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Old
12-04-2010, 11:03 PM
  #51
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Originally Posted by Thisisacodee View Post
The more I think about it, the more I believe this team is tanking. Not the players, they try to win every night, but Wang, Snow and company put together a team that throughout the course of an 82 game season will lose. This is because the '10-11 New York Islanders have absolutely no chance of winning the Stanley Cup. We could have signed Kovalchuk, Martin, Volchenkov, Nabakov any possible combination of free agents and we still wouldn't win the Stanley Cup.

So the season started, players got injured, and as expected, we're at the bottom of the standings. This is disheartening for the fans, Wang's gonna lose a ton of money this season, we all know this. But he would be an absolute fool to sell this franchise right now.

Simply put, it's all about the draft and exploiting a system that rewards failure. Last year we did better than expected but still finished 5th worst. While I like Nino and hope great things, I still think what the team would be like if Taylor Hall was wearing #4 instead of Mark Eaton. In today's internet age, these kids like Sean Couturier and Adam Larsson are picked apart by professional hockey writers and amateur hockey fans. Strengths, weaknesses, leadership, everything is poured over with a fine tooth comb.

Yes, some top picks have failed - but not recently. Since Stefan in 1999 (back when the internet was mostly geocities sites and you couldn't make phone calls when using it), every single first overall picks that is a forward has turned into a superstar. Kovalchuk, Nash, Ovechkin, Crosby, Kane, Stamkos, Tavares, and Hall. NHL scouting has gotten to the point where potential Angelo Espositos and Kabanovs are spotted early and fall accordingly. Forwards who go first overall become the faces of their franchises, compete for the Hart trophy. Crosby, Ovechkin, and Stamkos lead the NHL in points right now. The system can be exploited by losing, by being the worst.

Sean Couturier does more for this franchise than Gabriel Landeskog. Adam Larsson does more for the future of the Islanders than Ryan Murphy. Every year, the further and further you get down the draft ranks, the less quality NHL players you see. A player taken 1st overall will historically have a better chance to succeed than one taken 10th, who has a better chance than the player taken 20th, and so on.

So we lose, and we hoard. We greedily take all the young superstars for ourselves while leaving the Minnesota Wilds and Carolina Hurricanes to take their chances on a guy like Brandon Saad. Will Saad develop into a great hockey player? Probably. But not as good as Couturier.

Winning will solve everything, but we can't win unless we have superstars. Unrestricted free agents won't sign here, so the only way to get bonafide NHL superstars on this team is to finish as bad as possible. Be patient for now, our kids will come through eventually. This year? I'm hoping for the worst finish possible.
Great post....this is exactly what is happening and rightfully so....most fans won't, can't see this....the only problem with this strategy is that it takes along time to come to fruition...i 'm sure wang is hoping for the LHP to be approved and constructed just when these kids start to be mature..its also the most cost effective way, especially when your net operating losses over the pass 10 year exceed 25 mil...look on the bright side at least Garth is not pulling a Mike Madbury and trading these picks for 3rd liners

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12-04-2010, 11:21 PM
  #52
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when wang gets his LHP , if Ever, and his see money at the end of the perverbial tunnel he'll start spending.....he just cutting his losses right now especially with the uncertainty on the LHP....question for all u *****in......wouldn't you do the same if you were the one actually losing the money? as much as it pains me to say it ..you really can't blame the guy..or can you?....there is nothing is more frustrating than the town of Hempstead (kate fat ass murray) not approving the project especially when there's no reason to other than for polictal gain..wang and company were gonna pay for the entire project themselves,,,huuuuhh..no freakin tax payer money..look at Edmonton....they are threating to leave Edmonton to go to Quebec if the EDmonton gov't doesn't help fund a new arena...meanwhile we have a guy that is willing to pay for it himself...I HATE POLITICIANS WITH A PASSION

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12-05-2010, 06:11 AM
  #53
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Originally Posted by Sidney the Kidney View Post
You also need quality veterans who can help the youngsters develop along the way. Picking first overall every year and using that as your blue print for success without adding veteran pieces along the way doesn't work in the real NHL. There's a very good chance that simply picking first overall without adding any quality vets could ruin a bunch of those players, and they end up not reaching their potential.

Name one single successful team that has simply drafted first overall for multiple years in a row AND not added a single quality veteran. I'll help you out. There is none.
Great post.. Right on..

There is just NO WAY an NHL can do a re-build without having any proven,successful NHL players leading the way in important roles on the team. Relying on a bunch of teenagers or players who cannot even drink at the legal age is suicide... These young player such as Tavares, Bailey and Okposo will just stall in their development, lose confidence and not reach their potential. It is said and quite obvious to see what is happening. These kids have NO CHANCE...


I cannot think of (1) team that was re-built this way that the Isles are doing in the last 20 years or so..

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12-05-2010, 06:20 AM
  #54
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You guys can have Sean Couturier, but we (Devils) need Adam Larsson.

Keep your head up Isles fans. I know you're going through so much **** right now, but it won't last forever. You have too much potential to keep this going.

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12-05-2010, 06:45 AM
  #55
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in a rebuild you dont hope for mediocrity or last place

you hope for steady progress from season to season and hope to eventually rise above mediocrity as a franchise

2 steps forward , 3 steps back seems like where we're at for now .

hopefully the team rounds into form and news on an arena jive at the same time so we can start getting some positive vibes around here

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12-05-2010, 06:53 AM
  #56
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there isn't any difference between the roster since the 4-1-2 start to now except injuries. everyone seemed to think the islanders would be a good team in the future in october but because of a an extremely bad patch of games that's changed entirely?

be patient with the rebuild.

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12-05-2010, 05:58 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by Isles72 View Post
in a rebuild you dont hope for mediocrity or last place

you hope for steady progress from season to season and hope to eventually rise above mediocrity as a franchise

2 steps forward , 3 steps back seems like where we're at for now .

hopefully the team rounds into form and news on an arena jive at the same time so we can start getting some positive vibes around here
Eventually is the key word here. The rebuild started in the 07-08 season. Not a moment sooner, because we didn't have a pick in the 07 draft and Smyth didn't want to play here. In the 07-08 season, who lead the team in points?

Comrie, Guerin, Satan, Hunter, Vasichek, Fedotenko, Park, Sillinger, Bergenheim, Berard, Bergeron, Campoli, and Hilbert. In that order. One of those players still remains with the Islanders, and fans today are calling for him to be traded as well. 3 seasons ago and 12 of our 13 top scorers play elsewhere. There was absolutely no infrastructure.

So the rebuild started, without a core to build from. The 08-09 season, Streit the wonderdefenseman and Okposo lead the team in points. 09-10 Johnny T lead the team in points.

There never was a core to begin with. Spezza, Luongo, Chara, Jokinen, these were the players that are currently in their prime. Bergenheim, Nilsson, Nokelainen and O'Marra were supposed to be on Yashin's wing and develop into top-flight players. Take away it all and what are you left with? What we have right now.

Don't buy a can of dog food and then get angry it doesn't taste like steak, you bought dog food. Don't expect the Islanders to make the playoffs when they're at the cap floor. The Islanders are not built to win right now, but this is only year 4 of the rebuild. Once Hamonic and DeHaan skate in our top 4, once both Kirils and Nino have permanent spots on the Islanders, then and only then can we determine if the rebuild was a success. NHL players take time to develop. Once our prospects do show up, however, I sure hope Couturier is there to knock in some pucks.

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12-05-2010, 06:41 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by Thisisacodee View Post
Eventually is the key word here. The rebuild started in the 07-08 season. Not a moment sooner, because we didn't have a pick in the 07 draft and Smyth didn't want to play here. In the 07-08 season, who lead the team in points?

Comrie, Guerin, Satan, Hunter, Vasichek, Fedotenko, Park, Sillinger, Bergenheim, Berard, Bergeron, Campoli, and Hilbert. In that order. One of those players still remains with the Islanders, and fans today are calling for him to be traded as well. 3 seasons ago and 12 of our 13 top scorers play elsewhere. There was absolutely no infrastructure.

So the rebuild started, without a core to build from. The 08-09 season, Streit the wonderdefenseman and Okposo lead the team in points. 09-10 Johnny T lead the team in points.

There never was a core to begin with. Spezza, Luongo, Chara, Jokinen, these were the players that are currently in their prime. Bergenheim, Nilsson, Nokelainen and O'Marra were supposed to be on Yashin's wing and develop into top-flight players. Take away it all and what are you left with? What we have right now.

Don't buy a can of dog food and then get angry it doesn't taste like steak, you bought dog food. Don't expect the Islanders to make the playoffs when they're at the cap floor. The Islanders are not built to win right now, but this is only year 4 of the rebuild. Once Hamonic and DeHaan skate in our top 4, once both Kirils and Nino have permanent spots on the Islanders, then and only then can we determine if the rebuild was a success. NHL players take time to develop. Once our prospects do show up, however, I sure hope Couturier is there to knock in some pucks.
I commend you on your optimism, but you need to face reality. Tavares, Okposo and Bailey will be out the door for a real NHL team as soon as feasibly possible. I would do it. You would do it. And they will do it.

You don't work your whole life to make it to the NHL and then reward yourself by signing a long-term deal with a perennial loser team with an AHL mentality and purse to match. These guys want to play in the NHL, remember? That's something the Islanders represent by name only. In reality, the Islanders are worse, in every facet than the majority of AHL teams.

As soon as those mentioned above leave, and it will happen, THAT is when there should be absolutely no doubt that this 'rebuild' is/was a farce, which is exactly what it is.

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12-05-2010, 07:10 PM
  #59
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Again, the "Okposo, Tavares, and Bailey will leave soon" comments are getting ridiculous, if I'm being too optimistic everyone who believes that is too pessimistic. The wonderful thing about restricted free agency is that they don't have a choice until they turn 27 years old. For Okposo, the oldest of the bunch, that decision won't come until 5 years from now. Bailey and Tavares are younger.

That's why it's so important at this stage of the rebuild to get young superstars like Couturier through the draft. In a time where no top player would willingly sign with the Islanders, we need the draft to get quality forwards. Once we have enough talent, we'll start winning again.

But this is only year four. It's absolutely terrible to watch Islanders hockey now. But it will get better than this.

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12-05-2010, 07:19 PM
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thisisacodee View Post
Again, the "Okposo, Tavares, and Bailey will leave soon" comments are getting ridiculous, if I'm being too optimistic everyone who believes that is too pessimistic. The wonderful thing about restricted free agency is that they don't have a choice until they turn 27 years old. For Okposo, the oldest of the bunch, that decision won't come until 5 years from now. Bailey and Tavares are younger.

That's why it's so important at this stage of the rebuild to get young superstars like Couturier through the draft. In a time where no top player would willingly sign with the Islanders, we need the draft to get quality forwards. Once we have enough talent, we'll start winning again.

But this is only year four. It's absolutely terrible to watch Islanders hockey now. But it will get better than this.
Wasn't that the same moniker two years ago as well?

You can be as optimistic as you want, but the rest of us are looking at the facts here. Nothing is being done to improve this team. And there has been nothing to show that will change now or in the near future with the current ownership.

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12-05-2010, 07:21 PM
  #61
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For comparison's sake, from 2002-06 the Penguins picked 5th (Whitney), 1st (Fleury), 2nd (Malkin), 1st (Crosby), and 2nd (Staal). The year after, with a firm core of Malkin and Crosby, they finished 20th. Two years later they won the cup. Five year rebuild.

From 2004-08, the Blackhawks picked 3rd (Barker), 7th (Skille), 3rd (Toews), 1st (Kane), and 11th (Beach). Two years later they won the cup. Five year rebuild.

From 2005-09, the Kings picked 11th (Kopitar), 11th (Bernier), 4th (Hickey), 2nd (Doughty), and 5th (Schenn). Five year rebuild.

We're in year four right now. 9th (Bailey), 1st (Tavares), 5th (Nino). I suppose you could include Okposo but considering we blew up our prospect cabinet to land Smyth back in 2007, I wouldn't count it. I say the rebuild started when we drafted Bailey. Now, we just need to be patient and see, from other teams examples, that a rebuild takes time and the team won't suddenly be good tomorrow.

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12-05-2010, 07:50 PM
  #62
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Originally Posted by Thisisacodee View Post
For comparison's sake, from 2002-06 the Penguins picked 5th (Whitney), 1st (Fleury), 2nd (Malkin), 1st (Crosby), and 2nd (Staal). The year after, with a firm core of Malkin and Crosby, they finished 20th. Two years later they won the cup. Five year rebuild.
Some points to consider:
1-From the moment they picked Crosby, they had one season when they were bad. That was his rookie year. That year they had a 20-year old Fleury as their starting goalie, a 22-year old Ryan Whitney on defense, and were lead by an 18-year old center. That was the last season that the Pens were bad.

2-I'm not sure where you got the idea that with Crosby and Malkin on their team, they finished 20th. He was drafted in 2004, but because of the strike/lockout as well as a contract with his Russian team, Malkin didn't actually join the team until 2006-07. And during Malkin's (and Staal) rookie season the team finish with 105 points, including 47 wins, and they made the playoffs as the 5th seed (tying 4th seed Ottawa in points, but losing out home ice advantage due to the wins tie-breaker). But as soon as the Pens had access to both Sid and Malkin, they have yet to have a bad season.

And most importantly:

3-The Pens got the first overall pick two times. Not five, like you're advocating with your assertion that it's better to get the first overall than a 5th or 7th or whatever. So already the Pens aren't a good example for you to use, since your entire OP was predicated on the notion that it's better to finish dead last consecutively than to be mediocre from year to year.

Not to mention the fact that over that time, the Pens didn't just rebuild exclusively through the draft. Signing Gonchar to a (then) expensive deal, adding veterans like Recchi, LeClair, Sykora, Satan, Fedotenko, Gill, Guerin, Kunitz, and Hossa were just as crucial to getting them over the hump as drafting high.

This is Year 4 of the Islanders rebuild. Are you honestly suggesting they're ready to contend by next year? A team that currently sits at dead last in the entire NHL, is one season away from being a Stanley Cup contender? Even if you add Coutourier/Larsson to this team, they're not even close to contending by Year 5 (which would be next season).


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12-05-2010, 08:04 PM
  #63
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1 + 2. In the 2005-2006 NHL season, the Penguins finished with 58 points, second worst behind the blues. In the 2006-2007 season, they finished with 105 points, 5th in the conference. Crosby won the Hart, Malkin won the Calder.

3. With first and second overall picks, they got Fleury, Crosby, Malkin, and Staal. The further down you go, the more likely you are to take a Jack Skille or Kyle Beach than a Patrick Kane.

The veteran thing is overblown because, and I feel like I keep repeating myself, there were no worthwhile UFAs to sign this offseason. We had Satan, Fedotenko, and Guerin and the fans couldn't wait for them to be gone.

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12-05-2010, 10:13 PM
  #64
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Originally Posted by Thisisacodee View Post
1 + 2. In the 2005-2006 NHL season, the Penguins finished with 58 points, second worst behind the blues. In the 2006-2007 season, they finished with 105 points, 5th in the conference. Crosby won the Hart, Malkin won the Calder.
And ...? You repeated a recap of basically what I already posted. You didn't refute anything I said in regards to points 1 and 2.

Quote:
3. With first and second overall picks, they got Fleury, Crosby, Malkin, and Staal. The further down you go, the more likely you are to take a Jack Skille or Kyle Beach than a Patrick Kane.
So now it's first AND second overall? The very title of this thread is "Last is better than mediocrity". Finishing second last isn't finishing last.

Quote:
The veteran thing is overblown because, and I feel like I keep repeating myself, there were no worthwhile UFAs to sign this offseason. We had Satan, Fedotenko, and Guerin and the fans couldn't wait for them to be gone.
You're repeating yourself because you keep talking about 2010's free agent crop only, instead of taking into account what quality free agents can add, in general.

As for those individual players, put them into context. Of course if the rest of the club sucks, adding Bill Guerin isn't going to instantly turn you into a Stanley Cup contender. However, he's one of many veterans who helped the Pens get over the hump, providing their core of youngsters with that veteran leadership.

---

But regardless of all that, you didn't answer my question. Do you believe that the Isles core of youngsters + 2011's flavor of the year first overall pick will be enough to be a contender by next season without a single quality veteran addition? The Isles current crop of youngsters plus Larsson or Coutourier, do you expect them to mirror the Pens' season when Malkin and Staal were rookies, and the Pens finished with 105 points? Because 2010-11 is when the Isles are in the same year of their rebuild as that Pens team that finished with 105 points.


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12-05-2010, 10:37 PM
  #65
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Dude, relax. Stuff like "second to last place isn't last place which is the title of the thread" is immature. I don't want this thread to turn into a flame war because the mods will close it.

Your major point seems to be that the Islanders haven't added veterans. Last I checked, Roloson, Weight, Martinek, Sim, Eaton, Streit, Mottau, Gilles, and Hunter are all over the age of 30 and I would classify them all as "veterans". Are they "quality veterans"? Probably not, but they're the type of free agents the New York Islanders sign. With this core, the Islanders could have signed any forward not named Kovalchuk and it wouldn't change our fortunes.

We don't need quality veterans, we need talented players regardless of age. Doesn't matter if they're 18 or 38, the major problem is that we don't have players who can put the puck in the back of the net. The most effective way for the Islanders to add another player to the core who can dominate at the professional level is to finish as low as possible this year.

The real Sidney the Kidney has as many goals this season as our top three scorers combined. Every single team in the NHL covets guys who can score on a consistent basis. To turn around our troubles, to ice a top-6 that can score at any given moment, we need superstars. 30th place this year gets us an 18-year-old superstar who is required by NHL rules to be an Islander for 9 years. You put enough talent in our top-6, we score again.

But claiming this team will never be good when PA Parenteau and Jon Sim are in our top 6? They won't be there forever, and it's best for the future of this team to put the best possible player in that spot.

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12-05-2010, 10:45 PM
  #66
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I'm not trying to "flame". I'm trying to debate your points with you, because I disagree with them.

My comment about the distinction between 1st and 2nd overall is a valid one, because that's going away from my argument with you. My main discussion was that believing it's better to finish last is better for the Isles rebuild than actually trying to add quality vets and simply drafter wherever you end up. So when you start including players that were drafted 2nd overall, that's no longer talking about the merits of finishing dead last.

And again, that's why I've mentioned quality veterans. Adding guys like 100 year old Doug Weight, AHLers Jon Sim and PA Parenteau, and solid, but not exactly impact, bottom pairing guys like Eaton, Mottau, and Jurcina isn't exactly my idea of adding quality veterans.

And that's been my entire point this entire time -- that a proper rebuild involves drafting well AND adding quality veterans along the way. The Pens built their core (Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Fleury), while adding some quality veterans along the way (Gonchar, Recchi, LeClair, Sykora, Guerin, Gill, Hossa, Kunitz). That's how they ended up winning. They didn't win just because of their young core.


Last edited by Sidney the Kidney: 12-05-2010 at 10:56 PM. Reason: got rid of excess wordage
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12-05-2010, 10:59 PM
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Two years ago there was a top 3 - Tavares, Hedman, Duchene.

Last year there was a top 2- Hall & Seguin

This year there's a top 3 - Couturier, Larsson, RNH

Finishing dead last means no matter what happens lottery-wise, we finish with one of the top 3. Second to last, we still finish with one of the top 3. Jersey, Toronto, Florida, Edmonton, Calgary, and Minnesota also look to have less than spectacular teams, and it would be a damn shame if 3 of them finish with worse records and we're looking at another "best of what's left" type of deal like when we drafted Nino. But this season, icing guys like Parenteau, Gervais, Sim, Schremp, etc etc etc, watching the way the puck spends so much time in the opposing zone, the 10-11 Islanders are not a team built to win.

Eventually, maybe next season, maybe the season after, then we'll start to see if the rebuild was a success. You need to give those quality veterans a reason to sign with the Islanders instead of the other 29 teams. With our reputation as the Clippers of the NHL, it's not really a surprise that when given the choice, quality veterans who can make a difference sign elsewhere. So, we take the veterans that we can. If the kids seize control and make this team their own, then we'll start signing quality vets. For now, its simply not happening.

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12-05-2010, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Thisisacodee View Post
For comparison's sake, from 2002-06 the Penguins picked 5th (Whitney), 1st (Fleury), 2nd (Malkin), 1st (Crosby), and 2nd (Staal). The year after, with a firm core of Malkin and Crosby, they finished 20th. Two years later they won the cup. Five year rebuild.

From 2004-08, the Blackhawks picked 3rd (Barker), 7th (Skille), 3rd (Toews), 1st (Kane), and 11th (Beach). Two years later they won the cup. Five year rebuild.

From 2005-09, the Kings picked 11th (Kopitar), 11th (Bernier), 4th (Hickey), 2nd (Doughty), and 5th (Schenn). Five year rebuild.

We're in year four right now. 9th (Bailey), 1st (Tavares), 5th (Nino). I suppose you could include Okposo but considering we blew up our prospect cabinet to land Smyth back in 2007, I wouldn't count it. I say the rebuild started when we drafted Bailey. Now, we just need to be patient and see, from other teams examples, that a rebuild takes time and the team won't suddenly be good tomorrow.
those teams had draft picks, added talent and added QUALITY to grrom the prospects....and oh...

they didn't hire coaches off of Craigslist, did they?

We're treading water, diminishing our youth's potential to not only stay here but meet expectations and creating, no, ENTRENCHING a culture of losing.

And the owner is $12M below the cap.

Sorry, we're not mimicking Pitt or Chicago or LA in the least.

Atlanta had some high picks, right? Florida? How'd that go?

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12-05-2010, 11:14 PM
  #69
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Atlanta and Florida always had mediocre picks. We'll take a closer look though to try and learn from their mistakes. Hell, I'll even throw Columbus in there.

Atlanta grabbed four top-2 picks from 99-02. Keep in mind the internet isn't the machine it is now, so Stefan and Lehtonen busted. Kovalchuk and Heatley didn't, but Heatly drove too fast in his sports car and left Kovalchuk to do it alone. From 03-07 it was all the dreaded mediocrity I'm hoping the Islanders can avoid: 8th (Coburn, later traded to the Flyers for Zhitnik), 10th (Valabik), 16th (Bourret), and 12th (Little). Since then, they've gotten Bogosian (3rd), Kane (4th) and Burmistrov (8th).

Florida hasn't had a first overall pick since 1994. They've had three 3rd overall picks (02 - Bouwmeester, 03 - Horton, 10 - Gudbranson) but the rest have all been in the dreaded "mediocre" range. Without a solid core, you simply can't build your team when you're picking the 10th best prospect.

Same deal with Columbus, who have picked in the top 10 nine times. In that time, they've only had one top-3 pick: Rick Nash. A perfect example in my eyes that you can't build the core of your team through 6th and 7th overall players.

Atlanta, Florida, and Columbus built their teams with mediocre draft picks. Pittsburgh, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington built their teams with the top forwards available when they drafted. This is why, in a season where the Islanders will not be succeeding, the best thing for this team is another superstar.

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12-05-2010, 11:51 PM
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Isles75
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I will happily eat crow, if this cluster **** of a rebuild pans out. But we have to be honest with ourselves and stop using examples of Pittsburgh and Chicago as why we need to stay the course.

ANY TEAM serous about rebuilding through the draft would not have one of the smallest scouting departments in the league. Any team serious about rebuilding through the draft would actually have a amateur scouting director. Any team serious about rebuilding through the draft would not be gutting its already limited infrastructure, making player development even harder. Any owner serious about winning would see the value in seeking advice from other owners. What advice? Like who would be a great candidate to hire to turn your failing hockey program around. Christ, this teams roots to men like Bill Torrey and Jim Devellano make such advice easy to ask for. I'm sure Torrey or Devellano would not mind helping.

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12-06-2010, 12:03 AM
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Sidney the Kidney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thisisacodee View Post
Pittsburgh, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington built their teams with the top forwards available when they drafted.
The problem with this line of thinking is:
1-The Pens got extremely lucky that when they were drafting, two arguably generational talents were available (Crosby and Malkin). That doesn't happen every year. You could draft first overall three years in a row and not end up with a player the caliber of Crosby or Malkin. Hoping to emulate the Pens is a bad model to follow since it relies heavily on the luck that two generational talents will be available at the time you get those high picks.

2-Washington drafted Ovechkin first overall. They haven't drafted top three since then. The rest of their "core" is comprised of Backstrom (4th overall), Semin (13th overall), and Green (29th overall). They also drafted guys like Carlson, Vharlamov, Neuvirth, Schultz, etc. either later first round or early second round. So other than Ovechkin, they didn't need to finish at the bottom to build their core.

3-Chicago's high picks who contributed to their Stanley Cup win were Kane (1st overall) and Toews (3rd overall). Other than that, the key guys in their run to the Cup included Seabrook (14th overall), Keith (54th overall), Hossa (free agent signing), and Sharp (trade with Flyers). Those latter guys could have been picked by any team that finished in the "mediocre" level at season's end.

My point is, Pittsburgh's the only team above that lives or dies because of their top-2 selections. And they're a very bad team to try and emulate because of the luck involved with just happening to get high draft picks when two generational stars were available. The other teams have built their core through good drafting later than the top 2 selections, and through key acquisitions and free agent signings.

If you're trying to emulate the Pens' model, you're banking on Tavares being as good as Crosby, and whoever you take first overall in 2011 being as good as Malkin. Otherwise, you can't even compare them to the Pens. And the other two teams have shown that the majority of their core was actually built through picks that didn't include the "best forward available" that year.

Edit: Additional thoughts.

I'd also like to point out comparisons between the teams who made the most of their high picks (Pittsburgh, Washington), and the teams that didn't (Atlanta, Columbus).

What separates Atlanta from Pittsburgh? The Pens were able to draft Crosby when they got a chance at 1st overall, whereas the Thrashers got Kovalchuk. The Pens were able to draft Malkin when they got a chance to draft 2nd overall, the Thrashers got Heatley. In other words, Atlanta had just as much opportunity to be good as Pittsburgh, except Pittsburgh happened to get two generational players where Atlanta got two one-dimensional scorers who brought little else. So anyone thinking that modeling their franchise after how the Pens did things is a guarantee for success, look at Atlanta as proof that's not necessarily the case. Atlanta got just as many high draft picks as the Pens, but the Pens' high draft picks were actually guys who could carry a franchise, Atlanta's were guys who could put up shiny fantasy numbers but lead their team nowhere.

Now let's compare Columbus and Washington. Both have had one 1st overall pick in the past decade. The difference between the two clubs? The Jackets drafted Nash, the Caps drafted Ovechkin. Again, luck of the draw that when the Caps were drafting, there just so happened to be a generational player available, but when the Jackets got 1st overall, the top player was a good, but not elite, scorer available. After that, both teams drafted around the same place in the draft. Difference is, whereas Washington selected guys like Backstrom, Semin, and Green, Carlson, and Vharlamov with those picks, the Jackets got Filatov, Picard, Brule, Brassard with theirs.

As you can see in the comparisons above, it isn't that Atlanta or Columbus got worse picks to build their club than Washington or Pittsburgh, it's that those teams a]didn't have the benefit of drafting generational talent when they got their high picks, and b]didn't do a good job of drafting with the rest of their picks or adding quality veterans to surround whatever young talent they assembled.

Bottom line, it doesn't matter where you draft, if you draft badly, you're not going to have success.


Last edited by Sidney the Kidney: 12-06-2010 at 11:10 AM.
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