The hypothesis is rather simple:
This post is not about iginla or any other player in particular. It IS about a confluence of errors by MG that has put us in a position to not compete for the cup today, not compete for it tomorrow and not be in the position to go aquire the players to help us compete now when we have a window. As I mentioned below - we are 'stuck in the middle'. Not good enough to win now, competitive yes, no depth to see a bright future, and no depth to trade to get us over the hump now. These are all things that MG stated he would change taking over from Nonis. This team is largely the same. Its depth is argubaly worse as is its pipeline.
I was initially a fan of MG's when he first came. Given he had years of experience evaluating players as an agent (clearly he had to focus on trying to find the diamonds in the rough and sign them), his desire to address the whole organization from player development in the minors to ensuring his NHL players were well taken care of, he seemed like he was going to come in and make a big difference.
5-6 years (however many he's been here) later, my opinion of him is changing. Not 'changed' yet but starting to lean to a view of happy with above average play and competing for a cup vs. WINNING one.
Now don't get me wrong, I believe he wants to win, but doesn't have the nerve to make the 'big move'. Part of this is due to lack of depth, but then whom do we blame for that? He has been here 5 years and honestly the depth of this organization is probably as bad as its ever been. Here are my thoughts.
1. He has made some good moves, lets not be one sided, and for those he needs to be commended. Signing the Sedins to decent contracts, Schnieds, Edler, Hamhuis, finding Tanev, Burrows, even Garrison is looking like he's coming around.
2. The team went to the cup and has been winning in the regular season. Erhoff for a bag of pucks was a steal and he was not worth what Buffalo paid, so I give him credit on both the catch and the release.
However, since the cup finals he has made alot of bad moves and now at a time when this team is really at a crossroads, seems like he's happy to stand pat. At a time when you see pittsburgh going after Morrow, rumours on Iginla going there, Boston, Chicago, we say we don't want a winger. MG doesn't want a winger with heart and grit? Size, who can score? Even as a rental? This is where his errors begin.
1. He has incorrectly evaluated the character of his team, and ability to compete in the post season. In 2011 his team got hot at the right time and they had a much grittier mix of players. Moroever, his current players that were on that roster, were playing much harder, like they had something to prove (Kesler, Edler, Bieksa, even Lou).
2. He then felt, because of that play, he needed only to 'tinker' with his lineup. Well last year's exit, how we seem to get manhandled by larger teams should say enough, but he still ignores this, almost delusionally thinking, perhaps due to denial, that his choices were correct and they will come around and compete when its time. This is his fatal flaw.
3. Adding marginal players with big salaries who have not played to those salaries. Booth - size, sped and hands apparently - he's been a bust, lets face it. Overpaid for a 30 goal year and he's shown none of that here. Perhaps its just the wrong system but he doesn't use his size, hasn't scored and doesn't seem to be a threat on the ice.
4. Wasting money on ballard. I love ballard and i think he could be a top 4. But there is no room for him and AV hates him. So why did MG spend 4 ml on a player we didnt need? Better off finding a stay at home tough dman for 2-3 ml who makes few errors and is good with the first pass.
5. Timing of the CoHo deal. No need to flog a dead horse here. I love Kassian but the timing was atrocious.
6. Signing Lu to the monster deal when he KNEW he had a stud in Schnieder. His ability to judge talent should have told him, lets at least hedge. I don't anticipate ever trading the guy but keep some flexibility given I should be able to see Schnieds has potential.
7. Allowing Torres to leave over 750k. We lacked intensity and grit and he lets it walk. Its showing now and will in the playoffs
8. Best for last. A lack of willingess to 'go for it'. With Jerome Iginla available, Vancouver on his list, he comes out and says no wingers. Well why is that? Well 1. We need a center. Well why is that? Well he's failed to create depth at the MOST important position in hockey - that is his fault. In addition we have a plethora of wingers. Too bad they are either all too small to compete in the playoffs or are plugs. Futher, we have a lack of prospect depth, not allowing us to provide the other team with enough incentive to trade with us, without taking a roster player (ie Pitts has incredible depth in their system on D and they haven't had great draft positions either).
Jerome Iginla gives the 2013 Canucks a fighting chance at the cup. He brings heart, a winner's attitude, leadership, 30 real goals, a guy who can play on the pp, a guy who will teach Kesler, Kassian, Edler what it means to compete and want it - but we don't want that?
MG is showing us, he's happy with a team that competes in the regular season, and has an outside chance at the cup if it gets lucky, but isn't willing to go all in. Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh, are all trying to go all in and they have younger teams.
What this tells me is MG's strategy is really to be what we call in business - "Stuck in the middle". He won't go for it, but he's not weak enough to rebuild. We're starting to look like San Jose, Calgary of the 2000's and soon Toronto.
One would suggest he has to make a choice, my argument is, his confluence of errors means he already has made his choices and now is paying for them.
To have the Sedins in their prime and not be in a position to challenge for a cup is terrible. They are slowing, we can all see it. Kesler is constantly hurt and an egomaniac so not addressing our issues at center is unbelievable. Kassian is being misused and is really our only player with size AND hands, Luongo and his 5.3 million. are wasted on the bench when at worst he could have brought cap releif and picks we could have used as part of a deadline rental.
MG has scuttled this team due to his own willingess to accept mediocrity.
Edited by BuretoMogilny, 28 March 2013 - 04:57 AM.