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Old
01-18-2005, 10:42 PM
  #1
FLYLine24
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Rachunek

Hey guys......I dont know if im allowed to post something like this in here so sorry in advance to the Mods if I shouldnt have.


We are recently talking about Rachunek on the Ranger boards and there are half of us (me not included) that dont see much in Rachunek. He didnt play very well with us when we got him from you guys but i'm pretty sure hes got a decent amount of potential in him. What are your opinions of him and how did you see his future in the NHL? Thanks

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01-18-2005, 10:47 PM
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Also, let us know how you felt about the play of Greg Devries for that final stretch of the season, thanks guys.

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01-18-2005, 10:47 PM
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I still think he has great potential as an NHL defenseman. I think he's doing pretty good over in Europe the last time I checked too.

I honestly think he can become a very good #3 defenseman.

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01-18-2005, 10:50 PM
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Rachunek lacks hockey sense. He makes bad decisions at key times. If he playes with a good defenseman like Redden when he was here to make up for his lack of hockey senses Rachunek should be able to get around 40 points. You are always left wanting more from Rachunek.

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01-18-2005, 11:08 PM
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He could be so much more if he puts the work into it. Seems like a lot of the time the effort just is not there. He's physical when he wants to be. His shot, if I recall, was pretty inaccurate. Maybe I'm spoiled because Redden always hit it on the net, but it was just miss after miss and opportunities lost.

I think with the right amount of playtime he could develop into a good 3rd/4th d-man.

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01-19-2005, 08:52 AM
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I've been hitting "CTRL + Z" on my keyboard ever since this trade happend.

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01-19-2005, 11:33 AM
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I'll mirror comments made by other posters in saying that Rachunek is a decent defenseman, but not a #1/#2, or possibly even a #3. He has good wheels and a decent shot, but like others have said, it's not always on target.

He used to be more physical but ever since he got his shoulder injured (hit from behind by Tucker I think), he toned it down a notch. One of the biggest differences was that he no longer rushes into the corners to retrieve the puck. He now occasionally let's the opposing forward get there first and then tries to tie him up.

Having said that, he's young and has good potential so he's not a lost cause by any means.

As for Greg deVries, I've been pretty vocal on this board about how completely disgusted I am with his play with the Sens. He looked slow (there were rumors that he wasn't in good shape when he reported to Ottawa), had little in the way of offensive skills (for a supposedly offensive defenseman), and just plain made bad decisions (on numerous occasions, he decided to carry the puck behind his net on his backhand - when he didn't have to - meaning he's slower than normal, thus allowing an opposing player to catch up with him and tie him up, creating a potential scoring opportunity). Add the fact that he's older and more expensive than Racunek and that the Sens also gave up Alex Giroux and you get a lopsided trade, IMO.

I wouldn't mind a do over but we're stuck with him. I'm willing to give him one more year and see if he doesn't come around. If not, we'll just have to add this to the Trades that Should Never Have Been Made category and move on.

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01-19-2005, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantas
I'll mirror comments made by other posters in saying that Rachunek is a decent defenseman, but not a #1/#2, or possibly even a #3. He has good wheels and a decent shot, but like others have said, it's not always on target.

He used to be more physical but ever since he got his shoulder injured (hit from behind by Tucker I think), he toned it down a notch. One of the biggest differences was that he no longer rushes into the corners to retrieve the puck. He now occasionally let's the opposing forward get there first and then tries to tie him up.

Having said that, he's young and has good potential so he's not a lost cause by any means.

As for Greg deVries, I've been pretty vocal on this board about how completely disgusted I am with his play with the Sens. He looked slow (there were rumors that he wasn't in good shape when he reported to Ottawa), had little in the way of offensive skills (for a supposedly offensive defenseman), and just plain made bad decisions (on numerous occasions, he decided to carry the puck behind his net on his backhand - when he didn't have to - meaning he's slower than normal, thus allowing an opposing player to catch up with him and tie him up, creating a potential scoring opportunity). Add the fact that he's older and more expensive than Racunek and that the Sens also gave up Alex Giroux and you get a lopsided trade, IMO.

I wouldn't mind a do over but we're stuck with him. I'm willing to give him one more year and see if he doesn't come around. If not, we'll just have to add this to the Trades that Should Never Have Been Made category and move on.
Imagine if Giroux turns to be a solid NHL player as well. I think he will surprise some people. He is playing awesome after his benching, it woke him up. I hope he makes it. On Lundmark well he still plays the same after his benching. Who knows??

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01-19-2005, 03:08 PM
  #9
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Tons of raw talent, he likes to take risks. Is a great shot blocker, has a mean streak is capable of the big play. If he matures he can defenitely be a top 2 d man. He just has to pick his spots better.

Devries was a massive dissapointement in my books, I hope he turns his game around. In my opinion Rachunek is the better player.

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01-19-2005, 05:08 PM
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I don't share the pessimism about Greg de Vries, because I personally feel that the entire team was playing pretty poorly during his tenure, and that he wasn't really used appropriately by Jacques Martin. I'm not going to say that he played great and was a wonderful acquisition, but I think he was thrown into a pretty rough situation. There were many problems last year, but I hardly think that de Vries was the worst of them or that Rachunek would have been of any particular assistance in resolving them. That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if maybe his conditioning was off a bit - he was far from an overwhelming presence.

Frankly, I'm surprised that nobody has yet mentioned Rachunek's attitude, though, which was arguably his most serious shortcoming. This is a guy who'd just finished holding out on his contract, was pretty annoyed that he didn't get more money, and apparently was something of a locker room cancer. As much as I'd hoped that we could have gotten more for him in the deal, part of the trade was a statement that if you don't want to be a part of this team, then you're not going to be a part of it.

Also, expectations for Ottawa were high enough last year that a deadline deal was almost a necessity. With both Rachunek and Hnidy having requested trades, and Volchenkov's injury situation not entirely clear, defense was turning into a big problem - and if Muckler had come out of that day empty-handed, then the media would have been all over him. Maybe the de Vries deal wasn't the best, but it was good enough to solve a number of problems that existed at that particular time. Let's not forget that teams aren't exactly waving around experienced top-4 defenceman in mid-March, especially not in exchange for just Karel Rachunek. I don't recall hearing too many other viable names even being mentioned other than Brendan Witt... and the asking price in that Kolzig/Witt deal was reportedly BOTH Volchenkov and Vermette. Now THAT would have been some serious hot water.

Personally, I think de Vries will be just fine - give him a few months with the team and he'll find a role and play it well. I think Bryan Murray is a much better coaching fit for him, and ultimately maybe he plays the role of the veteran #5 man who can pretty seamlessly take on top-4 minutes in the event of an injury. Yes he makes an awful lot of money for that role, but it's not so different from Leschyshyn, and I think he adds another level of versatility to the line-up. This will be of particular importance when you consider that guys like Volchenkov, Pothier and Meszaros are almost certainly going to start playing larger roles on the team in the very near future, but may not be quite ready to play the truly critical defensive minutes.

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01-19-2005, 05:43 PM
  #11
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I still think deVries is a quality D-man, i saw flashes of things i liked last year and with him coming into camp on a contender ill bet he's in great shape.

I saw some game where i thought gee that guy can play. good decsions with the puck, pinches in down low nicely and protect the puck, plays rugged, doesn't get pushed around.
(has one of the best playoff beards in the league.)

I think people are going to be pleasantly suprised with deVries once things get under way again. I think he still a good top 4 guy, at the very worst he's still a qualilty starter and if he ends up being our worst d-man - then i think we have very little to worry about on D.

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01-19-2005, 06:50 PM
  #12
Ismellofhockey
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I seriously doubt the claims that Rachunek was a locker-room cancer simply because they come from muckler himself, who always seems to justify his poor trades this way: remember when Smolinski was acquired he had said that the trade was made easier because Gleason wouldn't sign with Ottawa?

Sure he held out but so did Havlat, so do a hundred other players in their career.
Even if DeVries had played as a top 4 d-man I would consider the trade awful, only a Stanley Cup could have made me change my mind.
We got bounced in the first round and the trade looks even worse.

Now we're stuck with a bloated contract instead of a young defenseman with great potential, which I might say are extremely valued commodities around the league.

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01-19-2005, 06:56 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ismellofhockey
I seriously doubt the claims that Rachunek was a locker-room cancer simply because they come from muckler himself, who always seems to justify his poor trades this way: remember when Smolinski was acquired he had said that the trade was made easier because Gleason wouldn't sign with Ottawa?

Sure he held out but so did Havlat, so do a hundred other players in their career.
Even if DeVries had played as a top 4 d-man I would consider the trade awful, only a Stanley Cup could have made me change my mind.
We got bounced in the first round and the trade looks even worse.

Now we're stuck with a bloated contract instead of a young defenseman with great potential, which I might say are extremely valued commodities around the league.
I'm not sure yet what I think of the trade and I won't until I see what de Vries does with a full year here, but I think it's pretty much known that Rachunek wasn't happy here. As for him being a cancer, who knows, but he wasn't happy about being benched when he wasn't playing well, and there was a story in the paper about him leaving the hotel without saying goodbye to any of his old teammates.

I think sensens analysis is a good one.

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01-19-2005, 08:06 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ismellofhockey
remember when Smolinski was acquired he had said that the trade was made easier because Gleason wouldn't sign with Ottawa?
Gleason had held out for 3 years and would have re-entered the draft if he wasn't re-signed. Trading him for Smolinski (who had a great playoff series that year) was justified because there was a chance that the Senators would end up with nothing.

With respect to Rachunek, he held out in 2002 and it was very possible he would do this again.

and de Vries... we should wait and see what he can do in a full season. He's not the first player to lose the plot after playing for the Rangers. He can recover. Go and ask at the Oilers' board how good Igor Ulanov was for them last year.

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01-19-2005, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burgess1978
Gleason had held out for 3 years and would have re-entered the draft if he wasn't re-signed. Trading him for Smolinski (who had a great playoff series that year) was justified because there was a chance that the Senators would end up with nothing.

With respect to Rachunek, he held out in 2002 and it was very possible he would do this again.

and de Vries... we should wait and see what he can do in a full season. He's not the first player to lose the plot after playing for the Rangers. He can recover. Go and ask at the Oilers' board how good Igor Ulanov was for them last year.
Ulanov what a bum. He just came here for the money. Oh wait alot of the Rangers did.

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01-19-2005, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SensGod
I've been hitting "CTRL + Z" on my keyboard ever since this trade happend.

This quote is a keeper!

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01-19-2005, 10:39 PM
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Ill defend DeVries a little....he was a great player on the Rangers IMO. Never made stupid choices..nothing fancy but was always in the right spot. Never had to worry about him losing the man in front or having a guy go around him on the outside comming down the wing. Has close to none offensive skills (though there was a few games in a row with the Rangers he scored 3 goals in 3 games...deking around dman and everything to get to the net and scoring..very suprising). I thought he was the Rangers best or 2nd best defensman all year last season and probably the reason he didnt play well in Ott is because NY didnt really have a system like the Sens do..he felt out of place, im sure he will adjust and be a very good dman for you guys. Karl didnt play well at all either on the Rangers for the few games but I still have a lot of hope in him.

I was very POed when we traded him. Hoping Karl does pan out like some of you are saying he might then I will be very much in favor of the trade.

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01-20-2005, 12:13 AM
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Good point on the playoff beard Wondercarrot. :lol

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01-20-2005, 10:16 AM
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Hmm I wonder if a trade like Rachunek and a 2nd for Kasparaitis would of worked, love the guy. Kasparaitis was injured for the season during the time of the trade though, right? But Kasparaitis *drools*

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01-20-2005, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ismellofhockey
I seriously doubt the claims that Rachunek was a locker-room cancer simply because they come from muckler himself, who always seems to justify his poor trades this way: remember when Smolinski was acquired he had said that the trade was made easier because Gleason wouldn't sign with Ottawa?
Yes, and that was an important reason as to why it was Gleason that went and not one of the other prospects. Gleason himself has stated that they couldn't reach terms, plus there were issues surrounding potential military service, and the fact that Gleason had indicated that he might prefer to play somewhere in the USA. I'm not sure that I see the comparison... would it have been better if Gleason had re-entered the draft that summer and we'd lost him for nothing?

And yes, apparently Rachunek was a bit of a pain in the butt. Muckler's comments weren't the first time I'd gotten wind of that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ismellofhockey
Sure he held out but so did Havlat, so do a hundred other players in their career.
Not that many players actually go so far as to hold out, and when they do it definitely strains the organizational relationship, and often leads to a trade. A guy like Havlat represents bona fide world-class skill and is the kind of asset that's not easily replaced... there's substantial reason there to tolerate that kind of strain. Rachunek is really nowhere near an equivalent case.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ismellofhockey
Even if DeVries had played as a top 4 d-man I would consider the trade awful, only a Stanley Cup could have made me change my mind. We got bounced in the first round and the trade looks even worse.
If only a Stanley Cup could have changed your mind, then frankly I think you're grossly overestimating Rachunek. The only thing he was particularly good at was passing, and that led to him padding his stats on the PP with 2nd assists. Honestly, 10 even strength points last year (and that includes his time in NY) while seeing top-4 minutes on one of the highest scoring teams in the NHL? I mean Chris Phillips - a distant 3rd in defenceman scoring - had 20 even strength points, and people seem to criticize his lack of production regularly. And what about Rachunek's whopping 1 goal in 60GP for Ottawa, and then a -9 in just 12 games with the Rangers? I'm sorry, I really don't believe that we lost anything that only a Stanley Cup could have possibly atoned for.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ismellofhockey
Now we're stuck with a bloated contract instead of a young defenseman with great potential, which I might say are extremely valued commodities around the league.
I don't buy it - if Rachunek was such a prize, then the suitors should have been lining up once they saw that Muckler was willing to take on $2-3M in payroll in dealing him... especially with the looming strike situation. I mean the question had to eventually be asked - he's not scoring, he's not particularly good at defending, and he's not very physical. Quite simply, this is not the resume of a top-4 defenceman in the NHL. If it was his first year or two, then maybe the potential argument comes into play. But this was year 5 for this guy, after 200GP... that kind of drop-off combined with becoming a pain in the butt in terms of contracts is just a recipe for disaster. Personally, I think a lot of teams weren't overly interested - especially if he's going to also be a problem to sign.

And besides... for my money, we finally cashed in all of Leschyshyn, Rachunek and Hnidy to get one guy who can actually play 20 critical defensive minutes and both special teams on his own, without having to necessarily be paired with an all-star like Redden or Chara to be effective (which makes him doubly valuable in an injury scenario). I agree that he might not have played his best hockey for us right off the bat, and that I wish his contract was just a little bit less than it is, but de Vries strikes me as an extremely versatile and useful guy to have as part of your starting 6 - considerably more so than Rachunek was in terms of all-round game.

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01-20-2005, 04:03 PM
  #21
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Whew that's a lot to answer to...

On a side note, "Kasparaitis *drools*" I totally agree with that primitive expression of desire.

Gleason:
It's true that it was looking tough to sign him, he was part of a handful of prospects still unsigned before the deadline and he was threatening various scenarios in an effort to ink the contract he wanted.
But most other GMs with unsigned prospects made the effort to hammer out an agreement, I feel trading Gleason was just a way of shirking the responsibility of signing him and then using his holdout as an excuse to justify a mediocre return on the trade.
Yes he could have walked, we would then have received a 2nd round pick in 2003(around #55 in a good draft year), but considering we traded a 1st and 2nd to move up for Gleason, considering how well he's doing in LA, I think more effort should have gone into signing him.

DeVries/Rachunek:
I think too many people have forgotten how well Rachunek plays when happy, he had 2 50 game seasons (injury and holdout) which slowed his development but when on his game he was very physical, blocked shots and was always good with the puck. Add the fact that he was a right shot, that he played well with Redden, that he cost under $1M and that he was still young, and I'd consider that he was a great trade asset.
Had we traded him in the offseason or during the year, the return would have been much higher. The problem is that teams in the playoffs don't tend to trade veteran d-men and teams out of the playoffs don't usually have solid vet d-men. I'm sure many teams would have given high picks and prospects for Rachunek but Ottawa was looking for a specific need, trading from a position of weakness.
We would have been better off keeping Rachunek then trading him in the offseason for picks and then using DeVries' money to sign a better player, or trading Rachunek in package in the offseason for a better player.

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01-21-2005, 02:23 AM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ismellofhockey
We would have been better off keeping Rachunek then trading him in the offseason for picks and then using DeVries' money to sign a better player, or trading Rachunek in package in the offseason for a better player.
Well, some good points here and I can't disagree that if the goal was to get the maximum return for Rachunek, then I think you're probably right. I agree, Muckler was after a specific return, but that was the problem he was facing at the trade deadline... suddenly caught with a somewhat inept #4 defenceman who wasn't producing, an injury to Volchenkov, a very limited Curtis Leschyshyn, an inexperienced Pothier, and another trade request in Hnidy. All this balanced against sky-high expecations for not only a supposedly top offensive team, but a defending Conference Finalist who was suddenly having a considerable amount of trouble nailing down those all-important one-goal games that used to seem almost routine in Ottawa.

The problem with both trades was just that, though - it wasn't about pure asset management, so much as it was about trying to recycle problem situations into potential playoff benefits. Yes we might have been able to sign Gleason, but then again once that trade deadline passes Muckler loses his last piece of real leverage in that situation. If Muckler keeps Rachunek, sure we might get a bit more at the draft, say - but would it have been enough to compensate for knowingly not having tried to fix his team at the trade deadline, while the key nucleus of this team is still together and the new owner has promised the resources necessary to improving this team for the playoffs?

In the final equation I can't say that this alternative would demonstrate truly superior asset management, because the goal of a team this good has to be the Stanley Cup, not maximizing the return on a single underachieving player. Unfortunately, in my opinion, Muckler's only true failing in this regard was that he never generated the momentum necessary to make the most important change on this team until it was too late - which was FINALLY getting rid of Jacques Martin.

I see the Rachunek thing as a drop in the ocean by comparison, mainly because I believe that Ottawa has probably one of the top-3 groups of defencemen in the entire league, and no defenceman acquisition was going to make the difference in winning a Stanley Cup or not. The true challenge for Ottawa come April and May is goals for, not goals against, and you need a lot more than one defenceman to turn that around.

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01-21-2005, 08:06 AM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOrtmeyer41
Ulanov what a bum. He just came here for the money. Oh wait alot of the Rangers did.
How about Lacavalier and his production in RSL. Is he there for only money? You bet. Before saying something, look at the mirror.

Muckler is by far the worst manager in Ottawa short history, since that guy who signed Daigle to 12 million. No thought out good trades what so ever, just getting rid off prospects, the best pool of young talent in NHL. What other managers worked hard, accumulated for us. Anybody can get overpaid players in the twilight of their careers. Usually you get them free of charge as FA. But Muckler is too brain-dead to do just that if he has money to burn. Disgusting and brainless moves.

Trade a prospect for a prospect as in case with Redden. Ottawa would do the same or even better with no Smolinsky, Bondra, Varada, De Vries around. What this team needed, was a just an ok goalkeeper. To get one guy is so much easier, then to trade our future.

De Vries is a bum, he is on his last legs as it seems. No better then Ulanov. You can not blame Rachunek, who was in some games better then Redden by along shot, but making far less money. Redden is a give away artist, with no shot from the point, no good power play skills. Good hockey sense, but so what? You can not get five mill just for good hockey sense and a solid play at the back end. You have to be a star. Redden is not. He is just a number three D on any good team. Rachunek is a little bit better skills wise but the same. They complement each other. Breaking them up was one brain-dead Muckler's move. I am sick of this guy.

Brining his senior citizen body as a new coach is one more failure. It is writen all over it. Melnik will fire them at the end of the future season. Can not wait for the recreation of Jack Cretien in his interview after loosing the first round of play offs.


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01-21-2005, 08:54 AM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SENATOR
You can not blame Rachunek, who was in some games better then Redden by along shot, but making far less money. Redden is a give away artist, with no shot from the point, no good power play skills. Good hockey sense, but so what? You can not get five mill just for good hockey sense and a solid play at the back end. You have to be a star. Redden is not. He is just a number three D on any good team. Rachunek is a little bit better skills wise but the same. They complement each other. Breaking them up was one brain-dead Muckler's move.
I was reading your post up until this point, and thinking, "Ok, some interesting points.." but when I got here, I almost shot my ginger ale out of my nose. Absolutely and completely ridiculous.

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01-21-2005, 09:24 AM
  #25
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Muckler is a 1st class putz

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ismellofhockey
I seriously doubt the claims that Rachunek was a locker-room cancer simply because they come from muckler himself, who always seems to justify his poor trades this way: remember when Smolinski was acquired he had said that the trade was made easier because Gleason wouldn't sign with Ottawa?

Sure he held out but so did Havlat, so do a hundred other players in their career.
Even if DeVries had played as a top 4 d-man I would consider the trade awful, only a Stanley Cup could have made me change my mind.
We got bounced in the first round and the trade looks even worse.

Now we're stuck with a bloated contract instead of a young defenseman with great potential, which I might say are extremely valued commodities around the league.
He was a problem in Buffalo and in NY. One of the worst decision Neil Smith ever made, amongst many in his latter years with the NYR's. Anything Muckler says I throw away.

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