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Paul Holmgren earns 3-year contract extension

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01-20-2011, 12:48 PM
  #126
GoneFullHextall
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Originally Posted by Jester View Post
In other cases, strengths and weaknesses are tested differently and this exposes problems. Take Sather, for example. He's been an unmitigated disaster since he got to the Rangers and had a large wallet to work with. However, he was hired from Edmonton because he did a very good job with very little there. Is Sather a good GM, or a bad GM based on his resume?
Sather is an exception. I know its a differnt era, but hes kind of like Harry Sinden. He will be there until hes ready to leave. I will say this about Sather, while hes had major issues in dealing with related salary cap issues hes made some brilliant trades.

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01-20-2011, 01:13 PM
  #127
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Originally Posted by GoneFullHolmgren View Post
Sather is an exception. I know its a differnt era, but hes kind of like Harry Sinden. He will be there until hes ready to leave. I will say this about Sather, while hes had major issues in dealing with related salary cap issues hes made some brilliant trades.
I'm not sure Sather is an exception within the observation I'm making here, though. I think the fact that he's held onto his job is an exception, but also a byproduct of how dysfunctional the Rangers are internally. What I think the career of Sather demonstrates is how certain strengths can be played up in one set of parameters while also masking weaknesses.

In Edmonton, Sather was forced to rely more on drafting, scouting, etc. to build his teams. He did a good job of that, and, therefore, despite giving away a lot on the salary front, the Oilers remained a competitive team after they had been plundered during the great expansion in player salary in the early 90s. The thought was that he could take those strengths with him to NY, and the added money in his pocket would return even better dividends. However, the opposite happened. In NY the value of whatever drafting, scouting, etc. strengths he had either evaporated, or were overwhelmed by his poor contractual choices.

In Edmonton, the emphasis was more on Sather as a "hockey man" than a true "manager." Given a strict budget, the problems a team face are almost entirely related to the field. This is precisely where the Moneyball philosophy enters. A philosophy geared towards prioritizing scouting and looking for undervalued skills that can maximize the effectiveness of dollars spent. On teams with bigger budgets, the focus swings far more in the direction of managing your budget. In both cases (both MLB and Sather with the Oilers and early on with the Rangers) we are talking about leagues lacking in caps. When you throw a cap into the mix, managing your budget (both short term and long term) is always present. Something which teams have struggled with at first in each league that has put one in place... largely because the folks in charge at the outset didn't have the tools to quickly adjust as the paradigm shifted.

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01-20-2011, 05:23 PM
  #128
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Not just NHL front offices... front offices in all four sports seem to be woefully short on intellectual capacity. Thus why some NFL organizations are so noticeably superior to others (again, not rocket science). The NBA is just an abject disaster on this front.

Just take the Atlantic division.

Rangers - Sather is a disaster.
NYI - organization is a disaster.

Devils - Lou has struggled ever since the salary cap was put in place. More than a few terrible contracts, and he's done a terrible job replacing lost talent on the blue line.

Pittsburgh - I'm a fan of the job Shero has done. He's made some savvy trades, and, of course, won a Cup. Having the top heavy roster they have is both helpful and harmful to the GM, and think he's managing it well on the whole.

Philly - Holmgren has a strong eye for talent, but has struggled with balancing team construction. He's finally gotten forwards/defense balanced out, but we are going cheap in goal. As long as you have cheap options there that can play effectively you're OK with this formula, but as we saw last year the team unraveled due to that position. He's also gutted the farm system, which is another (and important) problem. Of course, there's also the notable cap management struggles the last few years... which maybe he's beginning to figure out.
I think there's an "old boy" culture in the NHL that may be much stronger than it is in other sports which probably contributes to the fact that a lot of GMs in the league simply aren't very smart.

I think Holmgren is an outstanding judge of talent (which is a great attribute to have in a GM), but I don't think that makes him smart.

But I don't think there's an overabundance of intelligence in hockey in general. I mean, most of these guys may have a high-school education (and not even a great one) and that's that. Then, after hockey, these guys can end up in senior management positions. Some guys (Yzerman, etc.) obviously have some intellectual chops, but plenty of them don't.

Other sports have trended towards bringing in guys from outside hockey to run or help run teams, but I don't think hockey has made that leap yet. Of course, hockey is also a sport where a d-man who is below average defensively can be nominated for (and even win) the trophy for best defenseman.

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01-20-2011, 10:32 PM
  #129
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Originally Posted by Jester View Post
I'm not sure Sather is an exception within the observation I'm making here, though. I think the fact that he's held onto his job is an exception, but also a byproduct of how dysfunctional the Rangers are internally. What I think the career of Sather demonstrates is how certain strengths can be played up in one set of parameters while also masking weaknesses.

In Edmonton, Sather was forced to rely more on drafting, scouting, etc. to build his teams. He did a good job of that, and, therefore, despite giving away a lot on the salary front, the Oilers remained a competitive team after they had been plundered during the great expansion in player salary in the early 90s. The thought was that he could take those strengths with him to NY, and the added money in his pocket would return even better dividends. However, the opposite happened. In NY the value of whatever drafting, scouting, etc. strengths he had either evaporated, or were overwhelmed by his poor contractual choices.

In Edmonton, the emphasis was more on Sather as a "hockey man" than a true "manager." Given a strict budget, the problems a team face are almost entirely related to the field. This is precisely where the Moneyball philosophy enters. A philosophy geared towards prioritizing scouting and looking for undervalued skills that can maximize the effectiveness of dollars spent. On teams with bigger budgets, the focus swings far more in the direction of managing your budget. In both cases (both MLB and Sather with the Oilers and early on with the Rangers) we are talking about leagues lacking in caps. When you throw a cap into the mix, managing your budget (both short term and long term) is always present. Something which teams have struggled with at first in each league that has put one in place... largely because the folks in charge at the outset didn't have the tools to quickly adjust as the paradigm shifted.
i think sathers difficulty was in adjusting to the great big pile of cash he had to work with. i dont know that his skills as a hockey man actually deteriorated simply that transition to both a larger budget and the cap his instinct was being pulled in opposite directions. he seems to have righted the ship as well. you can teach a guy math but an eye for talent is a rare skill. as much flak as sather takes id rank him above lombardi or dudley who get overly praised for icing borderline ah teams

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Old
01-21-2011, 08:42 AM
  #130
whskybarJM
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Pretty much. He built the team into an Eastern Conference leading team and Cup contender, and people will still rip him for his faults.

makes no sense to me. Not to mention the flyers were right back after the year I have blocked from my memory...

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