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Is JFJ the right man for the job?

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07-14-2005, 03:34 PM
  #26
The Original Steve
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Like many others I think it is too early to judge JFJ. There are both pluses and minuses to his work thus far. He has done a good job hiring better hockey people (Paul Maurice, Craig Button) as well as several scouts. The Leafs have been sadly lacking in all scouting and player development aspects. It looks as though JFJ is being proactive. OTOH, he has seemingly continued a trend of Leaf GMs to overpay re-signing FAs. In this new era you cannot afford to pay a player more than their level of play. Bryan McCabe was badly overpaid because the Leafs fear arbitration. Belfour had a wonky back, guaranteeing him 2 years was a mistake. They need to take a harder stance on player contracts even if they are key parts of the team. In this new era, wasting money on overvaluing players costs you flexibility to sign other players. I am going to be watching JFJ closely over the next while to see if he can be better in this regard.

Also, from what I hear the Leafs are just going to band-aid this thing together with the same old team. To me, this is a chance to show creativity, shed some dead weight and get younger and be ready to be proactive when UFA liberalizes to compensate for their inability to development their own players over the years. As usual, there is no foresight in the Leaf organization.

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07-14-2005, 03:49 PM
  #27
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Another vote for too early to tell for JFJ.

I think the signing of Niewy and resigning of Belfour were great decisions. Button good, Maurice, great. Move off the Rock - great. I don't even regret the Leech trade; it was worth the shot. I am a big Pat Quinn fan so i like that resigning too. Never liked the Jackman trade, but hardly significant. He also signed several good kids out of the NCAA and Juniors that have promise, so it's all good.

Given JFJ's A-type personality, attention to detail, legal background, and good references leading him to be a rookie GM I have a lot of hope for his success.

I think there are those that are predicting the Leafs demise under the new CBA -- I don't think it is called for. From the existing roster and some 400 UFAs out there, the Leafs will have enough room to ice a good team this year once Nolan, (and my preference) McCabe is bought out. And for the coming years - while it is true that the Leafs farm is depleted, the falling age of UFAs is enough to recover.

I think there will be plenty to look forward to.

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Old
07-14-2005, 03:50 PM
  #28
The Original Steve
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankie
i have no faith in jfj whatsoever. most of his moves so far have been awful.

his grand plan of focussing on drafting and player development seems to have been flushed down the toilet. in this new cba, amateur scouting and player development will be less important then ever before.

makes you wonder if he has any clue what's going on.
I'm going to have to disagree with you and Burke big-time Frankie. If you look at other Cap Leagues (NFL and NBA) the draft becomes MORE important. Why? Cheap labour. Why do the Patroits win Super Bowls? Because their drafting and signing of undrafted free agents allows them to replace older players with big contracts cheaply and without a significant dropoff in production. In a Cap world you need guys that can produce for minimum or rookie salaries. Look at Philly, with their couple of buyouts and their stable of new young blood (Pitkanen, Carter, Richards, Sharp, Seidenberg etc) they will actually be able to buy a big-time UFA if they choose. The Leafs don't have an players that are cheap that can make a significant impact.

Will the liberalizing of free agency help teams that don't draft well? Certainly, but if you have to buy a free agent for $2-$2.5 million as opposed to having a homegrown youngster for $850k, you are costing yourself flexibility.

Trust me, I am a huge NFL fan of the Dallas Cowboys a team that hasn't drafted well in 10 years.In a Cap league it paralizes you. The Cowboys have tried to spend to fill holes but it causes bigger problems. Drafting is imperative in any Cap world. Burke is making a huge miscalculation if he thinks otherwise. I think his point was that once a player is fully developed (which can take 7 years), that player can be plucked away. That is true, but having that player cheaply in the initial years is vital.

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Old
07-14-2005, 03:51 PM
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankie


what burke says makes perfect sense. you don't see that?
Quote:

ah, "indentified". another one of those trendy hockey words. didn't take a genius to "identify" the leafs problems in those areas.

lets hope jfj now focusses entirely on the pro scouting. let the amateur crowd do their thing, but their jobs just became far less important.
Nope. My contention is that amateur scouting is not going to be "pointless" (your words - something you no doubt exaggerated in your once again pathetic attempt to bash ferguson)...anytime you can get an asset out of a draft pick, you're better off. It's not a difficult concept to grasp, nor does it take a genius to figure out. With extra money floating around, the Leafs can afford to put money into both amateur and pro scouting and development (as they have done and will no doubt continue to do), obtain assets and use them to remain competitive. What John Ferguson said makes sense - its all about assets. (And a little lesson for the uninformed, you get assets by drafting well ) Anyone without an agenda to pursue can see that.

Like I said, citing Brian Burke of all GM's on anything regarding amateur scouting is a joke...look at his past. He gave away draft picks left, right and center...he didn't care then, he doesn't now. Why take him seriously in that regard? He left the Canucks prospect pool in shambles, and somehow we're to believe that's not going to mean anything in the new nhl Amateur scouting pointless? Lou Lamoriello is laughing his ass off. Was Burke right on the pro-scouting part? Yep, most likely. But show me where JFJ said he doesn't care about pro scouting....

Ferguson's "master plan" seems to be to improve scouting on both fronts, pro and amateur, so no, it didn't nor will it take a big hit...one has to wonder where someone is coming from if they question JFJ on actually putting resources into amateur drafting and development.

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07-14-2005, 03:52 PM
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Original Steve
. . . Belfour had a wonky back, guaranteeing him 2 years was a mistake.
I don't seriously disagree with your main points, but one of the biggest myths is that Belfour's back has been a problem for the Leafs. That back gets more attention than the paper bag that Roger Neilson never wore on his head.

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Old
07-14-2005, 04:06 PM
  #31
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too early to tell about JF
i like him and he's young
but he has more difficult tasks ahead

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Old
07-14-2005, 04:14 PM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by think/blue
Nope. My contention is that amateur scouting is not going to be "pointless" (your words - something you no doubt exaggerated in your once again pathetic attempt to bash ferguson)...anytime you can get an asset out of a draft pick, you're better off. It's not a difficult concept to grasp, nor does it take a genius to figure out. With extra money floating around, the Leafs can afford to put money into both amateur and pro scouting and development (as they have done and will no doubt continue to do), obtain assets and use them to remain competitive. What John Ferguson said makes sense - its all about assets. (And a little lesson for the uninformed, you get assets by drafting well ) Anyone without an agenda to pursue can see that.
ok. better to have as many assets as possible. there's no denying that. that was the case pre-2005cba, and will be post-2005cba.

maybe burke articulated the point better then i did. surely its logical to think the amateur scouting and drafting will not mean nearly as much now. especially for a team like the leafs! all i can hear on this board is how every free agent will be dying to join the leafs. at age 25-27! that's music to the leafs ears!

Quote:
Like I said, citing Brian Burke of all GM's on anything regarding amateur scouting is a joke...look at his past. He gave away draft picks left, right and center...he didn't care then, he doesn't now. Why take him seriously in that regard? He left the Canucks prospect pool in shambles, and somehow we're to believe that's not going to mean anything in the new nhl Amateur scouting pointless? Lou Lamoriello is laughing his ass off. Was Burke right on the pro-scouting part? Yep, most likely. But show me where JFJ said he doesn't care about pro scouting....
its a huge stretch to suggest burke's comments have something to do with his past draft record (which i'm no expert on, but i doubt its nearly as bad as you're saying).

maybe he did leave the canucks prospect pool in shambles. but i saw a leafs farm team vs. habs farm team comparison in another thread, so i'll make one here. what happened the last time the leafs farm team played the canucks farm team?

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Old
07-14-2005, 04:33 PM
  #33
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Thanks for those that responded... especially The Messenger who replied to all of my questions.

It seems that everyone is taking a wait-and-see approach. I'm a little surprised that some seem more apprehensive about Quinn's abilities than JFJ's. I guess JFJ doesn't have too much of a track record yet, so I can appreciate that Leaf fans are willing to be patient with him.

A lot of his signings and moves have been consistent with the expectations of a big market team in the previous CBA, I'm mainly wondering whether or not he can maintain a powerhouse team with the salary limitations. Even big spenders like Philly, Colorado, Detroit and NJ had made some very shrewd deals. St. Louis had always spent around their mistakes and it cost them dearly.

JFJ has made some deals... maybe none of them are as bad as some people say, however I'd hardly call any of his moves "shrewd". They all seem to go along the lines of "McCabe had a career year and what he got was market value" or "Belfour could've gone to any team and there's nobody else out there, we had to pay him more so he wouldn't escape".

JFJ hasn't been around long, but IMO he hasn't made any deals like the Handzus+Esche for Boucher trade that give you a pretty good idea that the team will be agile enough to compensate for a payroll that will almost be halved. Handing out one or two bad deals could really handcuff a team for 3 or 4 years (especially in future years where buyouts will count against the cap). Are there any player transactions that JFJ's made to show that he can identify and acquire talent at a bargain? Many of his best moves seem to be more business related (Marlies, hiring staff, media relations, slicking back his hair).

The points about bringing on Button and Maurice are very well taken. Both of them will help tremendously in the roles they were given & its a great first step.

Incidentally, I found the original discussion that inspired this set of questions. Its interesting to read that one year later, many of the opinions are exactly the same. If anyone's interested, here's the link:

http://www.hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=89655

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Old
07-14-2005, 04:45 PM
  #34
The Original Steve
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timlap
I don't seriously disagree with your main points, but one of the biggest myths is that Belfour's back has been a problem for the Leafs. That back gets more attention than the paper bag that Roger Neilson never wore on his head.
Let me be clear, I don't have a problem with Eddie being the goalie. In fact, I find the buying out Belfour and signing Cujo rumours to be laughable. I think Eddie could have come cheaper and at a term more in the Leafs favour. He was 39 and you give him a 3 year deal? Not smart. I don't care that the 3rd year was an option. Look at Hasek in Ottawa, he is only counting $2.3 against the cap. The Leafs could use that $2 million had they been more frugal. Hasek's deal was incentive laden, but that is what you should do with older players. A mistake by JFJ.

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Old
07-14-2005, 05:28 PM
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Original Steve
Look at Hasek in Ottawa, he is only counting $2.3 against the cap. The Leafs could use that $2 million had they been more frugal. Hasek's deal was incentive laden, but that is what you should do with older players. A mistake by JFJ.
Hasek's contract is one we'll know about in a few days. But every indication so far has been that his full contract inclusive of bonuses whether earned or not will be counted towards the cap. The only bonuses we're hearing not being pro-rated so far are games played bonuses by those with a history of injuries.

Again, we'll know for sure soon.

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Old
07-14-2005, 05:36 PM
  #36
timlap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Original Steve
. . . I think Eddie could have come cheaper and at a term more in the Leafs favour. He was 39 and you give him a 3 year deal? Not smart. I don't care that the 3rd year was an option.
You feel he should have been signed for cheaper and shorter. Fair enough. I was only questioning you for blaming his wonky back, which I maintain has not actually been a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Original Steve
Look at Hasek in Ottawa, he is only counting $2.3 against the cap. The Leafs could use that $2 million had they been more frugal. Hasek's deal was incentive laden, but that is what you should do with older players. A mistake by JFJ.
Dar addresses this nicely above.

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