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Rutherford's Last Two Offseasons

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Old
09-14-2013, 07:38 AM
  #1
Sens1Canes2
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Rutherford's Last Two Offseasons

I cannot remember two consecutive offseasons where a "smaller market" team made such significant moves, but being so drastically different in scope.

Last year, JR brings in Semin and trades for J Staal, two cornerstones, and signs them both to big money deals.

This year, JR (without having much $ to go around) completely retools the defense with Sekera, Komisarek, and then calls an audible with the Pitkanen injury and signs Hainsey.

On paper, these are smart, mostly cost efficient moves. The one you could argue is J Staal, but that has time to flesh itself out.

Bottom line, I'm really impressed. Barring laughable injuries like last year, I really believe this is a contending team. The D is solid, light years better than last year. The forward group speaks for itself IMO. I'm really looking forward to the upcoming season.

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09-14-2013, 08:50 AM
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raynman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sens1Canes2 View Post
I cannot remember two consecutive offseasons where a "smaller market" team made such significant moves, but being so drastically different in scope.

Last year, JR brings in Semin and trades for J Staal, two cornerstones, and signs them both to big money deals.

This year, JR (without having much $ to go around) completely retools the defense with Sekera, Komisarek, and then calls an audible with the Pitkanen injury and signs Hainsey.

On paper, these are smart, mostly cost efficient moves. The one you could argue is J Staal, but that has time to flesh itself out.

Bottom line, I'm really impressed. Barring laughable injuries like last year, I really believe this is a contending team. The D is solid, light years better than last year. The forward group speaks for itself IMO. I'm really looking forward to the upcoming season.
He probably knows that his leash is getting tighter and tighter every year they miss the playoffs. He might've also figured out that it takes more than Staal, Ward, and role players to make it.

I like what he's done with what he has and it seems like he's moving away from his good ol' boys club.

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09-14-2013, 08:53 AM
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Objectivity, positive tone, no doom and gloom?

I'm pretty sure this post goes against board rules. Mods?

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09-14-2013, 10:29 AM
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DaveG
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but seriously, the only remaining major question mark right now is the bottom six, and JR even took steps in the right direction there by bringing Devo into camp and signing Gerbe. Add to that some of our prospects that fit that roll are getting a good look too right now. I won't say the rebuild is complete until we either make the playoffs for 2-3 years in a row or win the cup with this core, but we've progressively gotten closer to being there and IMO I think we're going to catch a lot of people off guard as long as we're healthy this season.

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09-14-2013, 01:01 PM
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Boom Boom Aho
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I have to admit, when I first saw the thread title, I thought this was going to be another whine-fest and was about to skip it all together until I saw that it was sens1canes2 as the poster (as it would have surprised me if he started a whiny thread).

I'm not a big JR fan, but I do agree the last two off-seasons have been some of the better ones (on paper at least) for JR in recent years. Part of it I think is that it seems PK has opened the purse-strings a bit, so the Canes can go after guys like Semin vs. settling for the likes of Letowski, Hamilton, A. Stewart, Poni,etc... It's going to be interesting to see how the next few off-seasons goes as he tries to get the complimentary personnel that fit what Muller's trying to do.

I'm still not sold on the defense (more of an unknown), but it should be better than last year, and there's only so much you can do on a budget in 1 year. And if the 3rd line can provide any meaningful minutes this year, that will be a big plus.

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09-14-2013, 01:09 PM
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Adding two top 6 forwards and two top 4 defensemen is pretty effing good, yeah.

We have great forwards, a good goalie tandem, and finallyfinallyfinally an average defense. And I think the defense can be better than average if Faulk emerges as a legit #1 this year.

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09-14-2013, 01:37 PM
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the team is looking good for sure but is a work in progress. bringing the other investors on board helped and they are seeing returns on their investment in players in terms of t.v. rights and attendance for example, probably an increase in team store sales as well, etc.. it should all continue and the team should evolve going forward.

still a bit worried about the forward group in that they cannot rely solely on the top line to score. with the improvements on defense and in goal, they shouldn't have to score five times a night though.

that said, for a few reasons this team will likely look very different again next year. but the core should remain.


Last edited by rocky7: 09-14-2013 at 01:56 PM.
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09-14-2013, 02:14 PM
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HankClerval
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Rutherford's last n offseasons have led to 0 playoff appearances for every value of n less than 5.

The only thing that matters now is results, and he knows it.

I myself will withhold judgement until season's end.

--hank

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09-14-2013, 03:03 PM
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For a pick that I loathed no less than ....six weeks ago, Brendan Woods has really emerged as a player to watch. He's far from the stonehands that his numbers would indicate, as he was playing on a very deep forward unit at Wisconsin, and his physicality would be a welcome addition to our bottom lines in the coming years. We haven't dedicated a lot of resources into cultivating this type of player and it'll be interesting to see how it works out. I think he can play up to his competition.

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09-14-2013, 06:51 PM
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Overall I like what he has done. But it's easy to pick out a guy you know will be productive and give him 6 or 7 million dollars. It's the Gerbe/Komisarek/Khudobin/Sekeras type acquisitions that are most interesting to me. To me it's the success or failure of those kind of guys that tell you whether a GM has done his homework or is just throwing crap against the wall and hoping it sticks.

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09-14-2013, 06:58 PM
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i like the revamped defence better than last years group, but now the point on the power play has questions, but then again the pp stunk last year. as far as the bottom 6, i think enough players have been brought in that the competition between them will create better players. at least theres some veteran presence on the bottom 6,

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09-14-2013, 10:32 PM
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Someone is gonna have their nuts ripped off if we don't make the playoffs this year IMO.








Then again what do I know.

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09-15-2013, 06:32 AM
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What's with all the love for Rutherford offseason, especially with Komisarek signing? Komisarek is pretty much another Jay Harrison - barely anything more than #5 tweener nowadays. Sekera is not that bad but he's not difference maker. He's #4 type guy with limited offensive skills. That group of Faulk, three pylons in Gleason, Komisarek and Harrison and Hainsey/ Sekera is not a reason for much positivism honestly. Also our bottom six is big question mark, we lack mobility and physical game... Let's hope that Gleason finally rebound and start looking like something different than useless bottom pairing scrub, that Faulk finally becomes better offensive contributor with man advantage, that Ruutu looks like more than his version of 2009, that Wardo rebounds and lead the team...
In perfect world, i'm fine with this;

Tlusty- EStaal- Semin
Lindholm- JStaal- Skinner
Morrow- Nash- Ruutu
Bowman- scrub- Dwyer

Call ups: Welsh , Boychuk , Westgarth , Dalpe, Gerbe and Palushaj.

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09-15-2013, 07:43 AM
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semin4captain
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Is it really significant to add a #3, a #4, and a #6/7 defenseman while losing a #2, a #5, and a #6/7? Granted, the #2 barely played.

I guess in Carolina Hurricanes terms where the most important defensive FA signing in history is Frantisek Kaberle it is, but relative to the league or even other small markets I don't think so. They don't really have a much better defense than last year. I expect them to have a significantly better goals against since Justin Peters dragged the team sv% all the way down to .897 last season, though.

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09-15-2013, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amaxing Joni Jokel View Post
Is it really significant to add a #3, a #4, and a #6/7 defenseman while losing a #2, a #5, and a #6/7? Granted, the #2 barely played.

I guess in Carolina Hurricanes terms where the most important defensive FA signing in history is Frantisek Kaberle it is, but relative to the league or even other small markets I don't think so. They don't really have a much better defense than last year. I expect them to have a significantly better goals against since Justin Peters dragged the team sv% all the way down to .897 last season, though.
It's significant when the 2 never played (as you acknowledged), and the 5 and 6/7 were more like 7 and 8 at best. Interestingly, you know this, often trumpeted this in the past, but now do not.

The defense is MILES better than last year. On paper, and will show it in the regular season.

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09-15-2013, 10:29 AM
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Instead of physical forecheckers hemming us in our own zone it will be speedy, quick handed forecheckers hemming us in. I think we are going to be nearly as disappointed with the D this year as in years past. From a talent perspective it is still bottom third in the league.

The only silver lining I see is the collective IQ of the d-corps is head and shoulders above last years. Perhaps quick minds can make up a bit for slow feet and hands of stone.

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09-15-2013, 10:45 AM
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So are you saying expect to be using the pay as we play plan this season?

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09-15-2013, 10:58 AM
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semin4captain
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Originally Posted by Sens1Canes2 View Post
It's significant when the 2 never played (as you acknowledged), and the 5 and 6/7 were more like 7 and 8 at best. Interestingly, you know this, often trumpeted this in the past, but now do not.
If Corvo is a #7, then what is Komisarek based on his recent history? A #8 or #9? I think people are underrating how awful he has been and assuming that a new team will somehow magically make him NHL-caliber and that him adding physicality while being a bottom-pairing D somehow makes him better than being a soft, puck-moving bottom-pairing D. I am not sure what the value is of Mike Komisarek throwing hits at 3rd and 4th liners is. This is a bargain reclamation project that may or may not work out, he could very easily end up being worse than McBain or Sanguinetti. And Jay Harrison is close to being the worst possible partner for Komi. This is a nightmare third pairing waiting to be hemmed in the defensive zone. Any time Harrison has been paired with a defensive D (Gleason, Allen, Alberts, etc) it has been a disaster.

I said the Pitkanen barely played which is different than never. He played 22 of a possible 48 games. Komisarek and Sekera are both injury prone to varying degress, so shouldn't we take that into account? Harrison was healthy last year but is typically good for 10+ games missed a year.

Regardless of whether it is significantly improved or not, it has been among the worst D in the league for four seasons now, so a significant improvement may still not be good enough. There is still no #1 defenseman, still no powerplay QB, still has a redundant mix of similar D who may not fit together, and still relies on a broken down pylon named Tim Gleason.

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09-15-2013, 12:43 PM
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collectively, this is a better team on paper. while the past may be an indicator of what's to come, it isn't always. JR did a good job in this cap climate imo.

lets just look at one position. goaltending. they brought in Khudobin as a 'good' backup for Ward. Khudobin isn't "proven" by any means. is he head and shoulders better that Ellis? we don't know. we expect him to be a saviour and Gleason to have another poor season. it doesn't work that way. if Ward plays like he did last year and Khudobin plays lights out, they will still struggle. everyone just assumes that Ward will be better this season and he may very well be.

the same projections should be allotted to all the players until which time they prove otherwise. i'll reserve judgement but i expect the team to play up to it's potential and Muller to do his job. if they all do, they should be in a race for the playoffs. other teams are not considerably better if at all.

and AJJ.... everything that you predict could very well come to pass...................or not.


Last edited by rocky7: 09-15-2013 at 12:52 PM.
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09-15-2013, 01:53 PM
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Regardless of who we're replacing Pitkanen with, they'll be more effective than Pitkanen has been the past two years.

With him missing the entire season this year, he'll have played 52 games of the past 212, less than 25% of the possible games.

Komiserek, Sekera, and Harrison may have their injury problems, but chances are they'll all play more games this year than Pitkanen has played the past two.

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09-16-2013, 07:08 AM
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I'm probably the most excited for the season this year than I've been in a while - like 2009 - 2010 was the last time I was this excited.

Our top 6 is in the upper 1/3 of the league in terms of offense and while our D Group isn't great, it's way better.

Ward can actually get some rest this year, too.

Bottom 6, PK and PP Point are my concerns. If we are average at those, we are a solid team. Not hoisting the cup, but a 6th place finish in the east sounds about right.

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09-16-2013, 07:57 AM
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TheBigKahuna
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I think the biggest difference surrounding the last two offseasons was that Rutherford had the green light to spend money. And spend he did. Did he buy all the right pieces? Not so sure yet. He still can't piece together a decent blueline....but then again, he's never been able to do that, at any budget. Cam Ward is still a huge question mark, but at least this year, his backup looks like a solid performer, and not some career AHLer.

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09-16-2013, 08:11 AM
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semin4captain
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I'm probably the most excited for the season this year than I've been in a while - like 2009 - 2010 was the last time I was this excited.
And what a magical season that was...

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09-16-2013, 08:23 AM
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Boom Boom Aho
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He still can't piece together a decent blueline....but then again, he's never been able to do that, at any budget.
This is not new, but that's because he's unwilling to draft and develop young player to have a competent blue line over the long haul. It's very hard (and extremely expensive) to try and trade for and/or sign in free agency. Unless you get lucky and win the bidding war for someone like Suter, it's extremely difficult as teams don't want to let their good blueliners go. He avoids them high in the draft and/or isn't patient enough to build a defense over time and trades them for quick fixes and/or as throw-ins.

Very hard to build a blue line with that mentality. Look at the Rangers in contrast:

Staal and Del Zotto: 1st round picks
Sauer: 2nd round pick
Girardi: signed as an un-drafted FA
McDonagh: 1st round pick that they traded for while he was still in college.

With the key players acquired when they were young, and then developed, they can make small moves to fill in the remaining spots with guys like Moore, Falk, Bickel.

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09-16-2013, 08:25 AM
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rocky7
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Originally Posted by Amaxing Joni Jokel View Post
And what a magical season that was...
I love reading your posts and now your articles as your wit always gives me a chuckle. if you were any more optimistic, your pieces would lose their entertainment value. but....I agree with much but hope for more. there are so many variables that it is difficult to say definately what will take place until it does. no doubt an improvement this year but still need more and they have space if they want to use it. bottom six that is.

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