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Old
04-11-2011, 05:37 PM
  #26
chosen
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Originally Posted by vipernsx View Post
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 gt

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.
Who brought Messier and Keenan here? Could have sworn it was Smith.

As to Smith no longer being a GM being a negative, a certain troll cannot be sent packing from being an awful GM. His name is Sather.

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04-11-2011, 07:27 PM
  #27
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i'd say success. you can't really criticize his pre-cup trades simply because it's impossible to say that we would still have won the cup without those trades. As much as I hated trading Gartner, it's hard to say we would have 100% won the cup with him instead of Anderson. Post cup is a different story but that's amnesty for winning the cup I guess. I'm sure Dolan receives at least 50% of the blame for some of those bone headed trades/moves/decisions. He probably made Smith go after Jari Kurri. His biggest mistake was probably letting Messier go to Vancouver over what? money? You have Messier and Gretzky reunited and you don't keep them together?!? What insanity is that? And trading Zubov. why? WHY? And not resigning Verbeek after that. And then open the doors to the McDuck money bin for Skrudland, Keane, Kamensky, Fleury, Taylor, Quintal, Lefebvre, and McLean? Yeah, Dolan has to get some of the flak for these. He probably thought Gretzky would be enough.

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04-11-2011, 08:18 PM
  #28
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Success...



...case closed.

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04-11-2011, 08:19 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by n8 View Post
i'd say success. you can't really criticize his pre-cup trades simply because it's impossible to say that we would still have won the cup without those trades. As much as I hated trading Gartner, it's hard to say we would have 100% won the cup with him instead of Anderson. Post cup is a different story but that's amnesty for winning the cup I guess. I'm sure Dolan receives at least 50% of the blame for some of those bone headed trades/moves/decisions. He probably made Smith go after Jari Kurri. His biggest mistake was probably letting Messier go to Vancouver over what? money? You have Messier and Gretzky reunited and you don't keep them together?!? What insanity is that? And trading Zubov. why? WHY? And not resigning Verbeek after that. And then open the doors to the McDuck money bin for Skrudland, Keane, Kamensky, Fleury, Taylor, Quintal, Lefebvre, and McLean? Yeah, Dolan has to get some of the flak for these. He probably thought Gretzky would be enough.
Dolan didn't take over until 1999. The Zubov and Norstrom trades are completely on Smith.

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04-11-2011, 08:28 PM
  #30
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i havent heard the chant 1940 in 17 years.

Success.

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04-11-2011, 10:56 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by n8 View Post
And then open the doors to the McDuck money bin for Skrudland, Keane, Kamensky, Fleury, Taylor, Quintal, Lefebvre, and McLean? .
These names should be edited such as ****** on this board (shudders). Except Theo.

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04-11-2011, 11:04 PM
  #32
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I hated trading Zubov and Norstrom at the time but I will never forget 1994!

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04-12-2011, 04:22 AM
  #33
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Nobody knows how things would have unfolded, but the Rangers,would have had the talent to win the Cup just on the pre-Smith drafting without his trades.

The 1992 playoff failure is normal growing pains. Quebec got eliminated by the Rangers, then win multiple Cups, so did the Debbie. Detroit choked then won multiple Cups.

Almost every Cup winner chokes before winning. There was no reason to freak out and trade so much taken for role players.

If Smith did nothing all his tenure, my bet is that the Rangers win more than with his trades. This is true even if we assume that he drafts nobody useful after 1992. With guys like Award drafted and kept, the team would have been great.

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04-12-2011, 08:35 AM
  #34
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Originally Posted by adam graves View Post
i havent heard the chant 1940 in 17 years.

Success.

True, but your descendants could be hearing the chant "1994" in fifty years.

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04-12-2011, 09:06 AM
  #35
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Originally Posted by RangerEsq View Post
Nobody knows how things would have unfolded, but the Rangers,would have had the talent to win the Cup just on the pre-Smith drafting without his trades.

The 1992 playoff failure is normal growing pains. Quebec got eliminated by the Rangers, then win multiple Cups, so did the Debbie. Detroit choked then won multiple Cups.

Almost every Cup winner chokes before winning. There was no reason to freak out and trade so much taken for role players.

If Smith did nothing all his tenure, my bet is that the Rangers win more than with his trades. This is true even if we assume that he drafts nobody useful after 1992. With guys like Award drafted and kept, the team would have been great.
Yeah but how many super-talented teams on the brink never broke through and won? Think of the Sens of the early 2000's, the sharks of recent years (still have a shot but the window is closing) among others in the past.

I just think its silly to lament that we "only" won one cup on the assumption we would have won multiple when we could just as easily be on year 71 without a cup right now.

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04-12-2011, 12:11 PM
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerEsq View Post
Nobody knows how things would have unfolded, but the Rangers,would have had the talent to win the Cup just on the pre-Smith drafting without his trades.

The 1992 playoff failure is normal growing pains. Quebec got eliminated by the Rangers, then win multiple Cups, so did the Debbie. Detroit choked then won multiple Cups.

Almost every Cup winner chokes before winning. There was no reason to freak out and trade so much taken for role players.

If Smith did nothing all his tenure, my bet is that the Rangers win more than with his trades. This is true even if we assume that he drafts nobody useful after 1992. With guys like Award drafted and kept, the team would have been great.
You do realize that Smith traded for Messier don't you? They don't win the cup without Messier. You do realize that he drafted Kovalev, Weight, and Zubov? This criticism of Smith pre-94 needs to stop. It's what he did post-94 that's unacceptable.

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04-12-2011, 12:37 PM
  #37
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I think that there's some serious revisionist history regarding Neil Smith.

As a talent scout for the NYI in the early 80's, he helped theiur minor league affiliate win their leagues championship in 81-82

After moving on to Detroit, as GM of their minor league team, NS giuded that team to 2 championships over a 4 year span.

In an 8 year span working with mostly young players developing for the NHL, NS won 3 Championships.

NS was director of Scouting for the Wings from 82-89 www.linkedin.com/in/nycneil

The man knew talent.

To insinuate otherwise is foolish.

While I'm in a mood, here are some of the names drafted by the Wings while NS held the post of Director of Scouting

83 alone - Yzerman, Probert, Klima, Kocur, Grimson

84 - Shawn Burr, Houda

85 - Fedyk, Chiasson, Randy McKay

86 - Joe Murphy, Adam Graves, Cheveldae and Garpenlov

87 - Yves Racine

88 - No notable players drafted (very bad year for the Wings)

89 - More than made up for 88 - Lidstrom, Fedorov, Sillenger, Drake (all played over 1000 games) Boughner, Vlad the impaler


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04-12-2011, 12:59 PM
  #38
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Originally Posted by klingsor View Post
True, but your descendants could be hearing the chant "1994" in fifty years.
At least it wouldn't be a 104 year drought. Of course, the majority of the years after 1994 were led by a GM that hasn't gotten the Rangers past the second round.

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04-12-2011, 09:03 PM
  #39
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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.


Wasn't the trade in 96 for Jari Kurri and Shame Churla and Marty McSorley Messier's idea? And was that the year we ould've gotten Gretzky? Why did that fall through?

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04-12-2011, 10:16 PM
  #40
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Originally Posted by MessRich11 View Post
Wasn't the trade in 96 for Jari Kurri and Shame Churla and Marty McSorley Messier's idea? And was that the year we ould've gotten Gretzky? Why did that fall through?
If the deal was Messier's idea, then that makes Smith even more incompetent. A good GM doesn't let his players orchestrate trades.

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04-12-2011, 10:24 PM
  #41
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Originally Posted by Zil View Post
If the deal was Messier's idea, then that makes Smith even more incompetent. A good GM doesn't let his players orchestrate trades.
Messier is not just some player.

Neither was Gretz.

How could Smith win a power struggle or even begin to ask two HOF who were already hockey royalty to rebuild? Both had no intentions of anything but Cup run in those years.

It just wasn't happening and NS had to deal with two very strong personalities, under the circumstances I can understand a lot of Smith's moves. The Zubov, Norstrom trades(both trades had to do with Smith's idea of matching up against Lindros and the Flyers) and failure to get Shanahan when he could have had him for Kovalev were my biggest issues.

And besides, tons of back story to most of these deals, sometimes I'm amazed we won in 94 with all that swirled around those teams back then.

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04-12-2011, 11:53 PM
  #42
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Originally Posted by Bluenote13 View Post
Messier is not just some player.

Neither was Gretz.

How could Smith win a power struggle or even begin to ask two HOF who were already hockey royalty to rebuild? Both had no intentions of anything but Cup run in those years.

It just wasn't happening and NS had to deal with two very strong personalities, under the circumstances I can understand a lot of Smith's moves. The Zubov, Norstrom trades(both trades had to do with Smith's idea of matching up against Lindros and the Flyers) and failure to get Shanahan when he could have had him for Kovalev were my biggest issues.

And besides, tons of back story to most of these deals, sometimes I'm amazed we won in 94 with all that swirled around those teams back then.
I still don't buy it. Smith brought Messier in. If Messier in fact forced Smith's hands on the Zubov and Norstrom deals, then that just makes Smith a fool in my eyes. There's a difference between trying to rebuild and holding onto a young all-star defenseman (Zubov) and another young dman who was already in the NHL (Norstrom). It's not like these guys were prospects who were years away from contributing. Zubov led the 94 team in scoring for goodness' sake.

And Gretzky had no input on either trade seeing as he wasn't a Ranger at that point. I get that Smith was trying to put together the dynasty Oilers for one last run, but it was just dumb. If it was Smith working at Messier's behest, then it was even dumber. You didn't see the Red Wings turning around and letting Yzerman dictate to the GM after they won in 97.

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04-13-2011, 01:48 AM
  #43
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The only guy that ran the team in the last 77 years and won us a cup and we are debating if it was a success?

The team had other solid seasons during his time here not just 94 where they went all the way. I will take a few President Trophies and a run to the ECF any year. I still wonder why the guy hasn't had another job since. The Isles job was a joke......there has to be something to this that most don't know about.

The man has a damn good resume in NHL management to not be running one of the 30 NHL teams.

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04-13-2011, 02:20 AM
  #44
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Originally Posted by Zil View Post
You do realize that Smith traded for Messier don't you? They don't win the cup without Messier. You do realize that he drafted Kovalev, Weight, and Zubov? This criticism of Smith pre-94 needs to stop. It's what he did post-94 that's unacceptable.

He made one good trade, and it was good in large part because the three prospects he gave up all well under-performed any reasonable expectations.

One good trade does not make him a good GM. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

He gave up Beezer for a 7th defenseman (he had better offers a year or two before expansion, but failed to pull the trigger), and the most inexcusable of all - he forgot to protect Sheppard from the waiver draft.

Essentially he lost 4 stars (Amonte, Weight, Gartner and Sheppard) for 4 third liners (Matteau, Noonan, Anderson and Tikkanen). That's just awful. The Larmer for Patrick+Turcotte trade was also bad for us, as was the Olczyk for Kris King and Tie Domi.

All this before the Cup.

One trade for Messier does not save all of this. Neil Smith was like a trust-fund baby - he got such a wealth of prospects that he couldn't trip up without falling on a superstar (in addition to the above 4, it was also Leetch, Zubov, Nicholls, Richter, plus great role players like Patrick, Turcotte, Kovalev, Nemchinov, etc.), and then he just squandered it all in a couple of years.

People can say that we don't know if we would have won the Cup without the trades, but in what sense was losing Amonte, Weight, Sheppard and Gartner in return for Noonan, Matteau, Tikkanen and Anderson helpful to the talent or team chemistry?

After he was done squandering all the wealth of talent he inherited when he took over, his real inability to run a team was exposed. He proceeded to lose whatever assets remained: Zubov, Norstrom, Nedved, Kovalev, Savard, the 1995 and 2000 first rounders.

His three best draft picks (Zubov, Norstrom and Savard), he lost for nothing of long-term value. Robitaille flopped unexpectedly, but the others were just given up because he could not realize their budding talent.

Most of his draft picks (Michael Stewart, Peter Ferraro, Sundstrom, Cloutier, Jeff Brown, Malhotra, Brendl, Lundmark) failed to leave any kind of a mark in the NHL.

Three of them (Sundstrom, Malhotra and Brendl) were top-8 picks, and the best of them is a third liner.

He got lucky with a few Russians in the first two drafts (Zubov, Nemchinov and Kovalev) because it was still before the fall of the Soviet Union and people were still scared to draft them even though the Iron Curtain was being brought down in front of their eyes.

After that, it was essentially a disaster. Picking at random would have produced more success.

Neil Smith was not a good GM. He came to a team with tremendous wealth of talent and he made one good trade (Messier) plus made one decent first round pick (Kovalev). Both of these transactions took place in the summer of 1991, and after that, it was one unmitigated disaster after another.

The guys he drafted in the later rounds were random strokes of luck - he didn't draft more NHLers in later rounds than other GMs, and yes, if you have enough picks, on occasion you will stumble upon someone decent.

But when he did draft someone like Savard in later rounds, he proceeded to trade them away for nothing.

Oh, and did I mention that he signed Scrudland and Keane, and then proceeded to allow Messier to walk? Great decision-making!

If you let Mess walk, then rebuild. But no, let's bring on those two, plus Kamensky, Lefebvre, Ulanov, Quintal, etc.

The guy had no clue. He just acted at random and could not judge talent, either in the draft or while trading.


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04-13-2011, 02:45 AM
  #45
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The only guy that ran the team in the last 77 years and won us a cup and we are debating if it was a success?

Give me a team that has Richter, Beezer, Leetch, Weight, Sheppard, Gartner, Amonte, Sandstrom, Granato, Patrick, Turcotte, Domi, King, DeBrusk, Mallette, Janssens, Shaw, etc., plus whoever I can draft, and I will be able to run the team to the Stanley Cup also.

He got a tremendous wealth of talent when he took over the team.

Sandstrom - Weight - Gartner
Granato - Kovalev - Amonte
Nemchinov - Turcotte - Sheppard
King - Janssens - Domi

That's a tremendous lineup (look at those Right Wings!), not to mention non-forwards like Leetch, Patrick and Richter around.

The point I'm making is that he inherited a tremendously talented roster, and only a couple of the guys above were his draftees. In fact, he drafted fewer and worse guys than the average NHL, both before the Cup and after it.

And what about his trades? It's really simple:

Weight, Amonte, Sheppard, Gartner, Sandstrom, Granato, Turcotte, King, Domi and Patrick are superior to Messier, Larmer, Noonan, Matteau, Tikkanen, Anderson (and Olczyk watching from the press box).

It's just that simple. Even with his one great trade, his overall score on his trades is still a negative.

[Nicholls was originally acquired by Smith in return for Sandstrom and Granato, who got over 150 points combined the season immediately before the trade.]


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04-13-2011, 05:45 AM
  #46
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Originally Posted by RangerEsq View Post
Give me a team that has Richter, Beezer, Leetch, Weight, Sheppard, Gartner, Amonte, Sandstrom, Granato, Patrick, Turcotte, Domi, King, DeBrusk, Mallette, Janssens, Shaw, etc., plus whoever I can draft, and I will be able to run the team to the Stanley Cup also.

He got a tremendous wealth of talent when he took over the team.

Sandstrom - Weight - Gartner
Granato - Kovalev - Amonte
Nemchinov - Turcotte - Sheppard
King - Janssens - Domi

That's a tremendous lineup (look at those Right Wings!), not to mention non-forwards like Leetch, Patrick and Richter around.

The point I'm making is that he inherited a tremendously talented roster, and only a couple of the guys above were his draftees. In fact, he drafted fewer and worse guys than the average NHL, both before the Cup and after it.

And what about his trades? It's really simple:

Weight, Amonte, Sheppard, Gartner, Sandstrom, Granato, Turcotte, King, Domi and Patrick are superior to Messier, Larmer, Noonan, Matteau, Tikkanen, Anderson (and Olczyk watching from the press box).

It's just that simple. Even with his one great trade, his overall score on his trades is still a negative.

[Nicholls was originally acquired by Smith in return for Sandstrom and Granato, who got over 150 points combined the season immediately before the trade.]
Some of the guys on that list that you wonder how he could not help but win with aren't all that much. That said, if you think Smith was a bad GM, would you agree that he is still light years better than Sather? Trying to figure out where you place GMs in terms of effectiveness.

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04-13-2011, 10:08 AM
  #47
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I listed some guys just for depth, toughness. This way people can't day it was a bunch of offensive dancers.

Sather is better than Smith.

1. He did not trade away the youth and in fact traded for it: McD, VTank, Prust, the 2004 house cleaning, in addition to bringing in Girardi and Zuccarello.

2. He drafted better than Smith. Smith had one solid first founder: Kovalev. Slats has Staal, and I still have high hopes for MDZ.

In the second round, Smith had Weight and Norstrom and that's it. Slats got Dubinsky, Stepan, Anisimov, Tyutin, Sauer. I also have very high hopes for Thomas and Werek can make it too.

Smith had one clunker after another in the second round after 1992: Novak, Inman, Copley, Jarvis, Goneau, Dube, Vercik, Sorochan.

3. Sather is recognized even by his detractors as a good trader, though not as good IMO as others think. Nevertheless he rarely loses trades badly. See Gomez for two prospects, Higgins for Prust, etc. His worst trade was Tyutin for Zherdev.

He never traded away a prospect that suddenly became an All Star like Norstrom.

Slats wasted his first few years trying to buy the Cup. He also made some horrible (Drury, Redden) and below average (Gomez, Frolov) signings.

I hope that stops and I hope we avoid Brad Richards (I would like him at an RFA price that people here think he will take, but all star UFAs are always terribly overpaid because you have to outbid the rest of the league to get a star without giving up assets).

But all in all, he has had a stronger tenure than Smith, especially Smith past the summer of 1992 when he drafted his last good player in the first two rounds (after that it is mostly pure luck) and after his one good trade (Messier) and his one good signing (Graves) were already here.

After the summer of 1992, nearly everything Smith did was bad: trades, drafting, FA signings, and beyond Keenan coach selection too.


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04-13-2011, 10:31 AM
  #48
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I will give you this: with the exception of forgetting to protect Sheppard, Smith had terrific success until 1992: drafted Zubov, Norstrom, Kovalev, Nemchinov, Weight. He acquired Messier, Graves, Beukeboom.

You cannot take that away. He did great the first couple of years.

But after 1992, it was horrendous. He dealt away all youth and many picks, his best first rounder was a third liner and all his second rounders were minor leagues. He made one senseless signing after another.

Past the summer of 1992, he was arguably the worst GM in the league.

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04-13-2011, 03:22 PM
  #49
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I will give you this: with the exception of forgetting to protect Sheppard, Smith had terrific success until 1992: drafted Zubov, Norstrom, Kovalev, Nemchinov, Weight. He acquired Messier, Graves, Beukeboom.

You cannot take that away. He did great the first couple of years.

But after 1992, it was horrendous. He dealt away all youth and many picks, his best first rounder was a third liner and all his second rounders were minor leagues. He made one senseless signing after another.

Past the summer of 1992, he was arguably the worst GM in the league
.
Ray Sheppard? Get the **** over it already.

Did Smith run over your dog? Cause you are going way overboard here, but hey, you sure think differently than most around here.

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04-13-2011, 05:03 PM
  #50
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Also, wasn't there a time when NS could've gotten Shanahan in 96 for Kovalev? DO you think he made the right move in rejecting the trade?

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