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Since continued discussions of Lou's and Ray's tenures here still have a way of making their way into otherwise unrelated threads, thought I'd just start a thread where both of them can be analyzed and critiqued without clogging up other threads (this obviously may not work, but what the hell, worth a try).  

LOU:

Inherited a solid talent base (better than many people realize).

Team initially spun its wheels under him, but slowly he brought in pieces that would be key in time.

Finally found a coach in Lemaire who gave the team and franchise an on-ice identity and blueprint for success.

Productive drafts allowed him to let key players walk "for nothing" without missing too much of a beat, as those players were often replaced from within...he could also deal some of his youth for veterans.  Also seemed to have a knack for finding the right guys at the right time (Neal Broten in 1995, Alexander Mogilny in 2000, Jeff Friesen in 2003, among many others, including undrafted gems).  

Draft well eventually dried up almost completely.  

(My theory) I think Lou felt as long as Elias and Brodeur were in the fold (even if they were aging), he had to try to keep putting a competitive product on the ice, even when his youth pipeline had little left to offer.  2012 leads him to believe that there's still one more championship to be squeezed out of his team.  So then continues a series of patchwork UFA signings, and bringing in a fine in-his-prime Cory Schneider.  Eventually it all comes crashing down.  The three-headed monster coaching staff feels like one of many rock bottoms.  

Even when it's clearly time to blow things up, he simply won't do it.  After an incredibly successful run that does indeed end fugly, it's time to Lou and the Devils to move on from each other.  Even his most ardent fans and supporters are on board with him leaving.

I still think Lou's way can work, but it's high-risk, in that you absolutely HAVE to nail your picks, and you have to be able to recognize when it's time to stop Band-Aiding...at which point, you're willing to do what both Shero and Fitz did this year...sell off some key assets (much as it can sting) and get what you can.  I was OK with Lou being all-in with some of the playoff chases (especially when his team was still getting in every year, and not far removed from championship seasons), but at some point you gotta know it's no longer going to happen with the mish-mosh you assembled.  

 

RAY:

Obviously inherited very little.  The one guy that we felt was a sure thing for years to come in Schneider seems to be his best asset (and this speaks to how lousy Shero's luck often was here).

Was incredibly creative in finding way to give himself some kind of building blocks to use in deals later.

Does a fine job in using what little capital he has to land Palmieri and later Hall.  

Gets some great fortune in getting two #1 overall picks, despite his team not having the NHL's worst record in either of those seasons...and sadly, it feels like 99% of Shero's good luck was used up there.  Most of the rest of his luck sucks:  what seemed like another smart deal for MoJo simply doesn't pan out, Schneider's skills desert him for months at a time (KK is painfully exposed as a short-term starter only as a result), and some other "Made sense at the time" deals like Mueller and Grabner don't work out.  Though there were signs that pointed to a decline, PK looks worse than anyone could have possibly expected.

Makes a smart deal for Gusev that looks like it could pay off very well, especially since Goose has appeared to adjust to the NHL game after a very difficult start.  

Sticks with Hynes too long, then replaces him with Hynes Part Deux.

(My theory) I think Ray sped up his timetable, though he probably wasn't fully on board with doing so...I think he wanted to show Hall more than once that he did indeed want to put together a winner, and I think that probably drove the PK trade.  Though we'll never know exactly what happened, I think Ray told ownership that trying to fast-track this wasn't going to work, and that it might be better to scale back and get back to his Plan A.  Ownership's patience was already stretched thin, and that was pretty much that. 

I think Ray overall did a good job, given what he had to work with.  Even if there was some good fortune involved, getting to the playoffs within a few years seemed like a pipe dream, but he managed to put a team together that was able to do it.  Lack of internal assets continued to be an issue, and that hurt him at times...when the 2018-19 and 2019-20 teams struggled, there wasn't a ton that he could do to right the ship, though I think he should've canned Hynes earlier than he did.  Cory obviously didn't help matters, but at least Shero was able to banish him to the AHL, where other GMs might've insisted on trying to make fetch happen.  He was able to get a decent return on Hall, and signed Nico to a reasonable contract...also may have drafted a good young goalie in Blackwood...and as with many departing GMs, we still have to see how his drafts work out in time.  Even though the results don't speak to this, I don't have too many issues with Ray's time here.  If he had been given another year, I would've been on board with it.  He did leave the cupboard in much better shape than he found it.  

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976
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What do you think / feel are / should be fair expectations for Fitz going forward?

Cause i know many posters here were really clear that to them we had to be back in the playoffs within X amount of time, that a rebuild no matter from how far you were, shouldn't take more than X amount of time. We often saw posts like "Ray's record speak for itself, only made the playoffs once in 5 years", which is so damn unfair.

Fitz has a WAY better group to work with and has many assets he could flip without it being just a lateral move like Henrique for Vats.. which filled a need but created another hole kind of.

A sh!tty factor is that every team in our divisions keeps getting better too.

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Lou: Built a team that dominated for a good amount of years, 3 Cups, etc. Always seemed to have a knack for bringing in undrafted guys that panned out pretty well (Rafalski, Madden, maybe even Andy Greene). Then it all turned into a pile of sh!t. 

Ray: Inherited said pile of sh!t and tried to mold it into a fine sculpture. Failed to do so. 

Fitz: Has to figure out a way to stuff a turd back into its butthole and pull out a diamond.

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SD, as far as Fitz goes, I don't want to put any timetables on him just yet, because I'm not really sure what his plan is.  I feel like I need at least one full Fitz offseason to see what's up, to gauge what his timetable might be.  

So much depends on how the current crop of kids develops...can Blackwood be a consistently above-average puckstopper long term?  Can Hischier take a step forward and stay healthy for a full season?  Can Hughes live up to his pre-draft expectations?  What about Bratt?  And some of the young D soon to join the team?  

Good news is that at least there are some worthy young bodies to talk about.  That was definitely not the case when Shero took the job.  

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8 minutes ago, mfitz804 said:

Lou: Built a team that dominated for a good amount of years, 3 Cups, etc. Always seemed to have a knack for bringing in undrafted guys that panned out pretty well (Rafalski, Madden, maybe even Andy Greene). Then it all turned into a pile of sh!t. 

Ray: Inherited said pile of sh!t and tried to mold it into a fine sculpture. Failed to do so. 

Fitz: Has to figure out a way to stuff a turd back into its butthole and pull out a diamond.

This reads like Mr. Lahey wrote it lol

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Another good news is that i think there will be a lot of movement soon. The draft is in a month then free agency a few days later.

Many goalies are available, some top talent on the market and many guys rumoured to be on the move.

I just looked at our roster... man our D corp is ridiculous. We need to address that this year

Our "stock roster" overall is not great actually

 

Bratt  - Hischier - Gusev

Boqvist - Hughes - Palms

Wood - Zajac - Anderson

Rooney - Zacha - Hayden

 

Mueller - Subban

Mermis - Severson

Carrick - Butcher

 

Blackwood

Schneider

Zacha is just at that awkward spot where his ideal position is obviously 3C but until zajac is here that will be his. You can't really trade Zajac and Zacha could be trade-able but no sure we'd get much and then we'd need him for the future once Travis retires. You can put him on the fourth but you know.. 

Now i guess many youngsters should/could make the team. Smith is the one we REALLY need to step up. Foote and Bahl i don't think they'll be ready. Zetterlund we'll see i guess. But that doesnt make a great roster either. Hopefully we can make a few trades

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I'm thinking we should probably talk about the current Devils and Fitz in another thread?  Trying to keep this one more for Lou and Ray chatter (where their MOs, moves, and the rest can be debated and discussed without clogging up other threads).  Feels like the above should go in the thread that mfitz started (2020-2021 Devils thread):  

 

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50 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

I'm thinking we should probably talk about the current Devils and Fitz in another thread?  Trying to keep this one more for Lou and Ray chatter (where their MOs, moves, and the rest can be debated and discussed without clogging up other threads).  Feels like the above should go in the thread that mfitz started (2020-2021 Devils thread):  

Something tells me your efforts to organize things, while appreciated, will have the same result as trying to get ten 8-week old puppies to stand in a straight line. 

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1 hour ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

I'm thinking we should probably talk about the current Devils and Fitz in another thread?  Trying to keep this one more for Lou and Ray chatter (where their MOs, moves, and the rest can be debated and discussed without clogging up other threads).  Feels like the above should go in the thread that mfitz started (2020-2021 Devils thread):  

 

 

33 minutes ago, mfitz804 said:

Something tells me your efforts to organize things, while appreciated, will have the same result as trying to get ten 8-week old puppies to stand in a straight line. 

Yeah cause even-though many dont appreciate it or agree, it's still happening naturally. The topic of us sucking, not rebuilding fast enough, not having good prospects or wtv can come up in just about any discussions cause like i said.. we are in the position we are in BECAUSE of the past, you can't just blindly ignore the past cause you don't want to hear about it, it's directly interconnected with the present. And that's usually when it's brought up, in that discussions. I doubt, let's move this convo to the other thread will work every time.

But there's literally no harm in trying

Edited by SterioDesign
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Wait, so are we in this position because of the past?

Why the fvck don’t you go back and fix it, future boy, we have all seen you have all the sh!t you need to do that aside from plutonium and/or a bolt of lightning!

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56 minutes ago, mfitz804 said:

Wait, so are we in this position because of the past?

Why the fvck don’t you go back and fix it, future boy, we have all seen you have all the sh!t you need to do that aside from plutonium and/or a bolt of lightning!

Well... ok. I wouldn't want this information to fall in the wrong hands but... i'll be cryptic. 

Let's just, put out there everything we know as facts...

You've seen what i have access too... We've also seen how stubborn Lou is and simply won't budge on much, it's his way or nothing.

And we've seen how insanely frustrated i am by the way things went and how stubborn Lou is.

Now...... knowing that. I'm NOT necessarily saying it did happen but....

What if i DID go in the past and warn Lou about all of this, showing proofs and all (don't keep the first pick, forfeit it in 2012, trade this guy before its too late, try to sign this guy early, don't draft these guys, fire Conte, don't sign these dudes to these horrible contract etc etc)... but that he was so damn stubborn that even that didn't change his mind at all.

So... for the sake of it and without saying it 100% happened... on paper, all of this does makes a lot of sense right?

Edited by SterioDesign
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32 minutes ago, SterioDesign said:

Well... ok. I wouldn't want this information to fall in the wrong hands but... i'll be cryptic. 

Let's just, put out there everything we know as facts...

You've seen what i have access too... We've also seen how stubborn Lou is and simply won't budge on much, it's his way or nothing.

And we've seen how insanely frustrated i am by the way things went and how stubborn Lou is.

Now...... knowing that. I'm NOT necessarily saying it did happen but....

What if i DID go in the past and warn Lou about all of this, showing proofs and all (don't keep the first pick, forfeit it in 2012, trade this guy before its too late, try to sign this guy early, don't draft these guys, fire Conte, don't sign these dudes to these horrible contract etc etc)... but that he was so damn stubborn that even that didn't change his mind at all.

So... for the sake of it and without saying it 100% happened... on paper, all of this does makes a lot of sense right?

Just make sure you don't almost make out with your mom and ruin hockey forever. 

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39 minutes ago, SterioDesign said:

Well... ok. I wouldn't want this information to fall in the wrong hands but... i'll be cryptic. 

Let's just, put out there everything we know as facts...

You've seen what i have access too... We've also seen how stubborn Lou is and simply won't budge on much, it's his way or nothing.

And we've seen how insanely frustrated i am by the way things went and how stubborn Lou is.

Now...... knowing that. I'm NOT necessarily saying it did happen but....

What if i DID go in the past and warn Lou about all of this, showing proofs and all (don't keep the first pick, forfeit it in 2012, trade this guy before its too late, try to sign this guy early, don't draft these guys, fire Conte, don't sign these dudes to these horrible contract etc etc)... but that he was so damn stubborn that even that didn't change his mind at all.

So... for the sake of it and without saying it 100% happened... on paper, all of this does makes a lot of sense right?

Just don't bring Gray's Sports Almanac with you to try to make your case...for one, it only goes to up the year 2000.  For another, how the hell could a book that had EVERY sports result from 1950-2000 be so damned thin?!  How small of a print did they use?!  Who the hell could even read it?!

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5 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

Just don't bring Gray's Sports Almanac with you to try to make your case...for one, it only goes to up the year 2000.  For another, how the hell could a book that had EVERY sports result from 1950-2000 be so damned thin?!  How small of a print did they use?!  Who the hell could even read it?!

I like that its a movie where a weirdo "scientist" built a time machine into a DeLorean, but the size of the book and its font are the things you don't believe are possible. 

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44 minutes ago, mfitz804 said:

Just make sure you don't almost make out with your mom and ruin hockey forever. 

This is all wrong...I don’t know what it is, but when I kiss you, I feel like I’m kissing...A RANGER.

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