Friday, April 8, 2011

Good move!

- Giving Bryan Murray a real shot at building the team and for three full years is simply a "Great" hockey, business and Ottawa move! Remember the last time he told us he was coming back, this time Eugene told him to come back and finish what he started in this calender year.

- It will be interesting to see what the coaching staff looks like...I guess it's the man from St. Mike's and his ontourage?

- Note: We still gotta draft well...( did we end up in fifth?)

- Note 2: Training camp, the Merit Principle, Rocco, his Captain and the goalie are the only three guys who have the team made!!

PS: "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they say!" Matthew of Ottawa...R.I.P...


  1. Nik:

    Four months ago, I would not have agreed with you. Funny how things change. Since the trade deadline, Bryan Murray has redeemed himself somewhat, though I guess it's not that hard to dismantle a team - it's much harder to build one.

    We will see if the man from St. Mike's can coach a winner. To me, he's Cory Clouston version 2, just slightly more animated behind the bench. We'll see how long the players respond to screaming if he's hired.

    How did we end up in fifth? We brought in a bunch of young guys all fighting for jobs next year - all hungry. We also managed to fleece Colorado of their goaltender, and lock him up for 4 years. We may not end up getting the player we want, but the top picks all seem pretty decent.

    Talking about fleecing, the draft will be interesting. We'll see if BM can fleece another team this year (St. Louis last year, and that piece of theatre with Burke could have been a masterful manipulation to keep Cowan).

    I think the jobs at stake will keep everyone honest at training camp. Hope Randy Lee takes his old job back a strength and conditioning coach - just seems like the guys haven't been up to par that way since he was promoted.


  2. JL

    I agree totally...and Eugene/Bryan have to do something with our "Prestige" within the League/our coach's standing/status with all the Refs!

    "It's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease!"

  3. After hearing about the elliot trade, I asked myself, "why on earth would the avs do that". Then I got it. It was exactly what it looked like. They want to rebuild and get better fast. Yes. Get worse this season. Then get much better from the draft and this summer. Rebuild. That's how you do it.

    BMil, immediately after announcing a "rebuild" made a trade that obviously made the team better. (And picked up salary in the process). He also drastically lowered our draft picks. He then signed anderson to an exorbitant long-term contract (but hey, that's what he does).

    So basically, he raised anderson's value while lowering our draft pick then signed him to a long-term, big money contract.

    If he watched any games or had any faith in his professional scouting, why on earth would he make that trade? Just sign him in the summer for less! And take our top-2 pick (and 32, and 62nd...) and run!!

    He basically screwed us over long-term due to his lack of vision (surprise!!) yet again.

    We WILL be in the same draft position next year, not bad enough to get good. So I hope everyone enjoyed the little ride. BMil sure did.

    And I really hope everyone enjoys RN-H blowing by our "character" guys, and Larsson dominating games by the time he's 20. At least we have BMil.


  4. pg

    "Say it ain't so!"

    We are so lucky to have lucked out with our goalie, GM, our young guys and "Rocco's return from the dead!" it's not even funny.


  5. Or you could look at it this way pg: we now have a #1 goalie locked up for a few years at a very reasonable rate, a #1 centre playing as well as any centre in the league, a handful of elite defensive prospects, a couple potential top six prospects, a lot of great bottom 6 prospects, a bunch of picks in the first few rounds, a lot of cap space, and a secure GM with a great draft history and extensive experience building championship teams.

    But you could also dwell on and exaggerate all the negatives as you see them...

    It will be very interesting to see where this team will be a year from now. I wouldn't be surprised if they end up low again with all their youth and inexperience. But one more year with a high draft pick (and 5th overall IS a high pick) and we could be back in it again with a whole new contender on our hands.

  6. Nik:

    Will be interesting to see how Rocco performs at the Worlds. Sure, it's only the Worlds, but I think he's tired of the label "hasn't won anything".


    Larsson did not "dominate" at the junior champs - players usually are head and shoulders above everyone else at the junior champs if they're ready for the big show. Haven't seen him play recently, but I seriously doubt he's Drew Doughty. I doubt with the logjam on defense that we would have picked him anyway.

    For all his skill, RH-H will need to fill out to be an NHL'er (most websites have him between 155-160lbs). He might (he's still young), but one thing you can't teach is size.

    As far as the draft, is there that much difference between the player you get at 62 vs 65, 92 vs 95 and so on? By then, it's a crap shoot. The player you are targeting maybe already gone, or maybe available. I guess if you're really "high" on someone, you can trade up, it's been done before.

    I'm not as worried about Murray, as I am about who he puts behind the bench. I'm afraid Melnyk will want him to install Cameron (because he's been so loyal), and to be honest I'd rather keep Clouston if that's the case. There's gotta be someone else who's available.

    Was the "after the trade deadline" streak a mirage? I guess time will tell ... if it was, I guess we'll be talking about "tanking" on purpose next year.


  7. @Oman:

    Nicely summarized. We may have the #1 goalie we've been missing. There was no guarantee that he would have signed here if Murray hadn't gone out and traded for him. As far as I'm concerned, it was a fleecing, and Murray got the best goalie available to shore up what was a glaring lack in the team (Vokoun is too old (and expensive), and Bryzy will stay in Phoenix (Winnipeg)) (again too expensive). That's what good GM's do.

    The "kids" may struggle next year - that's to be expected, they need to learn the game. But they will learn and improve, and it will be fun watching them do so.


  8. Pretty sure people were saying that size thing to joe sakic and pat kane right before they won their stanley cups. You also can't teach skill. Haven't you guys ever heard "you can't teach that"? They're not referinng to size.

    All I'm saying is we could have had anderson anyway this summer for less before the trade. I don't think anyone would argue that. With the goalie market what it is, he was headed for the scrap heap.

    And calling Bmil a "good gm?"...C'mon man... how short is you're memory? Please don't make me start up a list again...

    BTW drafting is one part of a GM's job. And don't make me break out my "Jim O'Brian" card again.

    Also, Larsson did dominate at the Jr's. Especially when the chips were down.


  9. Sorry for the ridiculously long (and in most's opinions absurd or exagerated) rant, but meant to add: I love Spezza. I've always loved his creativity, ability (as good as almost any in the league) to thread the needle, and still feel like if he had at least 1 other legit 1st liner to play with he could be scoring 35-40 goals and 100 points. I love high risk/reward players how get me out of my seat. As long as the reward outweighs (even slightly) the risk. I also love his newfound leadership. And always felt he had it in him. I just want to see it when something other than "pride" is at stake.


  10. Finally, something I can agree with pg. I'd love to see what this new and improved Spezza can do with a new top six winger with some speed, grit and a scoring touch.

    I'm still sad we couldn't pick up James Neal at the deadline, though he hasn't done much in Pittsburgh...

  11. @pg:

    I'm in full agreement with you about Spezza. I would even like to see Alfie pass on the "C" and take on an "A" next year (though the powers at be will never let that happen). I think he's shown over this last stretch that the team is his to lead.
    I don't know about you, but I've seen less of the highly risky plays come back to bite him, part of his improved two-way play.
    Butler has had good chemistry with him, but I agree that he needs someone else to play with - I don't see Alfie being that guy going forward. Neither is Michalek.

    Any "realistic" (i.e. available via FA/trade) suggestions?


  12. How have we "lucked out" with Murray?

    Are NHL teams clamoring for a 70 year old guy that hires a coach a year? He's here because it's a low-pressure job and he isn't held accountable by a servile media and a fanbase that is used to low expectations from years of corruption at the government level. Murray is average and his results are average as well.

    Did we really fleece St. Louis? St. Louis thought they had enough built up on D and needed a forward. We have no idea how Rundblad will play at this level. How many SEL teams, composed of entirely SEL players, compete for 82 games then win a Stanley Cup?

    As for Spezza...let's see how he does over 82 games and 4 rounds of playoffs winning us a championship before I get excited. Right now, he's doing what a 7 million paid guy should be doing, and that's HIS JOB.