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05-31-2004, 07:00 PM
  #1
mamettt
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Lowe should look at these numbers

before he complains about the oilers payroll limiting his ability as a GM or this team's ability to win. Very interesting thread, whichever side your on.

http://www.hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=80722

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05-31-2004, 07:10 PM
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dawgbone
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That is also on a single year basis.

How many teams in the lower half of the payroll are continually "competing" year after year?

I mean sure, if you look this year Calgary is the poster child for low budget success... if you ignore 7 years of futility.

Kind of like Minnesota last year... you get a year where things go right, but you are also stuck with years of futility. Would you rather have the Wings success over the past 10 years, or the Flames?

That is the difference. It isn't about competing once... it's about being able to continually field a competetive team... that is the difference.

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05-31-2004, 07:13 PM
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Keep on reading big guy. The whole thread addresses your complaint.

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05-31-2004, 07:43 PM
  #4
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The initial post doesn't though - and most of the rest that is posted is simply people saying the same thing that dawgbone just did.

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05-31-2004, 07:51 PM
  #5
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Read CH's and thinkwild's posts. They sump exactly what everyone in "our" camp of thinking believes.

The reasonswhy EDM hasn't won a cup in the last decade and more is that our GMs Sather and Lowe didn't do enough to build a young core that could last...the losses of weight, guerin, mironov hurt only a little compared to the inept drafting and asset management of the Sather years. Lowe is building a core which is why I support him and why I see success for the oilers if our youngsters keep on developing...however they have to develop for that success to come. Either way, payroll and winning are two entirely different things and don't affect one another nearly as much as we believe they do.

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05-31-2004, 08:17 PM
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thome_26
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Yes, you have to be able to draft well enough to get yourself into a place where you can contend for a cup long term - however, you THEN need the cash to keep all the kids. Look at Ottawa - is Melnyk wasn't willing to throw cash into it - they would be losing some names (Chara, Redden, Hossa, Alfredson would be in risk of not being there and I can pretty much guarentee that atleast one of them wouldn't be for financial reasons).

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05-31-2004, 08:19 PM
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I also wonder if Pocklington had anything to do with the lousy drafting of the organization. Remember first round draft picks cost a lot of money. When PP was owner, the payroll was around $17M. Maybe for that reason, Slats didn't draft as well as he wanted to. The Oilers dynasty slowly started collapsing when Steve Smith put that goal in his own net.

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05-31-2004, 08:31 PM
  #8
mamettt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thome_26
Yes, you have to be able to draft well enough to get yourself into a place where you can contend for a cup long term - however, you THEN need the cash to keep all the kids. Look at Ottawa - is Melnyk wasn't willing to throw cash into it - they would be losing some names (Chara, Redden, Hossa, Alfredson would be in risk of not being there and I can pretty much guarentee that atleast one of them wouldn't be for financial reasons).
If the oilers assembled a core that got deep into the stanley cup for three years (thrid round or stanley cup) our revenues would increase and we'd be able to afford to sign our core, or at least the most important elements of our core, long term. And let's not forget we would have more youngsters coming down the pike as well. It's all about good asset management and not hiding behind excuses.

Are we really that much worse without weight? I think we can all agree we are worse to an exten. But if we hadn't traded weight, and everything else stayed equal(Which of course it wouldn't have) we would not have 2 of our 4 current centers (reasoner/stoll) or our future goaltender (jdd) and probably would not have had the money to sign moreau, smyth, etc. long term. And just think of how that trade would have looked had hecth become a 60 point player, which he he was close to becoming until injuries took over him in Buf. Point is, it's all about asset management. I'm not convinced that payroll plays that much into it.

And let's not forget, the oilers have made the playoffs five times in the last couple of years. That's five times they had to win the cup. It wasn't the fact that they had "only" a 30million dollar payroll or played in a small market that they lost to Dallas all those years. It's because weight, carter, smyth, and the rest of our core didn't play well enough to beat Dallas. Once you get to the playoffs, payroll is a crutch that can't be used. Everybody's equal in the tournament. Just ask the calgary flames.


Last edited by mamettt: 05-31-2004 at 08:35 PM.
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05-31-2004, 10:21 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemsky83
I also wonder if Pocklington had anything to do with the lousy drafting of the organization. Remember first round draft picks cost a lot of money. When PP was owner, the payroll was around $17M. Maybe for that reason, Slats didn't draft as well as he wanted to. The Oilers dynasty slowly started collapsing when Steve Smith put that goal in his own net.
I agree. The 3 cups in the next four years made it hard to spot the trend at the time though.

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05-31-2004, 10:34 PM
  #10
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somebody should get the winning percentages of the top 10 payroll teams from the past 10 years and the bottom 10 payroll teams.... then we would have an answer to this question .... although im 100% sure of the outcome, i would still like to be able to prove it with cold, hard facts

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06-01-2004, 09:37 AM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamettt
If the oilers assembled a core that got deep into the stanley cup for three years (thrid round or stanley cup) our revenues would increase and we'd be able to afford to sign our core, or at least the most important elements of our core, long term. And let's not forget we would have more youngsters coming down the pike as well. It's all about good asset management and not hiding behind excuses.
mammettt, you are still ignoring the fundamental principal here. Guess how many teams have made it to the final 4 at least twice in the last 3 years?

0.

It's not some simple little excursion into the 3rd round, you need a lot of things going well for your team for that to happen. And again, it's that part of the argument where it's tough for a small market team to be that consistant. Sure, it's a lovely idea in theory, but it just doesn't happen enough (ahem, at all) to try and use it as a building block.

Quote:
Are we really that much worse without weight? I think we can all agree we are worse to an exten. But if we hadn't traded weight, and everything else stayed equal(Which of course it wouldn't have) we would not have 2 of our 4 current centers (reasoner/stoll) or our future goaltender (jdd) and probably would not have had the money to sign moreau, smyth, etc. long term. And just think of how that trade would have looked had hecth become a 60 point player, which he he was close to becoming until injuries took over him in Buf. Point is, it's all about asset management. I'm not convinced that payroll plays that much into it.
Hey, that's all true... and that is one of the things that small markets need to do... make shrewed trades. No, our future isn't too bad without Weight, but is there any doubt that the Oilers could have used Weight this past season and would have been a much better team? I do see your point, asset management is huge... but how many times can you get lucky? Anytime you trade a guy for younger players you run the risk of not getting value back. I mean if Hecht had blew out his knee and Reasoner had been picked up on waivers, the Oilers would be screwed right now... there is a certain amount of luck involved in trading your higher paid guys for younger players, and you aren't going to win them all, and sometimes you will find yourself in a situation where you are unloading guys every year (much like what has happened recently). It's tough to build a team when you are over-hauling the core every year.

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06-01-2004, 10:12 AM
  #12
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I just want to add that I agree with mammett in that the younger the core and the farther a team goes into the playoffs, there should be money to keep the team, although I question whether playoffs revenues are significant enough to offset increasing salaries. We have no concrete info on that so this issue will always be debatable.

What has killed the Oilers and other small market teams is the inability to counter the Avs or the Wings or the Leafs at the trade deadline. How fair is it that the Avs can "borrow" superstars and the Oilers can't. The Oilers venture into uncharted waters this spring when they traded for Nedved. Maybe cash can't buy you a Stanley Cup but it can by you a few extra rounds in the playoffs.

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06-01-2004, 10:27 AM
  #13
YKOil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgbone
Hey, that's all true... and that is one of the things that small markets need to do... make shrewed trades. No, our future isn't too bad without Weight, but is there any doubt that the Oilers could have used Weight this past season and would have been a much better team? I do see your point, asset management is huge... but how many times can you get lucky?
OOOOOOOOO... an asset management post........ must resist... just fight with db again.... must fight....

Okay, I'll talk about luck instead.

Lowe did have some real breaks go his way this year:

- Bergeron showed some real promise (pure luck - the Oiler brass never really saw him as NHL level material let alone a full-time pp quarterback at this level)

- Ulanov came out of nowhere (pure luck - ummmm... yeah.... Lowe knew he would play that well.... riggghhhhtttt....)

- Stoll proved he could play (educated guess as opposed to luck; Oil brass knew he SHOULD be able to play at this level)

- Torres had a dream season (educated guess and some luck - sure he SHOULD be able to play... but that well?)

- Dvorak coming back in fine fashion (educated guess BUT somehere Lowe is chanting thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for making me look good)

etc.

Of course bad luck says:

Oates can still play... HoF right...

Reasoner looks healthy...

Smyth will make a fine center... :lol

etc.

The trick is to have more luck than not and you do that by making the highest percentage plays you can - something Lowe had mastered as a d-man but not so much as a GM.

Calgary had some incredible run of luck this year - the emergence of Donovan and Kiprusoff alone took that team forward a good 3 years of development time.

Given Lowe's penchant for lateral trades I honestly don't see us competing for the Cup in 5 years let alone 3.


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06-01-2004, 10:39 AM
  #14
Yanner39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YKOil
The trick is to have more luck than not and you do that by making the highest percentage plays you can - something Lowe had mastered as a d-man but not so much as a GM.

Calgary had some incredible run of luck this year - the emergence of Donovan and Kiprusoff alone took that team forward a good 3 years of development time.

YKOil
Couldn't disagree more. You cannot rely solely on luck to win. Lowe has positioned this team (trades, draft,) to be successful over the next 2-3 years. Stanley Cup appearance? Maybe with this so-call luck you are talking about, but all things considered, Oiler fans have reason to be optimistic.

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06-01-2004, 10:39 AM
  #15
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Every year there seems to be one or two cinderella teams in the playoffs and every year they are pointed to as an example why the CBA is fine and every team has an equal chance irregardless of payroll.

The thread referenced is another example of that.

Now there is definately a difference between spending and spending while making "decent" hockey decisions. For an example, Detroit always seems to spend but they also make decent hockey decisions. Teams like the Rangers have spent but in the past many of their decisions were headscratchers.

So of the teams that seem to spend every year and also seem to make decent hockey decisions (not necessarily great but decent) such as T.O., Philly, N.J., St. Louis, Colorado, Detroit and Dallas, how many of them have missed the playoffs in the last 8 or so years?

Now conversely, of the great cinderella examples that are constantly praised, how many times have they missed the playoffs in the last 8 years? Seems to me that teams like Anaheim (although I don't think they have been a very good org. in general), Calgary, Buffalo, Carolina, Minnesota, Florida, Tampa (although I think this team is for real) have missed quite a few more times.

The point I am trying to get at is, the spending disparity should not be measured in playoff success because it is proven over and over that once you make the dance anything can happen.

Where is should be measured is simply making the playoffs. Right now you can safely assume that 7 or 8 of 16 spots will go to the same teams at the start of each year. That leaves 20 teams scrapping it out for the final 8 spots. Who has the better chance of winning?

Even if it is a roll of the dice on who will hoist the cup once the playoffs start, there are certain teams that get to take their roll every season while the remainder get their chance every other year or possibly even less.


Last edited by copperandblue: 06-01-2004 at 11:24 AM.
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06-01-2004, 11:06 AM
  #16
YKOil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. van Nostrin
Couldn't disagree more. You cannot rely solely on luck to win. Lowe has positioned this team (trades, draft,) to be successful over the next 2-3 years. Stanley Cup appearance? Maybe with this so-call luck you are talking about, but all things considered, Oiler fans have reason to be optimistic.
Ummm... what part of:

The trick is to have more luck than not and you do that by making the highest percentage plays you can - something Lowe had mastered as a d-man but not so much as a GM.

didn't you understand?

But hey, I'm sure that when Calgary picked up Donovan they knew slam dunk they had a clutch-scoring power forward in the making. Picking up a guy like Kipper however wasn't so much luck as it was educated guess HOWEVER the fact that he has had the run he has may be pure dumb luck - because hey SUTTER OBVIOUSLY KNEW Kipper was going to be the hottest goaltender on ice.

I'll stand by what I said. Winning is about having all the right pieces in place and than having as many of them fit as perfectly into place as you can. I call it, as much as anything, luck.

Prime example of why I think about it this way:

- Yes, Tampa Bay beat Philly. But all those injuries on defense (Philly's) must have been their own damn fault then right? Nope - that's just life/fate/luck having its way with them and I refuse to slight that team for any reason. They just didn't have the tools to beat Tampa - a team which didn't have any major players injured.

I am not taking away anything from the positive impacts of hard work, chutzpah, skill, coaching, etc but at the end of the day they don't mean squat if luck is against you. Ask Steve Smith.


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06-01-2004, 11:27 AM
  #17
Yanner39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YKOil
Ummm... what part of:

The trick is to have more luck than not and you do that by making the highest percentage plays you can - something Lowe had mastered as a d-man but not so much as a GM.

didn't you understand?

YKOil
Relax man. It's quite obvious you are taking things a little too serious.

I see what you mean, but just take it easy. It's unhealthy.

The problem with making many high % plays you can is that if things don't pan out, you're on the hook for the contract. You have to be careful where and when you spend the money. Lowe doesn't have the luxury of doing that. He did with Dopita and obviously it didn't pan out. Isbister is another example. Maybe Oates.

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06-01-2004, 12:01 PM
  #18
YKOil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. van Nostrin
Relax man. It's quite obvious you are taking things a little too serious.

I see what you mean, but just take it easy. It's unhealthy.
hehe - no worries - I was kind of waiting to see what your next post said (the one I am quoting) before I was either going to go postal or just start laughing at it all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. van Nostrin
The problem with making many high % plays you can is that if things don't pan out, you're on the hook for the contract. You have to be careful where and when you spend the money. Lowe doesn't have the luxury of doing that. He did with Dopita and obviously it didn't pan out. Isbister is another example. Maybe Oates.
Three nice examples you brought up there.

Dopita is an interesting case beacuse a person really can't (or shouldn't) be mad at Lowe for taking a chance/educated guess on the guy. YET, if you look at it in context of giving part of Marchant's money to Dopita rather than keeping Marchant (my view - not everyone's) then it was a bad decision.

Isbister also requires comment. I have always slagged this trade YET if we could have gotten Isbister for (MUCH) cheaper I would never have had a problem with picking him up.

Oates is a deal I'll never have trouble with. I don't believe he panned out yet I have to give Lowe credit for trying. Oates didn't cost us any tangible assets other than money and I am okay with that. I was always more of a 'get Ronning' guy just because I think Ronning played a style closer to Oilers hockey BUT size was/is a legit issue so c'est la vie.

Out of the three samples I only see one where the attempt to make the high % play didn't cost too much. Let's hope Lowe's average gets better.


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06-01-2004, 03:19 PM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YKOil
I'll stand by what I said. Winning is about having all the right pieces in place and than having as many of them fit as perfectly into place as you can. I call it, as much as anything, luck.
Just wanted to write a little support reply.

Your post was very good and a nice way of analyzing it. I agree completely with the theme even if I'm not sure about the particulars.

If you don't like the term "luck" (and I don't particularly save for very specific circumstances), you can completely rephrase your postings in terms similar to "limited knowledge of the future" and "risk management". Scads of "respectible" people use similar terms for organizing investment portofolios and for building businesses (businesses other than hockey franchises, I mean).

In the stock metaphor, Kiprusoff might be a slightly iffy startup with a cool idea with high implementation/execution risk...plus a little bit of insider information thrown in. In the business realm Donovan might be akin to a low-build-risk product constructed in response to a market analysis showing a persistent market niche which happened to turn out to save another product line because of bundling opportunities. I'm flat-out crummy with the business side, so correct these instead of flaming me. The point is that YK's sort of luck/risk/opportunity analysis is not prima facie unreasonable but rather (IMO) a critical theme that must be woven into any rational discussion on this topic.

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06-01-2004, 03:43 PM
  #20
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It's an interesting way of looking at things oilswell, however there is still one fundamental flaw to it all:

It's perfectly fine for the occasional transaction. Trading the odd player here and there and getting "lucky" or "managing risk" is the ideal situation any team would like to find themselves. But it's not something you want on an ongoing basis or anything.

As for the investment portfolio analogy, there is one thing that is different. You don't have to change. Yes, you make a call, it turns out great and is a money maker. If things are going well, you don't have to make a change... well things aren't like that in hockey. Imagine how much money would be lost if your money could only be invested for one or two year periods after the company makes a lot of money.

For example... say my company does $2million in revenue this year, and I have people willing to buy shares or whatever in my company, and my business is one of those high risk/high reward ventures. After 2 years my revenues multiply 30 fold (so now $60mil). Your stocks rise up, my company is now established in the market and the future looks great... but at the end of this financial term, you must sell all your stocks and re-invest them elsewhere. So now while you have reaped the rewards from my company, you have to put that money in a new (or multiple new) high risk/high reward upstart companies. You may find another one that booms and again you do well, only to be forced to do it all over again the next year. Eventually, you are bound to mess up at some point (law of averages), and it will all come crashing down.

It's one thing to make the odd move, but when you are turning your roster around every year dealing sure things for up and comers, at one point you are going to get nailed badly... no matter how smart, or how much information you have, or whatever.

The Oilers situation isn't an ideal one to build anything related to a consistant stanley cup contender. It is simply too flawed, and there is too much room for error in it.

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06-01-2004, 11:07 PM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YKOil
OOOOOOOOO... an asset management post........ must resist... just fight with db again.... must fight....

Okay, I'll talk about luck instead.

Lowe did have some real breaks go his way this year:

- Bergeron showed some real promise (pure luck - the Oiler brass never really saw him as NHL level material let alone a full-time pp quarterback at this level)

- Ulanov came out of nowhere (pure luck - ummmm... yeah.... Lowe knew he would play that well.... riggghhhhtttt....)

- Stoll proved he could play (educated guess as opposed to luck; Oil brass knew he SHOULD be able to play at this level)

- Torres had a dream season (educated guess and some luck - sure he SHOULD be able to play... but that well?)

- Dvorak coming back in fine fashion (educated guess BUT somehere Lowe is chanting thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for making me look good)

etc.

Of course bad luck says:

Oates can still play... HoF right...

Reasoner looks healthy...

Smyth will make a fine center... :lol

etc.

The trick is to have more luck than not and you do that by making the highest percentage plays you can - something Lowe had mastered as a d-man but not so much as a GM.

Calgary had some incredible run of luck this year - the emergence of Donovan and Kiprusoff alone took that team forward a good 3 years of development time.

Given Lowe's penchant for lateral trades I honestly don't see us competing for the Cup in 5 years let alone 3.


YKOil
Luck or getting breaks is the product of understanding talent and seeing potential. He does his research on the players he gets and finds players who will excel with our style. Lowe is a fine GM. You don't just keep getting breaks for no reason. The guy knows what he's doing.

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06-02-2004, 01:15 AM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgbone
It's an interesting way of looking at things oilswell, however there is still one fundamental flaw to it all
Yes, the metaphors are bound to be flawed. Perhaps you still feel the risk/uncertainty management idea still is reasonable to apply to hockey even it can't match to a more widely-understood area. Again, my point was that in hockey talk about "getting lucky" is sniggered at yet when it comes to their own hard-earned money how many people discount the notion of risk analysis and management in investment?

Anyway, I'm not real keen on trying to fix the metaphor. Coupla notes though:

Quote:
As for the investment portfolio analogy, there is one thing that is different. You don't have to change. Yes, you make a call, it turns out great and is a money maker. If things are going well, you don't have to make a change... well things aren't like that in hockey. Imagine how much money would be lost if your money could only be invested for one or two year periods after the company makes a lot of money.
Of course this is a good point. I couldn't say much about portfolio management. But perhaps a main difference is the quantum of time involved? A hockey player's career spans at most a couple of decades and companies longer, but even companies (or their markets) die out. At some point you're going to have to decide to recycle Nortel. The timelines may be shifted but it would seem to me any portfolio will change over time and a subgame for hockey team managing is similar to portfolio management in that you want to maximize your value and/or value potential.

Quote:
It's one thing to make the odd move, but when you are turning your roster around every year dealing sure things for up and comers, at one point you are going to get nailed badly... no matter how smart, or how much information you have, or whatever.
...The Oilers situation isn't an ideal one to build anything related to a consistant stanley cup contender. It is simply too flawed, and there is too much room for error in it.
You apparently want to end up with the argument that the Oilers are at a competitive disadvantage because their asset recycling rate is shorter than the large-buget teams and, in particular, it is so short that most of their investments are in the high-risk category because they cannot hold onto them until they become established and thus lower-risk. Hey, I'm sympathetic to that. I can't think of a way of establishing the exact match to investment management, but you could probably establish some semblance by adding extra constraints and rules if you really wanted to, such as mapping players to certain types of companies or imposing portfolio constraints.

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06-02-2004, 11:52 AM
  #23
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I guess what worries me the most about the Oilers is that while they have been about 4 years so far into their 'rebuild', they still haven't become a better team than they were 5 years ago.

I mean, looking at my Canucks, they were a SORRY SORRY bunch in 1998, that you guys cannot deny. Like, wow we sucked. Our roster was way, way worse than the Oilers right now, and our prospects were worse too. 6 years later, we make it to the second round, have 4 legitimate 'star' players on the team. Sure, not much playoff success yet, but one would imagine it's at least coming. 4 playoffs straight.

So what the heck haven't the Oilers been doing?

Well, the Canucks had a couple really huge advantages in A) Markus Naslund and B) Todd Bertuzzi - two emerging young superstars. Lowe picked up Brewer and Comrie who could have been there in a couple years. Brewer still might, but Comrie later got traded. Smyth has been able to be kept along, but consider the Canucks were also in a similar boat, losing star players due to money reasons (Bure & Mogilny come to mind).

I don't agree with the thinking that Quinn/Keenan left the Canucks in better shape than Sather left the Oilers. Nor do I agree the Canucks had a better team. So again, what happened?

Down the road, I think the three top 5 picks of Allen, Daniel Sedin, and Henrik Sedin will be a big, big difference - but it hasn't been so far really.

Overall, here's where I think that Brian Burke did wonderfully whereas Lowe did quite poorly so far:

For Weight, Lowe picked up Reasoner. For Guerin, he picked up.. geez, who is left? I guess Dvorak if you want to go through Carter, but Hemsky hasn't done much yet.
For Bure, Burke picked up Jovanovski. For Moginly, the Canucks picked Morrison.

The Canucks got guys who have become key players for them with their big trades, whereas the Oilers have not. Had Weight brought back Ladislav Nagy (for example.. was he still around then?), and Guerin brought back Nick Boynton (again, just for example), the Oilers would be a ton better off than they are now.

I suppose one could also arguing that the Canucks drafting has been a bit better than the Oilers through the 90's, but I'm really not sure if it is a big difference right now.

Lowe has made some mistakes, but he's got a chance next season to make up for some of them.

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06-02-2004, 12:11 PM
  #24
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For Weight, Lowe picked up Reasoner. For Guerin, he picked up.. geez, who is left? I guess Dvorak if you want to go through Carter, but Hemsky hasn't done much yet.
Just wanted to note:

Guerin and future considerations
for
Carter (later traded with Pisa for Dvorak and Cross), a 1st round selection (Hemsky) in 2001, a 2nd round selection (Lynch) in 2001.

Weight and Riesen
for
Reasoner, Hecht (who in turn was traded for 2nd rounders: Stoll and Deslauriers) and Horacek.

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06-02-2004, 12:42 PM
  #25
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Originally Posted by kAsT
Just wanted to note:

Guerin and future considerations
for
Carter (later traded with Pisa for Dvorak and Cross), a 1st round selection (Hemsky) in 2001, a 2nd round selection (Lynch) in 2001.

Weight and Riesen
for
Reasoner, Hecht (who in turn was traded for 2nd rounders: Stoll and Deslauriers) and Horacek.
Right. I'm talking mostly about guys who have made an impact with the Oilers so far mostly, or will make an impact in the next two years. Stoll is worth including as a #3/4 Centre along with Reasoner. The Guerin deal I think will really work out in the end, but so far it hasn't changed the Oilers fortunes a great deal (though Carter had a good couple years, and Dvorak had a good year last year).

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