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06-10-2010, 02:41 PM
  #26
nickschultzfan
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Originally Posted by bozak911 View Post
Like who?

Havlat?

Havlat contacted US. He (and his agent) had a contract in mind. The Wild said yes.

Pretty simple. Even Risebrough wouldn't have screwed that up.
In one year, Fletcher has signed:

Havlat - Top free agent signing in the Wild's history. Top available UFA forward on the market last season considering that Gaborik wasn't staying and Hossa was 100% going to Chicago.

Zannon - Top-4 Dman signed for under 2 million. It was a complete steal from Nashville.

Wellman - THE top college free agent. Already a better forward prospect than anybody DR ever drafted going back to Koivu.

Prosser - Might be a better college free agent signing than Wellman.


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06-10-2010, 02:56 PM
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickschultzfan View Post
In one year, Fletcher has signed:

Havlat - Top free agent signing in the Wild's history. Top available UFA forward on the market last season considering that Gaborik wasn't staying and Hossa was 100% going to Chicago.

Zannon - Top-4 Dman signed for under 2 million. Can't beat that.

Wellman - THE top college free agent. Already a better forward prospect than anybody DR ever drafted going back to Koivu.

Prosser - Might be a better college free agent signing than Wellman.
You are giving Fletcher FAR too much credit.

Havlat: Again, Havlat came to us basically saying; "Here are my terms." Fletcher said "yessir". The third best free agent behind Gaborik and Hossa calls your team with terms that you can easily meet? Like I said, Risebrough wouldn't have screwed that up.
Zanon: I will give Fletcher kudos for this one, but he *wasn't* top-4 in Nashville.

The Wellman/Prosser/Palmer signings I will also give him, but there is a difference between un-drafted, college free agents and actual free agents.

Keeping apples to apples; You can't give the credit for Havlat to Fletcher. You can lay the blame of Sykora at Fletcher's feet. You can give credit to Fletcher for Zanon.

Ranks:
Havlat = No brainer, no grade. That's like getting a hot, fresh-grad substitute teacher for the week during which your grizzled, old (and same sex) math teacher is out because of a mental breakdown that happened in class.
Zanon: Good deal for a shut-down, shot blocking defenseman. B
Sykora = Failure, F.

I will be the first to admit that I am wrong if Fletcher can successfully lure a high end free agent forward here. However, he has no track record *yet*. In fact, I have heard more of the "manage expectations" using different words in his post-season interviews than I have optimism.

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06-10-2010, 03:06 PM
  #28
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Sykora was a failure, yet it didn't hurt us that much now did it? He signed for $1.6M and the experiment failed, it's not like he signed him to a 3-year deal, I wouldn't give it an F. I was all for him signing Sykora and it wasn't that bad of a move. It was a low-risk move.

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06-10-2010, 03:08 PM
  #29
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I'd be surprised to see us sign a UFA for much over 2M. We simply can't afford anymore long-term deals with albatross potential.

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06-10-2010, 03:11 PM
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bozak911 View Post
You are giving Fletcher FAR too much credit.

Havlat: Again, Havlat came to us basically saying; "Here are my terms." Fletcher said "yessir". The third best free agent behind Gaborik and Hossa calls your team with terms that you can easily meet? Like I said, Risebrough wouldn't have screwed that up.
Zanon: I will give Fletcher kudos for this one, but he *wasn't* top-4 in Nashville.

The Wellman/Prosser/Palmer signings I will also give him, but there is a difference between un-drafted, college free agents and actual free agents.

Keeping apples to apples; You can't give the credit for Havlat to Fletcher. You can lay the blame of Sykora at Fletcher's feet. You can give credit to Fletcher for Zanon.

Ranks:
Havlat = No brainer, no grade. That's like getting a hot, fresh-grad substitute teacher for the week during which your grizzled, old (and same sex) math teacher is out because of a mental breakdown that happened in class.
Zanon: Good deal for a shut-down, shot blocking defenseman. B
Sykora = Failure, F.

I will be the first to admit that I am wrong if Fletcher can successfully lure a high end free agent forward here. However, he has no track record *yet*. In fact, I have heard more of the "manage expectations" using different words in his post-season interviews than I have optimism.
Sykora an F?

More like an I, for incomplete. It would have been an F if Fletcher signed him to a multi-year deal. Instead, Fletcher signed him only after that cap-space wasn't going anywhere else, and dumped him as soon as he realized Sykora wasn't helping. Nothing hurt.

You just added Sykora, a complete non-factor, to attempt to prove your point.

Regardless, the fact remains that Fletcher stablized an imploding franchise with his good use of free agent signings.

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06-10-2010, 03:24 PM
  #31
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If you want to talk about the Free Agents (non-college) you have to talk about Sykora, too.

Sykora was an F.

Why?

The new GM as well as the new Coach were all talking and pushing and selling a more "up-tempo" system. Signing Sykora was just an abject dumb thing to do, in reflection of what "system" they were trying to sell.

Sykora = slow, soft, easy to bump off a puck.

How much did Sykora affect the season? Not much at all, but there was a lot of talk about how Sykora was going to be Havlat's "finisher".

Since we are also talking about Fletcher's (un-proven) record on Free Agents, how much did his handling of the Sykora situation *hurt* this reputation? Remember the tweet storms from his agent? Remember the trending topic of "FreePetr"?

I'm not trying to be belligerent about anything other than being realistic about an un-proven GM being able to pull in a big fish like Marleau or Kovalchuck. It's not going to happen.

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06-10-2010, 04:10 PM
  #32
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Keep in mind Sykora had a shoulder injury towards the end of last year, got a groin injury right off the bat, came back and played a few games then got a concussion, then finally his season ended and he had a torn stomach muscle. He was never healthy this year.

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06-10-2010, 04:17 PM
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
Keep in mind Sykora had a shoulder injury towards the end of last year, got a groin injury right off the bat, came back and played a few games then got a concussion, then finally his season ended and he had a torn stomach muscle. He was never healthy this year.
Even more fail.


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06-10-2010, 04:24 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by bozak911 View Post
Even more fail.

Saying Sykora was a UFA "failure" is like saying a 6th round draft pick is a "failure" because he didn't make it into the NHL.

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06-10-2010, 04:25 PM
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bozak911 View Post
You are giving Fletcher FAR too much credit.

1: Havlat: Again, Havlat came to us basically saying; "Here are my terms." Fletcher said "yessir". The third best free agent behind Gaborik and Hossa calls your team with terms that you can easily meet? Like I said, Risebrough wouldn't have screwed that up.

2: Zanon: I will give Fletcher kudos for this one, but he *wasn't* top-4 in Nashville.

3: The Wellman/Prosser/Palmer signings I will also give him, but there is a difference between un-drafted, college free agents and actual free agents.

4: Keeping apples to apples; You can't give the credit for Havlat to Fletcher. You can lay the blame of Sykora at Fletcher's feet. You can give credit to Fletcher for Zanon.

5: I will be the first to admit that I am wrong if Fletcher can successfully lure a high end free agent forward here. However, he has no track record *yet*. In fact, I have heard more of the "manage expectations" using different words in his post-season interviews than I have optimism.

1: So Havlat contacted Fletcher, and ignored all the other teams calling? He then set the terms of the contract, and Fletcher just said OK? How about you back that up with some fact.

2: You're right that Zanon wasn't a Top-4 in Nashville, so Fletcher and his staff should get more credit for realizing he could fill a top-4 role and sign him at a bargain basement price.

3: There is a difference between actual free agents and undrafted college free agents... You can't offer college free agents any more money than rookie scale. So if multiple teams are offering "max" contracts to these kids, they have to choose for themselves where the best fit is.

Fletcher should get a lot of credit for convincing Wellman and then Palmer that the Wild were the best fit for them. Both of those players have been called the best undrafted college FAs in this class, at different times.

4: Sykora didn't work out here. Fletcher missed on him, but what did we lose? They're not all going to be winners.

5: The FA market sucks this offseason, so if you're looking for a guy like Marleau, you should temper your expectations a little. Fletcher has said a few times that change will come through trade, but the tricky part of a trade is that you have to find a partner.

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06-10-2010, 04:37 PM
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kari Takko View Post
1: So Havlat contacted Fletcher, and ignored all the other teams calling? He then set the terms of the contract, and Fletcher just said OK? How about you back that up with some fact.
Dig through the interviews that Russo did, the interviews of Havlat himself on wild.com, as well as Fletcher saying "he called us". It was widely talked about last summer.

Havlat even tweeted saying; "...I like where this club is going..." "...they were my first choice...". This was after his tweets about how the "truth will come out" about Chicago.

Kari, I am being realistic. I am arguing against someone who thinks it's likely that Kovalchuck will sign with Minnesota based on Fletcher's "reputation".


Quote:
Saying Sykora was a UFA "failure" is like saying a 6th round draft pick is a "failure" because he didn't make it into the NHL.
Signing Sykora, and pursuing him as hard as Fletcher did *is* a fail. It was completely contradictory to what they were saying about the new "system"! Sykora, himself, or his injuries, is not a "fail" at all. Fletcher pursuing a soft and slow player for a "gritty, up-tempo" system *is* the fail.

Think about Sykora like this: You are being "sold" a muscle car, but when you look under the hood, you see an engine from a Ford Festiva. How is that *not* a reflection of failure on Fletcher, the guy doing the selling?

Edit: Add on top of that, the tweet storm by Sykora's agent when Sykora was being benched, Fletcher's reputation isn't exactly perfectly white and shining when it comes to other free agents...

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06-10-2010, 05:07 PM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bozak911 View Post
Signing Sykora, and pursuing him as hard as Fletcher did *is* a fail. It was completely contradictory to what they were saying about the new "system"! Sykora, himself, or his injuries, is not a "fail" at all. Fletcher pursuing a soft and slow player for a "gritty, up-tempo" system *is* the fail.

Think about Sykora like this: You are being "sold" a muscle car, but when you look under the hood, you see an engine from a Ford Festiva. How is that *not* a reflection of failure on Fletcher, the guy doing the selling?

Edit: Add on top of that, the tweet storm by Sykora's agent when Sykora was being benched, Fletcher's reputation isn't exactly perfectly white and shining when it comes to other free agents...
The more you talk, the less sense your argument makes.

Your acting like Sykora was this core, July 1st, free agent signing. He wasn't. Not even close. It was a minor, tangentally free agent signing. It was Fletcher's plan H to try to add scoring on a goal-starved team. At that point, he had to do something.

The more you try to turn that signing into something it is not, the more apparent your non-logic becomes.

In a very short-time, Fletcher has already brought in better free agents than 7 years of DR.

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06-10-2010, 05:10 PM
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All I am saying is that Fletcher's best ability appears to be free agents, and that we will be competitive in landing some of the bigger forward fish available.

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06-10-2010, 05:12 PM
  #39
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Fail is a verb.

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06-10-2010, 05:13 PM
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We've got Zidlicky and Havlat under contract, that might persuade Plekanec a bit.

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06-10-2010, 05:14 PM
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickschultzfan View Post
The more you talk, the less sense your argument makes.
Ditto. Mostly because when you make a statement like:

Quote:
All I am saying is that Fletcher's best ability appears to be free agents, and that we will be competitive in landing some of the bigger forward fish available.
You are conveniently ignoring Sykora and the mess that surrounded his benching. Who is his agent again?


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06-10-2010, 05:16 PM
  #42
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Fail is a verb.
So is "compete".


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06-10-2010, 05:17 PM
  #43
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Either way, I doubt Fletch is much of a player in FA. I think he will make 2-3 trades at the draft. Moving Harding, and probably a trade down to mid-teens range while picking up a 2nd rounder and another 3rd.

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06-10-2010, 05:29 PM
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bozak911 View Post
If you want to talk about the Free Agents (non-college) you have to talk about Sykora, too.

Sykora was an F.

Why?

The new GM as well as the new Coach were all talking and pushing and selling a more "up-tempo" system. Signing Sykora was just an abject dumb thing to do, in reflection of what "system" they were trying to sell.

Sykora = slow, soft, easy to bump off a puck.

How much did Sykora affect the season? Not much at all, but there was a lot of talk about how Sykora was going to be Havlat's "finisher".

Since we are also talking about Fletcher's (un-proven) record on Free Agents, how much did his handling of the Sykora situation *hurt* this reputation? Remember the tweet storms from his agent? Remember the trending topic of "FreePetr"?

I'm not trying to be belligerent about anything other than being realistic about an un-proven GM being able to pull in a big fish like Marleau or Kovalchuck. It's not going to happen.
Sykora failed, but the issue with using letter grades in my opinion is that there are different expectations. Signing Sykora was a low-risk, high-reward deal mainly based upon the fact that there were no other options for the team (a problem Fletcher will still have to deal with this year). Half the moves made this year were in regards to trying to find more forward depth and a finisher for Havlat. So yes, Sykora failed and failed miserably as his healthy scratches and the "free Peter" campaign will show, but it wasn't totally unexpected and not the end of the world (especially when you put in the perspective of the expectations others like Havlat had).

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06-10-2010, 05:54 PM
  #45
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Agreed, it wasn't the end of the world when it failed. I'm not even of the opinion that it had a huge impact on the dismal season over all.

Most everyone knows what I think that was... *laughs* Todd Richards' inability to manage line changes.

My point in even talking about Sykora is to remind everyone (who seemed to forget him) that Fletcher isn't un-tarnished and that the rosy glow surrounding him is either from a certain tint of glasses or someone got the kool-aid in their eyes.


Who else is a Walsh client?

People made a huge deal about the rift between Risebrough and Salcer (me included) when it came to the Gaborik situation. Walsh and Octagon Hockey represent A LOT of players I would love to see in a Wild uniform.

My point is that saying Fletcher has a good reputation for Free Agents is false. If anything, it's still neutral because of the lack of positive, more than any existing negatives. You can't bank on it or use it in statements about the future of the team.

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06-10-2010, 06:48 PM
  #46
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Havlat - positive, post-injury he was great
Sykora - neutral, signed to 1-year deal but didn't work out due to injury
Zanon - positive, absolutely stole the guy
Hnidy - neutral, signed to 1-year deal and was an okay depth guy

Net positive.

Sykora would be a negative signing if it was for more than a year, but it wasn't.

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06-10-2010, 07:20 PM
  #47
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Ah. I forgot about Shane "Puck? What Puck?" Hnidy...


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06-10-2010, 09:48 PM
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickschultzfan View Post
In one year, Fletcher has signed:

Havlat - Top free agent signing in the Wild's history. Top available UFA forward on the market last season considering that Gaborik wasn't staying and Hossa was 100% going to Chicago.

Zanon - Top-4 Dman signed for under 2 million. It was a complete steal from Nashville.

Wellman - THE top college free agent. Already a better forward prospect than anybody DR ever drafted going back to Koivu.

Prosser - Might be a better college free agent signing than Wellman.
Havlat wasn't the third-best UFA for me. Cammallari was and played like it too. Plus, he came calling to Fletch. No-brainer then. We still haven't seen a Minnesota GM go out and land a big fish.

Zanon - For #4/#5 defensemen money, Fletcher signed a #4/#5 defensemen from Nashville that played like a #4/#5 defensemen here. Solid singing, yes. Great singing, no. Certainly no steal. A steal would have been getting a top-3 defensemen for that price.

Wellman
- better prospect than any drafted since Koivu? That's absurd. We will be fortunate if wellman ever becomes a top-6 player. Nice signing, but nothing to cheer about yet. Prosser's not even in that good of a boat.

Might as well include Hnidy and Sykora. Hnidy was a disappointing stiff, and Sykora was a complete bust. Fletcher missed on Afinogenov and others.

So outside of Havlat wanting to come here, Fletcher brought in a solid #4/#5 defensemen. Pardon my lack of excitement.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mnwildgophers View Post
Sykora was a failure, yet it didn't hurt us that much now did it? He signed for $1.6M and the experiment failed, it's not like he signed him to a 3-year deal, I wouldn't give it an F. I was all for him signing Sykora and it wasn't that bad of a move. It was a low-risk move.
Oh it did hurt us. Who was a better signing, Sykora or Afinogenov? Fletch missed. We needed a contribution from the low-risk signing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickschultzfan View Post
Regardless, the fact remains that Fletcher stabilized an imploding franchise with his good use of free agent signings.
We're stabilized now? After going backwards in the standings with a still horrendous prospect pool, little cap space, and few trade pieces? That's closer to imploding that stabilized.

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06-10-2010, 11:11 PM
  #49
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Originally Posted by bozak911 View Post
People made a huge deal about the rift between Risebrough and Salcer (me included) when it came to the Gaborik situation. Walsh and Octagon Hockey represent A LOT of players I would love to see in a Wild uniform.

My point is that saying Fletcher has a good reputation for Free Agents is false. If anything, it's still neutral because of the lack of positive, more than any existing negatives. You can't bank on it or use it in statements about the future of the team.
I doubt the Walsh thing will come back to haunt the Wild as it's who he is; an agent looking out for the needs of his client(s) Drew Rosenhaus-style. If anything, it will be the state of the team, money and the MN tax rate.

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06-11-2010, 09:34 AM
  #50
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You're only focusing on the negative and writing off the positive. Because Havlat wanted to come here, he doesn't count as a free agent signing? Bull.

Zanon was under the radar and signed for cheap. Compare his salary to Scuderi, another 3/4 defensive guy.

I wouldn't say Wellman is better than Bouchard, but he's probably better than just about any other forward prospect we've drafted.

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