In the late 90's-2003 roughly, if milbury hadnt pulled some horrible deals, could this team have made a cup run? They could've had Luongo in net, Chara on D, Spezza up the middle and instead of getting Ricky D picked up a heatley or gaborik. They also couldve kept connolly and pyatt over peca. Another possibilty was keeping mccabe and bertuzzi over linden. Obviously all things could not have worked out with them having all these players, but thats alot of potential that got shipped out the door and lets say NYI kept 80% of these players listed, do they make a cup run before the lockout?
I'd say, Luongo and Heatley for sure. Not so sure about Spezza because is there any guarantee they would stay that bad with Heatley and Luongo? Probably not.
So lets say, Luongo, Heatley and Chara. Would Chara have become as good a player as he has staying on the Isles, is another question. Chara has worked extremely hard on his game to get where he has. It took him some time to become this good.
Not to defend Mad Mike too much, but people overstate how great the Isles would've been without him. It's a huge stretch to assume that Chara, Spezza, Luongo, Bertuzzi and all those guys would've been as good as they were had they stayed on cellar-dwelling Long Island, and the team certainly would've moved had the franchise not been revived in '01 with the Peca and Yashin moves.
Milbury was an awful GM, but most of the Isles' problems were related to bad ownership. They would've been better with a more competent front office certainly, but a lot of Milbury's ineptitude was out of his hands.
Would Chara have become as good a player as he has staying on the Isles, is another question. Chara has worked extremely hard on his game to get where he has. It took him some time to become this good.
good point. the organization doesn't exactly have a great track record with developing young talent. so sure, we can agree that heatley/gaborik and luongo would probably have been good no matter what. chara is debatable. olli jokinen needed keenan to push him. bertuzzi too. under steve stirling, they could very well have turned out no better than oleg kvasha or brad isbister. i mean, kvasha and isbister had all the size and talent in the world. how good might they have been if he hadn't spent those years on the island?
eric brewer, j.p. dumont, jason spezza, bryan mccabe... would they have become mezei, weinhandl, bergenheim, and campoli?
Last edited by vadim sharifijanov: 02-05-2009 at 11:17 PM.