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Of all the times Lou has curiously fired coaches out of the blue

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DF118, some teams start rebuilding and suddenly the rebuild takes 5+ years.  All it takes for that to happen is a few high picks in a row not working out, a key player or two getting hurt...we've seen highly-touted upper draft picks become busts.  Not saying that the Devils couldn't turn it around more quickly than that, and that all rebuilding plans fall apart, but I also think (not you necessarily, just a generalization) that some fans assume that 2-3 of suffering will automatically pay dividends.   

 

I think the only way Lou would ever go into full-rebuild mode would be a 2010-11 first half-style crash and burn that lasts through the trade deadline, with no hope in sight.   

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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I think a lot of you guys are kinda delusional regarding the success this team has had over the past two decades - you just can't do it like the Devils have anymore.  This "retooling" thing is great when you have a core to "tool" around - the Devils don't have much a young core to speak of, at least offensively.

 

A rebuilding period is inevitable - I'd rather get it out of the way now than later.  What's worse - a couple rough years, or this continuous bubble team bullsh!t?

 

And we're not talking about an Oilers or Sabres rebuild - they're two of the poorest run sports franchises I can think of.  If you have faith in Lou and Conte, you've got to think a couple higher picks (again, not necessarily #1 overall, but better than 20-30) would help tremendously in the next future years.

 

You have to be more specific instead of resorting to buzz terms like rebuild, retool, "blow it up."  Right now, assuming Schneider is re-signed, the goaltending is set for the foreseeable future, and the defense we have in place now would be what you were rebuilding with anyway.  That alone puts us at least in playoff contention on a year-in-year-out basis.  Forward is the issue, but you don't necessarily need to be drafting in the top ten or top five every year to get a group of very good forwards.  An example would be St. Louis.  None of their forwards were top ten picks, and none are big UFA signings.   

 

EDIT:  Paajarvi was an Edmonton top ten pick.  But he wasn't obtained for that much, and he wasn't obtained by virtue of St. Louis tanking.  So the basic point still stands. 

Edited by Daniel

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it's a bit like Detroit, Ken Holland is quite possibly the best GM in the league and ran that franchise flawlessly BUT he got lucky with Datsyuk and Zetterberg, he had no clue they'd turn out this good and without them there's no way they would have been so steady after Yzerman and all those guys we're gone. I mean they had Lidstrom of course but still.

 

as for our defensive corp and goaltending... Look at Nashville few years ago, they were super set on D and in net, yet... where did that bring them really? 

 

Also where did Calgary go, holding on to iginla and Kipper for so long eventhough it was clear the team we're not going anywhere and refusing to rebuild, at some point they've hit a wall and it was too late and they lost top guys for pretty much nothing. Of course no one wanted to see them traded or wtv but its a business at the end of the day and thats what they should have done way sooner. It's one thing to be in win now mentality but it can hurt you long term big time if things don't go your way.

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as for our defensive corp and goaltending... Look at Nashville few years ago, they were super set on D and in net, yet... where did that bring them really? 

 

Also where did Calgary go, holding on to iginla and Kipper for so long eventhough it was clear the team we're not going anywhere and refusing to rebuild, at some point they've hit a wall and it was too late and they lost top guys for pretty much nothing. Of course no one wanted to see them traded or wtv but its a business at the end of the day and thats what they should have done way sooner. It's one thing to be in win now mentality but it can hurt you long term big time if things don't go your way.

 

Nashville lost Suter for nothing.  The new CBA makes it unlikely that that scenario repeats itself for reasons that have been brought up numerous times.  Before that, you could generally pencil them in to win at least one round in the playoffs, which is the sign of a very good team.  And if Seth Jones is what people think he should be, Nashville will be back to where they were in the next year or so. 

 

There's also very little chance that Calgary would be all that much better if they sold higher on Iginla, or got something for Kipprosoff. 

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The problem with 'blowing it up' is that if you want to ensure that you are truly bad, you really have to cut your team off at the knees.  It means getting rid of a lot of good players.  And it means anyone else who's still there probably will want to leave at the earliest opportunity.  Then it means bringing in young players who while talented can't quite play NHL hockey at the level it needs to be played at.  Now you've gotten rid of your good players so the youngsters are surrounded by not much of quality.  It's a cycle and it's really hard to get out of - just ask the Panthers, who've basically been in that cycle for 15 years now.

 

Yeah, I also see some contradictions here - if Calgary sold Iginla and Kiprusoff at the height of their value, they might be an okay team now.  But what then?  They don't have a ton of good prospects - they've got Gaudreau and some okay ones besides.  Where were they going even if they did that?  Teams don't trade Doug Weight for Esa Tikkanen anymore - those days are over.  Good young players are just too valuable to deal even for an Iginla, and if you don't have them or the possibility of them, you're not likely to be a very good team now or in the future.

Edited by Triumph

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The team has essentially been rebuilt, just over the course of 10 years. The only difference between getting rid of everybody at once and getting rid of players one by one over a long period of time is that with the former you will really suck and get a top draft pick or two. That has worked for teams like the Pens but Crosbys are once in a decade type players and as Triumph pointed out, a full rebuild can mire a team in lowliness for an eternity. The Panthers took years to build a team; they had numerous top 5 picks in the draft. Eventually they made the playoffs, and now they suck again. 

 

Meanwhile the Devils have been an average to above average team for the last 10 years (making the playoffs 8 out of 10 years) and even got ourselves to the Stanley Cup final. Which would you rather?

 

I think for some, the idea of a 'rebuild' is exciting. But it isn't so great once you're in the middle of it. Rebuilds are an especially bad route to take for borderline playoff teams who just need a few pieces, like the Devils.

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I think a lot of you guys are kinda delusional regarding the success this team has had over the past two decades - you just can't do it like the Devils have anymore.  This "retooling" thing is great when you have a core to "tool" around - the Devils don't have much a young core to speak of, at least offensively.

 

A rebuilding period is inevitable - I'd rather get it out of the way now than later.  What's worse - a couple rough years, or this continuous bubble team bullsh!t?

 

And we're not talking about an Oilers or Sabres rebuild - they're two of the poorest run sports franchises I can think of.  If you have faith in Lou and Conte, you've got to think a couple higher picks (again, not necessarily #1 overall, but better than 20-30) would help tremendously in the next future years.

 

Admitting defeat and going into rebuild mode would pretty much be saying that Lou and Conte have royally F'd up for the past 10 years. If that's the case, do you have faith that they'll make better decisions through a rebuild?

 

Who's to say they won't just draft more Tedenbys, Cormiers, Correntes, and Bergforses over the span of the next 4-5 years? A rebuild would probably entail dealing Schneider and/or Greene too, and for what? It'd all be in pursuit of possibly messing up our draft selections some more. Law of averages says you probably won't draft the next Crosby or Kovalchuk, but you will probably have a bunch of 10,000 attendance seasons (if you're lucky). Worth it?

Edited by DJ Eco

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I mean we can give credits to Lou for the way he built the team long time ago in a different NHL and every different eras kind of overlapped each other... But the gradual rebuilt of the team was never bad cause some guys we're leaving but our core was always intact and still a solid lineup and we we're always a contender so it's easier to convince guys to play for you and to buy into the team than now or a hit doesnt strike you as bad cause you're still solid. Lou has been dealing with this team in win now mode not looking further than the actual season and it's really a new territory for him and he has to learn that even though it's cute that you're all about loyalty and all and go all out, in the situation the team is/was, he had to deal with things quite differently and he didnt. Thats why we're where we are now.

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Admitting defeat and going into rebuild mode would pretty much be saying that Lou and Conte have royally F'd up for the past 10 years. If that's the case, do you have faith that they'll make better decisions through a rebuild?

 

Who's to say they won't just draft more Tedenbys, Cormiers, Correntes, and Bergforses over the span of the next 4-5 years? A rebuild would probably entail dealing Schneider and/or Greene too, and for what? It'd all be in pursuit of possibly messing up our draft selections some more. Law of averages says you probably won't draft the next Crosby or Kovalchuk, but you will probably have a bunch of 10,000 attendance seasons (if you're lucky). Worth it?

 

two of those brought Kovalchuk. not every prospect you draft is done with the intention that they make the NHL for you. having high draft picks and lots of them (even after they are drafted) still holds plenty of value.

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I mean we can give credits to Lou for the way he built the team long time ago in a different NHL and every different eras kind of overlapped each other... But the gradual rebuilt of the team was never bad cause some guys we're leaving but our core was always intact and still a solid lineup and we we're always a contender so it's easier to convince guys to play for you and to buy into the team than now or a hit doesnt strike you as bad cause you're still solid. Lou has been dealing with this team in win now mode not looking further than the actual season and it's really a new territory for him and he has to learn that even though it's cute that you're all about loyalty and all and go all out, in the situation the team is/was, he had to deal with things quite differently and he didnt. Thats why we're where we are now.

just wondering where you think "we are now"? I mean I know literally we're just on the fringe of the playoff race but I'm assuming you mean in the near future as well? For instance let's say that there are very few changes this offseason- we cut ties with some of the older defensemen, sign Cory to an extension and re-sign jägr. Do you think we're in a bad position?

I guess what I'm getting at is I'm still confident that this team can compete for a playoff spot next year without having to make major changes (unless you count firmly installing Cory as the starter "major"). Sure if you want to compare our youth to the sabres or oilers and project 3-5 years down the line we don't look so great, but in reality no gm can look that far ahead and a lot can and will change before then.

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two of those brought Kovalchuk. not every prospect you draft is done with the intention that they make the NHL for you. having high draft picks and lots of them (even after they are drafted) still holds plenty of value.

 

They brought a rental of Kovalchuk, let's be clear.  

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They brought a rental of Kovalchuk, let's be clear.  

 

that's true - but the point still stands. i'm mad i can't remember the movie but the line is apropos "some soldiers are for fighting. some are for dying. i think you'll like both?"

 

edit "some slaves are for fighting..some for dying...you need both, i feel, yes?"

 -Gladiator

Edited by sundstrom

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just wondering where you think "we are now"? I mean I know literally we're just on the fringe of the playoff race but I'm assuming you mean in the near future as well? For instance let's say that there are very few changes this offseason- we cut ties with some of the older defensemen, sign Cory to an extension and re-sign jägr. Do you think we're in a bad position?

I guess what I'm getting at is I'm still confident that this team can compete for a playoff spot next year without having to make major changes (unless you count firmly installing Cory as the starter "major"). Sure if you want to compare our youth to the sabres or oilers and project 3-5 years down the line we don't look so great, but in reality no gm can look that far ahead and a lot can and will change before then.

 

I still see the team in decline. We're lacking offence since Zach, Kovy and Clarkson left. We covered a little chunk of it and we're not even close to have covered it and yet we know we're gonna lose more very soon with Elias declining, Jagr retiring and Zids leaving somehow. We have absolutely nothing in our system, boucher MIGHT produce but he'll likely simply cover for the loss of one of those guys. We're still incredibly lacking scoring. 

 

Then yeah we can sign players, but we'll have to overpay if we want a scorer and god knows if we'll be able to get one too. Thats up in the air totally. Then through trades? well thats another thing that is up in the air...

 

You look around the league and there's teams already better than us who have SEVERAL top prospects coming their way and we're super dry. I simply don't see how we'll recover from such a blow with the ressources that we have. We've lost wayyyyyy too much at once. Thats why im SO pissed at Lou for letting it happen. We absolutely couldnt afford to lose those guys for nothing. As hard it would have been to trade them, if that was the only way well what can you do. 

 

edit: honestly sorry i had to somewhat bring back parts of that broken record discussion but with the subject and the question asked i couldnt really go around it.

Edited by SterioDesign

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99% of hockey championship caliber teams are built through the draft with a few hired guns.  It takes a long time to build a true competitor.  One that's going to be in the mix for many years.  I wouldn't mind going lean to build towards a champion caliber team again.  If we were ever going to do 14/15 would be the year with the big prize at the draft.  They have a lot of chips that could catch them draft picks and NHL ready players.  It's something Lou has to give a lot of though about in the summer.  Because as currently constructed they are not anything close to a contender.

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99% of hockey championship caliber teams are built through the draft with a few hired guns. It takes a long time to build a true competitor. One that's going to be in the mix for many years. I wouldn't mind going lean to build towards a champion caliber team again. If we were ever going to do 14/15 would be the year with the big prize at the draft. They have a lot of chips that could catch them draft picks and NHL ready players. It's something Lou has to give a lot of though about in the summer. Because as currently constructed they are not anything close to a contender.

We don't have the chips that would help land the big prizes in next years draft. In fact outside of already elite players (Kane, Toews, Giroux, Stamkos) a team that looks to realistically be in the hunt for one of the top three picks next year would not trade anything for one of those picks unless it's a Lindros situation where the player absolutely refuses to play there. Otherwise even if we stink next year, assuming you'll get the number one pick is not a strategy.

Look, blowing it up sometimes is the only real option a team has. It was probably the case with Buffalo and Calgary. The Devils are not in that position, at least not for the foreseeable future.

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We don't have the chips that would help land the big prizes in next years draft. In fact outside of already elite players (Kane, Toews, Giroux, Stamkos) a team that looks to realistically be in the hunt for one of the top three picks next year would not trade anything for one of those picks unless it's a Lindros situation where the player absolutely refuses to play there. Otherwise even if we stink next year, assuming you'll get the number one pick is not a strategy.

Look, blowing it up sometimes is the only real option a team has. It was probably the case with Buffalo and Calgary. The Devils are not in that position, at least not for the foreseeable future.

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Which is a good thing, and I'll call this season a success if (and it's a big if) we don't resign Marty and Larsson comes back strong and ready to go next year. If he doesn't, I'll always question the decision to send him down for Sal and Volch, especially considering how good he looked before the injury.

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I still see the team in decline. We're lacking offence since Zach, Kovy and Clarkson left. We covered a little chunk of it and we're not even close to have covered it and yet we know we're gonna lose more very soon with Elias declining, Jagr retiring and Zids leaving somehow. We have absolutely nothing in our system, boucher MIGHT produce but he'll likely simply cover for the loss of one of those guys. We're still incredibly lacking scoring. 

 

Then yeah we can sign players, but we'll have to overpay if we want a scorer and god knows if we'll be able to get one too. Thats up in the air totally. Then through trades? well thats another thing that is up in the air...

 

You look around the league and there's teams already better than us who have SEVERAL top prospects coming their way and we're super dry. I simply don't see how we'll recover from such a blow with the ressources that we have. We've lost wayyyyyy too much at once. Thats why im SO pissed at Lou for letting it happen. We absolutely couldnt afford to lose those guys for nothing. As hard it would have been to trade them, if that was the only way well what can you do. 

 

edit: honestly sorry i had to somewhat bring back parts of that broken record discussion but with the subject and the question asked i couldnt really go around it.

 

The problem with your mentality is that you continue to act as though downturns (and you still haven't seen a real one yet, where you're non-competitive for multiple seasons in a row) are fully preventable, if only this and that had been done.  And the bolded is the bullet point you can't seem to get around...you keep presenting it in a vacuum, as though not losing a player for nothing trumps every other circumstance.  Not going to turn this into a Zach debate, but AGAIN, the Devils were in a playoff hunt at that time, and he was one of their key offensive players who was scoring pretty consistently after a pretty shaky start.  There was no way Lou was going to trade him in that scenario...maybe some other GM would, but it seems unlikely.  

 

And assuming that Lou dealt him, just take a look what Alanta's return for Kovy was.  It's not like a great return on these guys is guaranteed, especially when they're potential rentals, as Zach would've been.  If Lou had gotten similar pieces for Zach, and the Devils fizzle in the playoffs in 2012, and here we are in 2014 with basically very little to show for that deal, Lou would be getting killed for wrecking the mojo of the 2012 team.  If you feel like your team has a legit shot at a championship, sometimes you take your best shot when you can, even if it means, yes, potentially losing a player for nothing.  The Devils had been playing some strong hockey after that 12-12-1 start (buoyed by six shootout wins), so I can understand why Lou wasn't necessarily thinking about 2013 and beyond at the time.       

 

Downturns are not fun to watch, especially when there's still very vivid memories of better times, but there isn't a team in professional sports that doesn't experience them eventually, and sometimes the cost of taking a shot in the present is some lesser years in the future.     

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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This is getting away from the original topic, but I don't know what more Lou could have done vis-a-vis Zach and Kovy.  The only way he was keeping Kovy was to move the Devils to Russia and make sure Prokhorov bought the team.  The only way he could have kept Zach was offer him around $80-90 million in the '11 offseason, money we didn't have at the time...and even then it would have been iffy cause of the Suter factor.  Or he could have traded him in the offseason but he really would not have gotten anywhere close to market value with Zach coming off a major injury and I can't blame him for thinking if things in ownership could shake out right over the next year he had a decent chance of keeping Zach. 


Yes it sucks we lost those guys for nothing but sometimes events are just beyond your control, Sterio.  You have to accept that and not assume just because something happens there was anything that could have been done about it.  Like CR said, it wasn't realistic to expect him to trade Zach during the season.  

Edited by NJDevs4978

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Best example i can give to you guys is Letang and Staal, a year before their contracts we're up Shero made them an offer and if they we're not gonna take it they would have been traded (Staal did) he couldnt afford to lose guys like that on the market, gave the players an ultimatum got a return, or the player.

 

Of course it would have sucked to get rid of Letang at that time but both of those cases we're during the summer.

 

And colorado, Kovy was a UFA rental, it's different and they still got a 1st round pick which brought them Big Buff. That team isnt great but without him they'd be a lot worst. And they later for a 2nd and a 3rd for Oduya.

 

edit: listen we clearly don't agree on this and we'll likely never will. Different mentalities. Fact is now we're lacking offence and we didn't win the cup either, so it would have been the best move "on paper"

Edited by SterioDesign

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Best example i can give to you guys is Letang and Staal, a year before their contracts we're up Shero made them an offer and if they we're not gonna take it they would have been traded (Staal did) he couldnt afford to lose guys like that on the market, gave the players an ultimatum got a return, or the player.

 

Of course it would have sucked to get rid of Letang at that time but both of those cases we're during the summer.

 

And colorado, Kovy was a UFA rental, it's different and they still got a 1st round pick which brought them Big Buff. That team isnt great but without him they'd be a lot worst. And they later for a 2nd and a 3rd for Oduya.

 

For the last time, and I wish you could acknowledge this, is that re-signing an impending UFA was made much easier because of the new CBA, which limited the number of years.  That's why Letang is ultimately still on the Penguins, or why he would have otherwise been traded.  While Staal traded before, it was much easier to trade him, one, because the Penguins didn't need him in the short-term (it's much easier to trade a forward of Staal's caliber when you have Crosby and Malkin), two, they knew that whatever you would sign him to would create a cap crunch, third, Staal had another year left at a time when the owners could reasonably expect to have a new CBA in place that limited the number of years for UFA deals, four, they were hoping to land Suter or Parise.  But really, comparing any team's situation to the Penguins doesn't work.  When you have players like Malkin and Crosby, virtually everyone else on your team becomes expendable so long as the price is right.  (You can basically put Crosby on a team with an AHL roster, and your team is still in playoff contention). 

 

From everything you read, with Zach it basically came down to the Wild and the Devils.  So it is not a case like Kovy, Vanek or whoever that basically told their teams that they would be playing somewhere else the following year.  It was a calculated risk.  Sometimes they pay off, other times they don't. 

Edited by Daniel

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edit: listen we clearly don't agree on this and we'll likely never will. Different mentalities. Fact is now we're lacking offence and we didn't win the cup either, so it would have been the best move "on paper"

 

Not winning a Cup doesn't automatically equal failure.  I wouldn't trade that 2012 run for not even trying.  I doubt at the time that you were saying "I really hate watching the Devils make the playoffs and beat two of our most hated rivals on the way to the Finals.  I'd rather Lou have planned for 2013."  Lots of great memories from that run (HENRIQUE!  IT'S OVER!) and I wouldn't trade them for anything.  Sometimes you come up a little short, but that doesn't mean you then break out the hindsight and say "Well, it didn't result in the ultimate prize, so we shouldn't have even tried."  Seriously, what kind of mentality is that?       

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Not winning a Cup doesn't automatically equal failure.  I wouldn't trade that 2012 run for not even trying.  I doubt at the time that you were saying "I really hate watching the Devils make the playoffs and beat two of our most hated rivals on the way to the Finals.  I'd rather Lou have planned for 2013."  Lots of great memories from that run (HENRIQUE!  IT'S OVER!) and I wouldn't trade them for anything.  Sometimes you come up a little short, but that doesn't mean you then break out the hindsight and say "Well, it didn't result in the ultimate prize, so we shouldn't have even tried."  Seriously, what kind of mentality is that?       

 

I'm ashamed to say it but if you gave me the option of the Devils winning the Cup but not playing the Rangers at all in the playoffs, or 2012 as it happened, I would have a hard time making a choice.

 

I still see the team in decline. We're lacking offence since Zach, Kovy and Clarkson left. We covered a little chunk of it and we're not even close to have covered it and yet we know we're gonna lose more very soon with Elias declining, Jagr retiring and Zids leaving somehow. We have absolutely nothing in our system, boucher MIGHT produce but he'll likely simply cover for the loss of one of those guys. We're still incredibly lacking scoring. 

 

Then yeah we can sign players, but we'll have to overpay if we want a scorer and god knows if we'll be able to get one too. Thats up in the air totally. Then through trades? well thats another thing that is up in the air...

 

You look around the league and there's teams already better than us who have SEVERAL top prospects coming their way and we're super dry. I simply don't see how we'll recover from such a blow with the ressources that we have. We've lost wayyyyyy too much at once. Thats why im SO pissed at Lou for letting it happen. We absolutely couldnt afford to lose those guys for nothing. As hard it would have been to trade them, if that was the only way well what can you do. 

 

This is as melodramatic and glass half empty as it gets. Most of the things you mention are problems all teams go through at one point and problems that many teams will have to deal with in the coming years. They are also not necessarily problems that will sink a team.

 

It's one thing to say that this team is "in decline" (though every team is in decline at some point - unless you believe a peak can last forever), and it's another thing to say "We have absolutely nothing in our system," and "I simply don't see how we'll recover from such a blow with the resources that we have," That's just plain silly.

 

Additionally, do you really think the Devils are the first team to have lost a bunch of  good players at once? I know another one: the 2007 Devils. They had in the preceding years lost Scott Stevens, Scott Niedermayer, and Brian Rafalski. They recovered to draw multiple star/essential players to the team through the draft and trades and make the Stanley Cup finals in 2012. Stop exaggerating the issue.

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I hope Laviolette is behind the bench next season. He can get some fire out of this lazy, soft squad.

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I hope Laviolette is behind the bench next season. He can get some fire out of this lazy, soft squad.

 

I don't think they're lazy at all.  I do think they try.  But it's not a terribly talented bunch, they've got some age on the roster, and when a guy like Ryder isn't producing, it hurts that much more.  Based on who's out there, how much better should they really be?   

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Best example i can give to you guys is Letang and Staal, a year before their contracts we're up Shero made them an offer and if they we're not gonna take it they would have been traded (Staal did) he couldnt afford to lose guys like that on the market, gave the players an ultimatum got a return, or the player."

And who's to say trading Staal didn't cost them a deeper playoff run last year? Funny thing is while you tout the futures they got back for him they gave up a bit of that future renting Iginla and the other players they got at the deadline anyway.

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