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Tom powers article in Pioneer Press...

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01-25-2004, 02:48 PM
  #1
DW
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Tom powers article in Pioneer Press...

Did anybody else get to read the article on the future of some of our veterans. Someone had posted it on the wild boards. What I really found interesting was that the Wild were offered a 1st rd pick in last years draft for Walz at the deadline. The question I have is would you make that deal not knowing the results of the playoffs? Me, definitely. How could you not make that deal? Yes, we had great chemistry last year but the dearth of talent on this team has really stuck out this year.

Would you make that deal this year?


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01-25-2004, 09:25 PM
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That is just criminal. How on earth can he turn down a 1st round pick for Walz? Especially when you consider most of the 1st round picks the team has had have played right after being drafted. I am really at a loss of words here... Sure he did well with 13 points in 18 games but.............. I'm going to cut myself off here. Think of it as though you were a GM of a different team and DR offered Walz for your 1st. I'm sure you'd say hell no! I would...

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01-26-2004, 12:55 AM
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Depends though...on the first round draft pick and who offered...Just really depends.

 
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01-26-2004, 03:20 AM
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Heck of a deal, but I'm not so sure many GM's would have made the move. The Wild were very much in the running to make the playoffs, and Walz was a pretty big part of that. I'm not sure what I would have done. Obviously I'm not GM material, but I think it'd be pretty hard to make a move like that unless you were mathematically eliminated from making the playoffs. Also, I think trading Walz at that time for a draft pick would've looked pretty questionable to a lot of the fans (which, in my opinion, is not a problem, but I'm sure some concern for the customer goes into any business decision the team makes). This year, entirely different story, I'd guess. The playoffs last year have put so many people's expectations out of reach of the team, so almost any move will be looked upon as a good one, even if it is effectively giving up on the season.

On the other hand, sheesh.. when you look at the guys from last year's first round... ouch. Of course, it's likely that several of them will be busts.. you could always end up with a bust.

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01-26-2004, 03:37 AM
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I think also without Walz, we wouldn't have gotten so far and made a story from impossible to possible. Lemaire loved this guy. The organization loved this guy. He was Wild hockey and Wild hockey was Walz. You can't trade away guys like that.

 
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01-26-2004, 03:55 PM
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I agreed with you TSK - Walz epitomizes everything people think of when they think of Wild hockey. He's been up and down this year, but he had a great year last year, and seemed like the heart and soul of the team, especially in the playoffs. I would have liked the Wild to have had another first, especially in last year's draft, but their playoff run was so memorable I'm glad they stood pat.

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01-26-2004, 04:30 PM
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"Most of our first round picks have played right after being drafted"

That's a bit of a stretch wouldn't you say. Gabbie is the only one who plays regular. Bouchard is a light weight, doesn't play a lot, Burns also is a bit player. They are both inserted in and out of the lineup to give them expierence. they aren't what I would call regulars. Players like Nash and Boumeister are playing right after being drafted. We are wasting roster spots on players who could be playing and learning more in junior imo. Keep someone on the roster who is capable of playing on a consistent basis.


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01-26-2004, 11:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strib
"Most of our first round picks have played right after being drafted"

That's a bit of a stretch wouldn't you say. Gabbie is the only one who plays regular. Bouchard is a light weight, doesn't play a lot, Burns also is a bit player. They are both inserted in and out of the lineup to give them expierence. they aren't what I would call regulars. Players like Nash and Boumeister are playing right after being drafted. We are wasting roster spots on players who could be playing and learning more in junior imo. Keep someone on the roster who is capable of playing on a consistent basis.

True. But I the Wild play their prospects on a more regular basis than most teams, atleast for players who were just recently drafted.

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01-27-2004, 11:50 PM
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1. I think trading a key player when the team was on the verge of its first playoff berth would have sent a very bad message to the rest of the team and the fans.

2. It probably would have been a late 1st round pick - assume in the 25th overall range. I don't think this pick would have gotten us a superstar player, but maybe someone like Tambellini, A.Stewart, Boyle - all are projects that may turn out some day.

3. The Fact that three of four 1st rounders made the team immediately has more to do with general lack of depth in our system than anything. Just because they made the team right away I'm not ready to crown Burns, Bouchard, and Gaborik as can't miss superstarts quite yet.

4. I disagree that these guys would develop better in juniors than with the Wild. They certainly are challenged more in the NHL than in juniors. If you are always the best player on the ice you will progress slower than against better competition. Plus the coaching is so much better.

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01-28-2004, 01:44 AM
  #10
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Goldy-#1 would be the reason that he wasn't dealt last year imo. That being said, it's giving up something (1st) for just the short term (Walz) well being of the franchise. Granted I'm not disappointed with the results of last years run or the decision to keep Walz. To me, it's seems rather shortsighted whether or not these guys may or may not become a NHL player. The whole theme of this organization is to build for the long term viability in making the playoffs. Not the short term, make the playoffs, and appease the fans route (and the bottom line). JMHO

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01-28-2004, 04:16 PM
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DW, I agree somewhat with what you're saying, but it could also be argued that last year's playoff run did more for the organization's long term health than a single late 1st rounder would, in terms of forging the team's identity, as well as building an organizational history and tradition (a winning one at that). The Wild earned some respect, which can be important down the road if and when they want to add some talent from outside the organization. The draft is one avenue to building a winning tradition, but not the only one.


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01-28-2004, 04:25 PM
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I would not have traded Walz for a first rounder. It was probably a contender or near contender who offered it, meaning a pick in the 20-30 range of the first round. It certainly wasn't at top 10 pick. Go back to drafts from 5 to 7 years ago and list all the players taken in the 20-30 range. You will quickly realize that only a small percentage of those players have substantial NHL careers, and even fewer are impact players. Now, balance the small probabilty of getting an impact player for the future against the near certainty that you will get about 3 more years of excellent play from Walz, who, as the team's best forward beyond Gaborik, could put them in playoffs when they otherwise wouldn't make it or win a round they otherwise would have lost. It doesn't take a professional logician to see the logic in not making that trade.

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01-28-2004, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DW
The whole theme of this organization is to build for the long term viability in making the playoffs. Not the short term, make the playoffs, and appease the fans route (and the bottom line). JMHO
DW, I couldn't agree more. This whole line of thought is interesting. When it comes right down to it, teams trying to build up through developing prospects will always face this very issue. Should the Wild have taken this deal? In principal, I say yes. However, every deal should be considered case by case. Should the Wild always be willing to jeopardize the post season for the sake of building their prospect pool? No, but until the organization get's to the top, building the organization is the highest priority. So the decision to trade Walz must be measured carefully. I suspect the Wild wanted to keep Walz for the reasons others have mentioned.

Walz is the perfect example. How much value did Walz have before he joined the Wild and his true abilities were showcased? It's my understanding that Walz was a guy that bounced around from the AHL to the NHL. He was a point per game sort of guy at the AHL level but struggled to shine offensively at the NHL level. He went to Europe for a couple of years for the higher salaries and sort of gave up a bit on making the NHL fulltime. So his value was minimal. I suspect he cleared waivers to be sent down to the AHL as often as he did. Then he comes to the Wild and changes his game a bit. He concentrates on being a checking line centerman. He thrives under Lemaire's systems. His value rises to the point where an NHL team is willing to give up a first round pick for him. In a way, the Wild trading him is an upgrade. No NHL team will trade a first round pick for a guy they could get off the waiver wire. This is exactly how you build the organization.

Let's look at Wiemer. He's a bit different in that he was a steal off the waiver wire. He has been in the NHL for quite some time and he has produced at the NHL level in the past. But, the Wild got him off waivers. Let's say the Wild are out of the playoff hunt before the trade deadline. A team needing to bulk up at forward wants Wiemer because he has shown the league that he can still be an effective power forward. They offer a number one future draft pick and a young up and coming prospect in the minors. What do the Wild do? I say, in principal, yes make the trade. Why, because your giving up a replaceable interchangeable player for depth in the organization. He's almost 28 years old and not likely to be any better than he is now. This does not take into account UFA status he might have at the end of the year. Why Wiemer and not another player? Well the Wild have very little invested in him. But as a result of having him on the team, his perceived value has risen. To build, you need to capitalize on these opportunities in a measured way.

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01-28-2004, 04:48 PM
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Can't help wondering who made the offer, and whether that had anything to do with Risebrough turning them down - Colorado, maybe? Vancouver?

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01-28-2004, 04:53 PM
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Surly Furious
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I'd say that a late first rounder for a Selke finalist is underpaying to some extent. It may not even have been for last year's draft.

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01-28-2004, 08:20 PM
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I think the article stated it was at the trade deadline last year but I'm not sure if the offer was implied to be in last years draft or if it was stated such. I guess I could check it out.

Walz will be an UFA this season. Giving up a first rounder last year would be more then enough for his value. He's been good here, no question about that. I couldn't ever see his value be any higher as it was last year.

On the subject of the respect the Wild earned last year. I agree, people have taken notice of this team since it's run last year (good and bad). But I believe the respect was already floating around the league before we ever sniffed at the playoffs. This organization seems to be heading toward the top tier of the NHL. My opinion was stated that the decision not to deal Walz was made more for the fan base. It does look bad when your on the bubble of the playoffs and you deal players instead of making deals.

It doesn't really matter whether my specualtion is correct or not, I guess. Since DR doesn't really need to justify why/why not to some fan on some message board talking about an event that happened nearly a year ago. I was happy with the outcome of the playoffs. How could we all not be?

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01-28-2004, 09:35 PM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookman
... it could also be argued that last year's playoff run did more for the organization's long term health than a single late 1st rounder would, in terms of forging the team's identity, as well as building an organizational history and tradition (a winning one at that). The Wild earned some respect, which can be important down the road if and when they want to add some talent from outside the organization. The draft is one avenue to building a winning tradition, but not the only one.
I'm on board with Bookman here. Walz (with Gaborik & mitchell) was one of the players who most put a stamp on the playoffs last spring [speaking just of Wild]. I don't know how the future of the franchise will go, but probably that magic will be among the high points in our individual & collective memories, even if/when the conference finals become old hat [yawn, wake me up for the seventh game of the cup]...

and as far as Walz's relative value goes, sure, it rose dramatically after he came to MN. But just because it used to be low doesn't mean a prospect of the level mentioned [late 1st round; I saw something in Hockey News right after reading this post about jason Botterill, #20 in '94] will match the value a Selke finalist has & will continue to have for near future. There's gotta be a balance between short, medium & long term, otherwise why not ship off everybody getting near 30 for whatever they'll fetch, since probably they won't be on the cup-winning squad of the future in any case.

that said [now I'll contradict myself...] I think probably I would pull the trigger on many/most of the elders THIS year, provided a strong offer was there of course. Don't make me say who, or how much is enough...

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