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Old
04-11-2011, 01:09 AM
  #1
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Neil Smith POVS

Would you say that Neil Smith's era as GM was mostly a thriving success or a disaster?

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04-11-2011, 01:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MessRich11 View Post
Would you say that Neil Smith's era as GM was mostly a thriving success or a disaster?
he got us a cup.

regardless of what happened after, thats what ill remember about him.

SUCCESS.

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04-11-2011, 01:24 AM
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A tale of two GMS;

From 89-94; mostly everything he did was golden. Great draft picks, excellent trades, and hiring the right coaches.

From 95-00; mostly everything he did was bad. Bad trades, bad drafting, bad coaching decisions.

Overall; he is the only Rangers GM in the last 70 years to win a Cup and he also won two President's Trophies, Three Division Titles, and made it to the Conference Finals twice. So a great success regardless of how bad a taste his last few years left in our mouths.

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04-11-2011, 01:26 AM
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i dont care if he took a 2-handed swing directly to my face, the gave me 1994. he's a-ok in my book.

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04-11-2011, 01:27 AM
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He got the rangers their first cup in 40 years. Certain success. Sad that Sather has now been here longer than Smith and hasn't led us to ****.

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04-11-2011, 01:32 AM
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What others have said: 1994 cements him as a success in my mind.

One also cannot overlook his astonishing 0-0-0 record with the Isles!

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04-11-2011, 01:54 AM
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I loved him when he was our GM for winning the Cup, but looking back, it was a disaster. He had a team full of young superstars.

The guy forgot - forgot! - to include Ray Sheppard on the protected list.

He dealt away All-Stars Amonte and Weight for a trio of third liners.

He dealt superstar Mike Gartner for a rental Glenn Anderson whose career was over by then and he was relegated to the 4th line.

Had he kept Sheppard, Weight, Amonte and Gartner, this team would have gone on to win multiple Stanley Cups, not just one.

Plus, other pre-Cup trades like Olczyk for Kris King and Tie Domi also did not work out at all. His one big hit was Messier and Beukeboom for Nichols and three prospects, as well as signing Graves. Beyond that, it was one disaster after another, as was the inability to trade Vanbiesbrouk when he could have gotten something more valuable than Doug Lidster for him.

Imagine this line up in the mid-90s:

Graves - Messier - Kovalev
Sheppard - Weight - Amonte
Nemchinov - Turcotte - Gartner
Domi - Kris King - Kocur

Leetch - Beukeboom
Zubov - Patrick
Karpovtsev - Norstrom

This team would have won not just in 1994, but probably a couple more times.

Even as you move later into the decade, this would be the lineup:

Graves - Messier - Kovalev
Sheppard - Weight - Amonte
King - Nemchinov - Sundstrom
Langdon - Turcotte - Kocur

Leetch - Beukeboom
Zubov - Norstrom
Karpovtsev - Patrick

We are still talking about a loaded lineup. The Rangers would have been a major threat at the time when they were not even making the playoffs.

And if you add Marc Savard or another good draft pick to this bunch, the team become an offensive dynamo.

==================

What if we look at it just in the post-Cup years instead of his early years as I did before.

Graves - Messier - Kovalev
Nemchinov/Courtnall - Savard - Knuble
Sundstrom - Nedved - Harvey/Dvorak
Langdon - Lapperiere - Noonan

Leetch - Beukeboom
Zubov - Norstrom
Patrick - Karpovtsev


Again, the team is full of All-Stars.

Goal: Richter
Defense: Leetch, Zubov, Norstrom
Offense: Messier, Savard.


Plus a lot of other great support players like Graves, Kovalev, Nedved, Knuble, Beukeboom, Patrick, etc.

This is certainly better than Fleury, Kamensky, Lefebvre and Ulanov!

==================

Had Neil Smith left the team alone, he'd have a contender every year. Even without the Messier trade, I can definitely see this team winning the Cup.

12 Forwards: Nichols, Sheppard, Gartner, Weight, Amonte, Kovalev, Nemchinov, Turcotte, Kris King, Steven Rice, Domi, Kocur/DeBrusk.

6 Defensemen: Leetch, Zubov, Patrick, David Shaw, Karpovtsev, Cirella/Norstrom.

There's enough firepower on this team that with Mike Richter in the net, they would win the Stanley Cup. And if not? Well, Neil could have easily added a player or two via free agency.

The guy gave away the store when all he had to do was sit back and enjoy his team winning.

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04-11-2011, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MessRich11 View Post
Would you say that Neil Smith's era as GM was mostly a thriving success or a disaster?
Neither and both

Seriously.

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04-11-2011, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puckface NYR View Post
He got the rangers their first cup in 40 years. Certain success. Sad that Sather has now been here longer than Smith and hasn't led us to ****.
I hate to make this correction, but it was the first in 54 years

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04-11-2011, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerEsq View Post
I loved him when he was our GM for winning the Cup, but looking back, it was a disaster. He had a team full of young superstars.

The guy forgot - forgot! - to include Ray Sheppard on the protected list.

He dealt away All-Stars Amonte and Weight for a trio of third liners.

He dealt superstar Mike Gartner for a rental Glenn Anderson whose career was over by then and he was relegated to the 4th line.

Had he kept Sheppard, Weight, Amonte and Gartner, this team would have gone on to win multiple Stanley Cups, not just one.

Plus, other pre-Cup trades like Olczyk for Kris King and Tie Domi also did not work out at all. His one big hit was Messier and Beukeboom for Nichols and three prospects, as well as signing Graves. Beyond that, it was one disaster after another, as was the inability to trade Vanbiesbrouk when he could have gotten something more valuable than Doug Lidster for him.

Imagine this line up in the mid-90s:

Graves - Messier - Kovalev
Sheppard - Weight - Amonte
Nemchinov - Turcotte - Gartner
Domi - Kris King - Kocur

Leetch - Beukeboom
Zubov - Patrick
Karpovtsev - Norstrom

This team would have won not just in 1994, but probably a couple more times.

Even as you move later into the decade, this would be the lineup:

Graves - Messier - Kovalev
Sheppard - Weight - Amonte
King - Nemchinov - Sundstrom
Langdon - Turcotte - Kocur

Leetch - Beukeboom
Zubov - Norstrom
Karpovtsev - Patrick

We are still talking about a loaded lineup. The Rangers would have been a major threat at the time when they were not even making the playoffs.

And if you add Marc Savard or another good draft pick to this bunch, the team become an offensive dynamo.

==================

What if we look at it just in the post-Cup years instead of his early years as I did before.

Graves - Messier - Kovalev
Nemchinov/Courtnall - Savard - Knuble
Sundstrom - Nedved - Harvey/Dvorak
Langdon - Lapperiere - Noonan

Leetch - Beukeboom
Zubov - Norstrom
Patrick - Karpovtsev


Again, the team is full of All-Stars.

Goal: Richter
Defense: Leetch, Zubov, Norstrom
Offense: Messier, Savard.


Plus a lot of other great support players like Graves, Kovalev, Nedved, Knuble, Beukeboom, Patrick, etc.

This is certainly better than Fleury, Kamensky, Lefebvre and Ulanov!

==================

Had Neil Smith left the team alone, he'd have a contender every year. Even without the Messier trade, I can definitely see this team winning the Cup.

12 Forwards: Nichols, Sheppard, Gartner, Weight, Amonte, Kovalev, Nemchinov, Turcotte, Kris King, Steven Rice, Domi, Kocur/DeBrusk.

6 Defensemen: Leetch, Zubov, Patrick, David Shaw, Karpovtsev, Cirella/Norstrom.

There's enough firepower on this team that with Mike Richter in the net, they would win the Stanley Cup. And if not? Well, Neil could have easily added a player or two via free agency.

The guy gave away the store when all he had to do was sit back and enjoy his team winning.
Ok where do I start? the fact he did trade Amonte won us the cup. Sure is easy now to say if we kept hm we win more but the guys we recieved for him weren't to shabby either in the playoffs. Doug Lidster for VBK also helped win the cup in 94 VBK wasn't traded because no one could add a goalie do to the draft rules protect one and lose the rest were silly but tied a lot of GM's hands at that point. Smith trade hard and don't forget dealing with Messier was no easy task

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04-11-2011, 09:14 AM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerEsq View Post
I loved him when he was our GM for winning the Cup, but looking back, it was a disaster. He had a team full of young superstars.

The guy forgot - forgot! - to include Ray Sheppard on the protected list.

He dealt away All-Stars Amonte and Weight for a trio of third liners.

He dealt superstar Mike Gartner for a rental Glenn Anderson whose career was over by then and he was relegated to the 4th line.

Had he kept Sheppard, Weight, Amonte and Gartner, this team would have gone on to win multiple Stanley Cups, not just one.

Plus, other pre-Cup trades like Olczyk for Kris King and Tie Domi also did not work out at all. His one big hit was Messier and Beukeboom for Nichols and three prospects, as well as signing Graves. Beyond that, it was one disaster after another, as was the inability to trade Vanbiesbrouk when he could have gotten something more valuable than Doug Lidster for him.

Imagine this line up in the mid-90s:

Graves - Messier - Kovalev
Sheppard - Weight - Amonte
Nemchinov - Turcotte - Gartner
Domi - Kris King - Kocur

Leetch - Beukeboom
Zubov - Patrick
Karpovtsev - Norstrom

This team would have won not just in 1994, but probably a couple more times.

Even as you move later into the decade, this would be the lineup:

Graves - Messier - Kovalev
Sheppard - Weight - Amonte
King - Nemchinov - Sundstrom
Langdon - Turcotte - Kocur

Leetch - Beukeboom
Zubov - Norstrom
Karpovtsev - Patrick

We are still talking about a loaded lineup. The Rangers would have been a major threat at the time when they were not even making the playoffs.

And if you add Marc Savard or another good draft pick to this bunch, the team become an offensive dynamo.

==================

What if we look at it just in the post-Cup years instead of his early years as I did before.

Graves - Messier - Kovalev
Nemchinov/Courtnall - Savard - Knuble
Sundstrom - Nedved - Harvey/Dvorak
Langdon - Lapperiere - Noonan

Leetch - Beukeboom
Zubov - Norstrom
Patrick - Karpovtsev


Again, the team is full of All-Stars.

Goal: Richter
Defense: Leetch, Zubov, Norstrom
Offense: Messier, Savard.


Plus a lot of other great support players like Graves, Kovalev, Nedved, Knuble, Beukeboom, Patrick, etc.

This is certainly better than Fleury, Kamensky, Lefebvre and Ulanov!

==================

Had Neil Smith left the team alone, he'd have a contender every year. Even without the Messier trade, I can definitely see this team winning the Cup.

12 Forwards: Nichols, Sheppard, Gartner, Weight, Amonte, Kovalev, Nemchinov, Turcotte, Kris King, Steven Rice, Domi, Kocur/DeBrusk.

6 Defensemen: Leetch, Zubov, Patrick, David Shaw, Karpovtsev, Cirella/Norstrom.

There's enough firepower on this team that with Mike Richter in the net, they would win the Stanley Cup. And if not? Well, Neil could have easily added a player or two via free agency.

The guy gave away the store when all he had to do was sit back and enjoy his team winning.
STILL with your 90's fantasy hockey game?? All of this is speculation, and you're assuming basically no player turnover whatsoever from 1990 thru 2000. Not to mention Turcotte was pretty much done after we left here and would've been even worse in a 4th line role. Patrick didn't have much left after he was traded as well.

All crazy speculation especially the "would have won multiple cups" part. Almost impossible to tell if a team can when a cup on paper. Ask the Caps and the '04 avalanche.

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04-11-2011, 09:34 AM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerEsq View Post
I loved him when he was our GM for winning the Cup, but looking back, it was a disaster. He had a team full of young superstars.

The guy forgot - forgot! - to include Ray Sheppard on the protected list.

He dealt away All-Stars Amonte and Weight for a trio of third liners.

He dealt superstar Mike Gartner for a rental Glenn Anderson whose career was over by then and he was relegated to the 4th line.

Had he kept Sheppard, Weight, Amonte and Gartner, this team would have gone on to win multiple Stanley Cups, not just one.

Plus, other pre-Cup trades like Olczyk for Kris King and Tie Domi also did not work out at all. His one big hit was Messier and Beukeboom for Nichols and three prospects, as well as signing Graves. Beyond that, it was one disaster after another, as was the inability to trade Vanbiesbrouk when he could have gotten something more valuable than Doug Lidster for him.

Imagine this line up in the mid-90s:

Graves - Messier - Kovalev
Sheppard - Weight - Amonte
Nemchinov - Turcotte - Gartner
Domi - Kris King - Kocur

Leetch - Beukeboom
Zubov - Patrick
Karpovtsev - Norstrom

This team would have won not just in 1994, but probably a couple more times.

Even as you move later into the decade, this would be the lineup:

Graves - Messier - Kovalev
Sheppard - Weight - Amonte
King - Nemchinov - Sundstrom
Langdon - Turcotte - Kocur

Leetch - Beukeboom
Zubov - Norstrom
Karpovtsev - Patrick

We are still talking about a loaded lineup. The Rangers would have been a major threat at the time when they were not even making the playoffs.

And if you add Marc Savard or another good draft pick to this bunch, the team become an offensive dynamo.

==================

What if we look at it just in the post-Cup years instead of his early years as I did before.

Graves - Messier - Kovalev
Nemchinov/Courtnall - Savard - Knuble
Sundstrom - Nedved - Harvey/Dvorak
Langdon - Lapperiere - Noonan

Leetch - Beukeboom
Zubov - Norstrom
Patrick - Karpovtsev


Again, the team is full of All-Stars.

Goal: Richter
Defense: Leetch, Zubov, Norstrom
Offense: Messier, Savard.


Plus a lot of other great support players like Graves, Kovalev, Nedved, Knuble, Beukeboom, Patrick, etc.

This is certainly better than Fleury, Kamensky, Lefebvre and Ulanov!

==================

Had Neil Smith left the team alone, he'd have a contender every year. Even without the Messier trade, I can definitely see this team winning the Cup.

12 Forwards: Nichols, Sheppard, Gartner, Weight, Amonte, Kovalev, Nemchinov, Turcotte, Kris King, Steven Rice, Domi, Kocur/DeBrusk.

6 Defensemen: Leetch, Zubov, Patrick, David Shaw, Karpovtsev, Cirella/Norstrom.

There's enough firepower on this team that with Mike Richter in the net, they would win the Stanley Cup. And if not? Well, Neil could have easily added a player or two via free agency.

The guy gave away the store when all he had to do was sit back and enjoy his team winning.
This goes back to that discussion we had a couple of weeks ago in another thread.

Neil Smith bet the farm in 1994, and it worked -- at the cost of the Rangers' future. Look at the 1992 season -- that team had so much talent and ran all the way to the Presidents Trophy. Then they battled to beat the Devils and got bounced by the Penguins in the playoffs.

When Smith made all those trades at the deadline in 1994, it was at the behest of Mike Keenan, who knew that his team, which had dominated the NHL in the regular season, was not going to win in the playoffs. I honestly believe that if Smith had gone into the playoffs in 1994 with the team unchanged, the Rangers would have lost to the Devils in the ECF.

Individually, there's not one trade, from Weight being traded for Tikkanen in 1993 right through the trade deadline, that does not make me wince. On the other hand: Tikkanen was an integral part of a checking line that really helped anchor the Stanley Cup-winning team throughout the season; Anderson was a great defensive forward throughout the playoffs; and it's impossible to forget Matteau's contribution to the playoff run.

If the Rangers had wanted to become long-term contenders, always there or there-abouts for the rest of the '90s, then Smith should not have made any of those trades; however, it's impossible to pick which one of those trades should not have been made in order to win the Cup.

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04-11-2011, 09:55 AM
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Can't beat finally winning a CUP, but trading Amonte and Weight really hurt.

Don't wanna sound like a pig, but 2 Cups for those guys might've made me feel better about losing them.

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04-11-2011, 11:38 AM
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he got lifetime amnesty from me as soon as we were crowned stanley cup champions. He got it done. Sure he made some bad deals afterward, everything doesnt work out.

he was part of stopping that 1940 stuff forever and also cared about the fans. he would go on the radio and comment about the teams performance and would even show up at the ticket offices during playoff time.

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04-11-2011, 11:48 AM
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You can almost say that 94 was the highlight and downfall of Smtih's career here (or his career anywhere for that matter). He became obsessed with the deadline trade. And after Messier left for VAN, deciding they would be a defense first time by adding Keane and Skrudland was a curious move to say the least.

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04-11-2011, 12:11 PM
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Everything pre-Cup gets a pass from me. Amonte, Weight, and Gartner were the price we paid to win the cup. So be it. Having said that, I can't give him a pass for the following:

In 1995 the Rangers traded Sergei Zubov and Petr Nedved to the Penguins for Ulf Samuelsson and Luc Robitaille.

In 1996 the Rangers traded Mattias Norstrom and other pieces for Jari Kurri, Marty McSorely, and Shane Churla.

In 1999 the Rangers traded Marc Savard and Oleg Saprykin to Calgary for Jan Hlavac, the chance to draft Jamie Lundmark, and a third rounder that they traded back to the Flames anyway.

Not to mention the fact that he failed to draft anyone of note post-94 aside from Savard.

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04-11-2011, 02:07 PM
  #17
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His tenure from 1995-2000 was a disaster in the realm of what Sather's has been. The 1995 trade of Zubov, the bizarre 1996 deadline trade for Jari Kurri (amongst other relics) for Norstrom, Laparriere, +. Letting Messier walk while he still had something left in the tank in 1997 (although MSG management is heavily to blame here as well). Whiffing on Sakic's offer sheet and then acquiring a concussion ridden Pat LaFontaine, Valeri Kamensky....

When he finally took a stab at a rebuild in 1999, he was met with arguable the worst draft class in the history of the NHL. It was bad luck that he deserved by that point.

Thanks for 94 though.

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04-11-2011, 02:35 PM
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Anyone not happy with his time here had better hate Sather's guts. If you bring me my only Cup, you done great.

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04-11-2011, 02:39 PM
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Cup equals success as others have mentioned. Neil Smith could have played a team of chimps from 95-2000 for all I care.....Stanley. Cup.

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04-11-2011, 02:53 PM
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I think he got a little "Star struck" after the success with Messier, but you can't knock the guy. He did what so many others have failed to do.

see below...

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04-11-2011, 02:56 PM
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I have to agree here. He delivered us a cup and that's all that ultimately matters.

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04-11-2011, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zil View Post
Everything pre-Cup gets a pass from me. Amonte, Weight, and Gartner were the price we paid to win the cup. So be it. Having said that, I can't give him a pass for the following:

In 1995 the Rangers traded Sergei Zubov and Petr Nedved to the Penguins for Ulf Samuelsson and Luc Robitaille.

In 1996 the Rangers traded Mattias Norstrom and other pieces for Jari Kurri, Marty McSorely, and Shane Churla.

In 1999 the Rangers traded Marc Savard and Oleg Saprykin to Calgary for Jan Hlavac, the chance to draft Jamie Lundmark, and a third rounder that they traded back to the Flames anyway.

Not to mention the fact that he failed to draft anyone of note post-94 aside from Savard.
This is a great post and totally agree was the downfall of Neil...as was mentioned earlier he was truly passionate about the Rangers. The Keane/Skrudland deal was a disaster especially when the hardest check Keane through was the one that knocked LaFontaine out of the NHL.

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04-11-2011, 03:33 PM
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Like others have said, winning the Stanley Cup permanently solidifies my opinion of his tenure as "great success!" /Borat.

You can lament the lost prospects sacrificed to win it all but the same can be said for other teams. You just have to take chances to win NOW rather than let the opportunity pass. And sometimes you're going to give up prospects who become very good NHL players. But I don't regret the loss of Weight or Amonte even though the Rangers won "only" one championship. There's no guarantee the Rangers would have won anything had they not made those trades. Yes, MacTavish, Noonan, Matteau and Anderson were brought in as role players but they played those roles well and were rewarded for it. Even Anderson, who's remembered as a goat by some, scored two game-winning goals in the finals against Vancouver.

I wonder how much longer we'll have to wait for a GM to win the Presidents Trophy (twice!) or a few division titles let alone a Stanley Cup the way Smith did.

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04-11-2011, 03:43 PM
  #24
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Neil Smith's GM tactics can be summarized into the following categories.

1) Acquire players from Edmonton
2) Mark Messier's ideas
3) Mike Keenan's ideas
4) His own ideas

Option #1 - were sometimes good, sometimes bad, depending on the scenario. Messier as a free agent...good. Graves as a free agent...Good. Tikkanen for Weight...we'll call it even because although Weight became a legit star in the league, Tikk is one of my all time favorite Rangers.

Option #2 - Gartner for Glenn Anderson ... meh, really these were always a mix of 1 and 2.

Option #3 - Turcotte for Steve Larmer, Amonte for Noonan and Matteau - 3 key pieces to get the cup.

Option #4 is The true test of Niel Smith and this when he was left up to his own devices. Left on his own. He trades Alex Kovalev and Sergie Zubov for Ulf Samuelson and Luc Robataille then gives up on Luc and trades him for Kevin Stevens.

Neil Smith has zero vision and zero ability to judge talent. If you weren't a proven player he had no idea whether or not you could play peewee or be an Allstar. His only way to build a team was to have people who knew what to do tell him what to do and he was fortunate enough to inherit a nice farm which he sold to buy a cup. He continued to do so in horrible deals like the McSorley & Kurri deals but they only eventually lead to exposure of the terrible GM he was.

Craig Patrick laid the foundation.
Messier Built the House.
Keenan Strengthened the structure.
Neil Smith was just told to order pizza delivery for dinner.

There's a reason why a Stanley cup champion GM is out of work...STILL.

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04-11-2011, 05:13 PM
  #25
White Plains Batman
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To clarify a few things;

First off Turcotte wasn't done after he left here. The reason his career stalled as he said on Blueshirt Banter was because he had a knee on knee with Yzerman after he was traded to Hartford and his knee took the brunt of that damage. After that, it was knee injury, after knee injury, after knee injury. Always liked that guy, was sad when he got traded but it helped win the Cup.

Smith and the Dolans had a nasty falling out. It's not proven but I remember rumors about the the Dolans saying Smith was not mentally capable of running a team and started spreading rumors about his psychological well being.

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