not just for the fans but for the players around the league to want to stay in Nashville and come to Nashville. It won't help anyone if they groom Suter and Weber to win championships with different teams. They can't bring in big names by opening big pockets so they have to offer something else. A chance to win and a great place to play.

So in answer to your original statement I vote good so far but on the ledge right now (next few years) of taking it one way or the other. Hopefully he takes it the right way and really solidifies this franchise.

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03-16-2010, 11:07 AM
  #58
David Singleton
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dulzhok, I think you have some interesting points, but have arrived at what I believe to be ultimately an incorrect analysis.

Looking back at the work David Poile has done for the Nashville Predators, I believe he's done just about the best work possible. He's made, what I believe, a couple of missteps along the way- although we disagree slightly on what those are.

Essentially, (utilizing hindsight) I think David Poile has made errors with David Legwand, Martin Erat and (to a lesser degree) J.P. Dumont. I also believe he should have worked harder to bring in Phil Kessel. Otherwise, I think he's done a very good job. One problem for David is that whenever he errs, the results are magnified due to the budget constraints on the team.

Coming off a season where he scored 27 goals, Legwand was rewarded with a long term contract to be the consistent scorer and playmaker for the Predators in the future. Given the length of the contract, the salary totals were maybe slightly high- but not overly so given the role that Poile had envisioned for Legwand. Unfortunately for David Poile (and for David Legwand), reality happened. Legwand is offensively gifted, but needs other offensively gifted people to help him produce. Defensively, however, Legwand has that ability to (at times) "take over" games and either shut down a player or kill a penalty by himself. Instead of helping lead the way offensively, Barry Trotz has come to depend upon the best defensive player he has. While Legwand has consistently produced when paired with gifted offensive players (not withstanding the Erat, Legwand, Santorelli line that started the season), that is not the role he is tasked with as Barry Trotz still depends on Legwand and his line to lead the way defensively. Is that the fault of Legwand? I do not believe so. He has been molded to the be player he is (or isn't) by this staff. Is that the fault of Barry Trotz? Maybe somewhat as he obviously establishes what roles a player plays. Ultimately, however, I believe the biggest fault for the Legwand situation is David Poile. The contract isn't the problem necessarily. I believe that the biggest issue has been that David Poile has not provided Barry Trotz with another player that can do what Legwand can do defensively in order to free up Legwand for his intended role. You would think a defensive forward would be cheaper than Legwand, but Poile really has not found that other option that makes Barry Trotz comfortable.

Martin Erat's contract was too long and too much given his production at the time. Whereas Erat is slightly more offensively gifted from a goal scoring perspective, like Legwand, he still needs offensively gifted linemates to help him produce. Unlike Legwand, he cannot "takeover" a game defensively. He's not the type of talent one would declare as a "franchise" player (unlike Weber and Suter), but that's not a crime. The biggest error here, I believe, is that Poile signed Erat to a contract commiserate with a franchise player both from a salary and contract length standpoint. He doubled his error. An error on one or the other would have been easier to correct, potentially without even losing Erat. The only real avenue left to David Poile to correct the situation was to bring in another offensively gifted player, but budgetary contraints (tightened by his own errors) really prevented that. At this point, Poile can only hope that Erat improves and/or our young prospects (or cheap free agents) provide enough in the way of offensively gifted linemates to help him (and Legwand if moved to that role). If we were to compare the then with now, Patric Hornqvist would be a close comparison. Hornqvist is coming off a breakout season in scoring goals. Would it be wise to sign him for six or seven years at an average of $4 million? I don't think so. Since Nashville can't bury contracts in the minors or buy-out contracts, contract length is more important than salary in which to not err. Reserve long term contracts for true franchise players like Weber and Suter.

It was obvious that David Poile was counting greatly on adding Phil Kessel (or someone like Kessel) early on in the offseason. This is his biggest error lately. Kessel's salary is not that onerous and the Predators were reportedly only short by $500,000. The breathing room Kessel would have provided on the ice in terms of being able to compensate for errors that found the back of the net would have been significant. Given the way that Hornqvist and Wilson are contributing now, this team would have been especially potent with Kessel along for the ride (again using that wonderful hindsight we have). I believe this to be the third biggest error in David Poile's tenure to date. However, I also believe that this could potentially move to the top and also provides the biggest ammunition to those people who believe that Poile is unwilling to take a calculated risk to improve a team unless forced into a reactive situation.

Overall, I think Poile has done a very good job. I really liked his moves (and non-moves) at the trade deadline this season. Figure in the off-the-ice stuff, and he's done a great job to date.

All that said, if Nashville starts to continually be perceived as stagnant by the fans, they will be by the players as well. If that happens, Poile's job gets much harder. He's got to figure out a way to make his "Phil Kessel" move in order to allow this team (and him) to take the next step. He's got to be able to take the occassional calculated risk. Not every year, mind you, but soon. Taking the occassional calculated risk shows a willingness to improve the team to the coaching staff, players (both currently on the team and those considering Nashville as a destination), and the fans. It means a great deal to those groups.

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Last edited by David Singleton: 03-16-2010 at 11:22 AM.
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Old
03-16-2010, 11:14 AM
  #59
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this thread is bizarre, Ive been reading people who bash Poile for years and now all of this Poile love-fest?



It seems the analysis is pretty simple. David Poile is an excellent draft manager and a terrible asset trader. Of course no one knows what really happens behind the closed doors of his office.


There is plenty to be thrilled with and upset with here.

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03-16-2010, 11:18 AM
  #60
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David, good analysis but here's another perspective on the Kessel side of things. Say we go out and get him, he's out until mid-November. At that point, Hornqvist had not been producing offensively. When Kessel joins the lineup, Hornqvist's minutes drop and the possibility exists that he doesn't have the breakout season he's been having. Also, if Kessel is productive, is there the need to have Wilson come up from Milwaukee once he was healthy and producing on a consistent basis? Obviously too hard to tell but for every action Poile takes or doesn't take, there is something else in play because of it.

I think you're spot on with him not finding someone able to take over Legwand's defensive role and allow him to be the offensive player we want him to be. I am curious tonight to see what the lines look like because in the third period of the LA game, the lines were getting moved around quite a bit. Legwand was between Sully and Hornqvist and Goc was moved between Smithson and Ward. Maybe Trotz will use these lines again. There was also a time I think we had Legwand, Boyd and Ward out there together. Might be an improvement as well over Smithson. The one thing Poile has done this season is give Trotz options to use on his lines. We have 13 forwards on this team that can be used in a variety of roles and matchups, it's now up to Trotz to how to utilize them the best he can and I think he's been doing that.

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03-16-2010, 11:22 AM
  #61
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Originally Posted by PredsV82 View Post
no, the aggressive moves havent done squat. they were a playoff team BEFORE they got Thornton, and they are still only that, a playoff team, not an Cup winner.

you dont get it, they fill their barn because they are CONSISTENTLY COMPETITIVE just like the Preds are striving to be. they obviously dont fill their barn because of deep playoff runs because they have never made one.
You couldn't find a better word to describe the Predators than "consistent". You don't think the Preds are consistently competitive? We are the epitome of consistency. And yet every year we struggle with attendance issues. Every year we battle for the 8th spot. If you look back to the year we acquired Forsberg, I'll bet our regular season attendance was the highest it has ever been. It jumped nearly 1000 per game from the previous year. That year we were more than consistent. That year we exceeded everyone's expectations (51 wins, 110 points) of a small market, hard working team. It boils down to a basic concept. High risk, high reward. Low risk, low reward.

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03-16-2010, 11:35 AM
  #62
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Originally Posted by glenngineer View Post
David, good analysis but here's another perspective on the Kessel side of things. Say we go out and get him, he's out until mid-November. At that point, Hornqvist had not been producing offensively. When Kessel joins the lineup, Hornqvist's minutes drop and the possibility exists that he doesn't have the breakout season he's been having. Also, if Kessel is productive, is there the need to have Wilson come up from Milwaukee once he was healthy and producing on a consistent basis? Obviously too hard to tell but for every action Poile takes or doesn't take, there is something else in play because of it.
I don't necessarily disagree, especially about Wilson. Hornqvist, however, has found a role that no one else on the team is very good at in playing at the net. I think the biggest impact would probably be that Smithson doesn't touch the second line (post November) due to there not being quite the need for that shutdown line- meaning we wouldn't have to play so tight to the vest and have more room to compensate for errors.

Assuming Trotz could handle that conceptual shift comfortably.

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03-16-2010, 11:39 AM
  #63
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Originally Posted by David Singleton View Post
I don't necessarily disagree, especially about Wilson. Hornqvist, however, has found a role that no one else on the team is very good at in playing at the net. I think the biggest impact would probably be that Smithson doesn't touch the second line (post November) due to there not being quite the need for that shutdown line- meaning we wouldn't have to play so tight to the vest and have more room to compensate for errors.

Assuming Trotz could handle that conceptual shift comfortably.
That is the big question. Also, do you think he'd be comfy with Goc instead of Legwand between Ward and Smithson? I wonder if that third line eventually becomes Goc, Ward and Boyd. Sad thing is, Dumont gets left out on the 4th line.

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03-16-2010, 11:48 AM
  #64
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i think when we need to shut a team down, trotz will cling to his blankie of legwand-ward-smithson. when we need some pop (down a goal in sj, tied with LA) he will swap goc and legwand.

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03-16-2010, 12:24 PM
  #65
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i think when we need to shut a team down, trotz will cling to his blankie of legwand-ward-smithson. when we need some pop (down a goal in sj, tied with LA) he will swap goc and legwand.
lol, blankie.

I agree. The real question is whether he's going to try to shut the line down all game with Legwand, or spot-use him in key moments (like a key penalty kill).

Right now, the lines are looking pretty decent, but the offensive volume (outside of the San Jose game) really isn't there. They are leaning pretty heavily on Wilson and Hornqvist recently.

Segueing back to the original topic (), has Poile provided enough to allow Legwand to shift from a predominantly defensive role?

Assuming for the moment that the top nine are the following (not necessarily in this order below):

Wilson-Arnott-Erat
Dumont-Legwand-Ward
Sullivan-Goc-Hornqvist

Can you construct a shutdown line from Smithson, Boyd, Tootoo, O'Reilly, and Belak? I don't think so.

You could, however constuct a better two-way line by moving out Dumont for Wilson. I'd probably put Hornqvist with Arnott and Erat and Dumont with Sullivan and Goc.

Hornqvist- Arnott- Erat (or Dumont)
Wilson- Legwand- Ward
Sullivan- Goc- Dumont (or Erat)

I'd then try Smithson- Boyd- Tootoo as a decent defensive line with some energy while making Smithson and Boyd the first unit PK team. Legwand could double shift down with Smithson and Boyd as situations warrant. I'm still not too fond of that fourth line as it has little size and are pretty easy to knock off the puck. The benefit of getting Legwand and Ward more offensively involved at the same time of not losing too much of their defensive prowess might outweigh it. I also think that Legwand and Wilson can much more effectively work the 2-1 rush better than Smithson has (and their defensive bent have given them many opportunities). I wouldn't be afraid of playing Wilson-Legwand-Ward against a Marleau-Thornton-Heatley line.

If you get Erat on a shooting night, he and Arnott should provide plenty of opportunities for Hornqvist too. Sullivan, Goc, and Dumont can be a crafty line that can chip in effectively as well- especially if they get the other team's third or fourth line often enough (which I would think likely).

The other wrinkle is that Dumont is in the doghouse too. I might scratch him for a game and let O'Reilly play in that spot, if that were the case.


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Old
03-16-2010, 12:44 PM
  #66
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You couldn't find a better word to describe the Predators than "consistent". You don't think the Preds are consistently competitive? We are the epitome of consistency. And yet every year we struggle with attendance issues. Every year we battle for the 8th spot. If you look back to the year we acquired Forsberg, I'll bet our regular season attendance was the highest it has ever been. It jumped nearly 1000 per game from the previous year. That year we were more than consistent. That year we exceeded everyone's expectations (51 wins, 110 points) of a small market, hard working team. It boils down to a basic concept. High risk, high reward. Low risk, low reward.
the forsberg trade itself didnt increase attendance(looka the the actual games after he was acquired), the whole season (in which we battled for #1 in the NHL for quite some time) resulted in the bump in attendance.

but that team was assembled without the salary constraints we have now.

you are completely oversimplifying if you think some aggressive trades will boost attendance. improved performance will boost attendance, but making wildly aggressive trades doesnt make that any more likely to happen than patient planning

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03-16-2010, 12:46 PM
  #67
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I don't necessarily disagree, especially about Wilson. Hornqvist, however, has found a role that no one else on the team is very good at in playing at the net. I think the biggest impact would probably be that Smithson doesn't touch the second line (post November) due to there not being quite the need for that shutdown line- meaning we wouldn't have to play so tight to the vest and have more room to compensate for errors.

Assuming Trotz could handle that conceptual shift comfortably.
actually wasnt the fact that Boston wanted Wilson what poile said was the reason we didnt make the trade?

so if we got Kessel, there wouldnt have been a Wilson to complement him.

I also want to know that if the Legwand and erat deals were "mistakes" who would have replaced them if we had let them walk?

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03-16-2010, 12:52 PM
  #68
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Haters gotta hate (on Dulzhok).

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03-16-2010, 01:03 PM
  #69
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We have several factors this year that have been addressed that hurt our prior playoff success.

1. Depth. Injuries happened and we have been burned badly in the past by not having anyone to take Arnott, Sully, Legwand, Erat...etcs place. This year our defensive depth is good enough to take a hit of probably 3 defensemen and our forwards have at least 3 (O'Reilly, Spaling, Thurresson) perhaps more if need be (Santorelli, Olvecky) who can come in.

2. Discipline. Besides injuries penalties killed our playoff runs, there was one year against San Jose we allowed at least one 5 on 3 a game and big surprise we lost the series. This year we are hardly penalized.

3. Heart. Every year this is the time that Jason Arnott starts ramping up his play. I was thinking to myself over the Olympic break Arnott will hit 25 goals and I still think that. Sully is also a fiery leader. Guys like Joel Ward and Patric Hornqvist are made for the playoffs.

4. Balance. Our first line is one of the "worst" in the NHL our 2nd may be average. But we may have the best 3rd and 4th lines. Our defense is the most talented in the NHL from top to bottom. To tell the truth I don't know what our lines are, but Tootoo - Boyd - Dumont can dominate 4th lines, and Ward - Legwand - Smithson is much better than other 3rd lines.

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03-16-2010, 01:03 PM
  #70
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actually wasnt the fact that Boston wanted Wilson what poile said was the reason we didnt make the trade?

so if we got Kessel, there wouldnt have been a Wilson to complement him.

I also want to know that if the Legwand and erat deals were "mistakes" who would have replaced them if we had let them walk?
Poile should have been able to sweeten the pot without Colin Wilson. I would be surprised if the only player Boston was interested in was Colin Wilson when they got nothing like that from Toronto.

I didn't say that re-signing Legwand and Erat was a mistake (assuming you were addressing me). I actually though Legwand's contract was reasonable if he was going to continue to play the offensive role he had that season going forward. Poile's mistake was to not provide someone to play Legwand's defensive role so that Trotz felt comfortable enough to play Legwand in an offensive role.

Again with Erat, I said the length and amount of the contract was the mistake- not the fact that the Predators re-signed him. Poile made it doubly hard on himself by erring on both sides of that equation.

Let's be realistic here. I'm glad Erat is still with the Predators, but he's not on a level skill-wise as to be especially difficult to replace even not remembering who might have been available (without going and doing some researching) from a trade or free agen perspective. There are many gifted offensive players in the league and he could be replaced.

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03-16-2010, 01:21 PM
  #71
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If we hired a riskier GM and he FAILED the consequences would be felt more than just on the ice. This team can't afford to float at the bottom of the league for a years because of someone taking risks.

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03-16-2010, 01:23 PM
  #72
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something else that no one has mentioned is that those two are known locker room commodities. They were born and bread in the NHL as Predators, that is something that Poile is going to reward. Could he have found someone with the same or slightly better skill set for the same type of money? Most likely. Could he have found a "Predator" out there that he knew he could lock up for 6(?) years at a reasonable price tag? That one can't be answered and it becomes more of a "one in the hand, two in the bush" type of thing.

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03-16-2010, 01:43 PM
  #73
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Pshaw. I wish we could have had the level of success that y'all have had with Poile. I think there's a good chance Howson could pull it off (if his long-term bets on the likes of Brassard, Vermette, Klesla, and eventually Voracek and Mason pay off), but that puts us about six or seven years behind the whole rest of the world.

Every GM has their missteps now and again. To borrow from another in-division example, witness Ken Holland's inexplicable mancrush on Todd Bertuzzi. That doesn't necessarily make them bad, or trending downward, tho.

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03-16-2010, 01:49 PM
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something else that no one has mentioned is that those two are known locker room commodities. They were born and bread in the NHL as Predators, that is something that Poile is going to reward. Could he have found someone with the same or slightly better skill set for the same type of money? Most likely. Could he have found a "Predator" out there that he knew he could lock up for 6(?) years at a reasonable price tag? That one can't be answered and it becomes more of a "one in the hand, two in the bush" type of thing.
Very true. That said, in some ways that is a luxury- especially so when you have to run on a budget. It's less a luxury when the players in question are franchise players, but neither Legwand or Erat qualify as such (Legwand closer due to his distinguishing defensive abilities from Erat). Additionally, it would be quite odd to have to overpay to keep your own players- market rate yes, but not overpay.

Again, I'm not disparaging the re-signing of either (and my history will attest to my support of Legwand). I'm only pointing out what I believe were mistakes in the entire situation/details of their signing based upon hindsight.

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03-16-2010, 02:10 PM
  #75
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Pshaw. I wish we could have had the level of success that y'all have had with Poile. I think there's a good chance Howson could pull it off (if his long-term bets on the likes of Brassard, Vermette, Klesla, and eventually Voracek and Mason pay off), but that puts us about six or seven years behind the whole rest of the world.

Every GM has their missteps now and again. To borrow from another in-division example, witness Ken Holland's inexplicable mancrush on Todd Bertuzzi. That doesn't necessarily make them bad, or trending downward, tho.
I agree with this too- very much. Poile has done a great job to this point with only two or three errors.

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