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Friday Face-Offs, 3/18: Are Poile and Trotz Doing a Good Job?

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Old
03-18-2011, 02:30 PM
  #1
David Singleton
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Friday Face-Offs, 3/18: Are Poile and Trotz Doing a Good Job?

This one's been building for awhile with me.

Are David Poile and Barry Trotz Doing a Good Job?

I was dying to address Mike Murphy's comments from the GM meetings, but that will have to wait. This one was long enough.

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03-18-2011, 02:40 PM
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Good article. You described exactly how I've been feeling for so long. Due to financial reasons and poor customer service and also for the sake of seeing the same thing over and over with really no results, I won't be renewing my tickets next year. I'll be catching the games on NHL Ice and on the Fox Sports South. Thanks David for taking the time out of your busy schedule to write well thought out articles.

Go Preds!

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03-18-2011, 02:55 PM
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David Singleton
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Originally Posted by Predsfan80 View Post
Good article. You described exactly how I've been feeling for so long. Due to financial reasons and poor customer service and also for the sake of seeing the same thing over and over with really no results, I won't be renewing my tickets next year. I'll be catching the games on NHL Ice and on the Fox Sports South. Thanks David for taking the time out of your busy schedule to write well thought out articles.

Go Preds!
I appreciate the kind words.

Understand, however, that I'm not calling for Poile or Trotz to be fired. I just think that "the Predator way" has to evolve there is truly going to be success beyond what's already been achieved.

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03-18-2011, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by David Singleton View Post
I appreciate the kind words.

Understand, however, that I'm not calling for Poile or Trotz to be fired. I just think that "the Predator way" has to evolve there is truly going to be success beyond what's already been achieved.
I understand that man. I wasn't trying to hijack your thread and have a flame war because of me not renewing. The reasons that you mentioned in your thread were partly some of the reasons why I'm not gonna renew. I've had people at the game call me a fair weather fan, but I'm not one of those. Heck, I have a Predators License tag on my car I just think that sometimes higher priorities come first in our lives.

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03-18-2011, 03:05 PM
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David Singleton
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Originally Posted by Predsfan80 View Post
I understand that man. I wasn't trying to hijack your thread and have a flame war because of me not renewing. The reasons that you mentioned in your thread were partly some of the reasons why I'm not gonna renew. I've had people at the game call me a fair weather fan, but I'm not one of those. Heck, I have a Predators License tag on my car I just think that sometimes higher priorities come first in our lives.
No worries about a threadjack from me. That's a legitimate path for this discussion. The Predators have to understand (and they do) that they compete for everyone's limited entertainment dollar. If they stagnate, falter, or lose homegrown stars, they will lose some of those dollars that may or may not be offset with other dollars.

I just wanted to be clear that I wasn't necessarily advocating dismissing either Poile or Trotz for this evolution.

I was re-stressing "evolution" over "revolution" in case it wasn't clear in the article.


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03-18-2011, 03:18 PM
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Interesting read.

However, it seems to me one of your arguments is that Legwand is paid top 6 money and hasn't been on one of the top 2 lines for large periods of time. Don't agree with that at all. He has been consistently on the top 2 lines for years.

Forwards.... Hartnell, Radulov.... Leipold and unfortunate poor ethics caused us to lose those forwards that we drafted, not lack of drafting.

Do we do better drafting D and G...? appears so, but I would need more examples of teams drafting very good power forwards in the later rounds to agree with your premise of that other teams are doing it and David Poile is failing at it.
SK looks like a diamond in the rough possibility. We'll see.
And let's see how Colin Wilson shakes out next year.

I think Mike Fisher and his worth will have to wait until next year for me to make a judgement. Because it's very obvious he's hurt.

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03-18-2011, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by predfan98 View Post
Interesting read.

However, it seems to me one of your arguments is that Legwand is paid top 6 money and hasn't been on one of the top 2 lines for large periods of time. Don't agree with that at all. He has been consistently on the top 2 lines for years.

Forwards.... Hartnell, Radulov.... Leipold and unfortunate poor ethics caused us to lose those forwards that we drafted, not lack of drafting.

Do we do better drafting D and G...? appears so, but I would need more examples of teams drafting very good power forwards in the later rounds to agree with your premise of that other teams are doing it and David Poile is failing at it.
SK looks like a diamond in the rough possibility. We'll see.
And let's see how Colin Wilson shakes out next year.

I think Mike Fisher and his worth will have to wait until next year for me to make a judgement. Because it's very obvious he's hurt.
Legwand is getting top-six ice time, but his role is not your stand "top-six" role (until his return from injury in December). Almost everyone get's "top-six" ice time with how the Predators roll four lines.

Working on that premise, Jerred Smithson was getting top six ice time all of last year. That doesn't make him a "top-six" forward.

My perspective here was that you don't pay a player $4.5 million to purely play a shutdown role. That is what happened here. Regardless of one's opinion of Legwand, one can find someone to play that role very effectively and much cheaper. Then you either play Legwand in an offensive role, or find another player for that role at a similar salary and trade Legwand.

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03-18-2011, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by David Singleton View Post
Legwand is getting top-six ice time, but his role is not your stand "top-six" role (until his return from injury in December). Almost everyone get's "top-six" ice time with how the Predators roll four lines.

Working on that premise, Jerred Smithson was getting top six ice time all of last year. That doesn't make him a "top-six" forward.

My perspective here was that you don't pay a player $4.5 million to purely play a shutdown role. That is what happened here. Regardless of one's opinion of Legwand, one can find someone to play that role very effectively and much cheaper. Then you either play Legwand in an offensive role, or find another player for that role at a similar salary and trade Legwand.
just for sake of argument. when our top line is out against Chicago---what center does Joel Q put on the ice and how much is he paid? Is that a shutdown line? And correspondingly, how many goals is that Chicago center scoring each year? Chicago may be a bad example since they tanked for so many years to get good draft picks.... Or is that part of the problem. Since we haven't "tanked" for several years, we had no opportunity to draft the Kane or Toews.

I don't have the answers. Just discussing for the sake of discussing..

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03-18-2011, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by David Singleton View Post
Legwand is getting top-six ice time, but his role is not your stand "top-six" role (until his return from injury in December). Almost everyone get's "top-six" ice time with how the Predators roll four lines.

Working on that premise, Jerred Smithson was getting top six ice time all of last year. That doesn't make him a "top-six" forward.
Legwand got 50% more icetime than Smithson last year. Naturally, he was the one "holding legwand back" though.

I agree with most of your article. But, Legand has spent the vast majority of his time in nashville on a scoringlinge. If it wasn't Legwand, which other center got more time than Lewgand after Arnott? Last year was the only real exception (Goc), but Legwand still had some. The failed experiment of Erat-Legawand-Santoreilli for the first 15 games or so, plus still had a handful of PP time even after that. And then the 40 game drought...

But outside that, I agree with most of it. Here's the thing-- Mike Fisher was the owners loosing their pockets a bit-- a move that may put us over the midpoint. So far, he looks like the wrong guy to invest another 10m. Not even to mention that overpayment of a 1st...

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Old
03-19-2011, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by David Singleton View Post

My perspective here was that you don't pay a player $4.5 million to purely play a shutdown role. That is what happened here. Regardless of one's opinion of Legwand, one can find someone to play that role very effectively and much cheaper. Then you either play Legwand in an offensive role, or find another player for that role at a similar salary and trade Legwand.

He didn't get paid 4.5million to purely play a shutdown role. I'll admit he got a little bit of a pay day, but it had everything to do with ownership problems and making sure the fans had some players they recognized and loved.

Shutdown role???? he's top 5 in points on this team with fewer games played then the leaders on this team. The guy can put up points when put in the right situation.

I get what your saying though. He is definately a shutdown guy. I just felt the need to point out while on top of that he can put the points up.

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Old
03-19-2011, 08:54 AM
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He didn't get paid 4.5million to purely play a shutdown role. I'll admit he got a little bit of a pay day, but it had everything to do with ownership problems and making sure the fans had some players they recognized and loved.

Shutdown role???? he's top 5 in points on this team with fewer games played then the leaders on this team. The guy can put up points when put in the right situation.

I get what your saying though. He is definately a shutdown guy. I just felt the need to point out while on top of that he can put the points up.

The article isn't saying that Legwand can't produce, it's saying that if he is being paid $4.5 to produce offense, then he needs to be in that full-time role rather than being a shutdown center with Smithson and Ward. The question asked is have Poile/Trotz made good use of the money. You can bring in countless players that have a good defensive game that make $1M or less, so what is the point in wasting $4.5M on that roster spot when it could be used towards a more talented scorer. Regardless of why Legwand got the contract, it still has to be utilized to return maximum value on the dollars.

On top of that, the article was not just about Legwand, but overall team management. But I guess we all know what topic every single thread will eventually boil down to...

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Old
03-19-2011, 09:12 AM
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Dave, I disagree with most of the points you made in your blog and most especially the tone, but I dont dispute your right to be frustrated.

Its easy to look at us and think "we could/should be so much better if only.."

but the truth is we could also be Columbus, Atlanta, Phoenix, Minnesota, Long Island or Florida.

All of those teams have had higher draft picks and more money to spend and have horrifically bad franchises to show for it. And then there are the Leafs.

In fact even some of the storied franchises like Edmonton and Calgary have as bad or worse records in the postseason than we do in recent memory with the exception of one year when all the strars lined up and they made a run to the SC finals from a low playoff seed, which is exactly what we keep waiting to have happen to us.

To put it in a March Madness frame, we will never be a perennial powerhouse, like Kentucky or Kansas.

We are instead Butler, or Georege Mason, or Miami(OH). We are the mid major team thats always solid, almost always makes the dance and nobody ever wants to draw in the first round because they are well coached, stick to their system, play hard and have experience.


One of these years, we're gonna make that first round upset and maybe even make it all the way to the Finals.



And I'll restate, Im not denying your or anyone else's right to be frustrated or to decide that you no longer want to buy tickets. Im not "drinking the Kool-Aid" I believe I am just realistic about life as a Preds fan.

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03-19-2011, 09:49 AM
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another hypothetical put forth by some here and elsewhere is that as fans they would be willing to tolerate some really bad years in exchange for a true contender every once in a while. It sounds good in theory, and Im sure right now Chicago fans believe this, and of course when you get the big win, it does all seem worth it.

But I am a Cincinnati Reds fan, and was as big a diehard for them as I am the Preds now. But now with there routinely being ten years between competitive seasons, I look back and realize I would have much rather had the Reds be in the hunt every year even if we hadnt won the title in 1990.

The Preds cant afford to have fans lose interest for years at a time like I did with the Reds.

So, I think I'll stick with the Predator Way, and keep hoping for the year we catch lightning in a bottle.


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03-19-2011, 09:56 AM
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another hypothetical put forth by some here and elsewhere is that as fans they would be willing to tolerate some really bad years in exchange for a true contender every once in a while. It sounds good in theory, and Im sure right now Chicago fans believe this, and of course when you get the big win, it does all seem worth it.

But I am a Cincinnati Reds fan, and was as big a diehard for them as I am the Preds now. But now with there routinely being ten years between competitive seasons, I look back and realize I would have much rather had the Reds be in the hunt every year even if we hadnt won the title in 1990.

The Preds cant afford to have fans lose interest for years at a time like I did with the Reds.

So, I think I'll stick with the Predator Way, and keep hoping for the year we catch lightning in a bottle.
While I agree with this, Santo has 37 points for Florida and we gave him up for pretty much nothing. Our system absolutely neuters forwards offensive creativity. I wish there was a bit more balance.

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03-19-2011, 10:02 AM
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but the truth is we could also be Columbus, Atlanta, Phoenix, Minnesota, Long Island or Florida.
Still one of the worst arguments out there. To say that we should not try something different to improve because there is a chance that we fail, is insane.

We're not vastly superior to any of the franchises you mentioned, except that the Preds play an extra 4-5 games each season. Dr. Single isn't even advocating a complete blowup and 180 change in philosophy, only that Poile/Trotz need to grow a pair and step out of their comfort zone to make the most of the assets available to them. Some people call them miracle workers, well if the Preds are Helen Keller they have done a fantastic job of teach them "Wa..." but seem to be unable to get the "ter" out of them.

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03-19-2011, 10:04 AM
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While I agree with this, Santo has 37 points for Florida and we gave him up for pretty much nothing. Our system absolutely neuters forwards offensive creativity. I wish there was a bit more balance.
I cant believe you are bemoaning losing a player with 37 pts on Florida. I will again say, would you rather be us, or Florida? How doess this stifling system square with Kotitsyn having an offensive reniassance here?

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03-19-2011, 10:10 AM
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I cant believe you are bemoaning losing a player with 37 pts on Florida. I will again say, would you rather be us, or Florida? How doess this stifling system square with Kotitsyn having an offensive reniassance here?
I wouldn't call 37 points in 66 games a renaissance. He's gotten more minutes which has helped his scoring. I like SK and what he's brought so far and this move is paying off well for us.

Trotz is way too structured on making sure everyone who takes the ice up front is playing defensively too. At a certain point you have to let these guys breath and accept a few mistakes to get what we can out of guys offensively. I think he's choking the life out of Wilson as we speak. You don't take a kid 7th overall with the game he's got to bemoan him for missing some defensive assignments now and again. If that were the case, Franson would never see the ice.

The team needs to learn to develop forwards better. The team also needs to learn how to run a PP better if it's going to do any damage in the playoffs. Pretty simple if you ask me. And it's not a talent issue because there are great teams with amazing players who suck at the PP and teams with average talent that are good on the PP. It's called coaching. That's what Trotz gets paid to do. Fix it already or bring an assistant in who can.

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03-19-2011, 10:11 AM
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Still one of the worst arguments out there. To say that we should not try something different to improve because there is a chance that we fail, is insane.

We're not vastly superior to any of the franchises you mentioned, except that the Preds play an extra 4-5 games each season. Dr. Single isn't even advocating a complete blowup and 180 change in philosophy, only that Poile/Trotz need to grow a pair and step out of their comfort zone to make the most of the assets available to them. Some people call them miracle workers, well if the Preds are Helen Keller they have done a fantastic job of teach them "Wa..." but seem to be unable to get the "ter" out of them.
I would say as a fan my experience has been "vastly superior" to all of those franchises fans, for the reasons I listed in my follow up post.

As I said, it is your and daves rtight to feel differently, but having been a fan of a crappy franchise, I'll take the sure competitor every time.

I also dont believe that Trotz and Poile could make any simple changes and achieve a vastly different result. One elite forward isnt going to do much when opposiong teams just key on him every night. Cbus, Atlanta and minnesota are all prime examples of exaclty that. So short of a wholesale remake of the roster, we will be what we are.

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03-19-2011, 10:16 AM
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I wouldn't call 37 points in 66 games a renaissance. He's gotten more minutes which has helped his scoring. I like SK and what he's brought so far and this move is paying off well for us.
wait a minute.... i was responding to joe who acted like the 37 points santo put up in florida was cause for wailing and rending of garments but that same 37 points from our guy is chopped liver?

hypocrisy says hello??

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03-19-2011, 10:19 AM
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I would say as a fan my experience has been "vastly superior" to all of those franchises fans, for the reasons I listed in my follow up post.

As I said, it is your and daves rtight to feel differently, but having been a fan of a crappy franchise, I'll take the sure competitor every time.

I also dont believe that Trotz and Poile could make any simple changes and achieve a vastly different result. One elite forward isnt going to do much when opposiong teams just key on him every night. Cbus, Atlanta and minnesota are all prime examples of exaclty that. So short of a wholesale remake of the roster, we will be what we are.
So you're ok with being just above average and not much more waiting for the lightning to strike? While I know exactly what you're saying, the bar needs to be raised around here by the owners, Poile, Trotz and the fans or we'll always sit at this level. I know we have the restrictions now but at some point, somethings gotta give.

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03-19-2011, 10:31 AM
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So you're ok with being just above average and not much more waiting for the lightning to strike? While I know exactly what you're saying, the bar needs to be raised around here by the owners, Poile, Trotz and the fans or we'll always sit at this level. I know we have the restrictions now but at some point, somethings gotta give.
It is kinda silly to think poile trotz and ownership as well as fans are happy or satisfied with one and done. I just don't believe donig what you guys advocate will get the result you want

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03-19-2011, 10:47 AM
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Still one of the worst arguments out there. To say that we should not try something different to improve because there is a chance that we fail, is insane.

We're not vastly superior to any of the franchises you mentioned, except that the Preds play an extra 4-5 games each season. Dr. Single isn't even advocating a complete blowup and 180 change in philosophy, only that Poile/Trotz need to grow a pair and step out of their comfort zone to make the most of the assets available to them. Some people call them miracle workers, well if the Preds are Helen Keller they have done a fantastic job of teach them "Wa..." but seem to be unable to get the "ter" out of them.
And while we are taking about bad arguments, to me the worst is when posters like you imply that if we don't agree with you we must be "okay with" one nd done, mediocrity, etc.

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03-19-2011, 11:04 AM
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Good article Dave. Most of us are not happy with just being competitive. I know I am not. I think we disagree on the changes needed to get to the next level.

A general observation is that Trotz doesn't put our forwards in situations where they can succeed offensively and make the most out of their of strengths He has jerked Wilson around and benched him for making defensive mistakes. Yet he has let vets like Arnott and Sully get away with making those same mistakes and keep playing them. You can cite Kariya, SK and a few others for having great numbers under Trotz but the bottom line has shown no improvement in playoff performance.

Legwand is overpaid as a shutdown center. It wouldn't bother me as much if he was potting 20 goals at the same time but he's not. He has wiffed on multiple chances this year. As we say in 309, "You can't miss those".

Smithson is a workhorse no doubt but does he really need to be getting 10+ minutes a night?

I don't think we are just one guy away from going to the next level. I think we need adjustments in our current "system" to make us more competitive night in and night out. There has to be a better balance between being defensively responsible and offensive creativity. Whether we will see those changes is debatable.

I'm renewing because I love hockey and I want to keep this team here. I enjoy watching players on other teams. I can take off my Preds glasses occasionally and appreciate the talent I am watching 41 nights a year.


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03-19-2011, 11:21 AM
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I think this season we truly had the players to test the "Predator Way". We had the players for 3-4 legitimate 2nd lines. Then injuries decimated our roster. I think it's premature to grade the Predator Way because of the injuries to our true 2nd line players. We're missing three of our starting centers and two of our most productive forwards in Sully (injury) and Dumont (premature aging??). When Poile and Trotz put this team together, it was built on rolling four balanced lines. That simply has not happened.

Additionally, David's point about the playoff strategy of shortening the bench does put us at a disadvantage in some respects - but only if we follow the same strategy of shortening our bench. What would happen if we were healthy. Would Trotz still shorten the bench? He could still roll four lines and play fresh legs against our opponents superstars. Eventually the Toews and Kanes of the NHL will wear down playing 20 plus minutes a night in a tough playoff series.

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03-19-2011, 11:25 AM
  #25
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I've stuck to basically the same opinion for a while now. Poile and Trotz are safe until the team starts to pick it up enough financially to not rely on staying beneath the midpoint for full revenue sharing. At the point they either find a way to get it done without the money excuse to fall back on, or they need to be replaced. For the moment I'm with voldie. In this very situation I'd rather be a fan of a competitive Preds team than a Preds team that is run like a Leafs team with noticeably fewer dollars to spend. I couldn't begin to imagine the difficulties involved with finding someone who can not only put the puck in the net, but can do so while playing our system with our players AND brings the added bonus of making our powerplay effective. Even if that player exists, how do we get him here?

As far as the Peverleys and Santorellis go, that's just another argument where you use your 20/20 hindsight to pull something out of the air and say 'see I'm right'. Maybe Trotz can't coach offensive players, but Kariya seemed to be do all right here after some mediocre seasons. Sullivan didn't seem hampered by the offensive-destroying Trotz. Dumont either. Radulov seemed to be coming along just fine, and that's even with Trotz routinely calling him out for being a bum defensively. Wilson still needs a season or two to get used to the speed of the game. His decision making is still stuck in the NCAA a lot of times. Peverley got premium ice time when we actually had an offensive team. There was absolutely no indication at the time that he would be anything, he was picked up for nothing in Atlanta, put up points with Kovalchuk, and then sort of slipped back into mediocrity. He seems to be playing well in Boston right now, and good for him. Santorelli has 37 points in 71 games with a team that seems to be using him as a top six center. That doesn't exactly speak to a huge loss. And what about our own pick ups like those guys? What about Joel Ward's first season here? What about SK's current season? What about Marcel Goc, who was withering away on a fourth line in SJ until he came here and started producing? The organization gets no credit for those sorts of pick ups, but it's ok to launch flak at them for giving away Rich Peverley and Mike Santorelli (I'll admit I was kinda pissed about giving away Svatos for nothing, but whatever)

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