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

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Old
09-27-2012, 01:01 AM
  #226
Voodoo Child
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Johansen
Murphy
Moore
Savard
Erixon

3 1sts next year, their own (which should probably be lottery), LA's (20-30) and New York (20-30).

Dubinsky
Anisimov
Foligno
JJ

I actually don't think the team looks too horrible, but they need to pick up a goalie.

As for the trades...

1) The Carter trade backfired when he came in with attitude and Couturier dropped.

2) Flipping Carter for JJ and a 1st is a wash. Carter is more proven, JJ has a higher ceiling.

3) It's clearly obvious that Nash was bolting, and even if he didn't get what he was demanding, at least he got something of value for him. Dubi and Anisimov are fine top-9 forwards and Erixon could be a top-4 D.

4) Foligno for Methot is a good deal.

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Old
09-27-2012, 10:16 AM
  #227
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Originally Posted by Viqsi View Post
Congrats, you've singled out one game out of five or six where he actually played. What about the other 33?

The guy was worse than bad here, he was lazy. No amount of hero worship is going to change that.
Games where Jeff Carter showed up to put in a full night's effort:

10/07/11 against Nashville
11/21/11 against Calgary
11/25/11 against Buffalo
12/22/11 against Nashville
2/7/12 against Minnesota
2/21/12 against San Jose
9 goals, 4 assists in those 6 games. 4-2 record.

The other 33 games: 6 goals, 6 assists.

We've seen streaky scorers, we've seen big men who look like they're floating when they're not...Carter was neither. If he'd showed up for half the game he played in, the season would have looked a lot different than it did...wouldn't have been a playoff year, but it wouldn't have been 30th overall.

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Old
09-27-2012, 05:06 PM
  #228
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
Games where Jeff Carter showed up to put in a full night's effort:

10/07/11 against Nashville
11/21/11 against Calgary
11/25/11 against Buffalo
12/22/11 against Nashville
2/7/12 against Minnesota
2/21/12 against San Jose
9 goals, 4 assists in those 6 games. 4-2 record.

The other 33 games: 6 goals, 6 assists.

We've seen streaky scorers, we've seen big men who look like they're floating when they're not...Carter was neither. If he'd showed up for half the game he played in, the season would have looked a lot different than it did...wouldn't have been a playoff year, but it wouldn't have been 30th overall.
It's almost incredible how you can make outrageous, unprovable claims and pass them off as fact. Earlier in the thread you claimed to have done research into players who didn't want to play for the team they were on, as if you could somehow measure the "care" level of every NHL player to have ever played the game.

Now you're somehow measuring the level of effort you "know" Jeff Carter put into every game he played. Care to share the actual data? Run some numbers by me. Please tell me the formula and criteria you use when you sit down analyze things like player morale, care levels, effort levels, things like that.

Edit: Do you know personal information about every player, literally every player, to have played? If not, how can you compare? Any control groups? Anything? Anything at all to actually base these "facts" on? Of course not.


Last edited by ThirdManIn: 09-27-2012 at 10:22 PM. Reason: completely unnecessary
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Old
09-27-2012, 07:09 PM
  #229
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From what I understand, and based on my own observations (which were less in-depth because I personally tend to focus more on blueliners and goaltenders, and I was also equally distracted by just overall disorganization defensively and so I can't be certain if I was genuinely observing covering for Carter alone or if it was just general malaise - I suspect the latter, honestly), it's more of a "we've run out of alternative explanations" thing. If you'd like to come up with one, be my guest. I'm not sure of his reasons for rejecting "playing injured" (the most plausible alternative), but in my case it was because he was constantly running hot and cold between games and sometimes in the middle of shifts - he'd press hard to get to the offensive zone, turn over the puck, and suddenly wouldn't get past center ice, having been nearly overtaken by every other Blue Jacket, most of the opposition, and in at least one case the opposition's blueliners (he would have been called offsides if he'd been passed the puck - and he'd had it less than seven or eight seconds ago!). Carter wasn't the only guy who would find himself well out of position, but he did so with such shocking consistency that you'd think we'd traded for some idiot floater instead of one of the better backchecking forwards in the game.

Now, if I truly hated Carter and all that he did, I suppose I could suggest that the reason why the defense was so screwed up was because everyone was constantly trying to cover for him. Sadly for any inferiority complexes I might harbor, while it's true that that happened, it would be more fair to say that everyone was kind of confusedly trying to cover for everybody and failing. Carter certainly stood out in that regard, but not to a degree that he could be held singularly responsible. But then again, that's true of our entire season - and is why nobody actually has held him singularly responsible, despite your repeated assertions that that's somehow what we're doing.

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Last edited by ThirdManIn: 09-27-2012 at 10:36 PM. Reason: qdp
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Old
09-27-2012, 07:10 PM
  #230
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voodoo Child View Post
Johansen
Murphy
Moore
Savard
Erixon

3 1sts next year, their own (which should probably be lottery), LA's (20-30) and New York (20-30).

Dubinsky
Anisimov
Foligno
JJ

I actually don't think the team looks too horrible, but they need to pick up a goalie.

As for the trades...

1) The Carter trade backfired when he came in with attitude and Couturier dropped.

2) Flipping Carter for JJ and a 1st is a wash. Carter is more proven, JJ has a higher ceiling.

3) It's clearly obvious that Nash was bolting, and even if he didn't get what he was demanding, at least he got something of value for him. Dubi and Anisimov are fine top-9 forwards and Erixon could be a top-4 D.

4) Foligno for Methot is a good deal.
The thing about the Nash deal was that him wanting out was a direct result of Howson failing to build a competitive team. Sure, GIVEN Nash wanted to be elsewhere the deal was okay. But the fact that he did want to get traded in the first place despite being given a huge pay day says a lot about Howson's inability to put together a cohesive unit.

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Old
09-27-2012, 07:16 PM
  #231
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VinnyC View Post
The thing about the Nash deal was that him wanting out was a direct result of Howson failing to build a competitive team. Sure, GIVEN Nash wanted to be elsewhere the deal was okay. But the fact that he did want to get traded in the first place despite being given a huge pay day says a lot about Howson's inability to put together a cohesive unit.
Good point, and that has been one of his biggest issues. It looks a lot better on paper this year, but, well, "on paper" are among the most most evil words in the Blue Jacket fan lexicon.

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Old
09-27-2012, 07:21 PM
  #232
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I don't agree on the Carter thing. We Philly fans knew there was no shot Carter and Nash would be an ideal pairing. Carter isn't a typical center to play with a scoring winger.

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Old
09-27-2012, 07:45 PM
  #233
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Carter had 8 goals in 20 playoff games. 4 were in the Finals. He was clutch. I don't know him personally but from all his interviews since becoming a King he seems kinda shy. I don't know where all this locker room hate is coming from.

Of course he was shocked and hurt by the Flyers trade, he and Richards both signed 10 year deals to stay in Philly and teammates and both were dealh soon after those deals were signed. It just happened that Richards went to a good team in LA with some familiar faces (Justin Williams, John Stevens) and Carter went to Columbus, one of the worst teams. Even Richards admitted it was hard.

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Old
09-27-2012, 08:05 PM
  #234
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Generally View Post

(Bunch of redacted text)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Generally View Post

(more of the same)
Oh, for the love of...

If there's one thing I just love doing, it's responding back to people who refuse to use the search function. But since I have to do all the legwork here....

Petr Nedved was an RFA without a contract, and was signed by St. Louis to an offer sheet in March of 1994. Vancouver declined to match, and was awarded Craig Janney as compensation. Janney refused to report to Vancouver, and was traded back to St. Louis for three players. Rather than pout and act hurt about St. Louis not wanting him (Vancouver had demanded Brendan Shanahan), Janney did the following:
After the trade: 10 games, 0 goals, 13 assists (13 points). 4 playoff games, 1 goal, 3 assists (4 ppints).
Before the trade: 59 games, 16 goals, 55 assists (71 points).

Oh, not enough proof?
Janney awarded as compensation
Janney refuses to report
Janney traded back to St. Louis for three players

Are you going to trust me on the production, or do I need to post box scores as well?

Moving on...

Bernie Nicholls was traded off Gretzky's Kings to the Rangers. From there, he was moved to Edmonton as part of the Messier deal. Nicholls refused to report. He said that his wife going through a difficult pregnancy made his decision easy, but going from near the top of the league to a team that was quite clearly beginning a long-term rebuild also played a part. After sitting out two months, Nicholls finally reported.
1990-91 (with Rangers) - 71 games, 25 goals, 48 assists (73 points)
1991-92 (with Oilers) - 49 games, 20 goals, 29 assists (49 points)
1992-93 (with Oilers) - 46 games, 8 goals, 32 assists (40 points) before being traded to New Jersey
Nicholls refuses to report. Check out his last quote as well.

Keep going?

Alexei Yashin used to make holdouts seem like an annual ritual. He held out to start the 1995-96 season and played in only 46 games, and he missed the entire 1999-00 season with another holdout. What did he do?
1994-95 (no holdout) - 47 games, 21 goals, 23 assists (44 points)
1995-96 (long holdout) - 46 games, 15 goals, 24 assists (39 points)
1998-99 (no holdout) - 82 games, 44 goals, 50 assists (94 points)
2000-01 (after yearlong holdout) - 82 games, 40 goals, 48 assists (88 points)
Yashin reports in 1995-96 season on January 3
Still holding out at the 2000 draft

Keep going, you say?

Scott Stevens signed with St. Louis as a free agent. One year later, after the Blues signed Brendan Shanahan, Stevens was sent to New Jersey as compensation. Stevens refused to report. After threatening lawsuits and retirement, he finally agreed to report. St. Louis was near the top of the league, the Devils were still a perennial laughingstock except for the 1987-88 incredible playoff run.
1990-91 (with Blues) - 78 games, 5 goals, 44 assists (49 points)
1991-92 (with Devils, after refusing to report) - 68 games, 17 goals, 42 assists (59 points)

And finally...

Jeff Carter was traded by Philadelphia to Columbus for Jakub Voracek and two draft picks. He couldn't be located at all for close to a week, and Columbus had to send a contingent of personnel (including GM Scott Howson and five-time All-Star forward Rick Nash) just to try to talk him out of hiding.
2010-11 (with Philly) - 80 games, 36 goals, 30 assists (66 points)
2011-12 (with Columbus) - 39 games, 15 goals, 10 assists (25 points)

That was with an increase in his average ice time to the second-highest in his career. In 2009-10, still getting less than he did with Columbus, he had 33 goals and 28 assists (61 points) in 74 games.

There. No psychoanalysis has been performed, no voodoo magic conjured up. Just straight numbers, and links to newspaper stories. Where I'm from, both of those are called "proof".

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Old
09-27-2012, 08:23 PM
  #235
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voodoo Child View Post
I actually don't think the team looks too horrible, but they need to pick up a goalie.

As for the trades...

1) The Carter trade backfired when he came in with attitude and Couturier dropped.

2) Flipping Carter for JJ and a 1st is a wash. Carter is more proven, JJ has a higher ceiling.

3) It's clearly obvious that Nash was bolting, and even if he didn't get what he was demanding, at least he got something of value for him. Dubi and Anisimov are fine top-9 forwards and Erixon could be a top-4 D.

4) Foligno for Methot is a good deal.
Agreed, the initial Carter trade wasn't really good value but I can see the logic in it. The rest was okay with the Wis signing probably being his worst other move.

The problem is that it's hard to turn a team around without a solid goalie and until CBJ gets one everyone on the team will look like crap because they will lose a ton of games and hate their jobs.

Bob is the same player that Mason was two years ago.

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Old
09-27-2012, 08:26 PM
  #236
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Yuck! Too much reading in this thread.

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Old
09-27-2012, 08:47 PM
  #237
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
Oh, for the love of...

If there's one thing I just love doing, it's responding back to people who refuse to use the search function. But since I have to do all the legwork here....

Petr Nedved was an RFA without a contract, and was signed by St. Louis to an offer sheet in March of 1994. Vancouver declined to match, and was awarded Craig Janney as compensation. Janney refused to report to Vancouver, and was traded back to St. Louis for three players. Rather than pout and act hurt about St. Louis not wanting him (Vancouver had demanded Brendan Shanahan), Janney did the following:
After the trade: 10 games, 0 goals, 13 assists (13 points). 4 playoff games, 1 goal, 3 assists (4 ppints).
Before the trade: 59 games, 16 goals, 55 assists (71 points).

Oh, not enough proof?
Janney awarded as compensation
Janney refuses to report
Janney traded back to St. Louis for three players

Are you going to trust me on the production, or do I need to post box scores as well?

Moving on...

Bernie Nicholls was traded off Gretzky's Kings to the Rangers. From there, he was moved to Edmonton as part of the Messier deal. Nicholls refused to report. He said that his wife going through a difficult pregnancy made his decision easy, but going from near the top of the league to a team that was quite clearly beginning a long-term rebuild also played a part. After sitting out two months, Nicholls finally reported.
1990-91 (with Rangers) - 71 games, 25 goals, 48 assists (73 points)
1991-92 (with Oilers) - 49 games, 20 goals, 29 assists (49 points)
1992-93 (with Oilers) - 46 games, 8 goals, 32 assists (40 points) before being traded to New Jersey
Nicholls refuses to report. Check out his last quote as well.

Keep going?

Alexei Yashin used to make holdouts seem like an annual ritual. He held out to start the 1995-96 season and played in only 46 games, and he missed the entire 1999-00 season with another holdout. What did he do?
1994-95 (no holdout) - 47 games, 21 goals, 23 assists (44 points)
1995-96 (long holdout) - 46 games, 15 goals, 24 assists (39 points)
1998-99 (no holdout) - 82 games, 44 goals, 50 assists (94 points)
2000-01 (after yearlong holdout) - 82 games, 40 goals, 48 assists (88 points)
Yashin reports in 1995-96 season on January 3
Still holding out at the 2000 draft

Keep going, you say?

Scott Stevens signed with St. Louis as a free agent. One year later, after the Blues signed Brendan Shanahan, Stevens was sent to New Jersey as compensation. Stevens refused to report. After threatening lawsuits and retirement, he finally agreed to report. St. Louis was near the top of the league, the Devils were still a perennial laughingstock except for the 1987-88 incredible playoff run.
1990-91 (with Blues) - 78 games, 5 goals, 44 assists (49 points)
1991-92 (with Devils, after refusing to report) - 68 games, 17 goals, 42 assists (59 points)

And finally...

Jeff Carter was traded by Philadelphia to Columbus for Jakub Voracek and two draft picks. He couldn't be located at all for close to a week, and Columbus had to send a contingent of personnel (including GM Scott Howson and five-time All-Star forward Rick Nash) just to try to talk him out of hiding.
2010-11 (with Philly) - 80 games, 36 goals, 30 assists (66 points)
2011-12 (with Columbus) - 39 games, 15 goals, 10 assists (25 points)

That was with an increase in his average ice time to the second-highest in his career. In 2009-10, still getting less than he did with Columbus, he had 33 goals and 28 assists (61 points) in 74 games.

There. No psychoanalysis has been performed, no voodoo magic conjured up. Just straight numbers, and links to newspaper stories. Where I'm from, both of those are called "proof".
I don't think the dropoff between 36 goals in 80 games, to 15 goals in 39 games, proves much except that he was a little unlucky or a little lazy, or (in reality) some combination. but then again, howson traded for a lazy bum when he could have had richards, so...

i guess good gms prefer a carter over a richards.

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Old
09-27-2012, 09:09 PM
  #238
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Originally Posted by jacketsinDC View Post
I don't think the dropoff between 36 goals in 80 games, to 15 goals in 39 games, proves much except that he was a little unlucky or a little lazy, or (in reality) some combination. but then again, howson traded for a lazy bum when he could have had richards, so...

i guess good gms prefer a carter over a richards.
Since 6 of those goals were clustered into 2 games (in which, in rare form, he was all over the ice with a mission), we'd otherwise be looking at 9 goals in 37 games.

Also, his shooting percentage in Columbus was higher than it had been since 2008-09.

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Old
09-27-2012, 09:42 PM
  #239
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What I want to know is why didn't Howson try to trade for Richards instead of Carter?

Richards is more of a playmaker so it would've made sense to try and get him to play with Nash and they also had chemistry at the olympics.

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Old
09-27-2012, 10:32 PM
  #240
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Originally Posted by Viqsi View Post
Good point, and that has been one of his biggest issues. It looks a lot better on paper this year, but, well, "on paper" are among the most most evil words in the Blue Jacket fan lexicon.
If you want to compare the team vis-a-vis with the rest of the league it doesn't look good at all. While the blue line looks solid and promising at the same time there front line is full of tweeners w/ no big offensive guns. And of course who knows how the goaltending situation will work out.

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Old
09-28-2012, 01:39 PM
  #241
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What I want to know is why didn't Howson try to trade for Richards instead of Carter?

Richards is more of a playmaker so it would've made sense to try and get him to play with Nash and they also had chemistry at the olympics.
I bet Richards was the target at one point. The Kings were willing to give up Schenn, the Jackets weren't willing to give up Johansen, so the Kings got him.

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Old
09-28-2012, 05:45 PM
  #242
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Utah View Post
Carter had 8 goals in 20 playoff games. 4 were in the Finals. He was clutch. I don't know him personally but from all his interviews since becoming a King he seems kinda shy. I don't know where all this locker room hate is coming from.
From his attitude in Columbus and Columbus alone. Not in Philadelphia, and certainly not in LA.

* * *
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Originally Posted by OilFan91 View Post
Yuck! Too much reading in this thread.
Condensed version, for your convenience:
"Howson's goofed a lot. But he's not the worst ever. He does good things too. Saying otherwise means you are not thinking and/or a hater. We should probably still replace him sometime though."

With responses varying between "yeah, that's fair", "OMG JEFF CARTER", and "LOL you all suck this is fail".

* * *
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinnyC View Post
If you want to compare the team vis-a-vis with the rest of the league it doesn't look good at all. While the blue line looks solid and promising at the same time there front line is full of tweeners w/ no big offensive guns. And of course who knows how the goaltending situation will work out.
The thing about the forwards is those tweeners are on the front line, true, but they're also on the second and third lines and if we're really lucky w/r/t prospect development and/or trades we could end up with the same on the fourth line as well. So it's questionable, but not necessarily a weakness.

Goaltending, OTOH, is a big fat question mark. I don't buy the suggestions made by some here that Bob is exactly the same player as Mason was two years ago (similar stats, not similar deployment patterns and miles apart in actual attitude & work ethic), but Bob's still not a proven starter. He's a strong maybe.

Basically, if Bob (or Mason) is competitive, we're competitive. This is why some of us still keep chatting about Theodore and Luongo and the like even though the prices are a little crazy and the chances of getting 'em are astronomically unlikely.

* * *
Quote:
Originally Posted by candyman82 View Post
I bet Richards was the target at one point. The Kings were willing to give up Schenn, the Jackets weren't willing to give up Johansen, so the Kings got him.
This, pretty much. From what we'd heard, Holmgren asked for Johansen and was told "no", asked again and was told "no, never", and then asked a few more times.

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Old
09-29-2012, 01:46 AM
  #243
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Having read the OP, i honestly don't understand how that's a 'positive' outcome.

Partially fixing ENORMOUS mistakes by making other mistakes doesn't rectify the situation. Bringing in questionable players to replace stars doesn't make a team, any more than the opposite. At the end of the day, the Blue Jackets are really just running in place. There's zero coherent vision for the team, and what they want it to become...the goaltending is ridiculous, and realistically, they're already looking at the 2013 draft as a 'saving grace' picking high to fix the offense. From a team with as many consistently high draft picks as the Blue Jackets have had, that is basically unacceptable. There is zero excuse for being where they are, and zero excuse for the directionless no mans land they're currently in...other than piss poor management. And that goes to the highest levels of the organization...not just Howson...but the entire house. It needs to be cleaned, and the Blue Jackets need someone with vision, integrity, and talent to run their show if they're going to emerge from the cadre of 'despised leech southern teams'. i absolutely believe that Columbus is a viable hockey market (unlike many other markets), but that team needs a legitimate talent at the helm...not thumb-twiddling indecisive, silly giveaways Howson. Defend all you want...Howson is just a terrible GM. End of story. He just isn't good, and there are probably HF-posters who would do a better job. He needs to be removed before the Blue Jackets have any hope of fixing their situation and becoming a nationally relevant team that people truly care about.

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Old
09-29-2012, 01:55 AM
  #244
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viqsi View Post
This, pretty much. From what we'd heard, Holmgren asked for Johansen and was told "no", asked again and was told "no, never", and then asked a few more times.
THIS is why Howson has to go if the Jackets are going to be successful.


Sure, he didn't want to give up Johansen, who he drafted and obviously likes a lot. But at the same time...Settling for a secondary player (Carter) just because you didn't like the price, is cheapskate tactics and it doesn't fly in the NHL. You can't just deal for Carter because you don't like the price for Richards. Richards is a cup winner, a leader, a proven performer and the sort of guy you build around. Carter is...a very very good complementary player. They are not even remotely interchangeable at the most detailed level...and more than anything...it didn't take a genuis to imagine that Carter+Nash would be a disaster. Those are two fundamentally incompatible players. Richards on the other hand...is a perfect fit with what Nash does, has proven chemistry with the guy on the absolute highest stage (Olympics), and is every bit the guy who can push a team to be great. You don't cheap out on that just because the Flyers want a bit more for him...That's bargain basement team management, and classic Howson. Exactly why he can't build a winner, or even decent, respectable team. He honestly doesn't seem to know what he wants, who he wants, or what on earth he's trying to accomplish.

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Old
09-29-2012, 09:27 AM
  #245
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By what measurables is Scott Howson a GOOD gm? Forget about proving about how the deals people think were bad (which they were) really weren't... please list for me the accomplishments of Scott Howson that will convince this skeptic that he is in the top 1/2 of NHL GMs

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Old
09-29-2012, 10:05 AM
  #246
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Originally Posted by biturbo19 View Post
But at the same time...Settling for a secondary player (Carter) just because you didn't like the price, is cheapskate tactics and it doesn't fly in the NHL.
Sure, it does. All the time, as well. It's simply professional for a GM. Every player has a price, and if the relation of price and estimated effect doesn't work out for you, you look at other options - like Carter in that case. It's completely usual. For every trade made, there's one team that payed the price, and usually a lot more that didn't want to. And there can be good reason for that.

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Originally Posted by biturbo19 View Post
Richards is a cup winner, a leader, a proven performer and the sort of guy you build around.
The Flyers sort-of built around him (and with their depth at the time, I'd be very hesitant to consider that "building around" anybody particularly), and decided that foundation wasn't one they were willing to continue with. He wasn't really built around in LA, either, by my definition. He was a perfect fit for that team, and the 2nd line center role is a very important one, but I can't look at the seaon he's had with the Kings and think he could have dragged the Jackets out of the bottom third of the league. I think that's completely unreasonable.

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09-29-2012, 10:43 AM
  #247
Benedict Kovalchuk
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I think a lot of people in this thread are confusing poor luck for poor management. He screwed the pooch on the Carter deal in not seeing his significant attitude issues, was blindsided by Couturier falling sure, but managed to salvage it with the trade for JJ. All the other trades were fine or better, and overall the Columbus Blue Jackets really had an awful run of luck last season that would tarnish the reputation of any player, coach, or management....which is something I think most overlook. I mean, it is very apparent in how people talk of the Blue Jackets that they've written off any consideration of them free from condescension.

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09-29-2012, 10:58 AM
  #248
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biturbo19 View Post
THIS is why Howson has to go if the Jackets are going to be successful.
Because he refused to trade the one guy who was simultaneously our best prospect and our only center prospect that qualified as "halfway decent"?

Holmgren was asking for Johansen IN ADDITION TO Voracek and a high draft pick. And he was asking that for Carter as well.

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09-29-2012, 11:33 AM
  #249
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Originally Posted by Dr Quincy View Post
By what measurables is Scott Howson a GOOD gm? Forget about proving about how the deals people think were bad (which they were) really weren't... please list for me the accomplishments of Scott Howson that will convince this skeptic that he is in the top 1/2 of NHL GMs
"I am right because I am right!"

But to answer your question, the drafting/development has improved immensely since Howson took over. The team appears to have found a gems in David Savard (4th rounder) Cam Atkinson (6th round) while some other lower selections (Tomas Kubalik, Matt Calvert, Allen York) have shown solid NHL potential. It is hard to judge 2nd round picks, as players like Will Weber (2007), Cody Goloubef (2008), and Kevin Lynch (2009) went the college route and are still developing. I don't think anybody could have foreseen the Stefan Legein (2007) debacle.

The case of Nikita Filatov has been discussed at length elsewhere. He remains the only true "bust" of Howson's first round picks.

Those who point out that players like Ryan Johansen and John Moore were "rushed" need to examine two points. First, despite receiving fairly sheltered minutes (Spent time on every single forward line I believe and was scratched for a few games) his future is still looking bright. I don't think anything would have been gained by leaving him in the WHL for another season. Moore wasn't supposed to be in the NHL last season. However, the Radek Martinek injury forced him into the lineup, where he played very well for the first few months. He really needs to improve his conditioning, he was visibly exhausted by the end of the year.

Trade wise, I like some of the moves that Howson has made. To list a few: The Carter-Johnson trade, the Russell-Nikitin trade, the Filatov-Tynan trade, the Sestito-Chaput trade, the Letestu trade, the Zherdev-Tyutin trade, etc. Hell, at the time I was even excited about the Voracek-Carter trade.

Free agent wise, the best example I can think of is Vinny Prospal. When this team finally has some success, you can trace it back to the acquisition of Prospal.

Look, I wouldn't put him in the top half of GMs. But to say that he is all bad is ridiculous.

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