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What Moves Have Brought About Our Downfall?

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Old
10-24-2010, 01:20 AM
  #1
Euclid
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What Moves Have Brought About Our Downfall?

Now, please note that I'm far from thinking the Sens are down and out this season. However, what 3 moves has had the worst impact on the Senators to date? I'm curious to see what transactions you believe have contributed the most to our current slump and our recent decline since the 2007 SCF appearance.

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10-24-2010, 01:29 AM
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Euclid
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See post#5


Last edited by Euclid: 10-24-2010 at 01:39 AM.
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10-24-2010, 01:29 AM
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One of them is the Heatley trade. I obviously don't know all the specifics that Murray had to deal with. But it's extremely hard for me to understand that for one of the league's best snipers, all we got was Cheechoo, Mich, and a 2nd.

Yes, there's a reasonable argument that, although it wasn't a fair trade on paper, it helped us tremendously considering we got rid of his contract and *******-ness. It just bothers me to think that SJ's offer was the best...after Edmonton's.

Once again, maybe it wasn't Murray's fault at all, but it's just so damn frustrating!

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10-24-2010, 01:31 AM
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trentmccleary
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Heatley trade - eroed the talent level without really improving our cap situation because Cheechoo was added.

Failure to successfully address the goaltending - we aren't a top offense anymore... this must become a priority, ASAP!

Nothing sticks out a guaranteed 3rd atm.

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10-24-2010, 01:38 AM
  #5
Euclid
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Personally,

1. Heatley Incident

The Heatley Incident was inavoidable but poorly handled in my opinion. Some suggest that it saved us cap-space (long-term it might) but in fact, short term, it has likely cost us more.
Subtract Heatley $7.5 million
Add Michalek $4.3 million, Kovalev $5.0 million, Cheechoo buy-out $0.66 (this year, $1.16 next season).

7.5 - 4.3 - 5.0 - 0.66 = -2.46 (This year)
When Kovalev comes off the books next year, things will balance out. But why couldn't they resolve the problem with Heatley? They could have forced him to address the locker room about his issues with the team, and the players would have had to respect that, even if they don't agree with it. By forcing Heatley to play and demonstrating they were willing to hold on to him, the Sens could have entertained other offers during the season from a position of relative strength.
Who knows, maybe the situation could have been solved? I never liked Heatley, but I prefer him over our all but two of our current roster players (Spezza, Alfie).

2. Letting go of Chara, Signing Redden

Obviously a decision in hindsight. Redden had been a borderline superstar for years and was a keystone in the Senators' transition game. Chara was a powerful defensive force, but paired with Phillips (a force in his own right) we had no idea how dominant an athlete Chara would become.

All in all though, we lost a Norris-Trophy defenseman (I don't care if he's the supposed Thornton of defensemen, he's still damn good) and kept Redden, who's play deteriorated to the point of mediocrity.
We lost out on this one...but the Rangers lost out worse .

3. The Elderly Movement (not really a move per se but has the word 'move' in it)

While most teams are proponents of the 'Youth Movement', Ottawa appears to have gone for the opposite effect... the 'Elderly Movement' (style points for being different?). We simply don't have the speed to compete against a bunch of young, hungry teams that haven't won yet and are still looking to earn their money and make a name for themselves.
Sure, Kovalev and Gonchar are good players, but we need to be build a younger team that still has some fire left in them. We can't rely on 3 older players to consistently produce and lead the team, they're losing speed and even Alfie is beginning to look mortal out there (*Gaaaasssp!)

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10-24-2010, 01:43 AM
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I don't think you can point to one move that lead to this "downfall."

I think it's something that's been coming for a long time. You can't be a good team for a long time unless you are good at drafting and that's been a weakness for a long time now.

Sure, the Heatley thing didn't help but would we be better off with him here right now? I'm not so sure.

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10-24-2010, 01:45 AM
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Lexicon Devil
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We have been most hurt by John Muckler's atrocious drafting. This has resulted in us being unable to fill holes from within the organization. We can point to specific elite talent that we have lost (e.g. Chara, Heatley, Havlat) but at some time you're going to lose your players and you need younger ones to replace them.

I mean, just look at it - six years of total crap drafting. No offence to Peter Regin and Nick Foligno, but when they are the best players you draft in a six-year period then you are in trouble.

2002 Entry 16 1 Jakub Klepis C Portland Winter Hawks [WHL]
2002 Entry 47 2 Alexei Kaigorodov C Magnitogorsk Metallurg [Russia]
2002 Entry 75 3 Arttu Luttinen L HIFK Jr. (Finland)
2002 Entry 113 4 Scott Dobben W Erie Otters [OHL]
2002 Entry 125 4 Johan Bjork D Malmo Jrs [Sweden]
2002 Entry 150 5 Brock Hooton R Quesnel Millionaires [BCHL]
2002 Entry 246 8 Josef Vavra L Vsetin Jr. (Czech)
2002 Entry 276 9 Vitaly Atyushov D Perm Molot [Russia]

2003 Entry 29 1 Patrick Eaves R Boston College [NCAA]
2003 Entry 67 2 Igor Mirnov F Moscow Dynamo [Russia]
2003 Entry 100 3 Philippe Seydoux D Kloten [Swiss-A]
2003 Entry 135 4 Mattias Karlsson D Brynas IF Gavle [SEL]
2003 Entry 142 5 Tim Cook D River City Lancers [USHL]
2003 Entry 166 5 Sergei Gimayev D Cherepovets Severstal [Russia]
2003 Entry 228 7 Will Colbert D Ottawa 67's [OHL]
2003 Entry 260 8 Ossi Louhivaara F KooKoo Kouvola [FinD1]
2003 Entry 291 9 Brian Elliott G Ajax Axemen [OPJHL]

2004 Entry 23 1 Andrej Meszaros D Trencin Dukla [Slovak]
2004 Entry 58 2 Kirill Lyamin D CSKA Moscow [Russia]
2004 Entry 77 3 Shawn Weller L Capital District Selects (EJHL)
2004 Entry 87 3 Peter Regin C Herning Bluefox (Denmark)
2004 Entry 89 3 Jeff Glass G Kootenay Ice [WHL]
2004 Entry 122 4 Alexander Nikulin C CSKA Jr. (Russia)
2004 Entry 141 5 Jim McKenzie R Sioux Falls Stampede [USHL]
2004 Entry 156 5 Roman Wick R Kloten [Swiss-A]
2004 Entry 219 7 Joe Cooper R Miami University (Ohio) [NCAA]
2004 Entry 251 8 Matt McIlvane C Chicago Steel [USHL]
2004 Entry 284 9 John Wikner L Frolunda Jrs (Sweden)

2005 Entry 9 1 Brian Lee D Lincoln Stars [USHL]
2005 Entry 70 3 Vitali Anikeyenko D Yaroslavl-2 (Russia)
2005 Entry 95 4 Cody Bass C Mississauga IceDogs [OHL]
2005 Entry 98 4 Ilya Zubov C Chelyabinsk-2 (Russia)
2005 Entry 115 4 Janne Kolehmainen L SaiPa Lappeenranta [FNL]
2005 Entry 136 5 Tomas Kudelka D ZPS Zlin Jrs. (Czech.)
2005 Entry 186 6 Dmitry Megalinsky D Yaroslavl Lokomotiv [Russia]
2005 Entry 204 7 Colin Greening C Upper Canada College (Cdn high school)

2006 Entry 28 1 Nick Foligno L Sudbury Wolves [OHL]
2006 Entry 68 3 Eric Gryba D Green Bay Gamblers [USHL]
2006 Entry 91 3 Kaspars Daugavins L Riga (Lavtia)
2006 Entry 121 4 Pierre-Luc Lessard D Gatineau Olympiques [QMJHL]
2006 Entry 151 5 Ryan Daniels G Saginaw Spirit [OHL]
2006 Entry 181 6 Kevin Koopman D Beaver Valley Jr B - [KIJHL]
2006 Entry 211 7 Erik Condra R Notre Dame [NCAA]

2007 Entry 29 1 Jim O'Brien C U. of Minnesota [NCAA]
2007 Entry 60 2 Ruslan Bashkirov L Quebec Remparts [QMJHL]
2007 Entry 90 3 Louie Caporusso F St. Michael's Buzzers [OPJHL]
2007 Entry 120 4 Ben Blood D Shattuck St. Mary's (Minn)

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Old
10-24-2010, 01:47 AM
  #8
CapitalCityGoofball
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Not signing Chara. Who knows, maybe he wanted out of here, but geez we should have resigned him ******* it!

Heatley debacle didn't help anything either.

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10-24-2010, 01:47 AM
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trentmccleary
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Muckler shouldn't be credited with both the 2002 & 2007 drafts. Pick one.

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10-24-2010, 01:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trentmccleary View Post
Muckler shouldn't be credited with both the 2002 & 2007 drafts. Pick one.
Does it really matter though? That's a lot of really bad drafts right there.

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10-24-2010, 01:56 AM
  #11
Lexicon Devil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trentmccleary View Post
Muckler shouldn't be credited with both the 2002 & 2007 drafts. Pick one.
If you want we can call the 2002 draft the Johnston-Muckler draft and the 2007 one the Muckler-Murray draft. In the end it makes no difference to the conclusion that Muckler's drafting was atrocious.

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10-24-2010, 03:08 AM
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Honestly, the biggest factor was just a natural erosion of talent. Guys like Redden, Schaefer, Lalime, Emery, Smolinski, Neil, Meszaros, had varying levels of crapping out on us. Even if we still had Heatley, he's not quite as good as he was from 05 to 07, Spezza hasn't been a 90 point guy recently. And yeah, losing the likes of Hossa/Heatley, Chara and Havlat is a big deal. More importantly there have not been guys who have filled their role. Essentially every player from say 05/06 has either stayed the same, gotten worse or left the team and replaced with someone who is probably worse. I mean, if you did a position by position analysis then I think it could seriously be that we're worse off at EVERY position, and often by great leaps.

Right now we are a team without any elite players. Spezza and Alfredsson obviously have their moments but they haven't been guys who could carry a team in the recent years, which is made worse by the fact that the team around them is significantly worse. None of our prospects has hit it "big" and, really, for the last little while, none of our prospects has hit it at all. We've had guys who blossomed on other teams like Vermette and Laich but we've had a truly terrible run of prospects actually making a difference on our team. Hopefully Karlsson can break the trend.

So we've largely sucked on drafting, free agency and trades. That's a pretty big problem.

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Old
10-24-2010, 04:22 AM
  #13
John Holmes*
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I have it broken down into 4 simple stages.

Bad drafting
Bad trades
Bad free agent signings
Time

I'm not convinced that Chara wanted to stay. He was gone to Boston at 00:00:01 AM July 1, 2006.

The fact that we made the Finals without him the following year didn't have a whole lot of people questioning the decision to let him go. Let's be real, Chara never brought what we expected, and what we NEEDED out of him in the playoffs. However, I would take him back in a heartbeat.

Muckler was terrible at the draft table. Check out his record in Buffalo, it's no better. He did make a lot of deadline deals, but other than Brooks Laich, none of the guys he gave away ever amounted to anything.

Murray has worn out his welcome with me. He can draft, I'll always give him his due credit for that, but he is HORRIBLE at trades, and nobody will ever convince me that he had to trade Heatley for that garbage package. I like Michalek, but Heatley was worth more. We should have at least got Couture or McGinn back instead of Cheechoo.

If not, hang on to him. You think Rod Bryden would have allowed the Heatley trade to happen? Fat chance.

All his other deals have been failures as well. His signings have all failed. If the guy that is supposed to know more than everybody else misread our team THAT badly, what does that tell you?

I think Murray has had his fair shot here. Didn't get it done, like he never has anywhere else. Time to say thanks, shake hands, and part ways.

I just don't understand how a supposed "hockey man" has made so many bad decisions, be it players, coaches, whatever.

He needs to go.

I think the good news is that although we really, really suck right now, it shouldn't be too hard to get things back on track. We have only a couple of "old" guys, all of which should be able to bring us substantial returns (except for Kovalev right now)

Spezza is still young. Lehner looks to be the real deal. We have a lot of really good D prospects on the way (allegedly). We could turn this team around in 3 years and they'd be on the rise again. Potentially legitimate contenders again, assuming we acquire the right players over that time of course.

This organization needs some fresh blood. New people. People that aren't afraid to do what needs to be done.

They are just lifeless out there. They need a new direction.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

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Old
10-24-2010, 06:41 AM
  #14
Do Make Say Think
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The Heatley trade single handedly turned the team from top tier to bottom tier.

Other moves have had their impacts (Chara/Redden) but nothing has been as defining as Heatley giving the finger to the franchise after Ottawa made him respectable again.Whenever teams trade superstars, and Heatley was one when with the Senators, the team sending said star away always gets the short end of the stick.

Boston ended up winning the trade in which they sent Joe Thornton to San Jose because they were able to make the most the space they acquired: they ended up getting Chara and Savard.

Murray needs to make sure Ottawa is in a position to make the most out of the upcoming cap space. The on-ice product, the team itself, is out of his hands; the Senators are better than they have been so far, things will turn around.

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Old
10-24-2010, 07:04 AM
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Leafs fan coming in peace.

Too be honest I see alot of similarities in what toronto was a few years ago, and what ottawa is now.

You both have an aging relatively underperforming core, a few decent young pieces, but a very weak farm system because of poor drafting and trading up for help.

You really need a new gm/coach and a rebuild/retool to get younger.

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Old
10-24-2010, 07:16 AM
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leaf fan coming in peace... just wanted to tell you how much ottawa sucks... kthxbye

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Old
10-24-2010, 07:24 AM
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trobby
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1. Drafting.
Like someone eluded to, this falls more on Mukler, than Murray. In the last 5-7 years, we haven't been able to find a true top-6 forward. During Murray's tenure, we've been focusing on the young defenceman, in which I believe are going to be wonderful players for the the organization.

2. Trades
This is a combination of Murray and Mucker. Throwing away 2nd round draft picks like candy for players we keep around for 2-3 months. Heatley was a special case because he held most of the cards due to his NMC, so it's tough to judge Murray on it. Havlat was a crappy trade.

3. Signings
A side from Kovalev, (who was over-paid and on the down-side of his career) have the Sens ever signed a top-level forward UFA? At the same time, you have to learn to let the right people walk. If Neil was commanding $2M a year, you let him walk. He's a $1.25M max. Little things like saving a 1M here, 0.75M there add up.

If Spezza is attracting interest, it may be the best time to trade him. Every year I hold out hope that he'll show the drive a true superstar shows, and I don't see it. He'll always be a point-per-game guy, but he's not willing to work hard enough to get the job done on a consistent bases...he's also had back problems forever. Those things follow you around for life.

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Old
10-24-2010, 07:43 AM
  #18
Lexicon Devil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trobby View Post
If Neil was commanding $2M a year, you let him walk. He's a $1.25M max.
Neil is well worth his money. Even if we did let him walk, who are we replacing him with? Cody Bass? If you're going to let players walk, you need decent prospects ready to take over. Otherwise you're just swapping one UFA for another, and like it or not $2 million is the price for guys of Chris Neil's caliber.

The bottom line is that it's hard to construct a really good team from UFAs, since you're paying everyone market value. You need some cheap young players for value - Karlsson and Regin give us decent value (assuming Karlsson stops sucking), but it's not enough. The other way to get value is with really high end guys (e.g. Crosby at $8.7 is great). Spezza's our guy but he has been too inconsistent and injury-prone lately to consider $7 million a really good value. As such, we are a fairly average team.


Last edited by Lexicon Devil: 10-24-2010 at 07:55 AM.
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Old
10-24-2010, 07:53 AM
  #19
trobby
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Neil is well worth his money. Even if we did let him walk, who are we replacing him with? Cody Bass? If you're going to let players walk, you need decent prospects ready to take over. Otherwise you're just swapping one UFA for another, and like it or not $2 million is the price for guys of Chris Neil's caliber.
I'm still trying to figure out Neil's "calibre". He has no skill. He's a north south guy, that picks his own battles He is easily replaceable.

Rutuu and Kelly, they are worth th money, but Neil. Nope.

Neil is what's wrong with our fan base. Unable to let people walk because they've been around so long. Phillips is another guy. I like him, but he's always on the ice when we get scored against. He NEVER hits anyone, and is really slowing down. People around here that are talking raise for next year are crazy...he's a #3 d-man.

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10-24-2010, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trobby View Post
I'm still trying to figure out Neil's "calibre". He has no skill. He's a north south guy, that picks his own battles He is easily replaceable.

Rutuu and Kelly, they are worth th money, but Neil. Nope.

Neil is what's wrong with our fan base. Unable to let people walk because they've been around so long. Phillips is another guy. I like him, but he's always on the ice when we get scored against. He NEVER hits anyone, and is really slowing down. People around here that are talking raise for next year are crazy...he's a #3 d-man.
Neil is a 12-15 goal 25-30 point enforcer and high level pest. He is among the most hated players to play against in the NHL. He is well worth the $2 million he gets and he has earned his salary since he signed the deal.

Neil is not Colton Orr or something. He is a legitimate top 9 forward that is among the league leaders in hits by a forward each season, ccan cycle the puck and has some hands and ability to score some goals. He is relatively unique as there are few like him that can be an enforcer and has some skill and can skate and play 10-12 minutes a night and help you.

Also he has been part of the best line the Sens have had at ES since he signed the deal.

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10-24-2010, 08:06 AM
  #21
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The biggest part of our recent struggles has been the inability to get a top UFA to replace Heatley. I think Murray tried to get Cammaleri among others and when everyone else he wanted was signed he went with Kovalev. Kovalev has been a disappointment to say the least but a top 6 or preferably top 3 forward was needed to provide offence as a UFA and he was what we could sign.

This to me is the biggest and most recent issue in our struggles. We can look back forever and talk about Chara or a series of poor drafts or doing Heatley differently but those happened longer ago and were more out of Murrays control.

In hindsight it would have been better to either offer more to whoever we wanted to sign like Gionta or Cammaleri or to have not signed anyone and left money open at the deadline or during the season for a trade. Then we could have resigned Cullen.

But luckily Kovalev is off the cap after the season. Even with the aging of the Sens I think we are far more an average team that has good vets that needs an injection of a couple of young forwards and D (which we have) then a blow it up we are at the bottom of the NHL and have no hope team.

We can retool and keep the core and be a playoff team and thus a small c contender as early as next year with some tweaks rather than a massive overhaul. IMO.

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10-24-2010, 08:28 AM
  #22
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Sorry, but Neil is a better player than Ruutu IMO. You say that Neil is easily replacable - how? Who would replace him either from inside our organization, or what UFA would we sign for cheaper? I think you are seriously overestimating the number of quality UFAs available for under $2 million - just looking around the league, Mike Grier? Ethan Moreau? 37-year old John Madden? Travis Moen? No thanks, i'll take Neil at $2.

It's not about being "unable to let him walk"... if we had a younger version ready to replace him, then it would be great to do so. But we don't. So we would just be replacing one UFA with another for no reason.

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Old
10-24-2010, 08:32 AM
  #23
trobby
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Good teams like Detroit pay their 3rd liners an average of $1 - 1.5 million per player, and play them about 12 minutes a game.

We pay ours $2 million plus, and play them upwards of 16 minutes a game.

This is the not so new NHL, were you pay your Top-6 players and your Bottom-6 players accordingly.

You pay the right people to put up points.
Not over pay the 3rd line, so you have too nickel and dime and fit the players into the 2nd line and hope they produce.

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Old
10-24-2010, 08:34 AM
  #24
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Neil was offered more money by Toronto and I believe the Rangers but decided to take a discount on his actual value to stay in Ottawa.

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Old
10-24-2010, 08:37 AM
  #25
trobby
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SensFan26 View Post
Neil was offered more money by Toronto and I believe the Rangers but decided to take a discount on his actual value to stay in Ottawa.
That means nothing. Who cares if an idiot like Sather was ready too throw more money at him...does that mean we should too?

Sather also gave Redden $6.5 millon a year, when we were offering $3 million...

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