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The case for a 1-year surgical tank for the Habs

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Old
08-01-2012, 05:56 PM
  #451
DAChampion
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Rutabaga,

Good post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutabaga View Post
Well, before that terrible year, our team, even if it wasnt a favourite, was progressing on the right path, and did a convincing season in 10-11, showing some positive signs for the future. Until poor decisions were made, there was no reason to think that the team wouldnt have been able to do better than the previous year.

Anyway, i think everyone is pretty much aware of your position on the subject.

I still disagree on the fact that a team like Washington, dead last on the standings with a core group of an average of 32 years old, and among the highest-paid players in the league (what was the salary of Jagr ? 11M$ per year ?...), did chose to rebuild instead of trying to redress the situation with the same group of players.

Like others, they had no choice, whatever they might say about it.
If they honestly think that there was another option available, they were fooling themselves.

And it was basically 10 years ago.

More recently praised, a team like Chicago hardly rebuild on purpose, their team was simply bad, and their moves during the years when they end up with Toews and Kane were hardly rebuild-like. (They signed Khabibulin and Aucoin, traded for Havlat, Smolinski and Handzus). Of course, since they had basically no one to give away.

Today, in the current situation, there is not much separating a 6th place team from a 10th place team. Just like there is not much between the 2nd and the 5th team in the conference.

There is a lot of risk in going the rebuild way. Your job is on the line, the team is also in danger if the results are slow to appear...
From a business point of view, i think its obvious that the situation needs to be desperate to allow such a thing. Considering that the owners are not sure to be here in 5 or 7 years...

On the latest teams to appear early at the draft table, in the last years, how many are/were actually rebuilding ?

Boston and Philadelphia were teams that did end up on the bottom of the standings 5 or 6 years ago, they did not rebuild/tank, and after some good moves, they finally turn things around. There is no magic recipe, anyway, but in the current circumstances, there is no need to throw away 2 or 3 years, where good management can lead to goos results just as fast, but without the pain.



-How can you seriously think that we should have dealt Koivu and co, whereas we finished 1st in the conference (even if it was a pure fluke) during 07-08 ?

I dont think that kind of thing can happen.


Should we have rebuild the next year ?

Well, with what ? We had no assets except Plekanec (coming from a negative season, RFA), Markov (UFA at the end of the year) and two unproven goalies, Price/Halak. It would have been a long agony, their value would have decreased in such a team, to make it worse.
A point which I alluded to in my OP, but may not have come across successfully, is that it's preferable to have a 1-year strategic tank now, a surgical intervention, then a long drawm-out process like Washington, Edmonton, Chicago, Los Angeles, Long Island, Pittsburgh, Toronto; and soon Calgary will have gone through. You yourself decry the "long agony" of those rebuilds. Something I agree with. 5 years of being in the basement sounds horrible, and I want it avoided at all costs.

You're right that this (strategic 1-year tank) has not been done before, but are you sure that's valid? All legitimate strategies are eventually tried for a first time.

The 2010-2011 team had a convincing season, as you wrote. But they failed to replace Roman Hamrlik (number 1 dman at all situations), James Wisniewski (lifeblood of the PP), and Jeff Halpern (effective bottom-6 center). In hindsight it was clear that the team would regress. We then further removed Andrei Kostitsyn, Mike Cammalleri, and Hal Gill. Erik Cole and Max Pacioretty could be argued to compensate for the injured Gionta and the fall from productivity of Cammalleri; so then you're still looking at a loss of Hamrlik, Wisniewski, Gill, Halpern, Kostitsyn. For all the talk about the "league parity", I think this sequence of changes demonstrates the VAST difference between 6th place and 15th place. What we see from direct experience is that it takes a massively inferior roster to make that drop.

Finally, I agree with you that from a management standpoint there is less risk in going the 8th place route. However, I'm incredulous that people can look up the weak roster Bergevin has put together and discuss 8th place. If he were really focused on 8th place, would he not be doing more about the roster? Perhaps he is, and if we sign Doan or trade for Ryan, I'll retract my comments. But right now I see a GM who is thinking long-term.

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08-01-2012, 06:14 PM
  #452
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
Once more with feeling:

Bergevin isn't purposefully trying to lose any specific games, but the evidence suggests he's thrown in the towel on the season as a whole.

************

I started the hread on July 26th. By then it was clear Bergevin had no interest in Semin. He's not focused on winning this year.
The season hasn't even started yet to you it's set in concrete. Signing Semin wasn't/isn't the only possible option. Nor is it a foregone conclusion that the Habs won't be in the playoff race, so I hope you don't attach a QED to your prediction. You may regret it in April.

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08-01-2012, 06:20 PM
  #453
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Originally Posted by Teufelsdreck View Post
The season hasn't even started yet to you it's set in concrete. Signing Semin wasn't/isn't the only possible option. Nor is it a foregone conclusion that the Habs won't be in the playoff race, so I hope you don't attach a QED to your prediction. You may regret it in April.
Bergevin might do something else, I've acknowledged that I'm assuming that this is more or less the team entering the season. If he trades for Bobby Ryan (for example), or signs Doan, then that will show that I misunderstood Bergevin. Is that not clear? I think that's clear.

I won't regret it in April. I'll either be confirmed correct or I'll get to watch a playoff run, so I win either way :-)

You, on the other hand, are going in double nothing. If you're right, you get the satisfaction of being right as well as the playoff race. If you're wrong... you're going to look like this:

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08-01-2012, 06:52 PM
  #454
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Originally Posted by SouthernHab View Post
buddahsmoker..........time to insert the strawman picture again.
It isn't a strawman.

However, it is definitely another fallacy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirming_the_consequent

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08-01-2012, 07:52 PM
  #455
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutabaga View Post
Well, before that terrible year, our team, even if it wasnt a favourite, was progressing on the right path, and did a convincing season in 10-11, showing some positive signs for the future. Until poor decisions were made, there was no reason to think that the team wouldnt have been able to do better than the previous year.

Anyway, i think everyone is pretty much aware of your position on the subject.

I still disagree on the fact that a team like Washington, dead last on the standings with a core group of an average of 32 years old, and among the highest-paid players in the league (what was the salary of Jagr ? 11M$ per year ?...), did chose to rebuild instead of trying to redress the situation with the same group of players.

Like others, they had no choice, whatever they might say about it.
If they honestly think that there was another option available, they were fooling themselves.

And it was basically 10 years ago.

More recently praised, a team like Chicago hardly rebuild on purpose, their team was simply bad, and their moves during the years when they end up with Toews and Kane were hardly rebuild-like. (They signed Khabibulin and Aucoin, traded for Havlat, Smolinski and Handzus). Of course, since they had basically no one to give away.
Dude, trading away Jagr was a rebuild move. Yes, they were having a bad year but they weren't a horrible team. They could've done what we always do and try to re-up with more free agents the next year but they knew they weren't going to win cups. So they rebuilt. This has all been explicitly said by their owner who formulated a ten point plan for rebuilding. So yes, teams rebuild. It's a fact.

As for clubs being forced to rebuild or rebuilding intentionally - again doesn't matter. Point is that it works. Doing it deliberately would actually work better because you're accelerating the process instead of working against it. That's what NJ did and it landed them Niedermayer. Quebec did the same and landed Sakic. Washington did it and got Green... No reason not to do this when you aren't winning.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutabaga View Post
Today, in the current situation, there is not much separating a 6th place team from a 10th place team. Just like there is not much between the 2nd and the 5th team in the conference.
All the more reason to try to improve. Trying to be good enough to try to 'luck out' a cup win is not a winning strategy. We have no superstars on our club and you need those kinds of players to win cups.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutabaga View Post
There is a lot of risk in going the rebuild way. Your job is on the line, the team is also in danger if the results are slow to appear...
From a business point of view, i think its obvious that the situation needs to be desperate to allow such a thing. Considering that the owners are not sure to be here in 5 or 7 years...
If we were a small market team you might have a point but we aren't. We're among the richest teams in the league and can easily afford to do this. There really isn't a whole lot of risk for us or Bergevin. The crowds are coming in anyway. We can actually afford to do this.

Bergevin just got hired and is taking over a last place team. He's got tons of leeway to do this right now. Moreover, we actually have some younger players that will emerge over the next couple of years who should be pretty good. All the more reason to add to that group and ensure that we have a stronger team for the future.

Hanging onto Pleks right now does nothing but keep us mediocre. He won't win anything with us and by the time our future players (who we hope are good enough to win us a cup) actually start reaching their prime Pleks will be on the downswing. Why not sell high for a change? Seriously? We have absolutely nothing to lose by doing this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutabaga View Post
On the latest teams to appear early at the draft table, in the last years, how many are/were actually rebuilding ?

Boston and Philadelphia were teams that did end up on the bottom of the standings 5 or 6 years ago, they did not rebuild/tank, and after some good moves, they finally turn things around. There is no magic recipe, anyway, but in the current circumstances, there is no need to throw away 2 or 3 years, where good management can lead to goos results just as fast, but without the pain.
Who said anything about throwing away three years? That's the same crap I heard about trading away Koivu and we freaking gave him away.

Trading Gionta or Markov or Pleks or a combination of some of these guys is not going to banish us to the basement for three years. And if it does, then we're even more of a need for a rebuild than I thought.

Nothing is gained by 8th place finishes coupled with the inevitable 1st or 2nd round exits. It's a waste of time and gets us nowhere. We have to be more proactive or we'll never win another cup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutabaga View Post

-How can you seriously think that we should have dealt Koivu and co, whereas we finished 1st in the conference (even if it was a pure fluke) during 07-08 ?

I dont think that kind of thing can happen.
Right... Koivu and co. were so important to us that we couldn't trade them. We could however, let them walk away for nothing and declare that the club was broken.

That made absolutely no sense whatsoever and it set the stage for the next few years of futility of which we are still in the middle of...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutabaga View Post
Should we have rebuild the next year ?

Well, with what ? We had no assets except Plekanec (coming from a negative season, RFA), Markov (UFA at the end of the year) and two unproven goalies, Price/Halak. It would have been a long agony, their value would have decreased in such a team, to make it worse.
We had Koivu to trade, we had Tanguay, Kovalev, Markov... tons of guys we could've and should've dealt. Hell, we should've dealt Souray when we had a chance there too but we never do this.

And the results have been entirely predictable.

I always hear 'we had no choice... we can't rebuild." That's a load of crap. We certainly can. We have the means to do it. We have the scouting to do it. And we're not a good team right now. No reason not to do this.

Seriously, imagine if we'd had done what I said several years ago. Imagine if we actually got returns on the players that I've said to trade... We'd be a hell of a lot further ahead than we are now. And we'd still have Ryan McDonnaugh.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutabaga View Post
It demonstrates that because you have terrible management you land terrific players by just drafting high.
And terrible management wont have a clue about using these terrific players, which means that he is going to be "rewarded" with even more terrific players. But as he doesnt have a clue, its unfortunately useless, unless a major change happens.

If they didnt have terrible management, then those prospects wouldnt have end up there (certainly not all of them, at the very least) in the first place.
And that same terrible management wasn't smart enough to hang onto those picks. They weren't smart enough to rebuild.

Again, the argument that folks try to say is that rebuilding doesn't work and those folks stupidly try to use the Islanders as an example. It's a terrible example and it actually proves the opposite. Rebuilding works. All they had to do was be patient and they'd have had perpetually contending teams.

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08-01-2012, 08:26 PM
  #456
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Yes, it was a rebuild move.
What matters is, that at the time, they were dead last in the league.
They only won 11 (!) out of 41 games, with a payroll good enough to be the 10th around the league (and even 7th or 8th, actually).
With a roster including Jagr, the highest-paid player of the league, i think, and they even had the topscorer of the league as well.
They were horrible and out of gas. Every single member of the core of that team was over 31 or 32, i believe.

I dont know how they could have use free agents later considering the major changes that did occur in the very next summer, but even without these changes, in that situation, how can you think that the situation can improve and allow you to trust this group for the next 2 seasons, at least (assuming that players were interested) ? It was clearly going nowhere.

(And the definition of nowhere across the league is different from yours, as being 11th/12th might be a problem. 8th/9th ? Not so much.)

They were already spending too much, for too old players, without any significant reinforcement from the farm (except Semin), and for a team, that was possibly not worth the last spot, but was way too far away from being playoff material.

Leonsis could formulate plans, books and other things, he never chose to do it, just like no one chose to be in that situation.
When owners/GM are in a rebuild, they're there because they are out of options, which means, i think, in itself, that the tweaks, and decent signings are still considered as a better option than building a team from scratch.

Im not saying that a rebuild is evil, or it doesnt work. The odds are just not that good, because of the implications that led you to that situation.

But the point is that i really believe that they (GM and owners in the league) are trying to avoid this road at any cost, and you should realize that.


(And again, if Edmonton's rebuild was successful, they already would have got out of the basement.
Just like if the rebuild of the Islanders would have work, it would have been without Spezza, Luongo, Jokinen and others...)

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08-01-2012, 08:26 PM
  #457
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Again, the argument that folks try to say is that rebuilding doesn't work and those folks stupidly try to use the Islanders as an example. It's a terrible example and it actually proves the opposite. Rebuilding works. All they had to do was be patient and they'd have had perpetually contending teams.
I think when people refer to the Islanders tank they mean the current phase of tank and not that of a decade ago. Mike Millbury has not been GM since 2006 and he's universally recognized as a failure. That said it's been 6 years and if they were in conditions to succeed they would have made some noise by now.

Their problem is owner Charles Wang and the fact they are a salary floor team. They can draft top-10 forever, but it's hard to see them ever leaving the league basement without equipping their team with the support necessary.

To use mathspeak, superstars are necessary to winning the cup but they are not sufficient to winning the cup. You still need complementary UFA signings, and you need to be able to hold on to at least some of the good players you already have. They just let go of Parenteau this offseason. Another step backwards. I feel sorry for Tavares.

You're right about 2008-09. They should have traded Koivu, Kovalev, Tanguay, Komisarek, etc at the trade deadline. The team would be better off.

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08-01-2012, 08:39 PM
  #458
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Originally Posted by buddahsmoka1 View Post
I was not pointing out correlations, I was pointing out the complete opposite in case you noticed.

What exactly is a crapshoot to you?

There is one SC winner a year in the NHL. Out of the last decade, 9 out of a possible 9 teams have won. In addition, 14 out of a possible 18 teams have made the finals.

What exactly, about the above, does not strike you as a crapshoot?

If this trend continues for two more decades, every single team will have won the cup.


Bold above:

Exactly, 1 cup every thirty years for thirty teams. And that satisfies you? The whole point of this thread is to discuss one way of beating those odds.

I would think one cup every decade at least should be our goal, no? And if required, rebuilding over 1-2 years every decade can be a legitimate strategy, along with good development, timely and effective UFA pick ups, and intelligent trading to achieve that goal.

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08-01-2012, 09:01 PM
  #459
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Can't tank in hockey if you can't tank in Badminton....

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08-01-2012, 09:50 PM
  #460
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can't tank in hockey if you can't tank in badminton....
lol!

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08-01-2012, 10:34 PM
  #461
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Can't tank in hockey if you can't tank in Badminton....
Don't tell that to DAchampion. I'm sure he could convince badminton fans that the only option is to tank.

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08-01-2012, 11:33 PM
  #462
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Knock off the bickering please and thanks.

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08-02-2012, 09:11 AM
  #463
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Originally Posted by Drive425 View Post
The only problem I see with a "strategic tank" is that there are examples of teams that consistently have high draft picks and yet fail to make headway in the standings. Edmonton, NYI and even the Blackhawks before the ownership/management issues got sorted out there were perrenial losers.

Does this management team have the brains, stones and luck (all key ingredients) to build a contender? No one knows that yet. I'm hoping they do. High picks certainly make it much more likely that improvement in standings will come but it doesn't guarantee it.

That said when does the "Fail for Mac" thread start?
Classic logical error: 'Some Teams that have drafted high many times are still failing, therefore, drafting high does not improve any team.'

This is completely incorrect.

You corrected a bit in your second para, but many here do not even get that far.

Perhaps you could have said:

1.True: Over a 2-3 year period, drafting high, combined with good development, trades, and UFA signings, provides a better chance of a having a good team than drafting low, combined with good development, trades and UFA signings.

2. If you have a poor team, ensure you take advantage of the NHL drafting system, while at the same time playing as well as possible, and draft high for 2-3 years in combination with good development, trades and UFA signings.

What is with the neg reaction on this board to something so ****ing blindingly obvious?

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08-02-2012, 09:18 AM
  #464
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Originally Posted by FlyingKostitsyn View Post
The whole premise of this thread is flawed because this team is far better than the OP (and most) give it credit for.

With a working powerplay last year's team might have been playoff bound or close to it, believe it or not. Outside Buffalo we had, by far, the best goal differential out of all non-playoff eastern teams. Buffalo beat us by only 2 goals and we were better than Washington or Florida (2 playoff teams). 5 on 5 we were average, we went to the conference finals with a worse team in that aspect. If we had a PP% of 17% (league average) instead of 14% we would have scored 9 more goals and we could have allowed a lot less than 8 short handed goals ( )

With a working powerplay we could have had an even goal differential and there is no way we would have finished 15th that way. Even then we were lucky to finish 15th since the other bottom teams were considerably worse. Looking at next years' team there is no reason we wouldn't do as good 5 on 5 and its quite possible we do better on the powerplay, with Markov here (we know the general always has his powerplays top5 in the NHL at least). On the PK the key elements are still here, Gill removed but Prust added. A lot depends on coaching but there is no way we finish lower than 10th.
Newsflash: **** teams have bad power plays. It's part of what makes a **** team.

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08-02-2012, 09:25 AM
  #465
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Originally Posted by Rutabaga View Post
Thats a very underrated aspect of the rebuilding process.
In order to be in a position to rebuild, not only you need to be a bad team, but you need to reach a point of no-return, point you reached because of bad management.

If you are doing a decent, not even good, but decent job, you wont end up in such a situation because the league is engineered to allow as many teams as possible to be as competitive as possible at the same time. Well, during the last 2 seasons, thats not as true as it was, but its still an important factor.

The point is, teams are not rebuilding because they chose to (i already said this several times anyway, but i feel its the right time to say it again)? And whats the point in a rebuild anyway ?

Collecting several top-5 picks ?
Teams with more than 2 top-5 picks are poorly managed and are not going to move up in the standings as long as the staff doesnt change. If the staff is gone, well...you have to look even higher, and thats not a good thing.
When we look at the teams with several high picks, they were all pushed there by poor management.

Chicago was badly managed. Pittsburgh was out of money. LA and Washington both used to have horribly old teams that ran out of energy.




Posterboys of why the bad management of a team create a false opinion.
If Milbury isnt an idiot and dont give away the first players they had in that list of mistakes, they dont end up with the latter ones, because they would have improved their situation.
The team would have made some progress, and the latest mistakes are never made. Because they never have the chance, in that scenario, of having that many great players.
Uh, yeah. Bad management may have pushed us to 15th place, but apparently, you may not have noticed, we have new management.

I guess they should say, well, we're gonna be **** managers too so no use drafting high due to take advantage of the incompetence of the last guys.

Useless argument, totally.

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08-02-2012, 09:26 AM
  #466
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Originally Posted by bsl View Post
Exactly, 1 cup every thirty years for thirty teams. And that satisfies you? The whole point of this thread is to discuss one way of beating those odds.
The "No we don't need to rebuild we just need to get in the playoffs and anything can happen!" crowd don't seem to really understand statistics when they say things like "In a 30-team league each team can expect 1 Cup every 30 years."

Just look back on the last 30 years and you find quite a number of teams who have not won Cups:
  • Toronto
  • Ottawa
  • Buffalo
  • Philadelphia
  • Washington
  • Florida
  • St. Louis
  • Atlanta/Winnipeg
  • Columbus
  • Nashville
  • Minnesota
  • San Jose
  • Vancouver
  • Winnipeg/Phoenix
So there's, what, about half the league? And I just did that off the top of my head so I may have missed a couple.

Why is this? Probability does not apply to past events. Toronto has not won a Cup in 45 years. This does not mean they are more likely to win a Cup in the next 5 years than any other team (in fact anyone looking at their roster would probably cast them as "much less likely" than most other teams). For the same reason, we don't get to count our 19-year drought against some mythical "30 year clock" and say we're due for a Cup in the next 11 years.

Just take a five-year span. What's the actual probability that five distinct teams will win the Stanley Cup in those five years, assuming each team has an equal probability of doing so?

1 * (29/30) * (28/30) * (27/30) * (26/30) = 0.70. Aka 70%. So right off the bat there's actually a 30% chance of a repeat winner within a given 5-year span! Increase the span to 7 years and we actually reach a 54% chance of a repeat winner. Again this is assuming each team has an equal chance to win a Cup in every season, which we know is false. (From this we can conclude that the league's current 2003-2012 run featuring no repeat winners is statistically unusual.)

And we have fans who want to stand here and argue we shouldn't maximize our chances in (n+1), (n+2), (n+3) seasons for the sake of sneaking in as the 8th seed this season?

I genuinely don't know what to say to such fans.

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08-02-2012, 09:28 AM
  #467
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Originally Posted by Rutabaga View Post
if Edmonton's rebuild was successful, they already would have got out of the basement.
Not correct. I'll point out the Edmonton Oilers rebuild is a recent phenomenon.

- In 2007 they signed UFA Sheldon Sourray to a 5-year deal. In 2009, they signed Shawn Horcoff to a 6-year contract. Those are the moves of a team looking to make the playoffs in the near future.
- Edmonton's draft rank was 12th overall in 2008 (Tyler Myers went to Buffalo) and 10th overall in 2009, where they got Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson. They have not been doing that bad for so long.

Edmonton drafted first in 2010 and 2011, for which they got Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent Hopkins. They would have improved last year with those two excellent players, but they both missed 20 games -- happens sometimes. This year they're adding future star Nail Yakupov who will likely score 40-50 points in his first season, and Justin Schultz who may or may not have an impact. They should get improvement out of both RNH and Hall. They already have the 3rd best PP in the NHL.

Honestly, I figure the Edmonton rebuild is over, and that 3 years is rather fast when rebuilding from a position of weakness. They'll be competing for 8th this year, and may be contenders the year after that.

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08-02-2012, 09:31 AM
  #468
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Bergeron an wiz are weak bud. An schneids was done when we last picked him up. Pp studs like pk an markov are rare. You are getting killed on here and u still show up. Go leafs go eh ?
Why is the OP getting killed? Because most here disagree with him? Go run with the herd then. If that makes you happy.

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08-02-2012, 10:06 AM
  #469
bsl
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Originally Posted by optimus2861 View Post
The "No we don't need to rebuild we just need to get in the playoffs and anything can happen!" crowd don't seem to really understand statistics when they say things like "In a 30-team league each team can expect 1 Cup every 30 years."

Just look back on the last 30 years and you find quite a number of teams who have not won Cups:
  • Toronto
  • Ottawa
  • Buffalo
  • Philadelphia
  • Washington
  • Florida
  • St. Louis
  • Atlanta/Winnipeg
  • Columbus
  • Nashville
  • Minnesota
  • San Jose
  • Vancouver
  • Winnipeg/Phoenix
So there's, what, about half the league? And I just did that off the top of my head so I may have missed a couple.

Why is this? Probability does not apply to past events. Toronto has not won a Cup in 45 years. This does not mean they are more likely to win a Cup in the next 5 years than any other team (in fact anyone looking at their roster would probably cast them as "much less likely" than most other teams). For the same reason, we don't get to count our 19-year drought against some mythical "30 year clock" and say we're due for a Cup in the next 11 years.

Just take a five-year span. What's the actual probability that five distinct teams will win the Stanley Cup in those five years, assuming each team has an equal probability of doing so?

1 * (29/30) * (28/30) * (27/30) * (26/30) = 0.70. Aka 70%. So right off the bat there's actually a 30% chance of a repeat winner within a given 5-year span! Increase the span to 7 years and we actually reach a 54% chance of a repeat winner. Again this is assuming each team has an equal chance to win a Cup in every season, which we know is false. (From this we can conclude that the league's current 2003-2012 run featuring no repeat winners is statistically unusual.)

And we have fans who want to stand here and argue we shouldn't maximize our chances in (n+1), (n+2), (n+3) seasons for the sake of sneaking in as the 8th seed this season?

I genuinely don't know what to say to such fans.
Ah. Clarity and logic. So rare these days.

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08-02-2012, 10:07 AM
  #470
DAChampion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by optimus2861 View Post
The "No we don't need to rebuild we just need to get in the playoffs and anything can happen!" crowd don't seem to really understand statistics when they say things like "In a 30-team league each team can expect 1 Cup every 30 years."

Just look back on the last 30 years and you find quite a number of teams who have not won Cups:
  • Toronto
  • Ottawa
  • Buffalo
  • Philadelphia
  • Washington
  • Florida
  • St. Louis
  • Atlanta/Winnipeg
  • Columbus
  • Nashville
  • Minnesota
  • San Jose
  • Vancouver
  • Winnipeg/Phoenix
So there's, what, about half the league? And I just did that off the top of my head so I may have missed a couple.

Why is this? Probability does not apply to past events. Toronto has not won a Cup in 45 years. This does not mean they are more likely to win a Cup in the next 5 years than any other team (in fact anyone looking at their roster would probably cast them as "much less likely" than most other teams). For the same reason, we don't get to count our 19-year drought against some mythical "30 year clock" and say we're due for a Cup in the next 11 years.

Just take a five-year span. What's the actual probability that five distinct teams will win the Stanley Cup in those five years, assuming each team has an equal probability of doing so?

1 * (29/30) * (28/30) * (27/30) * (26/30) = 0.70. Aka 70%. So right off the bat there's actually a 30% chance of a repeat winner within a given 5-year span! Increase the span to 7 years and we actually reach a 54% chance of a repeat winner. Again this is assuming each team has an equal chance to win a Cup in every season, which we know is false. (From this we can conclude that the league's current 2003-2012 run featuring no repeat winners is statistically unusual.)

And we have fans who want to stand here and argue we shouldn't maximize our chances in (n+1), (n+2), (n+3) seasons for the sake of sneaking in as the 8th seed this season?

I genuinely don't know what to say to such fans.
I scratched my head the other day at Buddha Smoke's comment that teams in the 30-team NHL can expect to win 1 cup every 30 years. Following this, Yesterday I was dismayed by this article in the New York Times saying we shouldn't bother teaching basic math to the next generation because it's too hard:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/29/op...pagewanted=all

Thank you for restoring my faith in the human species. You've cleared up a lot of confusion with that post. In a better world what you explained wouldn't need to be explained.

***************************

I'll point out something else. The Habs are one of the most profitable teams in the NHL. We are one of the teams (maybe half in the league?) that can afford to spend to the cap limit. We can also afford the best coaching, the best scouting, the best drafting, and the best equipment. Habs fans are imo entitled to this because they pay more money. More people buy tickets, and the tickets are more expensive.

I think 2 or 3 cups every 30 years is reasonable. Molson hinted at this in one of his speeches. He said that for an organization like the Montreal Canadiens, it's not enough to just make the playoffs. They should be competing for the cup year in and year out.

I'm not sure, but that may be why they chose Bergevin over McGuire. Bergevin is thus far, clearly going for a long-term rebuild. Pierre McGuire however was concerned with winning now: for example he wanted to trade the 3rd overall draft choice for Jordan Staal.


Last edited by DAChampion: 08-02-2012 at 10:16 AM.
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08-02-2012, 11:20 AM
  #471
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
Not correct. I'll point out the Edmonton Oilers rebuild is a recent phenomenon.

- In 2007 they signed UFA Sheldon Sourray to a 5-year deal. In 2009, they signed Shawn Horcoff to a 6-year contract. Those are the moves of a team looking to make the playoffs in the near future.
- Edmonton's draft rank was 12th overall in 2008 (Tyler Myers went to Buffalo) and 10th overall in 2009, where they got Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson. They have not been doing that bad for so long.

Edmonton drafted first in 2010 and 2011, for which they got Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent Hopkins. They would have improved last year with those two excellent players, but they both missed 20 games -- happens sometimes. This year they're adding future star Nail Yakupov who will likely score 40-50 points in his first season, and Justin Schultz who may or may not have an impact. They should get improvement out of both RNH and Hall. They already have the 3rd best PP in the NHL.

Honestly, I figure the Edmonton rebuild is over, and that 3 years is rather fast when rebuilding from a position of weakness. They'll be competing for 8th this year, and may be contenders the year after that.
This is awesome. Edmonton fighting for 8th place is ideal after 3 years of rebuilds and tanks.

Montreal fighting for 8th place after 1 horrible year is not acceptable.

Since Edmonton will be fighting for 8th place, shouldn't you be advocating a surgical tank for this year also?

Circular logic?

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08-02-2012, 11:33 AM
  #472
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
Not correct. I'll point out the Edmonton Oilers rebuild is a recent phenomenon.

- In 2007 they signed UFA Sheldon Sourray to a 5-year deal. In 2009, they signed Shawn Horcoff to a 6-year contract. Those are the moves of a team looking to make the playoffs in the near future.
- Edmonton's draft rank was 12th overall in 2008 (Tyler Myers went to Buffalo) and 10th overall in 2009, where they got Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson. They have not been doing that bad for so long.

Edmonton drafted first in 2010 and 2011, for which they got Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent Hopkins. They would have improved last year with those two excellent players, but they both missed 20 games -- happens sometimes. This year they're adding future star Nail Yakupov who will likely score 40-50 points in his first season, and Justin Schultz who may or may not have an impact. They should get improvement out of both RNH and Hall. They already have the 3rd best PP in the NHL.

Honestly, I figure the Edmonton rebuild is over, and that 3 years is rather fast when rebuilding from a position of weakness. They'll be competing for 8th this year, and may be contenders the year after that.
I think that 3 years is more than enough to see actual signs of serious progress with a team.

About every team in their situation, recently, improved seriously on their 3rd season.
They did, but not as much and they wont benefit from entry-level contracts like others did (and it was a major factor in their success, if not decisive) in the past. (They're already spending money like a top-10 team.)

They might get an improvement over their two former 1st overall, but the rest of the team is just as important and is a huge question mark (to say the least...) and they are still doing questionable moves.

When you look at their closest competitiors (Anaheim, Minnesota, Colorado, Dallas), you can see that they are clearly not waiting for them to catch up.
It doesnt took that long for Florida or Colorado to show some potential.

@bsl : Thats my opinion, and i could understand that you believe i'm wrong, but i think that the problem with the Canadien is not the GM of the team. Which is why i think we're not out of trouble yet.

@SouthernHab : Lets be honest, the appeal in such a move for Edmonton is to have a higher chance to reach the top-4 of the conference in 2014 and 2015. They can be more likely to do so than, lets say, Dallas, who stayed around the 10th spot during all those years. But by such a thin margin, if thats even the case, that its was very probably not worth it.

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08-02-2012, 12:05 PM
  #473
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Originally Posted by SouthernHab View Post
This is awesome. Edmonton fighting for 8th place is ideal after 3 years of rebuilds and tanks.

Montreal fighting for 8th place after 1 horrible year is not acceptable.

Since Edmonton will be fighting for 8th place, shouldn't you be advocating a surgical tank for this year also?

Circular logic?
Edmonton fighting for 8th place is a transition artifact. They may have the talent to compete for the stanley cup, but they don't have the experience. I think it's likely they make the playoffs this year and get dominated in the 1st round. It's a good learning experience. It is similar to how Crosby's penguins were destroyed in their first playoffs -- it's a transition.

Edmonton's young pieces are RNH, Hall, and Yakupov. That's a fantastic core to build a perennial contender around.

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08-02-2012, 12:07 PM
  #474
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Yes, it was a rebuild move.
What matters is, that at the time, they were dead last in the league.
They only won 11 (!) out of 41 games, with a payroll good enough to be the 10th around the league (and even 7th or 8th, actually).
With a roster including Jagr, the highest-paid player of the league, i think, and they even had the topscorer of the league as well.
They were horrible and out of gas. Every single member of the core of that team was over 31 or 32, i believe.
Dude, they made the playoffs the year before with 92 points and then lost to the cup champs. Then they had a horrific season the following year. Sound familiar? Almost the exact same situation as us. Except they dealt away a 31 year old Jaromir Jagr and actually rebuilt. That's the difference. They went hard core and rebuilt all the way. We didn't do this even three seasons ago when we KNEW that our core sucked and just let everyone walk away for absolutely nothing.

Washington didn't HAVE to rebuild. They could've done what we did and tried to add to what they had. They still had Jagr and others... they could've limped along trying for 8th but it wasn't what they wanted to do. So they rebuilt.

It hasn't won them a cup and maybe it never will. But at least they put together a great team and TRIED to win. At least they landed some superstars along the way and we haven't had a superstar since Patrick Roy. We have better prospects than they did at that time but so what? Why not ADD to them? It would just give us that much more of a chance at winning down the road.
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Originally Posted by Rutabaga View Post
I dont know how they could have use free agents later considering the major changes that did occur in the very next summer, but even without these changes, in that situation, how can you think that the situation can improve and allow you to trust this group for the next 2 seasons, at least (assuming that players were interested) ? It was clearly going nowhere.

(And the definition of nowhere across the league is different from yours, as being 11th/12th might be a problem. 8th/9th ? Not so much.)

They were already spending too much, for too old players, without any significant reinforcement from the farm (except Semin), and for a team, that was possibly not worth the last spot, but was way too far away from being playoff material.

Leonsis could formulate plans, books and other things, he never chose to do it, just like no one chose to be in that situation.
When owners/GM are in a rebuild, they're there because they are out of options, which means, i think, in itself, that the tweaks, and decent signings are still considered as a better option than building a team from scratch.

Im not saying that a rebuild is evil, or it doesnt work. The odds are just not that good, because of the implications that led you to that situation.
If you're right and poorly managed teams rebuild... then it actually shows you how effective rebuilding really is. If a poorly managed club can rebuild and win multiple cups as NJ, Col, Det and Pittsburgh did then it just makes rebuilding all the more attractive an option.

And again, unlike many small market teams, we actually have the means to do this intentionally.
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Originally Posted by Rutabaga View Post
But the point is that i really believe that they (GM and owners in the league) are trying to avoid this road at any cost, and you should realize that.

(And again, if Edmonton's rebuild was successful, they already would have got out of the basement.
Just like if the rebuild of the Islanders would have work, it would have been without Spezza, Luongo, Jokinen and others...)
Edmonton has a bunch of 20 year old players. Let's talk about them again in 10 years and see if you're right. I'm not about to write off guys like Yakupov who haven't even played in an NHL game yet.

Not sure how you still don't understand the Islanders here. Folks cite them as 'proof' that drafting high doesn't work - and they ignore the fact that all those prospects were traded away. Again, all they had to do was be patient and rebuild. They didn't. And that's why they failed.

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08-02-2012, 12:21 PM
  #475
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Originally Posted by Rutabaga View Post
I think that 3 years is more than enough to see actual signs of serious progress with a team.

About every team in their situation, recently, improved seriously on their 3rd season.
They did, but not as much and they wont benefit from entry-level contracts like others did (and it was a major factor in their success, if not decisive) in the past. (They're already spending money like a top-10 team.)

They might get an improvement over their two former 1st overall, but the rest of the team is just as important and is a huge question mark (to say the least...) and they are still doing questionable moves.

When you look at their closest competitiors (Anaheim, Minnesota, Colorado, Dallas), you can see that they are clearly not waiting for them to catch up.
It doesnt took that long for Florida or Colorado to show some potential.
The reason Edmonton took 3 years is that they started their rebuild from a position of weakness. They had just signed Horcoff and Sourray (e.g. Gomez+Kaberle) to failed long-term contracts. Those two players, who didn't work out in Edmonton, prevented strategic acquisitions on the UFA market by consuming cap space, and took up roster spots.

Further, their rebuild would have gone faster if they had drafted Tyler Myers and not Buffalo. I think that 1st rounder was dealt away as part of the anti-rebuilding Dustin Penner acquisition (e.g. Alex Tanguay), but I'm not sure.

If we were eventually shoved into rebuilding from a position of weakness, it could take 3+ years to get out, as it did for Edmonton. I want to avoid that. Let's rebuild from a position of relative strength. We'll get out faster and more stable.

Do you think Edmonton would be the 2nd worst team last year if not for the injuries to their two best players?

ETA: How is 3 years is a long time? Are there examples of teams rebuilding from a position of weakness taking less than 3 years?


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