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  #241  
Old 06-30-2013, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mustang View Post
At the risk of repeating myself, I'm gonna say one more thing on the Lecavalier buyout and then leave it be: I think these things are more fluid than inevitable/not-inevitable etc. - to be fair-minded here, the combination of the cowboys' ridiculous contract, Lecavalier's slide from all-star to solid veteran leader at the 2C (from an $8 million dollar player to a $5 million dollar player, let's say), and some restrictive elements of the new CBA meant that the TBL needed a very good to great performance from its GM to keep him around. Yzerman was merely good, which is promising for a rookie GM but spelled doom for VL retiring as a member of the Lightning (and locking down the 2C position with ideally reliable-to-spectacular postseason play for the next 3-5 years). Steve was dealt a smaller margin of error in this regard, and I do acknowledge that - just like other folks should acknowledge that missteps Yzerman made in the last 24 months (someone earlier called them "paper cuts," which was great and just right) contributed to what happened on Thursday.
Excellent points. Totally agree with this. The situation isn't so black and white, and we can only speculate on Yzerman's motives. I'm taking him at face value when he says it was a tough decision. Others, who might be far more inclined to see #4 gone no matter what, might say that this was in the cards ever since Vinik bought the team, but that's just speculation as well.
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  #242  
Old 06-30-2013, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Bolthed View Post
And since there was an avalanche of dumb that hit this thread last night, here are some points to consider in case you didn't know or forgot ...

• Yzerman turned Steve Downie, a very flawed player, into a first-round pick and ultimately one of the top goaltending prospects in the world.
• Lecavalier's contract was untradeable. Period.
• Yzerman overpaid for defensemen. I agree. Now how about we all move on? Because every team and every GM has to do this if they don't grow their own. The same people who shout threats into the air that the entire fanbase is going to boycott the team if holes aren't filled somehow can't be satisfied when holes are filled with players who (GASP!) cost money in a competitive market.
• Yzerman and Vinik indicated this week that they not only were planning to amnesty Vinny for quite some time, but Vinik may have even helped guide the amnesty rules (in part) for that very reason. It was anything but unplanned or desperate.
• Like him or not, Teddy Purcell is a legitimate scoring-line forward (unlike some other top 6 wings were in the Lightning uniform). There is no way of knowing if Detroit would have taken him in trade for Kyle Quincey. Oh, and Purcell still has fine value to the TBL on the ice and as a trade chip ... whether he changes his style one iota or not.
• Ben Bishop was a relatively unknown commodity (13 NHL games, 8 starts) when the Senators traded a 2nd for him at the deadline in 2012. Contrast that with Lindback who had 38 NHL games and 28 starts by the summer of 2012 when Yzerman gave up 2 2nds in a draft that he had loaded up in order to fill holes with a trade or two. ... After Lindback disappointed and got hurt, and after Bishop posted great numbers in 23 games (21 starts) for Ottawa, then Yzerman dealt from a position of organizational strength.
• The timing of the Bolts' need in net cannot be looked at in hindsight. You just can't look at the Bernier trade in the summer of 2013 (or even more ridiculously use a hypothetical Schneider trade) in order to say that the Lightning overpaid for Lindback ... ditto the Bishop trade at the deadline in 2013. Sorry, history doesn't work that way. One came chronologically after the other. Decisions do not have the benefit of context from future events -- in other words, there was no crystal ball that could have told Yzerman not to trade for Bishop because Bernier would be dealt months later. Ugh. I'm not Pollyanna about Yzerman's moves all being right, but holy shit, you can't say they were wrong based on things that hadn't happened at the time!
• The Lightning's AHL team won the Calder Cup in Yzerman's second season. It was runner-up in his third. Do these statements really need any more explanation?
• The Lightning farm system began sending NHL-ready players up in Yzerman's third season. One of them, an undrafted Cory Conacher got off to a red-hot start and was a strong rookie of the year candidate before falling well of his early pace and becoming more of a pest than a scorer (a diminutive player with questionable long-term value). When he was traded for a starting goalie it could have been inferred that Yzerman believed he had a solid (if not better and/or at least more versatile) replacement in the equally undrafted and equally diminutive Tyler Johnson, who was named AHL MVP in April (one year after Conacher achieved the honor).

I'm sure several of you will contend with some of these points. I'm not foolish enough to think I can change your minds. I'm just hoping to stem the tide of stupid that is suddenly floating around here.
Good stuff

I question some of Yzerman's moves, but all the of the above is true.
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  #243  
Old 06-30-2013, 02:13 PM
mustang mustang is offline
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Originally Posted by Bolthed View Post
And since there was an avalanche of dumb that hit this thread last night . . . I'm just hoping to stem the tide of stupid that is suddenly floating around here.
No need to get nasty, brother - just a hockey debate on an Internet message board in (hopefully) good faith. I mentioned in an earlier post that if you believe the Lecavalier buyout was inevitable, as you seem to - and particularly if you also believe the 2011 team was just a blip before the NHL adjusted to the Boucher system or Roloson fell off a cliff etc., as you may (not sure) - then this is the kind of thing that makes you like your GM even more - a tough hombre etc. Just remember - as you process the spin from both sides - it's in Vinik's business interests to portray this as inevitable, pivotal, etc. at every turn. It may also be true - though reasonable minds could (and do) disagree - but if he and Yz are as savvy and ruthless as you say, why wouldn't they play it that way regardless? It wasn't inevitable merely because the organization suggests it was after the fact (just like it wasn't necessarily a bad move because Lecavalier's agent mentioned that Yzerman made Vinny's kids cry at breakfast when he broke the news) - look a little deeper.

As I wrote before, I think he's been a B/B+ GM - not an A/A+ GM, but also not a C or D or whatever. No need to exaggerate or misrepresent what I wrote. I never stated who I'd choose in an either-or between Downie and Vasilevski - just wondered if there was a world where we could've had both. As you said, Colorado took a flawed talent that eventually netted us a first round pick - think Downie was the only flawed forward prospect in the org.?

As for goalies, you go fishing for assets at the deadline, at the draft, and in July. It isn't crazy to evaluate Yzerman's decisionmaking in the 15 months between the 2012 trade deadline and the 2013 draft based on what's actually happening on each of the key dates between.

I totally recognize the cowboys, the CBA, and Lecav's performance itself made Yzerman's margin for error much smaller with respect to this particular transaction. But I also truly don't understand how Yzerman's stock could rise or have remained the same based on his job performance the last 12-15 months - emotions or no.

The rest of it - Purcell, Conacher, etc. - we can cross swords on in the doldrums of late summer. Just take it down a notch, baby - we all want the same thing.
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  #244  
Old 06-30-2013, 05:53 PM
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Mustang, I wasn't calling out anyone in particular, and I like to think of hockey fans as a tough lot. I was just having fun turning a phrase or two with what I thought were some pretty silly posts that I wanted to refute.

But for the sake of further discussion on the points you've brought back up, I still say that completed trades are the only evidence of what was offered (and therefore deemed acceptable by both teams). Just because you think we could/should have offered someone else doesn't mean anything. Sorry, there's no exaggeration or misrepresentation. And IMO there's no value in contemplating an imaginary world where we keep the player we traded and still get the No. 1 pick for someone else. And no, I won't let you off the hook for using Bishop, Bernier and Schneider to criticize the goalie transactions that happened prior to them. Your explanation of a 15-month window that makes hindsight an acceptable form of analysis does not make sense to me.

So, even though this thread has become a tug o' war on Yzerman, it started with Vinny and you say to look a little deeper. At what? Unless I'm reading you wrong, the reactions of fans are either a) understanding or b) emotional. I don't have any problem with fans getting emotional. I don't even have a problem when said emotions cause fans to not be able to see (or accept, temporarily) the big picture. But when the new CBA was unveiled the dream of V4 playing out his entire career here ended.

Yes, it was inevitable. You can't have one player taking 15 percent of your cap when he's an oft-injured 33-year-old who plays second-line center. Even the idea of making it work for one more year and then buying him out makes little sense. We've seen Yzerman build a competitive roster of mostly veterans. Now we'll see him try to be competitive with mostly youth. This will be a very young roster all around. Short-term pieces need not apply (except for short-term work). I won't be at all surprised to see Malone, Brewer, Salo and even Marty dealt in the next 12 months.

And if they don't make the playoffs, I'll expect a bunch of disgruntled fans to express their disgruntlement (I'm realistic!) ... but it won't change the course of this franchise one bit. It takes time to build a farm, bring kids up and then evaluate which ones stay as pieces of the puzzle. We're ahead of schedule with some terrific puzzle pieces in place. And I think Yzerman has Vinik's full support to take years in this phase of team-building before actual wins and playoffs or lack thereof might affect the GM's standing.

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  #245  
Old 06-30-2013, 09:33 PM
Pat664422 Pat664422 is offline
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Yzerman has stated how important 1st-2nd round picks are to him. Saying Yzerman "missed out" on getting Bishop for only a 2nd rounder a year ago when he later acquired him, after being able to observe Bishop against NHL competition longer, for only a 4th rounder and a player who cost him no draft picks, who had been demoted down to the team's 3rd line after a fast start, isn't quite fair to me either. Conacher was AHL MVP? He was also scratched for a game in the playoffs, so the jury is still out on what we gave up in him for Bishop.

For the record, I think a grade of B for Yzerman to this point is pretty fair.

Last edited by Pat664422; 06-30-2013 at 10:08 PM.
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  #246  
Old 06-30-2013, 09:44 PM
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Yzerman's grade is an I. He walked into this city with a very good situation at forward. He now has further solidified that situation for a generation by selecting Drouin and Erne today. When you add that to the long list of guys we already had plus some of the more under the radar quality prospects we have like Hart and Peca who we don't probably talk about enough, the depth at forward now is bordering on embarassingly good.

He probably has fixed the situation in net between Bishop, Lindback, and the crown jewel, Vasilevskiy.

To finish the drill, he's got to fix the defense. If he doesn't none of the above matters because they're still never going to be able to keep the puck out of the back of their net without some serious upgrades. They have Hedman. They have Gudas. They have crap else.
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  #247  
Old 06-30-2013, 10:08 PM
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Even though Carle isn't earning all of that 5.5 a year, I think he's part of the long term fix on defense as well.
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  #248  
Old 06-30-2013, 10:35 PM
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I believe tomorrow is the day RFAs can start talking to other teams, which is desperately needed when it comes to dmen, because the UFA market is utter garbage. Not one upgrade over the veterans we already have in Brewer, Carle and Salo.

I know we have a surplus of forwards from which to deal, but I do not want to see Killorn or Panik (or the younger kids) even considered. I doubt Johnson or Palat have much value until they produce in the NHL. So that pretty much leaves Brett Connolly, and hell if I know what he might fetch. I wouldn't give up much without some sweet sweetener(s) if I was a rival GM.

Yzerman is going to need to pull a jedi mind trick.

Last edited by Bolthed; 06-30-2013 at 10:37 PM.
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  #249  
Old 06-30-2013, 10:45 PM
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I'm looking forward to the post draft prospect ratings. I know Pete is consistently down on our prospects at defense, so I'm going to be interested in reading what you see as the future for Koekkoek, Blujus, Sustr and Korobov.

We didn't draft anyone at d this year, but we did use a 1 and a 2 on defensemen last year. One of those (injury aside with Koekkoek) should provide some help in the future.
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  #250  
Old 07-01-2013, 12:07 AM
mustang mustang is offline
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Originally Posted by Bolthed View Post
Mustang, I wasn't calling out anyone in particular, and I like to think of hockey fans as a tough lot. I was just having fun turning a phrase or two with what I thought were some pretty silly posts that I wanted to refute.

But for the sake of further discussion on the points you've brought back up, I still say that completed trades are the only evidence of what was offered (and therefore deemed acceptable by both teams). Just because you think we could/should have offered someone else doesn't mean anything. Sorry, there's no exaggeration or misrepresentation. And IMO there's no value in contemplating an imaginary world where we keep the player we traded and still get the No. 1 pick for someone else. And no, I won't let you off the hook for using Bishop, Bernier and Schneider to criticize the goalie transactions that happened prior to them. Your explanation of a 15-month window that makes hindsight an acceptable form of analysis does not make sense to me.

So, even though this thread has become a tug o' war on Yzerman, it started with Vinny and you say to look a little deeper. At what? Unless I'm reading you wrong, the reactions of fans are either a) understanding or b) emotional. I don't have any problem with fans getting emotional. I don't even have a problem when said emotions cause fans to not be able to see (or accept, temporarily) the big picture. But when the new CBA was unveiled the dream of V4 playing out his entire career here ended.

Yes, it was inevitable. You can't have one player taking 15 percent of your cap when he's an oft-injured 33-year-old who plays second-line center. Even the idea of making it work for one more year and then buying him out makes little sense. We've seen Yzerman build a competitive roster of mostly veterans. Now we'll see him try to be competitive with mostly youth. This will be a very young roster all around. Short-term pieces need not apply (except for short-term work). I won't be at all surprised to see Malone, Brewer, Salo and even Marty dealt in the next 12 months.

And if they don't make the playoffs, I'll expect a bunch of disgruntled fans to express their disgruntlement (I'm realistic!) ... but it won't change the course of this franchise one bit. It takes time to build a farm, bring kids up and then evaluate which ones stay as pieces of the puzzle. We're ahead of schedule with some terrific puzzle pieces in place. And I think Yzerman has Vinik's full support to take years in this phase of team-building before actual wins and playoffs or lack thereof might affect the GM's standing.

It's a game of inches/bounces at the front office level as well, I'll grant you that - timing is everything. He passed on Bishop in 2012 in part to see who'd be around at the draft (as I recall), and when the price was too high for the usual suspects in June 2012 he grabbed Lindback later on - such is life. The following year, he snags Bishop at the deadline rather than wait to see who'd be selling at the draft, and Bernier and Schneider change teams just a few months later. Those are the breaks.

And I'm pleased with his work under the surface of the NHL franchise - there's no denying the value in that. I'd love to know the correlation of Calder Cup success with Stanley Cup success (I'd imagine it's a 3-5 year lag) - all I really am aware of is that us, Ottawa, and Washington had won in recent years before this one.

Anyway, it's a wonderful mission statement, and in a vacuum it sounds great. I think there are some vulnerabilities to it - at a certain point, you need to give due weight to the all-stars and generational talents actually in the big leagues (see: Jay Feaster in 2002-04, and Yzerman in 2011 - although I do wonder if Yzerman trades for Fedotenko under the circumstances way back when), and if 26 exits or retires and 91 winds up having made the playoffs, say, twice in his first 8 years in the league when the suitors come calling in 2016, I sure hope he'll consider all the Calder Cups we've contended for in the meantime. But then again, no one guy is above the system under this theory (which is, again, a very valid one), so maybe at that point between Drouin and a few more Killorns/TJs we'd be able to replace 91's production if the worst case happened.

I do hope you're right about Steve Yzerman the GM - the story you're telling would be wonderful if it came to pass.

Last edited by mustang; 07-01-2013 at 12:10 AM.
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