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In (Partial) Defense Of Scott Howson's Recent Trade History

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Old
09-14-2012, 07:32 AM
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handyj View Post
All in the all though I don't think it's trades that have defined the Jackets as a bottom feeder for so long, it's very poor drafting. I know you can do this for almost any team in any draft, but looking back over the years at all the top picks wasted and what could have been, that's the difference between being the top and bottom of the league. One key theme of good teams is generally that they draft well and uncover good finds after the 1st round. Columbus has been overall quite bad in the 1st round and almost non-existant in the other rounds.
I agree... but only if you're talking about how the MacLean years badly crippled us. Howson's actually done a vastly better job with drafting... but his favorite type of player to pick is "anyone in the NCAA" followed closely by "anyone who'll develop for 3-4+ years", so some of the payoffs are only just now starting to show up. Heck, one of our nicer second-tier blueline prospects (Will Weber - CCHA best defensive defenseman and captain of the RedHawks) just now signed his first pro contract after spending his full five years of NCAA eligibility... and he was the second guy Howson ever drafted. And Atkinson (who we're all very high on) was drafted in the sixth round the year after that; he's been kicking ass and taking names at BC all this time.

A different case could be made for Howson getting too much flak for his drafting simply because the only name anyone ever remembers is Nikita Filatov.

In general, if Howson sticks to his favorite conservative approach, he wins. It's when he reaches a tad higher for "I know I probably shouldn't but there's so much upside there" types (the Carter trade, the Filatov pick) that things go to hell. Which is why I'm convinced when Patrick came in the first thing he told Howson was to just stop trying to do that and trust what abilities he has - thus our current team, which has no 1st-line talent but enough 2nd-liners to stock three lines.

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Old
09-14-2012, 07:35 AM
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vankiller Whale View Post
They're still missing goaltending and a Backes-type player.
We've got Umberger and Dubinsky; that's close enough.

As for goaltending... yeah, we'll see.

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Old
09-14-2012, 07:56 AM
  #53
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Lots of moves seem like a good idea at the time. What matters are the results. That's what GMs and coaches are judged on. The rationalization that "everyone thought it was a good deal at the time" doesn't mean squat. What the fans thought of the deal when it was made is meaningless. Fans don't get paid to be right. GMs do.

The Carter deal, no matter how good it looked when it was made, turned out horribly bad. Howson failed because he obviously didn't speak to Carter before making the deal. Given the situation, the trade for JMFJ so far has been good. But the net result of the 2 deals is still bad.

The Nash deal, it's too early to tell which way it will go. But I think both teams will end up being happy with the results.

Regardless, none of that really matters. What matters are wins and losses, and he has far less wins than losses.

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Old
09-14-2012, 10:09 AM
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GAGLine View Post
Lots of moves seem like a good idea at the time. What matters are the results. That's what GMs and coaches are judged on. The rationalization that "everyone thought it was a good deal at the time" doesn't mean squat. What the fans thought of the deal when it was made is meaningless. Fans don't get paid to be right. GMs do.
Thank you for giving us this picture perfect illustration of the following point made in the OP:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viqsi View Post
* This is Columbus we're talking about here. They finished last overall, y'know.

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Originally Posted by GAGLine View Post
The Carter deal, no matter how good it looked when it was made, turned out horribly bad. Howson failed because he obviously didn't speak to Carter before making the deal.
"Obviously"? While some of it should have been foreseen (or at least he should have gotten himself in a position to foresee it), we have no way of knowing what happened prior. For all we know, an interview took place and Carter lied. Or, alternatively, for all we know Howson never talked to Carter until flying out to New Jersey a few days after the trade. There's no confirmation, and one can speculate in whatever direction one wishes. This manner of speculation, however, is more accentuating the negative - the principal flaw in judging Howson's trade history.

(And that's not even considering that nobody could have foreseen the degree to which Carter dogged it here...)

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Originally Posted by GAGLine View Post
Given the situation, the trade for JMFJ so far has been good. But the net result of the 2 deals is still bad.
From the OP:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viqsi View Post
* Carter's record in Columbus was, as previously stated, g-dawful... and somehow that's held against this trade for reasons I cannot adequately explain beyond "people are stupid".
Again, another picture-perfect illustration. Thank you for taking the time!

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Originally Posted by GAGLine View Post
Regardless, none of that really matters. What matters are wins and losses, and he has far less wins than losses.
That's not the point of the thread. Obviously the results are bad. The idea, though, is that folks are looking at the end result, and concluding that every single move was bad, and then going from that to concluding that Howson is among the worst GMs of all time and certainly by far the worst in the NHL. Which is, frankly, insane.

Heck, even if one accepted that "end result is the ONLY allowed measure of ability", then Tambellini's got him beat for that position by a country mile.

Personally, I think Howson is a semicompetent GM who was asked to be a superhero - because that's what we needed after the MacLean disaster. Not everybody can be a superhero, but that doesn't make them grossly incompetent.

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Old
09-14-2012, 11:14 AM
  #55
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Originally Posted by Viqsi View Post
* To say Carter didn't work out here would be a gross understatement - his reaction to coming here was literally unprecedented in the history of the NHL in terms of just how badly he reacted, performed, and treated everyone else on the roster.
Ever heard of Kirk Muller?

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Old
09-14-2012, 11:41 AM
  #56
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Obviously it didn't work out, but I still think trading for Carter was the right move at the time. Columbus was desperate for a star, or somebody to shoulder the workload not named Rick Nash, and they got it, without giving up too much. People are going to say that they should have gotten a centre to compliment Nash but newsflash - it's not easy to trade for #1 centres in this league.
Voracek is a good player, but I don't think he's anything special. Same goes for Couturier - he looks amazing now that he jumped from juniors to the NHL, and I like him a lot, but I have a hard time seeing him as anything more than a 2nd/3rd line guy (kind of like Voracek). In any event, the Jackets didn't trade Couturier, they traded the pick, so it's not fair to hold the fact they missed Couturier against them. Columbus didn't decide what the other teams would do at the draft.

As far as trading away Carter goes, they got a really good package - at least, better than anyone expected from the horrible season Carter was going through. Not that I think Johnson is a stud or anything and I wonder if they shouldn't have been more patient with Carter, but at least they cut their losses and got something of value.

The Nash trade was mind-bogglingly stupid, and this is coming from someone who thinks Nash has always been overrated. Anisimov and Dubinsky are average players and Erixon's an average prospect. Nash, while not the scoring god some paint him as, is worth far more than a few average players, the likes of which can usually be found every year in free agency. The worst part about it is that Howson appeared to be haggling for months - from before the deadline to the offseason - and really playing hardball...and this was the best he could do? No Kreider, McDonagh, Del Zotto, Stepan or Hagelin? What on earth was he holding out for?

So there's my take. Some good, some bad. Maybe events have conspired to make the trades worse than they would have been ordinarily (Carter sucking it up, Couturier slipping) but in the end, all that matters are the results.

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Old
09-14-2012, 12:31 PM
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie Daggers Crime View Post
Ever heard of Kirk Muller?
Not in that context. Judging from what data I can find on further review, I may have to change "literally" to "almost".

Quote:
Originally Posted by hototogisu View Post
The Nash trade was mind-bogglingly stupid, and this is coming from someone who thinks Nash has always been overrated. Anisimov and Dubinsky are average players and Erixon's an average prospect. Nash, while not the scoring god some paint him as, is worth far more than a few average players, the likes of which can usually be found every year in free agency. The worst part about it is that Howson appeared to be haggling for months - from before the deadline to the offseason - and really playing hardball...and this was the best he could do? No Kreider, McDonagh, Del Zotto, Stepan or Hagelin? What on earth was he holding out for?
I think what he was after was just more roster players. That seems to have been the tipping point.

Also, I'm not sure if characterizing Anisimov, Dubinsky, and Erixon all as "average" is entirely fair to them. But, meh; that's a "reasonable people can disagree" bit.

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Old
09-14-2012, 12:34 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by Vankiller Whale View Post
Well written, but you forgot to mention him declining the offer of every single pick in the Islanders' draft for the 2nd overall.
Wasn't this rumored to be conditional upon Yakupov being available at 2?

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09-14-2012, 01:57 PM
  #59
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Originally Posted by BeersHockey View Post
Wasn't this rumored to be conditional upon Yakupov being available at 2?
I had understood that Murray was their target.

I didn't bring that one up because Elliotte Friedman did a far better job than I ever could of explaining why 1) it was reasonable for Snow to make that offer and 2) it made perfect sense for Howson to decline it. It looks ridiculous to gambling addicts, but that's about it.

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Old
09-14-2012, 02:10 PM
  #60
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#1 is the one that suffers most from revisionist history, imo. The deal was a decent gamble at the time, even if in hindsight it was an overpayment and Carter hated being there so much, he wasn't effective.

I mean, in fairness, a 35-40 goal scorer for a 1st round pick, a 3rd round pick and a 40-50 point player is a pretty decent deal. And they badly needed to surround Nash with decent players.

Again, maybe in hindsight, he should have just taken Couturier. However, it's understandable why he thought Carter would be a better player than Couturier ever would be and even that he thought having Carter was superior to having Voracek and Couturier. Hell, for all we know, that still may be the case.

It wasn't great, but imo, it certainly isn't as bad as people act like it was.

Notwithstanding all of that, Howson seems like a wizard to me because I am a Senators fan. Filatov, Leclaire, maybe Methot (though I'm not as down on him as others)...

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Old
09-14-2012, 02:35 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by kack zassian View Post
In all fairness, is Columbus really much worse on paper than STL?

They are some good coaching away from being a dangerous team.
On paper, St. Louis is still a pretty good team.


On another note, OP stated Columbus won the trade over LA 'by a country mile', how is that possible when Carter was such a big factor in LA winning the cup? I would say LA won the trade by a country mile.

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09-14-2012, 02:40 PM
  #62
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Originally Posted by Viqsi View Post
That's not the point of the thread. Obviously the results are bad. The idea, though, is that folks are looking at the end result, and concluding that every single move was bad, and then going from that to concluding that Howson is among the worst GMs of all time and certainly by far the worst in the NHL. Which is, frankly, insane.

Heck, even if one accepted that "end result is the ONLY allowed measure of ability", then Tambellini's got him beat for that position by a country mile.

Personally, I think Howson is a semicompetent GM who was asked to be a superhero - because that's what we needed after the MacLean disaster. Not everybody can be a superhero, but that doesn't make them grossly incompetent.
What we need to do is establish the benchmark, which is "what did Howson start with?"

In 2007, the NHL roster in Columbus consisted of Rick Nash, Nikolai Zherdev, and a lot of guys who were on the far side of 30, several of whom were way past their primes.

In 2007, the farm system was thought to be loaded with excellent prospects who would make the team contenders for years to come.

We are forced to recognize the fact that, in retrospect, the farm system was a complete disaster. When Howson took over, the first callup for an injured forward was Alex Picard or Steve Goertzen, and the first for a defenseman was Ole-Kristian Tollefsen or Derrick Walser. (Let that sink in for a minute). Of the current farm system, any one of these players ranked 15-20th would have been top-5 back then.

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09-14-2012, 02:43 PM
  #63
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Originally Posted by stlblues9 View Post
OP stated Columbus won the trade over LA 'by a country mile', how is that possible when Carter was such a big factor in LA winning the cup? I would say LA won the trade by a country mile.
...

Sigh.

For stuff like this, I want to elaborate just how off-base this is, but given how it would have seemed impossible to get here to begin with, I'm not sure if it'd help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
In 2007, the farm system was thought to be loaded with excellent prospects who would make the team contenders for years to come.

We are forced to recognize the fact that, in retrospect, the farm system was a complete disaster. When Howson took over, the first callup for an injured forward was Alex Picard or Steve Goertzen, and the first for a defenseman was Ole-Kristian Tollefsen or Derrick Walser. (Let that sink in for a minute). Of the current farm system, any one of these players ranked 15-20th would have been top-5 back then.
For reference, the Jackets' top-20 prospect list from prior to the '07 draft is still available on this site:
http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/9020/

EDIT: This one's closer to just before his firing:
http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/9591


Last edited by Viqsi: 09-14-2012 at 02:52 PM.
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Old
09-14-2012, 02:53 PM
  #64
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Originally Posted by Viqsi View Post
...

Sigh.

For stuff like this, I want to elaborate just how off-base this is, but given how it would have seemed impossible to get here to begin with, I'm not sure if it'd help.



For reference, the Jackets' top-20 prospect list from prior to the '07 draft is still available on this site:
http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/9020/
What are you facepalming about? The fact that LA won the cup and Carter was such a big factor in it means LA won the trade. It has nothing to do with what Columbus got back. Before the trade LA wasn't in the playoff picture, they were close but not quite in. They were a bubble team. Before the trade, Columbus was last place. After the trade, LA started to gel and became a force once the playoffs hit, Carter played really well for them and they won the cup. After the trade, Columbus finished in last place.

LA won the trade 'by a country mile'

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09-14-2012, 03:11 PM
  #65
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Originally Posted by stlblues9 View Post
What are you facepalming about?
More than you seem willing to take the time to know about. Let's try and elaborate and see if it gets us anywhere.

In the introduction in the OP:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viqsi View Post
Let's take a quick look at those three recent big trades that seem to be the center of the issue, and see how groupthink accentuating the negative affects conclusions as to how they are perceived. As a comparative, I've included "conclusions" based on similarly overaccentuating the positive for Columbus - and yes, I laughed at them too.
In the description of the trade that you're criticizing:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viqsi View Post
RATIONAL CONCLUSION:
This was a very well executed trade that did an excellent job of making up for an earlier error, particularly given the extent to which Carter was dogging the team.

CBJ HOMER CONCLUSION:
CBJ won this trade by a country mile because JMFJ is a much better player than Carter and we got a 1st too!
Does this help at all?



Quote:
Originally Posted by stlblues9 View Post
The fact that LA won the cup and Carter was such a big factor in it means LA won the trade. It has nothing to do with what Columbus got back.
From the OP:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viqsi View Post
* The doctrine of "every trade always and inevitably has exactly one winner and one loser" in this case pays more attention to the fact that the Kings won the Cup.
I must commend you on your excellent illustration of this point. Prudence further dictates, however, that I also point out that the doctrine so described is a known fallacy.

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Old
09-14-2012, 03:21 PM
  #66
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Cam Atkinson and Ryan Johansen are gonna be breakout guys for CLB in the next few seasons. It might take a few years, but I think the future looks very bright in CLB. Howson actually has a solid core rebuilt and in place.

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09-14-2012, 04:18 PM
  #67
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Originally Posted by Viqsi View Post
More than you seem willing to take the time to know about. Let's try and elaborate and see if it gets us anywhere.

In the introduction in the OP:


In the description of the trade that you're criticizing:


Does this help at all?





From the OP:


I must commend you on your excellent illustration of this point. Prudence further dictates, however, that I also point out that the doctrine so described is a known fallacy.
Fair enough, I just seen "Columbus won by a country mile' and just basically responded to that. I can see how you're stating Columbus won from a Columbus POV because Carter was just hurting your team and you managed to get a Dman who wants to be there (as for him being better is your opinion, I personally believe Carter is better but whatever) and a #1 pick. I understand what you're saying, my apologies for misreading the OP.

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09-14-2012, 04:33 PM
  #68
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Wasn't this rumored to be conditional upon Yakupov being available at 2?
It was confirmed by Aaron Portzline in the June 27th edition of the podcast "Cannon Fodder" to have been contingent on Ryan Murray slipping past Edmonton. The Islanders' target was always Murray.

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09-14-2012, 04:59 PM
  #69
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Originally Posted by stlblues9 View Post
Fair enough, I just seen "Columbus won by a country mile' and just basically responded to that. I can see how you're stating Columbus won from a Columbus POV because Carter was just hurting your team and you managed to get a Dman who wants to be there (as for him being better is your opinion, I personally believe Carter is better but whatever) and a #1 pick. I understand what you're saying, my apologies for misreading the OP.
Er. Okay. For the record, you're still not 100% on target with what I was trying to do here (hint: none of those "conclusions" on each trade are actually my personal opinion as it stands), but we're close enough at this point that I can let it go.

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09-14-2012, 05:07 PM
  #70
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I agree on #2. He was put in a very tough spot.



The reason I perceive Howson as a joke is primarily #3 & #1. Number 1, Carter is not a player that was worth trading all of those pieces for. (I've watched him in Philly) And Number 3, Nash was basically traded for spare parts. Nothing significant in return, at all.


More importantly, however, is how he has handled himself. He handled the Nash fiasco as a grand spectacle and basically eliminated all but two bidders by the end of it. Most teams in the league would have jumped at the chance at Nash, but Howson managed the situation very poorly.

Furthermore, he does stupid trades and acts like they will have a positive impact. Example: Instead of vying to get Luongo or Theodore or someone decent, they snatched up Bobrovsky to go with a Mason/Bobrovsky duo. Which solves absolutely nothing.

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09-14-2012, 05:08 PM
  #71
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It's a good read. I like you Viqsi, always very logical and level-headed. You're a good poster. Plus you got the Preds as your #2 like me



<------- Now the only thing Howson really did wrong was get rid of that man, my brother, the immortal Anton Stralman!!

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09-14-2012, 05:37 PM
  #72
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Originally Posted by Ominous Grey View Post
Furthermore, he does stupid trades and acts like they will have a positive impact. Example: Instead of vying to get Luongo or Theodore or someone decent, they snatched up Bobrovsky to go with a Mason/Bobrovsky duo. Which solves absolutely nothing.
A 2nd and two 4ths for Bobrovsky (who's a lot younger and has his prime years still to come) is a lot less than it likely would have taken to have picked up Luongo or Schneider.

Don't forget that three of the best goalies in the NHL last year were Brian Elliott, Mike Smith, and Craig Anderson. All of them were afterthoughts, but all of them benefited because of a combination of coaching and defense. Don't forget that career AHLer Curtis Sanford looked good in Columbus last year until he got hurt.

Quote:
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It's a good read. I like you Viqsi, always very logical and level-headed. You're a good poster. Plus you got the Preds as your #2 like me



<------- Now the only thing Howson really did wrong was get rid of that man, my brother, the immortal Anton Stralman!!
If you saw Stralman in Columbus, you'd understand.

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09-14-2012, 05:40 PM
  #73
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Carter gets such a bad rap from what happened to CBJ and i never understood why. He is not a team cancer or a diva. He is actually a shy quite guy who keeps to himself.

The trade for him was justified for many reasons. He is a top talent at center and has 2 elite skills that make him a desirable player. He is a significant 2 way contributor and his skating allows him to move the puck out of the dzone. If he played 2nd line center for CBJ he would have been able to put up very good numbers while helping some of younger wingers. Put to put him on a top line with nash was a mistake from the start.

CBJ further botched the deal by selling on carter short. Here you have a top center in the league when healthy and locked up to a 5.2 mill cap hit....that is amazing for a team like cbj.

If i were them i would have held on to carter and nash for one more year either to see if it worked or to improve trade value.

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09-14-2012, 05:48 PM
  #74
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Carter gets such a bad rap from what happened to CBJ and i never understood why. He is not a team cancer or a diva. He is actually a shy quite guy who keeps to himself.

The trade for him was justified for many reasons. He is a top talent at center and has 2 elite skills that make him a desirable player. He is a significant 2 way contributor and his skating allows him to move the puck out of the dzone. If he played 2nd line center for CBJ he would have been able to put up very good numbers while helping some of younger wingers. Put to put him on a top line with nash was a mistake from the start.

CBJ further botched the deal by selling on carter short. Here you have a top center in the league when healthy and locked up to a 5.2 mill cap hit....that is amazing for a team like cbj.

If i were them i would have held on to carter and nash for one more year either to see if it worked or to improve trade value.
Carter played 39 games in Columbus, and maybe exerted some effort in 6 of them. Keep in mind that we went through the Nikolai Zherdev years and know what "floating" looks like...Carter was worse than that. Even his line changes were lazy.

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Old
09-14-2012, 05:59 PM
  #75
Machinehead
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New York New York
Country: United States
Posts: 42,412
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
If you saw Stralman in Columbus, you'd understand.
Yeah I understand, I mean there's a reason we grabbed him off the heap. Sometimes the old "change of scenery" thing actually works. I'm just glad it's worked, he's really a very likable player when he's on his game.

So no in all seriousness, I can't blame Howson for that.

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