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Tom Fitzgerald Appreciation Thread


Colorado Rockies 1976

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4 minutes ago, Dillon said:

Super job with the Meier trade.

And he's trying to work out a deal with Bratt as we speak.

He is?  I kinda get the impression nothing will happen with Bratt and Meier’s contracts until after the season’s over.

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It felt like the team was still spinning its wheels after nearly 5 years of Shero. When Fitz was named interim I was worried he would be a Shero-lite but damn he has done an amazing job. Even his bad moves weren’t terrible. Hes makes big moves that aren’t too risky and has proven to be incredibly patient, like not overpaying for Tkachuk or Debrincat and taking his shot with Meier at the right time. It’ll be a true shame if this group and Fitz don’t lift a cup together one day. Either way, he’s pulled us out of the doldrums and built a hell of a team.

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1 hour ago, NJDevils1214 said:

I remember it wasn't that long ago people were throwing a fit because he was in the crowd with his wife to watch his kid play a game in Buffalo or Florida or something.

My only knock on Fitz is for trading away Okhotiuk for beating up his son in the AHL. :P

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3 hours ago, Lateralous said:

Great post.  I can’t imagine he doesn’t have a well earned 2023 Jim Gregory Award locked up at this point.  

He SHOULD get it, but they'll probably give it to Francis or whoever the Kraken GM is.

But yes his fingerprints are all over the team now.  He wasn't afraid to give out big deals to Dougie and Palat, seemingly won't be afraid of paying Timo and Bratt now, and has totally remade the D and goaltending in short order.  Bahl and Severson are the only guys who predate Fitz at this point on the blueline and bringing in Vanecek plus signing him for three years couldn't have worked out better.

Edited by NJDevs4978
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3 hours ago, Devil Dan 56 said:

It felt like the team was still spinning its wheels after nearly 5 years of Shero. When Fitz was named interim I was worried he would be a Shero-lite but damn he has done an amazing job. Even his bad moves weren’t terrible. Hes makes big moves that aren’t too risky and has proven to be incredibly patient, like not overpaying for Tkachuk or Debrincat and taking his shot with Meier at the right time. It’ll be a true shame if this group and Fitz don’t lift a cup together one day. Either way, he’s pulled us out of the doldrums and built a hell of a team.

I wouldn't sh!t on Shero too much.  If Shero had started with what Fitz had in 2020 and then made the Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri trades, he would look like a genius as well. 

I'm glad we have Tom Fitzgerald as our GM now but Shero oversaw two of the most important decisions in recent Devils history taking Hischier and Hughes instead of Patrick and Kakko.  This looks very different if he F's up either one of those.   He also resisted the temptation to hamstring us with a long deal for a deteriorating Taylor Hall.  Bratt is also a nice pick from his scouting department.            

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2 minutes ago, Lateralous said:

I wouldn't sh!t on Shero too much.  If Shero had started with what Fitz had in 2020 and then made the Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri trades, he would look like a genius as well. 

I'm glad we have Tom Fitzgerald as our GM now but Shero oversaw two of the most important decisions in recent Devils history taking Hischier and Hughes instead of Patrick and Kakko.  This looks very different if he F's up either one of those.   He also resisted the temptation to hamstring us with a long deal for a deteriorating Taylor Hall.  Bratt is also a nice pick from his scouting department.            

Yeah Shero definitely made contributions here.  Lots of moves didn’t work out for him, but it wasn’t for lack of effort.  

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1 hour ago, NJDevs4978 said:

He SHOULD get it, but they'll probably give it to Francis or whoever the Kraken GM is.

But yes his fingerprints are all over the team now.  He wasn't afraid to give out big deals to Dougie and Palat, seemingly won't be afraid of paying Timo and Bratt now, and has totally remade the D and goaltending in short order.  Bahl and Severson are the only guys who predate Fitz at this point on the blueline and bringing in Vanecek plus signing him for three years couldn't have worked out better.

Also signed Jack to a full-term extension that damned near looks like robbery now.  

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6 hours ago, Devilsfan118 said:

Give this interview a listen and tell me you're not over the moon with this guy as our GM:

 

https://pca.st/episode/e8c7b97c-3917-4095-a1e1-741990eb0754

Thanks for posting the podcast!

Regarding the Devils/Rangers rivalry, Fitz says, “it’s back.”  I love that he referenced the 90s and early 2000s.  I can’t wait for March 30th.

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Shero svcked. I made breakdown before. He decided to make retool instead rebuild. His "success" was result of his failures not of his decisions. Im` glad and thankful he drafted Nico and Jack over Nolan and Kakko. That was good. His 2017 offseason was good. Hall trade was fun. Other than that - a lot of gambles, wrong decisions, bad trade strategy, horrible defensive building. Horrible. And hynes faith. Good luck and no luck. 

Fitz starting to make rebuild, always reactive with problem, was unluck with goalies, but I don`t like his goalie decision previous season, he could do much better. Sign Ullmark, find trade option instead Hammond. Stillman pick was bad, I understand that he trust his scouts(CHL scout who drafted Mcleod, Smith and Stillman, was fired after) but decisions in first round are important. I understand that they wanted grit player and we should forget about Morrow(who was actually hardest need of organisation), Ratty or Stankoven, but Knies was the same type of player with better skills. That was big analytic mistake. 
Other than that  - he was smart, good, reactive, patient etc. Great job. Time to sign Bratt and Meier. Like I said past summer - we should give Bratt 8 mil, but I feel this train left the station. Now it looks like we are talking about 8.375-9.25 mil. And i`m ok with it. And we never know who was fault that Bratt wasn`t signed after previous season - Fitz, who could want to give 7 mil only or Bratt`s agent who was famoused as pain in the vss. 

Thanks, Tom. You are doing well. Much better than Shero. And I`m very thankfull for that.
 

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1 hour ago, Guadana said:

Shero svcked. I made breakdown before. He decided to make retool instead rebuild. His "success" was result of his failures not of his decisions. Im` glad and thankful he drafted Nico and Jack over Nolan and Kakko. That was good. His 2017 offseason was good. Hall trade was fun. Other than that - a lot of gambles, wrong decisions, bad trade strategy, horrible defensive building. Horrible. And hynes faith. Good luck and no luck. 

Fitz starting to make rebuild, always reactive with problem, was unluck with goalies, but I don`t like his goalie decision previous season, he could do much better. Sign Ullmark, find trade option instead Hammond. Stillman pick was bad, I understand that he trust his scouts(CHL scout who drafted Mcleod, Smith and Stillman, was fired after) but decisions in first round are important. I understand that they wanted grit player and we should forget about Morrow(who was actually hardest need of organisation), Ratty or Stankoven, but Knies was the same type of player with better skills. That was big analytic mistake. 
Other than that  - he was smart, good, reactive, patient etc. Great job. Time to sign Bratt and Meier. Like I said past summer - we should give Bratt 8 mil, but I feel this train left the station. Now it looks like we are talking about 8.375-9.25 mil. And i`m ok with it. And we never know who was fault that Bratt wasn`t signed after previous season - Fitz, who could want to give 7 mil only or Bratt`s agent who was famoused as pain in the vss. 

Thanks, Tom. You are doing well. Much better than Shero. And I`m very thankfull for that.
 

Shero didn't suck...the team did make the playoffs under his watch, when it didn't feel like that was going to be possible as soon as it was.  He had very little to work with...he tried to build some kind of a beginning of a core (Palms, Hall) with what he could. 

That being said, Fitz has been FAR more successful with "picks and/or spare parts for useful" player transactions.  He turned Ty Smith into John Marino, a 3rd rounder into Siegs, and a 2nd rounder and 3rd rounder into VV and a 2nd rounder.  The same kinds of deals for Shero too often yielded guys like Mirco Mueller and Marcus Johansson, especially when it was time to try to build upon 2017-18.  Cory's sudden decline was obviously a major issue too.  And I love what Fitz has done but he's also benefitting from Nico, Jack and Jesper all blossoming at the same time...Shero had more raw versions of those players.  And he did draft them all under his watch.

But yeah, Shero may have done some good things here and there in transition, but Fitz feels like the right guy to try to take this home.  Glad it's him.

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976
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37 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

Shero didn't suck...the team did make the playoffs under his watch, when it didn't feel like that was going to be possible as soon as it was.  He had very little to work with...he tried to build some kind of a beginning of a core (Palms, Hall) with what he could.  And wasn't his 

That being said, Fitz has been FAR more successful with "picks and/or spare parts for useful" player transactions.  He turned Ty Smith into John Marino, a 3rd rounder into Siegs, and a 2nd rounder and 3rd rounder into VV and a 2nd rounder.  The same kinds of deals for Shero too often yielded guys like Mirco Mueller and Marcus Johansson, especially when it was time to try to build upon 2017-18.  Cory's sudden decline was obviously a major issue too.  And I love what Fitz has done but he's also benefitting from Nico, Jack and Jesper all blossoming at the same time...Shero had more raw versions of those players.  And he did draft them all under his watch.

But yeah, Shero may have done some good things here and there in transition, but Fitz feels like the right guy to try to take this home.  Glad it's him.

omg he did

 

When you are trying to rank someone`s job, you evaluate his conclusions about the situation, you evaluate the actions he took, their logic, what it all led to.

I know he has nothing to work with. Everybody knows. What he decided to do? He prefer to making retool? What he actually sell for it? Nothing. Only 2nd and 3rd round picks. Wrong decision. 
But it`s ok. As retooling team what he actually decided to sign to help? Close to nothing. 
He was blinded by a team that was covered but Schneider only. He traded Hall - its not rebuild. Its retool around Hall after. How he helped? Mirco Muller? 
He traded 2nd and 3rd again for a team that has nothing in prospect pipe line. 
And that`s all. He tried to make better team with Rico, Zajac and Hall with Palms and ofcourse had nothing, because team was really bad. He failed it but he was lucky to win first pick. That was NOT his target. He shoped his picks. 
And than he did good job and made a lot of moves. And team was good enough to take play off spot by 1 point in final game. When goalie situation was actually pretty dangerous. 
What he did after? absolutely nothing. We lost Maroon. Team has only one line to produce.
And after that we were bad, goalie situation was close to be bad and he was lucky enough again to have Blackwood, who was sometimes very good, sometimes very bad. 
What he did? He traded second round picks for Subban who was the same what we got in defense, added him for a team with Butcher, Severson and Smith in the pipe line. And Gusev`s trade. Good player but no players to play with. And Corps of Simmonds. All three player were gamble. 

Defensive building. What he actually made right when he tried to build defense? Only Vats was right dicision. Every other move was pretty bad. And he clearly didn`t understand what he actually doing. Muller, Shlemko, Butcher, Walsh, Smith, Moore. Every player was bad defenseman. Most of them - pp qb. 

Drafting - no defensemen in four years in two first rounds. He drafted Mcleod when Devils have good season of Rico, Zajac and drafted Zacha year ago in retooling mode. Bad decision. And Mcleod IN THE DRAFT DAY was projected as 2-3 line center, no more. When there were two defensemen with obvious top-2\4 potential. 

And Hall trade. It`s a Fitzgerald succes to draft Mercer and trade Siegenthaler. Because Shero traded Muller and Subban.  When he did the trade of ex Hart trophy winner, he got meh first round picks(Arizona were good and Hall should make them better, but they lost Kuemper, and even than it was only 18th pick) and bunch of nothing with Bahl. Who was defenseman with pretty meh skating(like Shero loves) and the best from the west were picks that used by Fitz.
___________
Shero decided to pick wrong strategy(retool instead rebuild). He was passive for retooling - he didn`t signed good players from the market, he wasn`t active on the free agents market, only in 2017 offseason(reason why I think he was good there, even with some not working move he made the moves, he worked). He wasn`t good in first second rounds(when he had second round picks) outside 1OA. 1OA were good. I don`t see problem to admit it. He lost the value of second round pickswhen team actually has nothing in prospect pool.
And he was drammatically bad in defensive building. He clearly didn`t understand how to build modern defense. 
And Hynes-Nass-story. They were bad with young players.
I understand that he has nothing after Lou left the building. But he made a lot of bad decisions. People should admit that trades of Palmieri and Hall were great. But it`s a good trades in vacuum. In context absolutelty the most of Shero decisions were bad or\and wrong. 1OA picks were good and right. He was luck to win the lottery. 
Thanks for hart, thanks for Nico and Jack, but it isn`t enough. He lost his job absolutely deservedly and logically. And I didn't find a new similar job for a reason. Don`t be blind by Jack\Nico\Hall trade lights. Chiarelli won the cup. It doesn`t make him good gm.

After his departure, Fitz started huge rebuild of defense, changed philosophy of the team, made more good trades than Shero in lesser amount of time. Shero didn`t have Anersons or Maltsevs or 3rd picks? Even Smith was young but he was so fvckin bad. Ofcourse he was Shero`s picks. And no matter how bad he was, Fitz translate it in the good defenseman. Idea and results of Fitz trading shows how you can make better trades in shorter period of time. Fitz clearly understand what kind of player he wanted. It was not the gamble like Gusev, Subban, Muller and other players.

Edited by Guadana
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@Guadana that post was a little hard to follow, but I wasn't saying that Shero should still be the GM or that he did some awesome job...he did some things well, but yeah, too many gambles (some of which seemed like reasonable ones, to be fair) didn't pay off...it's a results-oriented business and eventually if they're not adding up to wins, you gotta go...at the time I would've been willing to give him a little longer, but not much.  And of course he did stick with Hynes entirely too long.  Not going to get on him too much for not hitting any home runs in UFA...no one wanted to come here at that point.   

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8 minutes ago, Colorado Rockies 1976 said:

@Guadana that post was a little hard to follow, but I wasn't saying that Shero should still be the GM or that he did some awesome job...he did some things well, but yeah, too many gambles (some of which seemed like reasonable ones, to be fair) didn't pay off...it's a results-oriented business and eventually if they're not adding up to wins, you gotta go...at the time I would've been willing to give him a little longer, but not much.  And of course he did stick with Hynes entirely too long.  Not going to get on him too much for not hitting any home runs in UFA...no one wanted to come here at that point.   

Sorry, it`s a trigger thing for me) And for not native speaker it isn`t so easy to make structured analysis of prerequisites, the sequence of decisions and their expediency.

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The point with Shero was he was in an awful position, he then did not make any disasterous mistakes, but he also did not make smart choices in building the team.

He of course got lucky with the lotto but then made the correct picks which many Devils fans had different opinions on, so that's a strong positive.

Guadana is 100 percent right though in his critical takes, Shero really had no clue what to do in buiding a today's NHL game defense, and that combined with his wanting to keep all power and refusal to fire his friend are what cost him his job.

Fitz has done well so far, of course his Stillman pick sticks out very badly, including his remarks when they drafted him. 

I mean it was obvious in interviews that he did not know of Stillman even played in Europe that season and just mentioned the junior tourney he played in that spring right before the draft.

When you make a 1st you should never make that pick on single tourney, and it seems back then that Stillman was very rugged in that Dallas tournament and so Fitz and or the fired scout ingnored lots of sample size evidence of who this player was for a tiny sample of team needing type of play.

The best thing about the ORG currently to me is their European scouts, I hope they all have recieved raises the last couple of years, and the team continues to just draft those exact types of players.

The same is true for last year's American kids and the Filmon pick, more of that please.

Oh and can we please get our goalies coaches/scouts heavily invested in watching Russian junior leagues, and every year or two draft one of those goalies in the middle rounds, as the odds are you're eventually going to get a really good one.

 

 

Edited by Patrick Sundstrom Ghost
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