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Vinny Prospal traded to Tampa Bay for a 2nd round pick

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Old
08-18-2004, 07:43 AM
  #76
Sotnos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad The Impaler
If the Bolts asked to set the award that high, then Jay Feaster is on crack (with or without the nifty 80% trick).
They did it so it would shrink the field (at least) of teams who'd want Stillman's services and so the 80% would be around what Tampa would be willing to pay. SC or not, this is still a team working on a tight budget. They'll pay what they have to for the core players, everyone else they need to get as cheap as possible. If they can get Stillman back, then great, if not, the backup's already in place, and he's a known quantity who helped Lecavalier to his best season ever.

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Featsre's chaaracterization of Prospal in that article (``We are getting back a player who has an infectious personality, is an exciting player and a good person who is going to be more hungry than ever before.'') couldn't be further from the truth. Prospal is an inconsistent player, shows xenophobic tendancies and is a chronic underachiever who can't get anything done by himself.
:lol Feaster has known Prospal since he was 19 years old from when he managed Hershey, but you think YOU know him better?!?!

Just by your "xenophobic tendencies" remark, I'd say you're coming at this with some preconceived notions about his personality that are coloring your opinion of his play. He'll be on a team again with several French-Canadian stars, I think it's safe to say it's not a big deal to them, and it's not like they haven't heard a lot worse on the ice.

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What is Tortorella thinking? What about Feaster?
Well, you read the quotes, they both love the guy, as do his teammates, especially Lecavalier who's happy to get his set-up guy back again. No one wanted him to leave in the first place, Torts was totally livid with ownership last year when Prospal left. He was a good fit here before, he'll be a good one again. Just because you can't understand what's good about the guy doesn't mean he'll be a problem here.

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The way they are talking about Prospal, you can pretty much put the writing in the stone that they won't repeat. You're not going to win the SC twice in a row if you can't properly evaluate players.
Again, you think you know this guy better than his coach and a GM who's known him for 10 years? You know I respect you Vlad, but you're cracking me up with these over-the-top comments.

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08-18-2004, 08:09 AM
  #77
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I fail to understand how Cory Stillman, who opted for arbitration and asked for $3.9M (a raise of $1.15M), is being "hardballed" by anyone.

In a perfect world, yes, the Lightning ownership would be willing to pony up however much cash is necessary (within reason, of course) to keep a championship roster intact. But given the fact that this is a small-market team with a ballooning payroll in a league with a looming salary cap (i.e. not a perfect world) -- not to mention the fact that Stillman was very much a complementary player here (albeit a very good one) -- the trade for Vaclav Prospal to replace him is not only understandable, it's a slam-dunk Plan B.

If Jay Feaster had gotten any indication that Stillman was willing to sign for a reduced (but still reasonable) figure (say, $3.1M) and Feaster also thought that at least one of 29 other GMs would be interested in Stillman at that price, surely he would've preferred to work a sign-and-trade rather than simply walk away from the player and get nothing. Clearly that wasn't the case. So he set an artificially high arbitration settlement that benefits both the club and the player. Cory Stillman is not being "hardballed."

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08-18-2004, 11:50 AM
  #78
Vlad The Impaler
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Originally Posted by Donnie D
So tell me, even if you disagree with my analysis of what they gained, what exactly did they lose by agreeing to the higher arbitration number?
For one, they condone the inflating and retarded salaries in this league by going crazy, instead of facing the arbitration process and coming up with a compromise. Which their own players will also remember as well when the time comes.

They also lost any chance of just coming up with an acceptable number for the guy and sign him right away. They've lost his rights for now and that's not something I would do lightly after winning a cup with the shakiest roster to have done so in years.

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08-18-2004, 11:52 AM
  #79
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Originally Posted by Sotnos
:lol Feaster has known Prospal since he was 19 years old from when he managed Hershey, but you think YOU know him better?!?!
It seems so, yes. And the same applies for Pitkanen and Fedotenko too.

This guy is a very shaky GM who has to thank his lucky star for the cup he got, because he's likely never going to repeat unless he smarten up.

The fact he has known Prospal for all these years kind of confirms he is a numbnuts if he's high on him.

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08-18-2004, 01:06 PM
  #80
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When you're losing an argument, always be sure to take cheap shots at the other person's favorite team and its GM. Works every time.

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08-18-2004, 01:31 PM
  #81
Vlad The Impaler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeminus
When you're losing an argument, always be sure to take cheap shots at the other person's favorite team and its GM. Works every time.
When you don't know what else to add, just make stuff up.

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08-18-2004, 03:15 PM
  #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad The Impaler
When you don't know what else to add, just make stuff up.
Make stuff up?

So you're saying bringing up Fedotenko/Pitkanen isn't a cheap shot?

If so, I'd love to hear how you think that's relevant.

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08-18-2004, 03:30 PM
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeminus
Make stuff up?

So you're saying bringing up Fedotenko/Pitkanen isn't a cheap shot?

If so, I'd love to hear how you think that's relevant.
It's relevant when one is talking about Feaster. I don't like the way he looks at talent at all.

It has nothing to do with taking "cheap shots". The whole discussion Sotnos and I are having revolves around Feaster. I know Sotnos very well. I don't attack teams and players for the fun of it. Ever. That simply isn't me. And if it was me, Sotnos would be on a small list of posters on this site who would be totally immune from that kind of stuff.

Sotnos' opinion is that Feaster knows what he is talking about. My position is that he is not. Now, I respect the fact Sotnos or you or anybody else may think I am out to lunch. You're free to think I don't know what I am talking about.

But don't mistake this for cheap attacks, please. It has nothing to do with that.

As far as losing an argument... please. My position is very simple. It's not like I'm trying (or interested) to write a book here. And I know damn well I am not going to convince anybody. I still thought I had to throw that bit of controversy out there, and let time prove I am right

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08-18-2004, 04:55 PM
  #84
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Fair enough.

Your posts are typically objective and fair, and I thought it odd for you to toss out what I saw as a cheap/easy attempt to attack Feaster's credibility. I certainly don't carry a torch for the guy, but I think he's proved that he's a hell of a lot more adept at running a hockey club than anyone would've guessed on that particular draft day. But whatever.

You seem unusually emotional in your opinions of Prospal. Your point seems to be less about critiquing the trade than it does about critiquing the player. Which is fine, except that I think you're being a bit unfair/misleading in your characterizations of the player.

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08-18-2004, 06:28 PM
  #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeminus
Fair enough.

Your posts are typically objective and fair, and I thought it odd for you to toss out what I saw as a cheap/easy attempt to attack Feaster's credibility. I certainly don't carry a torch for the guy, but I think he's proved that he's a hell of a lot more adept at running a hockey club than anyone would've guessed on that particular draft day. But whatever.

You seem unusually emotional in your opinions of Prospal. Your point seems to be less about critiquing the trade than it does about critiquing the player. Which is fine, except that I think you're being a bit unfair/misleading in your characterizations of the player.
Well, from the day of the Fedotenko trade, I immediately came to the conclusion that Feaster was moving in the right direction. I still think that he is looking in the right direction and that's obviously very important. But individually, the moves are going to take a toll at one point unless the evaluations are correct.

I admit I am not a fan of Prospal. I think he is a big waste of talent in the Hamrlik category. These are guys who have it all. There's no way a guy with his talent level (pretty high), and with the kind of performances he has had over something like 8 years now (usually unremarkable) can be characterized the way Feaster has done so. It's just not true (IMO, of course).

Prospal has been dumped left and right his whole career. He's been a journeyman. Seriously, a player with Prospal's talent level and well-rounded basics never, ever changes team five times in his first eight years if there is not a problem somewhere. You've got a couple of old veterans who change teams often, but players at that age? No way.

And the problems are easy to see, IMO. Prospal often gives a sufficient effort to get by but that's it. The guy has a kickass toolbox with skills, good hockey sense, grit.

I'm not saying he is not a decent acquisition for TB, though. Once again Feaster proves he wants to go in the right direction in that case. Prospal is a slacker but he clicked marvelously with Lecavalier before. My problem is with his comments. If he believes them, I am convinced he is unfit to evaluate players. One huge mistake (Pitkanen) is one thing. But added with those comments, I wouldn't think much of him as a talent evaluator.

There's more to GMing than evaluating talent, however. I would still far prefer Feaster to a couple of GMs who wuss out of competitiveness forever or procrastinate to not disturb anybody.

But there comes a time where you need all your skills as a GM. And if Feaster doesn't learn soon who can do what and who is worth what, he'll eventually be short of options sooner than later.

To me, his description of Prospal is blatantly incorrect. But hey, I might be wrong.

As for the whole Stillman ordeal, I really hope the Bolts get him back. They did something special and Cory was part of that. He is far from a perfect player but I think they should have secured him right there, let the arbitration run its course. It's too much of a gamble for my liking. I can't entirely blame Feaster. There is a budget. There is also the fact players are spoiled brats who ask way too much. Still, you gotta do your best. It's one thing to cut the ties with a loser like Cullimore asking for the moon but Cory is a sound secondary threat. And he was part of this, unlike Prospal.

With the trade back to Tampa, Vinny is now on his sixth team (if we cound TB twice) since his start in the 96-97 season. Six teams and he's 29 years old. He Bolted (pun intended) out of TB after cashing-in (which mysteriously happens to a lot of those spoiled brats when their contract is up) and he missed the cup edition. He deserves less consideration than Stillman, IMO.

Anyway, I'm glad we were at least able to get back to a more civil conversation. There is no offense meant to your team or to Sotnos or to you. I'm just throwing my opinion here and we'll see what happens

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08-18-2004, 06:31 PM
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad The Impaler
For one, they condone the inflating and retarded salaries in this league by going crazy, instead of facing the arbitration process and coming up with a compromise. Which their own players will also remember as well when the time comes.
We did have a few players go through arbitration and a few who got contracts settled right before, it's not like this strange "agreement" is their usual MO. I'd say Feaster has treated most of the players fairly while he's been GM from what I can see, he's done nothing so bad that it would scare them off or anything. If he didn't go out of his way to be so accomodating, we'd have never lost Prospal in the first place, but that's a whole other thread and a long story.

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Sotnos' opinion is that Feaster knows what he is talking about. My position is that he is not.
I understand you think Prospal's a slacker with no heart, but his past performance here says otherwise. I don't see this move having the huge detrimental effect that some think it will. We're talking about an exchange of complimentary wingers here, we're not talking about replacing Lecavalier with [think of some crappy player, if I pick one I'll get in trouble]. And like I said before, if Prospal was as bad as you think he is, there is absolutely no way he'd be brought back here, because Tortorella wouldn't deal with him.

I really have no major complaints with anything Feaster's done for the past year or so (some of the stuff before that is definitely debateable), and I think we can both agree he's better than his predecessor, who I know is a personal "favorite" of yours! You can have whatever opinion you want, but he did help put together a team that won the Cup, so give him some credit for that at least. It's not all dumb luck.

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I still thought I had to throw that bit of controversy out there, and let time prove I am right
You hope! I'll be sure to rub it in if you're wrong

Sorry this isn't incredibly coherent, but I hope it makes at least some sense. I'll try to address some of your other points later.

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08-18-2004, 06:56 PM
  #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad The Impaler
And the problems are easy to see, IMO. Prospal often gives a sufficient effort to get by but that's it. The guy has a kickass toolbox with skills, good hockey sense, grit.

I'm not saying he is not a decent acquisition for TB, though. Once again Feaster proves he wants to go in the right direction in that case. Prospal is a slacker but he clicked marvelously with Lecavalier before.
I agree. Prospal's far from perfect. He's got warts. We've all seen them. But for a small-market team with payroll concerns and Stillman up for a huge arbitration award, he's a very good Plan B.

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My problem is with his comments. If he believes them, I am convinced he is unfit to evaluate players. One huge mistake (Pitkanen) is one thing. But added with those comments, I wouldn't think much of him as a talent evaluator.
Feaster would be the first person to tell you that he's no scout. His first day as GM, he emphasized the point that he understands he's "not a hockey guy," and that he wouldn't try to make hockey decisions without heavy input from the people around him who know the sport inside and out (Bill Barber, Jake Goertzen, Rick Paterson, John Tortorella, Craig Ramsay, etc.).

If I were you, I'd look at Feaster's comments as PR. He's selling the trade to the fan base. That's part of a GM's job, and it's a part that Feaster does well.

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There is also the fact players are spoiled brats who ask way too much. Still, you gotta do your best. It's one thing to cut the ties with a loser like Cullimore asking for the moon but Cory is a sound secondary threat. And he was part of this, unlike Prospal.
I completely agree that players' salaries are out of control. Which is why I have little problem with the Bolts exchanging one flawed, complementary scoring-line winger (Stillman) for another (Prospal) who happens to come with a cheaper price tag. I strongly disagree, however, that Jassen Cullimore is a loser.

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08-18-2004, 08:06 PM
  #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnie D
Explain to me what the Bolts lost by setting the arbitration award that high, because I can tell you what they gained. First, if the Bolts are correct that he is worth less than $3.12 million, they received an opportunity to match his salary or, more likely, receive some compensation from whoever wants to sign him. Second, they probably insured that Stillman would receive more than $3.12 (so that a team won't have to pay compensation) which may have been more than he would have received on the open market. If you were going to offer 2.75 and have to give compensation, it may be worth the extra 370,000 to get him free and clear. This will increase Stillman's salary. The Bolts had no intention of bringing.

So tell me, even if you disagree with my analysis of what they gained, what exactly did they lose by agreeing to the higher arbitration number?
I don't think they gained much at all from the stunt. They didn't lose much either (apart from the possibility of team chemistry and good will).

If the most that ever Tampa intended to pay was $2.75m then they won't match a team that offers $3m even though its under the 80% of $3.9m cutoff. If they have a hard line at $2.75m then anything over that will see them walk away even though they have the right to take a contract at that level.

Will the $3.12m cut off really drive up the $ value? Maybe, maybe not. I'd lean heavily to probably not. Teams aren't forced to give up prospects if they lose or Tampa matches, there is not downside to making a $2.8m offer, if Tampa match you lose nothing, if they don't you lose nothing. A bidding war might drive his salary up and over the $3.12m mark, but its dubious a team would offer more than $3.12m just to stop Tampa from matching.

Stillman isn't the kind of player that you just have to have him and will do whatever to stop Tampa matching. The fact Tampa took this approach pretty much proves that because either they either don't think he is worth $3.12m+ (won't get it and isn't worth it) or they just don't care if he goes.

If they go into arbitration and go for a deal and don't get it and it comes back at $3.3m, I don't think they are worse off. 80% of that figure is around the $2.75 they might pay. Who knows maybe they win in arbitration anyway.

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08-18-2004, 08:26 PM
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeminus
Feaster would be the first person to tell you that he's no scout. His first day as GM, he emphasized the point that he understands he's "not a hockey guy," and that he wouldn't try to make hockey decisions without heavy input from the people around him who know the sport inside and out (Bill Barber, Jake Goertzen, Rick Paterson, John Tortorella, Craig Ramsay, etc.).
That's what I was coming back to add, thanks joe!

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08-18-2004, 09:02 PM
  #90
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I used to be bothered by threads like this, saying stuff about the Lightning and it's players, acquisitions, etc... But now, being the Stanley Cup Champions and all, just makes it amusing.

Negotiating in good faith is now a "stunt"

Prospal is "xenophobic"

Torts would tolerate a "slacker"

Suggesting that this trade eliminates any hope of the Lightning repeating. Not exactly a brave prediction since it's so tough to repeat even when the Status Quo is maintained.

It's all quite comical.


Also it's interesting, with the CBA set to expire, a team like the Lightning is doing what many fans want the Owners/Managment to do and keep it's own costs under control by making tough choices. Feaster is doing his bit to create cost certainty WITHOUT a lockout. Kudos.

GO BOLTS!!!

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08-18-2004, 09:45 PM
  #91
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The truth has to be somewhere between what Vlad and the Tampa fans are saying.

Clearly, if Prospal had serious attitude and work ethic problems, they wouldn't bring him back. Torts I'm sure would have SOME sort of say in the move and he is not the kind of coach, in my mind, that would sit back idly while he gets a known bum back on his bench. Nor would he go out of his way to make kind remarks about the guy. I just can't see him being so much of a tool.

They liked Prospal enough to bring him back, though I'll admit there have been plenty of times teams brought lazy guys back. I just don't see THIS front office doing it.

No, I don't think Prospal is a superman when it comes to work ethic. He has enough talent where if he also had the kind of ethic some Tampa fans are saying he does, he'd have monsterous numbers.

But not every player on a team is going to be hockey's equivalent of James Brown (the Godfather of Soul, not the football player). Prospal can and will put up very good numbers while fitting alongside the guys he is lined up with, such as Lecavalier. I'd take him over Stillman, especially considering Stillman would likely make at least $500,000 more. A second round pick is a second round pick... Tampa has deep, young talent. They save some money and sacrifice a pick that could possibly have been an NHLer some day.

Vlad, it seems you're stretching this out to be considerably worse than it is because you don't like Prospal. Well, Netwon's Third Law is in full effect as Tampa fans jump to make this out to be the best move since Mr. Stroehmann started slicing bread.

Lets assume Prospal is equal to Stillman, even though I think Prospal is better. Last year, Prospal left for a bigger payday from the Ducks. To fill his spot, Tampa traded a second round pick (which was, what, 59th overall?) for Stillman and paid him around $2.75 million (I think). The Ducks frontloaded Prospal's contract, paying him all the money Tampa wouldn't (and then some) in the first year. Next season rolls around and Stillman was in line to make more money after getting some big numbers. They let Stillman walk, spent another 2nd rounder (which will likely be nearly as low as the other) to get Prospal back at a salary lower than Stillman made last year and considerably lower than he'd make this year.

Now, this is far from superior asset management, but they gave up two 2nd round picks that were/will be nearly third round picks in order to interchange similar players in a way that would save them the most money last season and in the future. A considerable sum, in fact. They won the cup last year so the 2nd they gave up for Stillman seemed to work fine. I guess we'll just have to see how they do this year... but I'd count on Prospal to improve on his last season in Tampa.

The bottom line is Tampa remains a young, powerful team on a modest budget. That's what they were last year and they won a cup, along with having the best record in the East (though their division certainly helped them with that). They may not win a cup this year, but this is a team that knows what it is doing. They didn't win a cup on accident and their wits didn't disappear over the summer. They wouldn't take back a problem child at the expense of a second round pick when there are other options available.

Now I need to stop rambling because I have to go drop a deuce and head out, there is beer waiting.

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08-19-2004, 04:44 AM
  #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Paxon
Lets assume Prospal is equal to Stillman, even though I think Prospal is better. Last year, Prospal left for a bigger payday from the Ducks. To fill his spot, Tampa traded a second round pick (which was, what, 59th overall?) for Stillman and paid him around $2.75 million (I think). The Ducks frontloaded Prospal's contract, paying him all the money Tampa wouldn't (and then some) in the first year. Next season rolls around and Stillman was in line to make more money after getting some big numbers. They let Stillman walk, spent another 2nd rounder (which will likely be nearly as low as the other) to get Prospal back at a salary lower than Stillman made last year and considerably lower than he'd make this year.

Now, this is far from superior asset management, but they gave up two 2nd round picks that were/will be nearly third round picks in order to interchange similar players in a way that would save them the most money last season and in the future. A considerable sum, in fact. They won the cup last year so the 2nd they gave up for Stillman seemed to work fine. I guess we'll just have to see how they do this year... but I'd count on Prospal to improve on his last season in Tampa.
I don't. He's not in a contract year so I can't see him have a 79 point season. If he hits 70, I'd be amazed. Most likely, I see him back to around 60 points. Let's say because he clicked with the other Vinnie and because he seems to enjoy the style of the team: 65 points.

It's not far-fetched to think Prospal might be better than Stillman though. It's also not far-fetched to think he might be back to super-production, even if I don't believe it. But even if we accepted that premise, my problem is that it is a backward fix not to secure first the guy who was part of the Cup edition.

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08-19-2004, 04:47 AM
  #93
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Originally Posted by LastoftheBrunnenG
It's all quite comical.
Rest assured the feeling is reciprocal. I've dealt with folks like you all my life, and the difference is, I will have the last laugh.

I just won't use the banana.

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08-19-2004, 07:14 AM
  #94
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C'mon.

Use the banana.

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08-19-2004, 08:58 AM
  #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Paxon
... having the best record in the East (though their division certainly helped them with that).
Not true. Check their record vs. the various divisions.

Good post, though.

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08-19-2004, 08:59 AM
  #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad The Impaler
... my problem is that it is a backward fix not to secure first the guy who was part of the Cup edition.
Absolutely understandable. To a large extent, I agree completely. So do other Tampa fans.

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08-19-2004, 05:49 PM
  #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad The Impaler
Rest assured the feeling is reciprocal. I've dealt with folks like you all my life, and the difference is, I will have the last laugh.

I just won't use the banana.
Well, i'm still snickering that you think this is such a terrible move. It might not be great. Some Bolt fans might overrate it. But it is comical, extremely so, to characterize it in such a poor light.

I mean seriously. They can pay Stillman over $3M this season and HOPE to resign him when he becomes a UFA and then, if they do, it would be for more than the $2.5M per season they have to pay Prospal (who in the same role put up basically the same stats). So the opportunity cost is important to consider, because with more money going to Stillman (If he even resigned next season) would probably cost them a player somewhere else. If he didn't resign, then the Bolts are totally out of luck. Feaster/Torts feel he'll still fit the system and still produce next to the same players from a season ago. This isn't a huge risk. The suggestion that the Bolts wouldn't/couldn't have won last season with Prospal instead of Stillman is impossible to refute because you can't ever know. But I would think, and most people who follow the Bolts would agree, that Stillman comes in and produces roughly the same numbers as Prospal the year before (Stillman is better around the net and PK Vs. Prospal with tremendous primary assists) didn't have the effect of St Louis (MVP season), Modin (health/defense), or Richards (goal scoring) stepping it up. I'd also list Kubina's rounding out his game and Sydor's acquisition not to mention Feds huge playoffs as having far bigger impacts in terms of comparing '02-'03 to '03-'04. But what do I know?

Sorry that you have to deal with "folks like me" all your life. What a hardship. :lol

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Old
08-19-2004, 08:30 PM
  #98
Rob Paxon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad The Impaler
I don't. He's not in a contract year so I can't see him have a 79 point season. If he hits 70, I'd be amazed. Most likely, I see him back to around 60 points. Let's say because he clicked with the other Vinnie and because he seems to enjoy the style of the team: 65 points.

It's not far-fetched to think Prospal might be better than Stillman though. It's also not far-fetched to think he might be back to super-production, even if I don't believe it. But even if we accepted that premise, my problem is that it is a backward fix not to secure first the guy who was part of the Cup edition.
Well that is certainly a valid point -- they lose a guy who was only there when they won a cup and they only won a cup while he was there. In exchange they get a guy who was there when they didn't win a cup. It comes down to how much you feel Stillman had to do with them winning the cup and how little of that you think Prospal can replace. Personally I don't think there is anything Stillman brings that Prospal doesn't. To me it comes down to losing two low 2nd round picks to save considerable money. In today's NHL, I see that as a fairly lateral move overall. It may not be the kind of move you'd make if you were in charge, but Tampa always seems to have a watchful eye on the checkbook, so it fits them.

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Old
08-19-2004, 09:06 PM
  #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Paxon
Personally I don't think there is anything Stillman brings that Prospal doesn't.
Stillman's shot is light years better than Prospal's (harder, more accurate, quicker release). Stillman was third among Lightning forwards in PK minutes last season (Prospal, when he was here, was 11th). Stillman is faster, and he can skate without grimacing like an old man. Stillman also has a better knack for getting open, collecting loose pucks and being in the right place at the right time.

On the other hand, Prospal has better ice vision, is more creative with (and without) the puck, and is less averse to physical contact.

Neither guy can clear the puck out of his own zone 5-on-5 to save his life.

It's not a wash (Prospal's a slight downgrade, IMO, but in any case they're far from the same player), but since both guys are complementary scoring liners it probably won't affect Tampa's success too much one way or the other.

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Old
08-20-2004, 12:12 AM
  #100
Rob Paxon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeminus
Stillman's shot is light years better than Prospal's (harder, more accurate, quicker release). Stillman was third among Lightning forwards in PK minutes last season (Prospal, when he was here, was 11th). Stillman is faster, and he can skate without grimacing like an old man. Stillman also has a better knack for getting open, collecting loose pucks and being in the right place at the right time.

On the other hand, Prospal has better ice vision, is more creative with (and without) the puck, and is less averse to physical contact.

Neither guy can clear the puck out of his own zone 5-on-5 to save his life.

It's not a wash (Prospal's a slight downgrade, IMO, but in any case they're far from the same player), but since both guys are complementary scoring liners it probably won't affect Tampa's success too much one way or the other.
I didn't mean to say that they are equal in every facet of the game, so perhaps my wording was poorly selected. I meant to say that Prospal is, at worst (and obviously in my opinion), Stillman's equal in terms of overall ability and impact.

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