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Old
08-06-2005, 01:15 AM
  #1
MN_Gopher
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Anyone Else

Was wondering if anyone else is upset with the way the Wild are handling this offseason. They just made us, the fans, sit through a year with no hockey. Now what do they do for us. Keep ticket prices the same. So far have not signed anyone out there. I mean PK to Nashville. What have we done? I like hockey and i like the wild. But you cannot punch a person in the gut and then say its just buisness and have it just like nothing ever happened. I hate to say it but if Gaborik goes down then we have a team of just guys on the ice that IMO will not compete for a playoff spot and are not that fun to watch. And i could care less about the score. But i do not want to see youngsters lost coupled with journeymen out there. And the way DR is making it sound Pouliot will not even be here.
Am i the only one who thinks the Wild owe us a little something?

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08-06-2005, 01:57 AM
  #2
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Oh, I'm with you all the way on this one, Gopher. I had always been a patient fan, very supportive of DR and the way he managed the team from the very beginning. But I'm starting to feel a little anxious, if not pissed. I mean, Edmonton gets Pronger and Peca, Calgary gets Amonte, Nashville gets Kariya, Columbus gets Foote, Atlanta gets Holik... All these former-small-market teams and fellow expansion cousins are signing premier NHL talent. And we get White and Nazarov? Give me a f-ing break!! I'm not asking DR to start spending like the pre-lockout NYR, all I'm asking for is one top-quality free agent. Just one, out of the dozens and dozens that are out there on the FA market right now. With the list getting shorter and shorter each and every day, I'm starting to feel less and less patient and supportive.

And I'm not even going into the ticket prices- that is just pathetic, a slap shot in the face.

I was so excited when they announced the season, but Wild management are taking all that excitement right out of me with the way they are handling this off-season so far.

PS Thanks for making this thread, MN_Gopher, I needed to vent

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08-06-2005, 09:26 AM
  #3
chaachie12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by #16

And I'm not even going into the ticket prices- that is just pathetic, a slap shot in the face.
I always love that one...

The thing with all these FA's is that they are all old. If, and that is a big if, that is there reason for not going after some big name guys than I am fine with that. If we are truly trying to develop from with-in that is fine, but it is puzzling.

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08-06-2005, 09:58 AM
  #4
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I'll be the voice of dissention here - I'm glad the Wild are sticking to their guns and building slowly and steadily. They don't want to be too good too soon.

Does Columbus have the organizational depth to sustain quality if they have a great season this year? In two years after Foote retires and their other FAs have run their course, and they've drafted mid to late first round, are they going to be a better team? I don't think they will - sure, they could be like Dallas or the Rangers and keep signing people to maintain their success, but that is an expensive and risky way to run your team. Remember Scott Young? Alexei Yashin?

It's the old Panthers vs. Senators argument all over again. The Wild have taken the Ottowa approach and stayed withing their philosophy of developing the kind of players they want from within, a slow process to be sure, but one that can lead toward long-term success. If only Lemaire wasn't such a good coach, the Wild would have gotten better draftees more quickly.

Actually MN_Gopher, the lockout wasn't the Wild's fault at all - it was the fault of the teams that routinely overpay free agents. The Wild's frugal approach is something we should admire while the other teams fall over themselves spending millions on Marty Lapointe and Mike Modano. It will make sense to add high bug free agents when the core of the team is set, and veterans could help win a championship. Until then, I prefer the way they are running their business.

As for lowering ticket prices, if demand exceeds supply, why should they do that?

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08-06-2005, 10:54 AM
  #5
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I flip-flop back and forth from being upset and then optimistic. Upset about what appears to be a lack of interest from the front office to pursuing some of these guys who while older certainly still have a couple of good seasons in them. Then optimistic that we're not tying up cap space for multiple years when next year may see even better free agents available and also optimistic that we'll finally start to see some of our prospects step into their NHL potential.

If I ran the team I probably would've tossed in a 5% ticket cut (basically doubled the discount we get due to the free game). It's not a lot and probably wouldn't hurt revenues too much. I'd justify it by saying that we just got a 24% rollback on some of our contracts, and while we have always operated under a budget and have some significant RFA signings to make, we felt it was only fair to pass on some rebate to the fans. 5% discount plus the 300 bucks in coupons I got would make me pretty happy. I was disappointed at first having seen what so many teams did, but now I don't feel thatunhappy about it.

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08-06-2005, 11:57 AM
  #6
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I'm fine with them passing on this group of free agents, because from here on out the groups of players are just going to get better and better as the age limit goes down and players still in their prime are available.

In a year or two the Wild will be in a position where their younger players are coming into their own and signing a couple good free agents will really bring the team to a whole new level.

Most free agents out there this year would have had absolutely no interest signing here unless the Wild put the best offer on the table because w/o any inkling that the team is going to be competitive for the Cup the only thing that talks is money.

I don't want the Wild to overpay for free agents that aren't going to put this team into serious contention. I also don't like the idea of putting the salary structure of the team out of whack and I admire what they're trying to do as far as their team (not individual or star) focus.

The Wild have to establish themselves as a solid & competitive team and make coming to MN attractive for the type of free agents that will truly be worth signing.

Unfortunately for all Wild fans that takes time, but I still think it's the best course of action.

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08-06-2005, 12:23 PM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CechMY5HOLEman-ek!
I'm fine with them passing on this group of free agents, because from here on out the groups of players are just going to get better and better as the age limit goes down and players still in their prime are available.

In a year or two the Wild will be in a position where their younger players are coming into their own and signing a couple good free agents will really bring the team to a whole new level.

Most free agents out there this year would have had absolutely no interest signing here unless the Wild put the best offer on the table because w/o any inkling that the team is going to be competitive for the Cup the only thing that talks is money.

I don't want the Wild to overpay for free agents that aren't going to put this team into serious contention. I also don't like the idea of putting the salary structure of the team out of whack and I admire what they're trying to do as far as their team (not individual or star) focus.

The Wild have to establish themselves as a solid & competitive team and make coming to MN attractive for the type of free agents that will truly be worth signing.

Unfortunately for all Wild fans that takes time, but I still think it's the best course of action.

Well said.

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08-06-2005, 12:50 PM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookman
Well said.
agree...

I also thought the FLA vs. OTT comparison was good...even though we haven't been nearly as bad as Ottawa was. That being said I think Columbus does have better offensive prospects than us, and it isn't close.

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08-06-2005, 01:00 PM
  #9
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plus I can imagine what it will cost to resign gaborik and keep him long-term.

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08-06-2005, 01:23 PM
  #10
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How did Columus get those offensive players? By being really bad, which is the only thing the Wild havn't been.

It really seems that some fans were expecting this team to sign players to fill the entire cap. It's never been the Wild's contention to build this team that way, so why would they start now? The purge of the likes of Zholtok, Hendrickson, Dowd, Brown, Laaksonen in our last played season should have been the first sign that the Wild were finally going to give some younger players from within the organization a chance at fulltime duty. They've continued to say this publicly but the only thing fans can see is what other teams are doing around them. There (disgruntled fans) reasoning is the Wild are cheap, it can't be anything other then that, no way, no how. The Wild are not getting caught up in the moment and will continue to do things the way they deem to be the right way.

By the end of this free agency period, the Wild will more then likely sign another forward but it won't appease the hordes over at Wild.com that are suddenly disgusted by inactivity. I have no doubt about that.

(sorry about the rant, just needed to say something out load, so to speak)

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08-06-2005, 01:52 PM
  #11
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Well it's both, I can see why and why not. And I do agree they are probably waiting for some good young players to hit the market before offering Satan type of money...

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08-06-2005, 02:45 PM
  #12
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The thing that gets me is the Wild are not the worst team in the NHL year in and year out. Thelen and Burns of late were mid rounders. And i do not see us that far from a playoff spot this year. We cant have it both ways. To devolp from with in with draft picks and still be a solid team. We made it to the semifinals a few years ago. This team IMO is a few FA's from really contending. They remind me of the Twins. Good every year. But never good enough to over power the super teams. Even if we signed one of those high priced talents for 1-2 years. Gaborik is our only high priced talent right now. I think we could still sign him.
Granted it is hypothetical. If Adam Foote and Kariya were on the team that lost to the Ducks in the semis i think we win it. PK himself IMO is still good for about 3-4% himself of PP production. And to have a veteran like Foote to anchor an allready d minded team. We would be one of the better teams in the league. Playoff experiance. I think that is great for our team too. If did give Gabby a big head but i think everyone on the team is better because we had that run. So we have to look forward to seeing the team finish in the middle of the pack. Get a mid pick and thats about it.
If the Wild do let the young guys play i can maybe see playing dead. Re-signing Chounard and getting White add O'Sullivan, Walz, Koivu, thats 5 centers now. So we are not even letting the kids come up. Nazarov. Lets play the boogie man, nope. I see it as same ol wild. Get steady journeymen to play solid and let Veillieux, Wallin, Koivu, Wanvig, Boogaard and the likes all rot in the AHL.

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08-06-2005, 07:58 PM
  #13
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These guys (young) are getting there shot this year. There are going to have to earn it, like in years past, they won't be given a spot. That's why I think they're signing guys like Nazarov and Ferguson. They will push some of these guys and if they don't make it in the preseason, that's too bad. They deserve to rot in the AHL. Which I don't think will be the case. It's certainly possible, just not probable.

The Wild are far from a team making a run in the playoffs this year. What would we need, 5 upper UFA types, maybe 4. Two of them would definitely be dmen. I'm afraid to say that the run the Wild made 2+yrs ago was, while totally awesome, a fluke. Our goalies played as well as they could and guys contributed that normally shouldn't have. They ran into a even hotter goalie with better offensive players.

Besides, they tried to keep that team together. What did it gets us? AJ Thelen.

The Wild are doing things the right way. People are just going to have to show more patience. The Wild made a mistake the year after there playoff run by leaning on guys that had no future with the team. It was a reward, but it set this team back a year or better for it's future.

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08-06-2005, 11:15 PM
  #14
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No Patience

I can wait a few more years for us to get back to being a real contender, but I am having a real hard time waiting for Septmember 17th, to see the team back on the ice.

In the mean time, I expect to see good young players, work their butts off to make the team. In the process we will end up with good team hockey (until Lemaire retires?) and it will be enjoyable hockey, no matter what the score at the end of the game.

How many days to the 17th???

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08-07-2005, 12:54 AM
  #15
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So far our devolpment is not going great. Roche FA college, gone. Veillieux and Wanvig drafted, not even regualrs. Wallin trade, not a regular. PMB top pick not playing like it. Schultz i am ok with him as a second rounder. Been steady. Gaborik, he is our future. Harding, Fernendez signs again so Josh is AHL bound. Koivu and O'Sullivan get their chance. If it wasn't for Brunette, Ronning, Daigle we would have picked like Columbus and got a Nash or Zhederev. And this year it will be White and Rolston. Toss in one of the best coaches in the NHL. Thats a recipe for a decent but not great season. The wild say they are pro youth and devoplment and yet each year they sign just enough to create a log jam and LeMaire favors experiance. I can only hope that Burns turns out. And Thelen gets his act together. Otherwise we are up the creek again for the future. Ottawa got lucky. They get a gift in Chara. Hossa at 12 and Havlat in the 20s. Allfredson in the 6th. Bonk solid over the years. So far we have not got our youthfull gift. Hopefully picking 4th will be our break. If this trend keeps up Gaborik will leave and we start all over again before we get going. Guys like Henry and Zyuzin all seem like lateral moves. If we want to push youth why do we pick a Weimer to help the team. What did he do for us. Win a few games. Is not in the future plans. So we get Thelen at 12 instead of picking top 10. No one from that class has played in the NHL so no way to tell if a few draft spots would have helped anyway. But typically top ten is better than 12.


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08-07-2005, 02:46 AM
  #16
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I'm going to tackle a lot of issues here tonight about what is going on and hopefully I'll have some answers on why Minnesota isn't signing any big free agents.

Minnesota has the luxury of being in the state that lives, breathes, and dies hockey. The same about football could be said about Texas. If football went on strike, the Cowboys would be fine. Same with the Wild and the lockout. Hurts but there are some rabid fans in both areas.

NOW in areas like Columbus, Nashville, Atlanta and even Pittsburgh, they lost a ton of their fans and a lot of media. The only way now to bring back those fans, that media is to assemble a winning team now and get the city rallying behind that team. And to assemble a winning team, you need some solid free agent signings to add talent to your team.

Minnesota, unfortunately and fortunately doesn't have to win back fans or the media because they are the hockey capitol of America. College hockey, high school hockey, any type of hockey they love. So they don't have to wow the fans by signing big name free agents or assemble a great team for a couple years and then dismantle it.

The problem about this is, the Wild need talent. They took a massive hit with the lockout and they need to add a name or two or else the fans will start rejecting the team and sales will dip. When the sales dip, you'll see the team pick up some free agents to try and woo the fans back. But until then, you won't see any big name free agents come in, and if they do, maybe one or two. Rolston was a 'big' free agent and that's saying something.

I think that if the Wild fail to get into the playoffs OR get a high draft pick, you'll see a bit more free agent signing and maybe a big trade or two because some of our prospects and players are teetering on the edge. Good season or else they are out.

That is what was also bad about the 4th overall draft pick. It wasn't just a reward for Minnesota but their media. They can claim now that they just got a huge gift and that this was our big thing this summer. That if we wait, Pouliot will be as gifted as Gaborik or something. The 4th overall was our reward for being fans, because we get this high named rookie.

In terms of development I am huge, huge opponent of Minnesota's development staff, as you may already know. They blow. They really blow. It's been a few YEARS since we had a huge prospect really develop in our system. SYSTEM not TEAM. Even those huge prospects have been questionable.

As much as I love Veilleux and Wallin, and as unique as they are, they are like most other prospects coming out of other systems. Steady point producers, nothing wow! about them. Veilleux is a light weight at best but I mean he's a checker. He's a high energy guy. Wallin is a shift, speedy, center that can play every position. You get those guys around the NHL. They are uncommon but they aren't rarity.

The only real big success has been Harding because we haven't rushed his development simply because he's a goaltender. Hands down he is one of the best last year in the AHL and he's consistantly been a great goaltender.

Foy? Great OHL stats but has had a huge problem adjusting to the AHL. Heid? HA!

Wallin and Veilleux have been in the system for years now. And they have been marginal to okay. Wanvig has been like my stomach lately, up and down, up and down.

Minnesota's overseas scouts NEED TO BE FIRED. Seriously. Outside of the second round they are throwing darts at a dart board. At least Sprunger might still have some upside but he's fading fast. But seriously, outside the goaltenders, we have...

Kolusz, Eckerblom, Hannula, Misharin, Tyulyapkin and now add in Madsen...

Thank GOD they enforced the rule that they have to be signed in the next 2 years or they go back into the draft because ALL of our European prospects EXCEPT top 2 and goaltenders have been busts. And we've used a few high picks for those Europeans.

Minnesota also simply sucks at developing their prospects. It's like they aren't even trying anymore to find a good player or two. And if they do, they let them go. Been right on a few, been wrong on others.

The reason we aren't finding guys like Alfredson is because we don't take the time and effort to develop these guys anymore. We bring in marginal talent to the AHL and let me tell you, what is happening in Minnesota NOW is the same as it was a couple years ago in HOUSTON. No big FA signing after a GREAT Calder Cup Run and a team that was filled with injuries and coming and going of marginal guys.

Minnesota also seems to have shifted gears last year in terms of development. It's like they are giving the next coach in Houston the big middle finger up.

You like grinders and mucklers? We sure as hell don't in Houston and guess what is coming in? Grinders and mucklers! Horrah! If they even sign them.

You like high defensive games with no scoring? That's Houston for ya. Ya we kind of like OFFENSE in our game and with players coming in from the CHL that have more PIMs than points, there is a HUGE problem there. Voloshenko and O'Sullivan, if they don't make the NHL, are the only saviors in the AHL from another schzoiphrenic year.

Minnesota is just plain terrible in developing any offensive players outside the big 2 rounds. HAVE we developed a steady 50-60 point guy in the AHL at least? I think Roche, maybe Larose and Nycholat?

I have also been slammed for saying Minnesota should have struggled in the first 5 years, getting their feet on the ground and building an awesome youth team surrounded by guys like Gaborik (top 5 guys you know)...but noooo, we want a winning team. Screw the young guys. Atlanta is terrible...They tank games...

Minnesota made the mistake of trying to please the fans immediately out of the gate and winning games instead of maybe adjusting to the NHL and acquiring picks and high draft picks to you know? Maybe bolster the team and if they found a late round gem or something, trade either the vet or the young player off for a vet that could actually help the team?

Sorry for the long post but that's just my feelings over what Minnesota has been doing...

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08-07-2005, 08:10 AM
  #17
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Shooter's got the answer to all our worries!
From his latest column:

Quote:
Pssst: Don't be surprised if the Minnesota Wild persuade ESPN's Gary Thorne to become their TV play-by-play voice.

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08-07-2005, 08:15 AM
  #18
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Harding never was going to get a shot this year with the team imo. He's bound to the AHL for this year and maybe part of the following season. When I brang up Thelen, it was not to take a shot at him, just that the Wild finished 'out of the money' when they went with the old guard of Darby, Brad, and there likes. I don't see them doing anything like that this season. We're going to have 5,6,7 NEW players on this team. That's a large turnover and they all won't be 'rookies.'

I don't think MN is as terrible as you think with developing talent in Houston. They simply don't send there best prospects anywhere but with the parent club. Some of these guys that are mentioned are 5-6th rounders and UFA's out of any particular junior club. They are projects that need serious time in the minors. That's why they were drafted late, because they have problems in certain parts of there game.

Some of these guys that were 'developed' in Houston that left over the years include Larose, Nycholat, Trudel, Murphy, etc. all are thriving on there new AHL club. AHL club as in they are not able to make the jump to stay in the NHL. Some are off to Europe this season, again. Some of us are going to have to get over the fact that these guys have serious limitations and have no future in the NHL. They will, however, have a long career playing low level hockey.

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08-07-2005, 08:17 AM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceber
Shooter's got the answer to all our worries!
From his latest column:
Didn't they try to get him 2 years ago? Maybe it was just a rumor then too.

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08-07-2005, 08:43 AM
  #20
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I wouldn't worry too much about the Wild this year. Knowing Lemaire he is licking his chops at the prospect of no red-line. He'll stack up AL L the wild players on the blueline and trap like crazy like he usually does. If the Wild somehow make the playoffs using that system (it doesn't always work in the regular season) and if the usual crackdown on obstruction goes away in the playoffs then the Wild might be poised for another post-season run. You just have to be content with trap hockey, I mean I hate it myself but if that was the only way my team could win I'd watch it begrudgingly.

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08-07-2005, 10:00 AM
  #21
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It really is Lemaire's fault.

They should have hired Lou Nanne or Glen Sonmor to be their first coach, then the Wild would have sucked big time. There's no way that initial team had any business winning 20+ games, with the likes of Pellerin, Gavey, Roest, and Benesyk taking regular shifts; they should have won 5-10 games, based on their talent. BUT NO, Lemaire had to go and turn ***** into gold and win 20 some games, and then make a playoff run. Oh well, it IS good for the young players I guess.

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08-07-2005, 11:01 AM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DW
I don't think MN is as terrible as you think with developing talent in Houston. They simply don't send there best prospects anywhere but with the parent club. Some of these guys that are mentioned are 5-6th rounders and UFA's out of any particular junior club. They are projects that need serious time in the minors. That's why they were drafted late, because they have problems in certain parts of there game.
Uhhhh...what developing talent in Houston? We just lost a crap load of prospects and I don't see very many returning...

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08-07-2005, 11:04 AM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Columbia
and if the usual crackdown on obstruction goes away in the playoffs then the Wild might be poised for another post-season run.
Ahh, that old chestnut...

I remember back before the big crackdown of naught-2/naught-3, everyone and their uncle was predicting the Wild would suffer. I even shot a few telegrams to sportswriters who predicted as such. One guy actually responded with a "we'll see STOP I'll take Don Cherry's word over yours STOP" Normally, he would have been correct to do so, but not that time. ((Man, I wish I'd saved that email. )) What happened to the Wild was anything but suffering. The team got more powerplays than their opponents and went on an early season tear. Why? It's simple really, the Wild obstruct less than other teams. Trap, yes, obstruct, no. Their game is speed, not grabbing.

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08-07-2005, 11:45 AM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoobieDoobieDo
Uhhhh...what developing talent in Houston? We just lost a crap load of prospects and I don't see very many returning...
I think your missing my point. The Wild are keeping all of the players with real potential with the parent club and sending guys that need work on there games to Houston. Are you expecting every pick to turn into some great point producer? Some of these guys just don't pan out, period. You need to understand this for your own sanity.

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08-07-2005, 12:14 PM
  #25
CechMY5HOLEman-ek!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoobieDoobieDo
Uhhhh...what developing talent in Houston? We just lost a crap load of prospects and I don't see very many returning...
Uh, define "prospects"...

Some might say your sentence should be read more like this "We just lost a load of crap prospects" ...

Seriously though, I think people here should wait until one of these "prospects" DR lets go actually becomes something before belittling him.

If they have the stuff some other team will pick them up and eventually the player will make something of himself.

When and only when that happens will any of us know that DR let go of a prospect with enough talent to be a NHL contributor and most likely made a mistake in doing so (there are still other factors that could be involved in letting a guy go that could be deemed valid).

We should also be sure to compare DR's performance to every other GM in the league. Perhaps we'd be surprised to see DR does a better job. Or perhaps not. But that's the only way for us to gauge truly where DR's performance falls.

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