Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Devil Dan 56

The Edmonton Oilers Bottom Out

64 posts in this topic

Oilers will have to bite the bullet and make some roster changes. The problem isn't bringing in talent it's where the talent is and how it all works together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oilers will have to bite the bullet and make some roster changes. The problem isn't bringing in talent it's where the talent is and how it all works together.

 

Yep, don't really know what's taking so long. Any of their top kid forwards would probably yield a good enough return to start improving their defense dramatically and implementing a better system from top to bottom. And yet season after season, they keep coming back on opening night with their same stacked 22 year old average offense and no defense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://blogs.denverpost.com/avs/2014/01/16/devils/16442/

 

It was good to see Devils broadcaster Glenn “Chico” Resch at the Avalanche morning skate today, prepping for tonight’s Avalanche-Devils game. And when he was talking with Patrick Roy, it struck me that I was looking at the top goalies in each of Denver’s two stints in the NHL.

Resch was more than a goalie, too, in his little over a year of minding the net for the Colorado Rockies. He was a tremendous ambassador for the beleaguered team and the game, essentially acting as their public face and player spokesman during the bizarre final season the team was here before it was moved to New Jersey in 1982 and became the Devils.

 

I have a DVD of a Rockies-Blues game from January 1982 (Rockies actually won 7-1 in Denver).  Chico came on during the second intermission, though his interview had clearly been taped before the game.  He couldn't have been more of a stand-up guy, trying to sound positive and upbeat, saying that for the team to have a chance to win, it would all have to start with him, even though he knew Ken Dryden couldn't have done much with the team Chico was playing behind.  He also said that there was nothing they could do about the constant rumors involving the franchise moving (it was becoming more and more clear that the franchise was done in Colorado...the move to NJ was less than five months away, though throughout the broadcast, NJ was never mentioned by name), and that to feel sorry for themselves (especially when they were all making pretty decent money) was pointless.  But not once in that interview did he criticize any of his teammates or the team's play, his coach, the ownership, or throw anyone under the bus.   

 

This is terrific. Chico was already easy to like, but this really demonstrates his character. He's an A1 guy.

 

What's sad is that Devils fans today know little of Chico's service to the team in the early days and they simply see him as 'that loveable clown' who does the broadcasts. I can't say I'm not guilty of this.

Edited by Neb00rs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started watching around 1989 so Chico was before my time as a player and he wasn't really involved with broadcasting until way later so I never really knew too much about him and what he has done for this organization. Thanks for the info CR1976. Definitely brings up the respect level. Still prefer the Gary Thorne/Bill Clement days (for broadcasting) but that's probably just nostalgia.

Edited by Jerzey Devil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is terrific. Chico was already easy to like, but this really demonstrates his character. He's an A1 guy.

 

What's sad is that Devils fans today know little of Chico's service to the team in the early days and they simply see him as 'that loveable clown' who does the broadcasts. I can't say I'm not guilty of this.

 

This fanbase has a horrible disconnect of anything that not only happened in the 1980's to this team (not that they missed much except Spring of 1988, but it's still nice to embrace roots), but pretty much anything up until 1994 only because that was the Devils/Rangers Series. 

 

There's a poster on HF that makes me laugh and i think of him in this instance. He's an STH and was in one thread talking/complaining about ways to improve fan experience and offering all these suggestions he wants to forward to the owners, but he had no clue if the Devils wore a patch on their jerseys during their first season or if Chico Resch was the goaltender.

 

i used to love it with Yankees fans who in the time before the "new dynasty" couldn't name any of the shortstops in the 90's before Derek Jeter if their lives depended on it, think Jim Abbott is "that one-handed guy" (and not know he threw a no hitter as a Yankee), and the staff ace was once Melido Perez. For the sheer hell of it, wouldn't know Mel Hall, Jessie Barfield or Steve Sax if they were offered money to look at their pictures and guess. 

Edited by TheRedStorm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is terrific. Chico was already easy to like, but this really demonstrates his character. He's an A1 guy.

 

What's sad is that Devils fans today know little of Chico's service to the team in the early days and they simply see him as 'that loveable clown' who does the broadcasts. I can't say I'm not guilty of this.

 

The Devils really needed a perpetually upbeat guy like Chico to keep everyone sane in the old days.  No one likes being a non-factor year after year after year, and playing for a team that goes a combined 52-154-35 in your first three full seasons (one with the Rockies, two with the Devils) and isn't honest about the immediate future had to be hard on him...especially coming from an organization like the Islanders.  What was interesting was that those Devils teams actually started to show signs of improvement from '84-'85 on, but would always fall off a cliff at about 30 games in or so:

 

In '84-'85 they went 11-15-4 in their first 30 GP, then went 11-33-6 the rest of the way.

In '85-'86 they were 12-13-1, then 16-35-2.  (Chico was traded to the Flyers at the deadline.) 

'86-'87 they went 16-14-2, then 13-31-4.   

 

It was too bad Chico never got to experience a little of '87-'88...if anyone truly deserved to, it was him.   

 

 

I started watching around 1989 so Chico was before my time as a player and he wasn't really involved with broadcasting until way later so I never really knew too much about him and what he has done for this organization. Thanks for the info CR1976. Definitely brings up the respect level. Still prefer the Gary Thorne/Bill Clement days (for broadcasting) but that's probably just nostalgia.

 

I'm definitely going to miss him when he leaves the booth.  And his interaction with the fans off-screen was pretty awesome. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Devils really needed a perpetually upbeat guy like Chico to keep everyone sane in the old days.  No one likes being a non-factor year after year after year, and playing for a team that goes a combined 52-154-35 in your first three full seasons (one with the Rockies, two with the Devils) and isn't honest about the immediate future had to be hard on him...especially coming from an organization like the Islanders.  What was interesting was that those Devils teams actually started to show signs of improvement from '84-'85 on, but would always fall off a cliff at about 30 games in or so:

 

In '84-'85 they went 11-15-4 in their first 30 GP, then went 11-33-6 the rest of the way.

In '85-'86 they were 12-13-1, then 16-35-2.  (Chico was traded to the Flyers at the deadline.) 

'86-'87 they went 16-14-2, then 13-31-4.   

 

It was too bad Chico never got to experience a little of '87-'88...if anyone truly deserved to, it was him.   

 

 

 

I'm definitely going to miss him when he leaves the booth.  And his interaction with the fans off-screen was pretty awesome. 

 

Wasn't Chico traded to the Flyers with the thought that was the last piece of the puzzle to win a cup and only about a year in was surpassed by Hextall?  I thought I remember hearing him mention that and that he was also seen as a mentor to Hextall for a few years before Hextall would take over, but Chico didn't think it would happen so quickly and was disappointed he was overshadowed again like he was on Long Island.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This fanbase has a horrible disconnect of anything that not only happened in the 1980's to this team (not that they missed much except Spring of 1988, but it's still nice to embrace roots), but pretty much anything up until 1994 only because that was the Devils/Rangers Series. 

 

There's a poster on HF that makes me laugh and i think of him in this instance. He's an STH and was in one thread talking/complaining about ways to improve fan experience and offering all these suggestions he wants to forward to the owners, but he had no clue if the Devils wore a patch on their jerseys during their first season or if Chico Resch was the goaltender.

 

i used to love it with Yankees fans who in the time before the "new dynasty" couldn't name any of the shortstops in the 90's before Derek Jeter if their lives depended on it, think Jim Abbott is "that one-handed guy" (and not know he threw a no hitter as a Yankee), and the staff ace was once Melido Perez. For the sheer hell of it, wouldn't know Mel Hall, Jessie Barfield or Steve Sax if they were offered money to look at their pictures and guess. 

 

This is very true about a lot of fans, but this is the double-edged sword of having a team that became a powerhouse for a long time (Devils have had a solid 15 years of being one).  You bring in a lot of new fans during this time, but that is what they are, new.  You would think that most, if not all, would take a look back as to how the team got there, but a lot of them either really don't know or don't care.

 

It's just the nature of the beast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wasn't Chico traded to the Flyers with the thought that was the last piece of the puzzle to win a cup and only about a year in was surpassed by Hextall?  I thought I remember hearing him mention that and that he was also seen as a mentor to Hextall for a few years before Hextall would take over, but Chico didn't think it would happen so quickly and was disappointed he was overshadowed again like he was on Long Island.

 

I hadn't heard anything about that...if that's true, not sure how he could have been disappointed...he was 37 years old when he was dealt, and 38 by the start of the '86-'87 season.  Not sure why he would've expected to get the lion's share of starts, especially with Bob Froese still in the mix (he was coming off a season in '85-'86 where he was the Vezina runner-up)...he was the incumbent starter, and about 10 years younger than Chico.  I think Philly traded for Chico to get an experienced backup, not to become their #1.  The guy Hextall actually forced into a backup role (and made expendable...he was traded to the Rangers during the season) was Froese. 

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hadn't heard anything about that...if that's true, not sure how he could have been disappointed...he was 37 years old when he was dealt, and 38 by the start of the '86-'87 season.  Not sure why he would've expected to get the lion's share of starts, especially with Bob Froese still in the mix (he was coming off a season in '85-'86 where he was the Vezina runner-up)...he was the incumbent starter, and about 10 years younger than Chico.  I think Philly traded for Chico to get an experienced backup, not to become their #1.  The guy Hextall actually forced into a backup role (and made expendable...he was traded to the Rangers during the season) was Froese. 

 

Is it weird that I can't picture Philly with all that competent goaltending, and that's on the heels of the late Pelle Lindbergh the year before Froese was the Vezina runner up

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it weird that I can't picture Philly with all that competent goaltending, and that's on the heels of the late Pelle Lindbergh the year before Froese was the Vezina runner up

 

In the early 80s, they had Pete Peeters too (he won a Vezina with Boston in '82-'83, his best season)...the '79-'80 Flyers got off to a 26-1-10 start (that included a NHL-record 35-game unbeaten streak)...he went 29-5-5 that year.  Yeah, Flyers did have good goaltending once upon a time.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hadn't heard anything about that...if that's true, not sure how he could have been disappointed...he was 37 years old when he was dealt, and 38 by the start of the '86-'87 season.  Not sure why he would've expected to get the lion's share of starts, especially with Bob Froese still in the mix (he was coming off a season in '85-'86 where he was the Vezina runner-up)...he was the incumbent starter, and about 10 years younger than Chico.  I think Philly traded for Chico to get an experienced backup, not to become their #1.  The guy Hextall actually forced into a backup role (and made expendable...he was traded to the Rangers during the season) was Froese. 

 

I think that's about right with Chico's trade to the Flyers; the Flyers were looking to get a veteran guy to back up Bob Froese (and obviously lost significant depth when Pelle Lindbergh died in that car accident early in the 1985-86 season after his great 1984-85 season).  Ron Hextall was considered a good goaltending prospect, but no one expected him to have the kind of season he had as a rookie in 1986-87; had the Flyers known that, they probably don't trade for Resch.  Hextall's great play showed he could be a #1 guy and enabled them to trade Froese, who IIRC was understandably upset that his playing time decreased after a good 1985-86 season.  (I think Froese actually had a similar thing happen to him in 1984-85; he was better than Lindbergh in 1983-84 but became the clear #2 in 1984-85.)

Edited by CHIP72

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CHIP72, one thing you're leaving out is that the Scouts/Rockies not only kept changing hands (John McMullen became Owner #5 of this franchise...the Rockies were sold twice while still in Denver), but the economy in both Kansas City AND Denver was not good at the time the Scouts and Rockies were playing there.  The unsettled ownerships led to the "gameplan" (or what passed for one) changing constantly.  It's sad in ways, because the Rockies did have some good players, many of whom actually loved playing in Colorado and really wanted to improve the team's fortunes, but the front office made some absolutely awful moves.  The worst was trading their 1983 first-round pick to the Islanders in 1981 for Dave Cameron and Bob Lorimer, neither of whom merited that kind of return.  That first-rounder became Pat LaFontaine. 

 

Anyway, with the ownership situation in constant flux until the franchise became the Devils, the team never really stood a chance.  I've mentioned before how cheap the Rockies' different owners often were:  uniforms with screen-printed logos and names/numbers, rented school buses occasionally used for transportation, a gutted trailer used for a locker and equipment room. 

 

The focus actually changed right when the Devils arrived, in that they decided they were going to build through the draft and bring in warm bodies for the NHL team that would slowly be replaced as young kids were ready to step in.  Everyone associated with the Devils at that time knew it was going to be ugly for a while (Hector Marini, one of those "warm bodies", basically said something along the lines of "They were looking at everyone's 24th and 25th players.  You'd think a team full of guys like that wouldn't be very good.  Well, we weren't."). 

 

The one guy who really suffered through it all, through no fault of his own, was Chico Resch.  He had been a good to very good goalie for the Isles, but had become expendable when Billy Smith, who he had split time with during the regular season for several seasons, became the man during the 1979-80 Stanley Cup run.  He was pulled off the Islander team bus with rookie Steve Tambellini in 1981, just minutes before the trade deadline, and informed that he had been dealt to the Rockies (young Tambellini immediately burst into tears upon hearing the news).  Chico played eight games with the Rockies as they finished out their season, but only needed a couple to learn what everyone else knew:  the team stunk something fierce.  He was then fed a load of crap about how the franchise was both committed to improving the on-ice product AND keeping the team in Colorado, which led him to sign a multi-year deal...less than a year later, the team was not only in a different state, but was clearly going to take slow and steady baby steps toward on-ice improvement...not exactly a welcome approach to a 34-year-old goaltender's eyes.  After his first season in NJ, he thought about demanding a trade, but to his credit (and this is why I'll always have tremendous respect for him), he decided to stick it out and be a mentor to the kids that were slowly coming up through the system...playing behind some truly god-awful teams destroyed his career numbers (he might have come close to 300 career wins if he wasn't stuck on the Devils).  That guy knew every season he was with the Devils, his team had NO chance to get to the playoffs, but he never bitched about it or complained, and tried to be as positive of an influence as possible.  He played a very important role in the Rockies'/Devils' transition from yearly train wreck to team worthy of respect.

 

CR1976 - thanks for your follow-up post; you provided some of the kinds of details that help provide context to my original comment about the Devils' franchise rebuilding efforts back in its early days (including its time in KC and Denver).

 

For all - it should be pointed out that although John McMullen may have been cheap and came close to moving the franchise to Nashville in 1995, he also was probably the biggest reason why the Devils were able to get on their feet in the mid-1980s.  He provided stability to the franchise and was willing to allow the team to commit to a long-term build, rather than pursuing a quick fix as had been the case prior to his ownership.

 

On a related side note, a few months ago I was reading some articles about how the greater New York/north Jersey market was perceived prior to Devils moving to north Jersey.  My impression was the general line of thinking back then (including by John McMullen) was the demand for hockey was so great in the NYC area that a third team could easily be supported and draw well regardless how good they were (keep in mind the Islanders had firmly established themselves and were in the middle of their dynasty after having been founded only a decade earlier and the Rangers sold out pretty much every game, plus the Flyers were very popular in south Jersey), and that Rangers (and to a lesser degree Islanders and Flyers) fans in north and central Jersey would jump at the chance to actually see live NHL games to meet their fix.  Obviously those assumptions, especially the one about a transplanted, losing team drawing well initially in the NYC market while competing directly with two other franchises and to a lesser degree with a third, were probably a stretch at the time.  (Along the same line, it should be noted the perceived attractiveness of the NYC/north Jersey market was such that a guy named Arthur Imperatore bought the Colorado Rockies franchise with the intent to move them to his native north Jersey in the late 1970s, a few years before John McMullen actually did the same thing; only the lack of a suitable arena prevented Imperatore from making the move.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Imperatore's wanting to move the team effectively killed Rocky Hockey, in that the fans who were starting to embrace the team (the Rockies had somehow managed to make the playoffs in 1978, despite winning just 19 games) now knew Denver was just a stopover until the team went somewhere else.  Peter Gilbert, who bought the team from Imperatore in 1981, actually did want to keep in the team in Colorado (it was his group that told Chico as much), but with the franchise hemorrhaging money at that point (and attendance consistently in the 8000-9000 range, if that...both the constant losing and Imperatore's very public flirting with New Jersey had severely hurt any chance of building up a real fanbase), Gilbert quickly realized he didn't have the stomach or the pockets to withstand the proper multi-year rebuild it would take to make the organization profitable.

 

In defense of McMullen, he lost about $9 million in his first five seasons as the Devils owner...previous owners had been very quick to dump the team, but McMullen did stick it out.  McMullen and later Lamoriello, when they became a tandem, definitely didn't come off as warm and fuzzy (Lou still doesn't), and right through '95 almost came off as having disdain for the Devils fanbase at times.  They weren't always on the same page either:  in the early 90s, when the Devils were becoming a yearly playoff team but seemed to be stuck in neutral, McMullen actually said to Rich Chere "Is Lou THE judge on hockey talent?  No."  As one would imagine, Lou didn't exactly appreciate that.

 

'95 was really the turning point for both men, in that the team won the Cup, and the team didn't move (which sadly did take a little of the joy of the Cup run away from many fans).  McMullen is remembered as a swell grandfatherly presence who brought a hockey team to NJ, and Lou will go down as one of the best GMs in all of sports no matter what he does.   

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0