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Old
12-18-2005, 06:59 AM
  #51
Fletch
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They lost scoring depth?

Amonte was having a pretty bad year in 93-94 and Weight never took off as a Ranger. They lost opportunistic goals and it was Smith's bad judgement in terms of what this team needed that did him in. While Zubov once led this team in scoring, how can one justify moving him for scoring depth? I believe, actually, that Smith needed to accomplish two things. He wanted to make this team tougher. Heck, Zubov and Nedved were two young scoring players who could've mitagated the losses of Weight and Amonte. Nedved was that second line centerman. Zubov was that reat complement to Leetch. Campbell just didn't seem to like them (and Nedved, on a fourth line) was not used properly here his first time around.

And personally, if the Rangers had the right coach, I believe Kovalev would've made it in New York; as well, if he was used properly he would've made it. I don't remember AK getting 20 minutes of ice time in New York - except for a Chicago game in which he put together a 7 minute shift. Constantine (I believe it was him), showewd confidence in AK by giving him PK time and other quality minutes because he recognized that's how some playes are - they thrive on additional responsibiliity nad ice time. Campbell wasn't a fan, and in fact it wasn't all too uncommon for Johan Lindbom and his one goal to get more ice time than Kovalev - that helped little.

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12-18-2005, 07:14 AM
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletch
Amonte was having a pretty bad year in 93-94 and Weight never took off as a Ranger. They lost opportunistic goals and it was Smith's bad judgement in terms of what this team needed that did him in. While Zubov once led this team in scoring, how can one justify moving him for scoring depth? I believe, actually, that Smith needed to accomplish two things. He wanted to make this team tougher. Heck, Zubov and Nedved were two young scoring players who could've mitagated the losses of Weight and Amonte. Nedved was that second line centerman. Zubov was that reat complement to Leetch. Campbell just didn't seem to like them (and Nedved, on a fourth line) was not used properly here his first time around.

And personally, if the Rangers had the right coach, I believe Kovalev would've made it in New York; as well, if he was used properly he would've made it. I don't remember AK getting 20 minutes of ice time in New York - except for a Chicago game in which he put together a 7 minute shift. Constantine (I believe it was him), showewd confidence in AK by giving him PK time and other quality minutes because he recognized that's how some playes are - they thrive on additional responsibiliity nad ice time. Campbell wasn't a fan, and in fact it wasn't all too uncommon for Johan Lindbom and his one goal to get more ice time than Kovalev - that helped little.
That is another part of this whole equation. I always felt Campbell coached like a scared rabbit. Remember, this was a coach who played one of his most talented forwards (Kovalev) with Brian Skrudland and Bill Berg, while giving Pat LaFontaine Mike Keane and Tim Sweeney as wingers. Enough said.

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12-18-2005, 07:41 AM
  #53
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Cause:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLANTARANGER
He wanted everyone to love him.
Effect:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edge
he didn't put his foot down when he needed to.
Outcome:
Quote:
Originally Posted by jas
The trades of Zubov and Norstrom, the hiring of Muckler
Include in this last the debacles with Keenan and Messier and the hiring of Colin Campbell, another nice guy whom Smith knew he would never have top fight as he did Keenan.

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12-18-2005, 07:50 AM
  #54
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This thread seems nearly played out... but one thing that's been bugging me is holding Smith accountable for the "foolish" signing of Keane and Skrudland. At the time they were considered absolute blue-chip role-players, guys with great leadership qualities, grit, and defensive skills. Skrudland in particular seems to have run out of gas the day he donned the Ranger jersey, but most folks I know thought these two a perfect antidote for a lot of what was ailing the team at the time, and I don't know anyone who expected them to fail so quickly and completely. To me, these were smart signings that just didn't work out.

Unless you're on-board with Rodent's theory that Messier made Smith sign Keane to destroy LaFontaine......... I think I got that right, but the latest column is as convoluted as a Len Deighton spy novel........

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12-18-2005, 07:58 AM
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BringBackNeilSmith
one thing that's been bugging me is holding Smith accountable for the "foolish" signing of Keane and Skrudland. At the time they were considered absolute blue-chip role-players, guys with great leadership qualities, grit, and defensive skills.
They were excellent signings that did not become excellent additions. They filled primary needs for the team but for whatever reason couldn't perform in NYC as they had (and as Keane would again) in other cities. In spite of their failures, Smith should not be trashed for signing them, and he should be credited for getting assets back when he realized they simply weren't working out.

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12-18-2005, 08:12 AM
  #56
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A very rare time where we agree!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dedalus
Cause:


Effect:


Outcome:


Include in this last the debacles with Keenan and Messier and the hiring of Colin Campbell, another nice guy whom Smith knew he would never have top fight as he did Keenan.
You are right. This is the final story of Neil Smith. Neilson was a clam, quiet guy. He was the only coach that Smith coexisted with.

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12-18-2005, 08:15 AM
  #57
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I think all agree that those signings were in deed needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by dedalus
They were excellent signings that did not become excellent additions. They filled primary needs for the team but for whatever reason couldn't perform in NYC as they had (and as Keane would again) in other cities. In spite of their failures, Smith should not be trashed for signing them, and he should be credited for getting assets back when he realized they simply weren't working out.
unfortunately the true value of getting them was all undone by not re-signing Messier. Huge, Huge MISTAKE! MSG gave $18M per year to Ewing! Is anyone telling us that Messier wasn't worth what he was asking for? It was 1/3 of what MSG paid the world's tallest shooting guard!

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12-18-2005, 09:50 AM
  #58
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Quote:
Unless you're on-board with Rodent's theory that Messier made Smith sign Keane to destroy LaFontaine
That's not possible, since Keane was signed before Messier left, before the offer sheet to Sakic and before the trade for LaFontaine was completed. That's giving Smith far more foresight than he'd ever have shown.

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12-18-2005, 09:57 AM
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLANTARANGER
You are right. This is the final story of Neil Smith. Neilson was a clam, quiet guy. He was the only coach that Smith coexisted with.

Are you talknig about Roger Nielsen? The same one that coached the Rangers until Messier got him fired? The same one that had previously coached the Canucks to the Cup finals? He was a "clam, quiet guy"? Maybe he came off that way to some people who don't know what he was like, but he was certainly not that kind of guy. He may not have been a kick-@@$ disciplinarian like Keenan, but he was by no means the wallflower you appear to be describing. And he was one of the most innovative coaches ever - bar none.

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12-18-2005, 10:08 AM
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLANTARANGER
You are right. This is the final story of Neil Smith. Neilson was a clam, quiet guy. He was the only coach that Smith coexisted with.
Smith got along with Roger Neilson, too, but that's because Roger was another calm person. It was Messier who hated playing Neilson's defense-first-and-defense-last system and drove him out of NYC.

What the Rangers needed under Smith was a tough, hard-nosed coach to complement Neil's nice guy role, a bad cop to Smith's good cop. Keenan gave him that and that's why the organization succeeded best under Keenan.

What Smith needed was a hard-nosed coach who didn't put himself first and wasn't a boat-rocker. Hitchcock would've been the perfect coach in Smith's regime. He's tough and demanding on the players, but he understands his role in the organization and he has no interest in disputes with management, especially public ones.

I liked Neil Smith, and because he finally won a Cup there can be no doubt the organization owes him a great debt. At the same time I was not angry when he was let go. It was time for him to move on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLANTA RANGER
the true value of getting them was all undone by not re-signing Messier. Huge, Huge MISTAKE! MSG gave $18M per year to Ewing! Is anyone telling us that Messier wasn't worth what he was asking for?
many many reports have it that Messier was given the offer sheet he was because Smith and the organization didn't particularly want him back and would only take him on their own (very favorable) terms. Messier's production had dropped; he insisted on a say in team decisions; he wasn't helpful in certain team situations (like his poor treatment of Nedved); and when he didn't get what he felt was coming to him, he ran to the press. I'm okay with Smith deciding to let him walk. Messier was high-maintenance.

Smith should be blasted for another reason: if he knew he didn't want Messier back and he knew he'd be aggravating Messier to the point where leaving was likely, Smith should have had the b***s to trade Messier. Even then Smith was saying the team needed to get younger, bigger, and faster. He was thinking rebuild (or "re-tooling" as he put it) even then. If that's the case, you don't let an asset like Messier walk for nothing; You get something that addresses your stated needs and that you can sell as such. Without doubt Smith would've taken a huge hit in the media. He's got to be willing to take that hit, make a public statement that "we didn't think we could get Mark signed," and get something more than a 2nd round compensation pick for a Mark Messier who was still considered the best leader in sport and still productive. There are few top teams that would not have paid a good price for Messier at the trade deadline going into Messier's walk year.

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12-18-2005, 10:15 AM
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dedalus
Smith got along with Roger Neilson, too, but that's because Roger was another calm person. It was Messier who hated playing Neilson's defense-first-and-defense-last system and drove him out of NYC.

What the Rangers needed under Smith was a tough, hard-nosed coach to complement Neil's nice guy role, a bad cop to Smith's good cop. Keenan gave him that and that's why the organization succeeded best under Keenan.

What Smith needed was a hard-nosed coach who didn't put himself first and wasn't a boat-rocker. Hitchcock would've been the perfect coach in Smith's regime. He's tough and demanding on the players, but he understands his role in the organization and he has no interest in disputes with management, especially public ones.

I liked Neil Smith, and because he finally won a Cup there can be no doubt the organization owes him a great debt. At the same time I was not angry when he was let go. It was time for him to move on.


many many reports have it that Messier was given the offer sheet he was because Smith and the organization didn't particularly want him back and would only take him on their own (very favorable) terms. Messier's production had dropped; he insisted on a say in team decisions; he wasn't helpful in certain team situations (like his poor treatment of Nedved); and when he didn't get what he felt was coming to him, he ran to the press. I'm okay with Smith deciding to let him walk. Messier was high-maintenance.

Smith should be blasted for another reason: if he knew he didn't want Messier back and he knew he'd be aggravating Messier to the point where leaving was likely, Smith should have had the b***s to trade Messier. Even then Smith was saying the team needed to get younger, bigger, and faster. He was thinking rebuild (or "re-tooling" as he put it) even then. If that's the case, you don't let an asset like Messier walk for nothing; You get something that addresses your stated needs and that you can sell as such. Without doubt Smith would've taken a huge hit in the media. He's got to be willing to take that hit, make a public statement that "we didn't think we could get Mark signed," and get something more than a 2nd round compensation pick for a Mark Messier who was still considered the best leader in sport and still productive. There are few top teams that would not have paid a good price for Messier at the trade deadline going into Messier's walk year.
If you remember, Frank Brown of the Daily News dared to suggest such a thing. He propsosed sending Messier at the deadline to Chicago for Eric Daze and Ethan Moreau. It was sportstalk fodder decalred as heresy, and Smith never entertained the idea. I still maintain that Smith only compounded things by not dealing players like John MacLean, who had value in 1998-9, while the team was clearly headed into rebuilding territory.

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12-18-2005, 10:20 AM
  #62
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The signing of Keane and Skrudland...

didn't bother me. At the time, the Rangers needed 'cheking' type players to go against top lines. Problem was Smith didn't have the coach to carry things out and for a good part of the season we saw Mike Keane playing on Gretzky's wing - which isn't what he came here for. And since Campbell had been to a few playoffs, thanks to the outstanding play of few individuals in each series, including, and especially, Richter against the Devils, he had a pass (and coaching had little to do with those wins). Skrudland - I can barely remember what happened there. I don't think he was used in the correct role, he may've been hurt if I remembered correctly, and I kept wondering why Mike Eastwood wasn't used as a checker (if I'm off with years and people, I apologize, just like the music of the 80s I try to forget, I try to forget the Rangers post May 1997).

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12-18-2005, 12:09 PM
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jas
If you remember, Frank Brown of the Daily News dared to suggest such a thing. He propsosed sending Messier at the deadline to Chicago for Eric Daze and Ethan Moreau.
I don't recall it but it doesn't surprise me in the least. Brown had real integrity and was an outstanding writer. I was really, really depressed when he took his job with the league. Great for him, bad for Ranger fans.

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Old
12-18-2005, 12:27 PM
  #64
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Quote:
Amonte was having a pretty bad year in 93-94 and Weight never took off as a Ranger.
Amonte's bad year was still on pace for a 20 goal season and Weight had a decent rookie season and was having a solid sophmore season at the time of his trade.

Even with a bad season, everyone knew Amonte (at the age of 23) had already scored nearly 100 goals at the NHL level and Weight was already a 70 point guy by the the time he was 23.

In return for two A-list young players (bad season, coach issues aside), Smith got a near 30 year old checker and a B-rate big winger. For Weight he got Tikanen with a TON of miles on him. It seemed that as years went on Smith got very antsy with moves. He was so afraid of not making moves (which he was sometimes critcized for before hand) that he OVERMADE moves. Some of the deals became like EHM deals where you just KNOW you took another GM to school.


Quote:
They lost opportunistic goals and it was Smith's bad judgement in terms of what this team needed that did him in. While Zubov once led this team in scoring, how can one justify moving him for scoring depth? I believe, actually, that Smith needed to accomplish two things. He wanted to make this team tougher. Heck, Zubov and Nedved were two young scoring players who could've mitagated the losses of Weight and Amonte. Nedved was that second line centerman. Zubov was that reat complement to Leetch. Campbell just didn't seem to like them (and Nedved, on a fourth line) was not used properly here his first time around.

But therin lies the problem, if you have a talented young cast and inept coaches that too must fall on the GM. Smith's downfall was not just the trades but the overall direction of the entire ship from coaches to signings to drafting. After Keenan, Smith went the opposite direction (a coach who would never challenge him) and frankly we got a guy who wasn't a very good coach. Just like you get players to fit into a team, you gotta get the right coach.

As for Nedved, he's really the only point I somewhat dispute. I don't think it was Campbell fault for him, Nedved looked legitmatly lost from the first day he was here and he needed to grow up.


Quote:
And personally, if the Rangers had the right coach, I believe Kovalev would've made it in New York; as well, if he was used properly he would've made it. I don't remember AK getting 20 minutes of ice time in New York - except for a Chicago game in which he put together a 7 minute shift. Constantine (I believe it was him), showewd confidence in AK by giving him PK time and other quality minutes because he recognized that's how some playes are - they thrive on additional responsibiliity nad ice time. Campbell wasn't a fan, and in fact it wasn't all too uncommon for Johan Lindbom and his one goal to get more ice time than Kovalev - that helped little.
Kovalev got plenty of icetime and responsibility and he used to drive Campbell nuts. Kovalev just never was (not even the second time) a NY player. I really believe that. Some players just will not succeed in NY and I believe Kovalev is one of them. Kovalev always had great post seasons in NY but it was regular seasons that got you so angry. That happened under how many different coaches and even happened when he first got to Pitts and when he went to Montreal. In his case too, he was one of the few young players they actually held onto for a while. He was 25 when they finally had to move him.I blame the Rangers and Smith for a great share in this thread, but Kovalev wasn't going to blossom in NY. Not if they kept him for 10 years.

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12-18-2005, 01:28 PM
  #65
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It's amazing, tough...that

Kovalev did good under better coaches. Kovalev was monkeyed around by Campbell from the get-go. Playing with third and fourth liners was no way to develop a young talent. He played well with Messier in the 1994 playoffs and barely played with him the next several seasons - Campbell didn't like him, and he didn't like Campbell.

As for Amonte's 16, on pace for 20...I still recall him struggling that season. I think you could've played a monkey with Messier and he would've gotten 15 goals. My point was that apples to apples, 1993 and 1994 to subsequent seasons, Weight and Amonte weren't missed, but their upside and potential was. Heck, in 1995, 1996 and 1997, the team still made the playoffs and won a round in each season, with two in 1997 - Smith had plenty of time to retool and replace Amonte and Weight as their production, or hopeful production, wasn't sorely missed in the subsequent three seasons.

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