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Good/Bad GMs on big $ teams

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09-09-2013, 07:21 PM
  #1
Darth Milbury
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Good/Bad GMs on big $ teams

One of the phenomena I've observed over the years is that some GMs are great, but only when they have an open checkbook. Whereas other GMs are at there best when they are trying to maintain a payroll (I think that will turn out to be true for Garth Snow, for example).

IMO, being a GM for a big money team is a lot harder than it sounds. Of course, you can buy you way out of trouble sometimes, and you have opportunities to out compete other teams with front ended deals. But, when you screw up, the impact is huge (as in Holgrem and Bryz). And, of course, in today's NHL, a big spending is always up against the cap and will need to manage resources as a result.

So, which GMs who play for big $pending teams are effective in that role and which are bad?

And, puh-leeze, no flame wars.


(PS this is the trade rumors forum, so focus on signings, trades, drafts, and waiver pickups - not stuff like relations with media, community, owners, etc).

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09-09-2013, 07:29 PM
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Don't know if Det. Falls into that category by if they do I will say Holland

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09-09-2013, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Milbury View Post
One of the phenomena I've observed over the years is that some GMs are great, but only when they have an open checkbook. Whereas other GMs are at there best when they are trying to maintain a payroll (I think that will turn out to be true for Garth Snow, for example).

IMO, being a GM for a big money team is a lot harder than it sounds. Of course, you can buy you way out of trouble sometimes, and you have opportunities to out compete other teams with front ended deals. But, when you screw up, the impact is huge (as in Holgrem and Bryz). And, of course, in today's NHL, a big spending is always up against the cap and will need to manage resources as a result.

So, which GMs who play for big $pending teams are effective in that role and which are bad?

And, puh-leeze, no flame wars.


(PS this is the trade rumors forum, so focus on signings, trades, drafts, and waiver pickups - not stuff like relations with media, community, owners, etc).
Perhaps an 'open cheque book' is the wrong term. I mean it's obvious that some GMs (Philly, etc) basically have no budget and can spend whatever it takes in the name of wining. I think the bigger issue is whether GMs have the dollars to retain talent. We saw several teams ship out talent (Oilers in the late 90s/early 00s). Now while those same teams might not be able to afford top end free agency talent, one would hope that as long as they don't continuously have to trade established talent for futures and prospects, that they should be alright.

I think the pressures of a GM of the big teams is more than a team like Columbus, Florida or Dallas (I don't really mean to single out any teams). Philly, Toronto etc all have expectations of winning (whether they do or not is another matter). And fans will not accept money as a reason not to succeed. But until the last CBA big mone teams actually had a lot more outs per say. Yes their mistakes cost money... but only money. Burying Redden in minors cost NYR 6.5m a season... but it didn't affect the team they put on the ice. Where as a budget team likely wouldn't have the pocketbook to pay for his replacement.

Now with GMs not having the option of burying a player in the minors to avoid the cap hit (well other than the 1m or so that won't count), we'll hopefully see smarter signings from the GMs. Thus allowing the smart (and the lucky) to rise above their peers.

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Last edited by Riptide: 09-09-2013 at 07:41 PM.
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09-09-2013, 07:33 PM
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Ironically, I know I will get flamed for this but... Glen Sather. The man has made bad signings. No one will argue. However, in a cap world he has managed to turn his bad signings into assets and then worked on building the team through the draft and acquisitions (Staal, Callahan, Hagelin, Del Zotto for draft and Girardi, Brassard, Moore, Nash & Boyle from acquisitions).

Great GM's are willing to adapt. Im not calling Sather a great GM. 99% of Rangers fans won't. I will say he has been a good GM for us though.

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09-09-2013, 07:34 PM
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Glen Sather was pretty bad back before the lockout. Rangers had a huge payroll and couldn't make the playoffs.

Holland is the one good example that comes to mind.

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09-09-2013, 07:35 PM
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It isn`t always the GM that is the problem. Sometimes it`s bad ownership.

Like Toronto board members for years not wanting a rebuild despite JFJ saying they needed one, Calgary owners not accepting a rebuild until last season, Snider forcing the Bryz signing, Wang being to close to Dipietro resulting in that terrible signing.

Anyhow Holland and Chiarelli get my votes as best.

The worst was fired not long ago in Pierre Gauthier and replaced by someone whose Bergevin whose done some very good work in his short time.

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09-09-2013, 07:36 PM
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Bad GMs: Nonis ( so far ), Lowe

Good: Chiarelli, Bergevin ( so far )

in between: Holmgren, Sather

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09-09-2013, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by FirstOverallLine View Post
Glen Sather was pretty bad back before the lockout. Rangers had a huge payroll and couldn't make the playoffs.

Holland is the one good example that comes to mind.
Yeah for years Sather was the poster child of a guy who only does well if he's on a budget, guess a salary cap was just what he needed.

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09-09-2013, 07:38 PM
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Bowman has been great.

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09-09-2013, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sansabri View Post
Bad GMs: Nonis ( so far ), Lowe

Good: Chiarelli, Bergevin ( so far )

in between: Holmgren, Sather
How so? Looks like he's going to field a competitive team and get his rfa signed to reasonable deals...Clarkson deal is too long but it will pay dividends immediately...

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09-09-2013, 07:45 PM
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Someone help me out ... how much money do Jeff Finger, David Clarkson, Brett Lebda and John-Michael Liles have in their Wells Fargo accounts?

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09-09-2013, 07:46 PM
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I think Lombardi does a fantastic job maintaining cap flexibility and keeping a team competitive with an open checkbook.

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09-09-2013, 07:47 PM
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How so? Looks like he's going to field a competitive team and get his rfa signed to reasonable deals...Clarkson deal is too long but it will pay dividends immediately...
Clarkson will probably be fine the first two seasons, but once his body breaks down, that contract will kill the Leafs.

the Leafs were already one of the toughest and biggest teams last season... they didn't even need Clarkson.

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09-09-2013, 07:47 PM
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Chiarelli is probably the best of the big money teams. Makes trades that sometimes don't work out but overall brings in the right guys and has lots of depth.
I don't really count Stan Bowman as he was handed a situation that pretty much any GM could do well with.
I'd also add Holland for Detroit as he doesn't hand out a lot of bad contracts.

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09-09-2013, 07:49 PM
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Don Maloney has done an awesome job with Phoenix. Takes the team to the playoffs 3 years in a row, budget team, makes the Conference Finals, almost takes the west, wins the Pacific.

The guy is a genius who takes other teams "scraps" and gets value out of them.

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09-09-2013, 07:50 PM
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Sather seems to be better when he's tossing around as little of the Rangers ample cash as possible.

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09-09-2013, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sansabri View Post
Bad GMs: Nonis ( so far ), Lowe

Good: Chiarelli, Bergevin ( so far )

in between: Holmgren, Sather
His only season as our GM was the only season since the 05 lockout where the Leafs made the playoffs.
Now I will agree that most of the players on that team werent guys he added but then shouldnt we wait to see how his signings and trades work out before we start calling him a bad GM?

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09-09-2013, 07:56 PM
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Ironically, I know I will get flamed for this but... Glen Sather. The man has made bad signings. No one will argue. However, in a cap world he has managed to turn his bad signings into assets and then worked on building the team through the draft and acquisitions (Staal, Callahan, Hagelin, Del Zotto for draft and Girardi, Brassard, Moore, Nash & Boyle from acquisitions).

Great GM's are willing to adapt. Im not calling Sather a great GM. 99% of Rangers fans won't. I will say he has been a good GM for us though.
Slats is a perfect case study for this thread. After Pocklington forced him to trade off any and all pieces from the dynasty, it took a few years to get back on track but he eventually kept the Oil competitive on a 25-30 mil payroll while teams like Detroit, New York and Dallas spent around 90 mil. Every 2 years we'd turn a player in a contract year who was poised for a big raise into a younger player who'd be in the same situation 2 years later.

When Slats finally moved on to New York I thought he'd build another dynasty given what he could do with a 30 mil payroll, but it went the other way, failing to make the playoffs his first 4 years. Still doesn't seem as though he's learned his lesson with free agency, but they have drafted well, traded well and handled re-signings (RFA's especially) well.

As for more recent GM's, Lowe was brutal outside of acquiring Pronger. The offer sheets did not work for different reasons and his tireless pursuit of Hossa could have killed our cap situation had his 9 mil a year offer been accepted.

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09-09-2013, 07:57 PM
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All things considered, Mike Gillis has put Vancouver in a good position to both be competitive now and yet have a decent crop of blue-chip prospects. If it wasn't all marred by the Lu fiasco he would easily be top 3 out of open-cheque teams.

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09-09-2013, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by sansabri View Post
Clarkson will probably be fine the first two seasons, but once his body breaks down, that contract will kill the Leafs.

the Leafs were already one of the toughest and biggest teams last season... they didn't even need Clarkson.
The Leafs had toughness last season but most of that was on our 4th line of bottom D pairing. With the way Kadri plays throwing big hits and chirping players they needed someone capible of protecting him.

Nonis definitely overpaid for Clarkson but he was the kind of player they needed. There is a good chance the last couple years of this deal will be bought out.

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09-09-2013, 08:04 PM
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His only season as our GM was the only season since the 05 lockout where the Leafs made the playoffs.
Now I will agree that most of the players on that team werent guys he added but then shouldnt we wait to see how his signings and trades work out before we start calling him a bad GM?
that's why i added the 'so far.' if it were just Bernier he had signed, he'd be getting more praise.

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09-09-2013, 08:08 PM
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that's why i added the 'so far.' if it were just Bernier he had signed, he'd be getting more praise.
His only season was successful. Bernier, Bolland and Clarkson haven't played a single game for the Leafs its way to early to call him one of the worst GM's in the game based on adding those players.

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09-09-2013, 08:13 PM
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Kevin Lowe was a pretty shrewd GM up until the EIG allowed him to spend close to the cap.

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09-09-2013, 08:19 PM
  #24
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Holmgren and Sather win hands down for the bad

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09-09-2013, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Milbury View Post
One of the phenomena I've observed over the years is that some GMs are great, but only when they have an open checkbook. Whereas other GMs are at there best when they are trying to maintain a payroll (I think that will turn out to be true for Garth Snow, for example).

IMO, being a GM for a big money team is a lot harder than it sounds. Of course, you can buy you way out of trouble sometimes, and you have opportunities to out compete other teams with front ended deals. But, when you screw up, the impact is huge (as in Holgrem and Bryz). And, of course, in today's NHL, a big spending is always up against the cap and will need to manage resources as a result.

So, which GMs who play for big $pending teams are effective in that role and which are bad?

And, puh-leeze, no flame wars.


(PS this is the trade rumors forum, so focus on signings, trades, drafts, and waiver pickups - not stuff like relations with media, community, owners, etc).
Interesting topic, and the bold is something I've believed for a while. As you've alluded, in some weird way being the GM of a team with an internal cap may even be advantageous in some ways, as they're typically not the teams signing guys to ridiculous contracts during free agency. Then you have other teams that are pretty much expected to go big in free agency.

Of course context matters too; history, owner pressure, fan bases, arena situations, etc. are some of the many pressures and influences that affect the transactions you mentioned above. And the fact that like the players GM's have strengths and weaknesses. So you're right that in another situation a scorned GM may suddenly look competent.

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