Ok, yes, I realize that this is just a re-publishing of my comment on Brad's article at Game Time questioning the ownership having the gumption to win. I would write an original response much like Jeff did over at Bluenote Zone, but I'm actually fairly short on time and slammed at work, so this'll have to do. Go on and complain, 12 people who read my site.
Are you saying that having a bunch of irresponsible yet talented youths in their early 20s ISN'T all the Blues need?
In the comments section of Brad's thread, both TB and AverageJoe have very valid points on both sides of the line, but a lot of this falls to circumstance and luck of the draft draw (re: sucking for many consecutive seasons). Brad’s examples of Pittsburgh and Chicago are great instances of what having high draft picks can potentially bring. Having Kane and Towes together on a team with sub-par supporting cast doesn’t guarantee a winner – you have to assemble quality players. Does that mean that the whole team needs to be made up of 50 point scorers? No, because there are other qualities (defensive capabilities, locker room skills, shot blocking, PK time, whatever) that are just as important in winning games as getting on the scoreboard is.
The difference between us and Chicago, as Brad pointed out, is that they were assertive in getting free agents. It’s not necessarily about who we drafted – we’ve drafted very well and have gotten solid kids out of it – but it’s about who we have added to the mix of what we have to compliment the youth, and vice versa. Take veteran leadership, for example. Without Walt, Kariya, and Sydor that leaves us with Jackman, and to a lesser degree McDonald. Do we probably need an older gruff son of a bitch with ability remaining somewhere in the mix? Sure (I liked the idea that we weer rumored to be after Guerin). Do we need to get rid of Brewer and replace him with an actual first pairing defenseman to play with EJ? Hell yes. Do we need someone who can score? As insurance for Boyes in case he doesn’t bounce back, that would be nice.
Actually, the only position where we have taken care of all holes is goal. We have one of the most solid tandems in the league.
The ownership’s not the group responsible for getting the draft picks – that’s on the scouts. What the owners are responsible for is filling those holes around the picks. I’d never want us to do something stupid like throwing mad ducats at a player like Brian Campbell, but there are (or were) reasonably priced individuals who could add a lot to the team just sitting there.
Also, as half of the readers of my blog can attest to, having high picks without getting the goods around them is useless - see:Dany Heatley and Ilya Kovalchuk c. 2002.
Honestly, the only thing keeping me from being a bit cranky about the ownership situation right now is the fact that our major investor and large source of dough backed out. I was hoping for some sort of statement move, and I guess Halak was it. I’m still really excited about having him, but I wanted someone up front as well.
Oh well – Bobby Ryan’s still fighting with the Ducks, right?