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[Discussion] Examining how good this team actually is

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VegasCanuck

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While I love how this team has played under BB (for the most part), I'd like to reserve comments on direction of the team until TDL. 

The games leading up until March 21 will be indicative of which direction we should go.

Consistency is the biggest issue. I guess the question is, do we think we have the guys that can bexome more consistent or are they who they are at this point? 

Horvat needs to be more consistent. 

Boeser doesn't look deserving of the QO he is due

Myers has brain farts

Hogz needa to be better defensively. (points should come) 

While we have been one of the top teams since BB's arrival, there are holes on the team. 

If it looks like we are going to miss rhe playoffs this year at the TDL, is it better to address some of these issues or run it back again next year? 

No doubt this is a playoff team but the question is, is it a cup calibre team or do we make tweaks in a year where we under perform and miss the playoffs for a bigger payoff next year? 

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I think this team does have the building blocks in place, but I think there's a few mismatched fits which is what's mostly hurting us. Hughes not having a legit top 4 D to play with, OEL playing with Myers has been well enough defensively but poor offensively. We don't really have a 3rd pair but with Hamonic back there's some legitimacy there. 

 

We have a very good top 6 and a great 4th line. The 3rd line is in need of a centre, and bad. I'm not saying Petey/Miller/Bo are not good centres, but rather that I want all 3 on the top 2 lines. With Petey back to being himself we could try the Lotto line again, but who centres the 3rd line then? Even with Dickinson healthy, he's just not good there. 

 

The main move this team needs to make, IMO, is to shed Myers. If you go back to pre-season (I know, it's just pre-season) you'll see how OEL played with Poolman. He was much more aggressive and was creating offensively. Why was that? Because he knew he had Poolman staying back and playing the defensive role. Poolman isn't a top 4 defender either but the fit itself IMO would maximize OEL. Hughes needs a similar partner. Wish we kept Tanev because they were LEGIT. If you give OEL a partner that thinks D first (at a high level) I think you'd have one of the top pairs in the league. OEL himself is so good in his own zone that giving him a guy to let him be offensive would be the only way for this team to get full value out of his contract. 

 

The sad part is to make this all work someone is going to have to get traded, and it'll likely be at least one top guy. ATM I would put my money on Brock being that guy. He has all the tools to be a 40 goal scorer but it's been an up and down year. Not all his fault. He'd still fetch you quite a bit (right handed shot, goal scorer) so I actually don't think his value is low. On the other hand, if you can move guys like Pearson/Dickinson/Hamonic/Poolman/Myers then you can easily keep your core. Hog and Pod SHOULD continue to get better and remain cost controlled on their next contract too, which would help you round out your forward group without breaking the bank. 

 

To sum it up, this team needs to find a 3rd line centre and 2 right side d-men. This, IMO, solves most of your inconsistency problems because you have everybody making everybody's job easier. You'll have a team that can roll 4 lines and at least 2 D-Pairs that you can deploy against anybody with how good Hughes has been in his own end.

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2 minutes ago, CanucksJay said:

While I love how this team has played under BB (for the most part), I'd like to reserve comments on direction of the team until TDL. 

The games leading up until March 21 will be indicative of which direction we should go.

Consistency is the biggest issue. I guess the question is, do we think we have the guys that can bexome more consistent or are they who they are at this point? 

Horvat needs to be more consistent. 

Boeser doesn't look deserving of the QO he is due

Myers has brain farts

Hogz needa to be better defensively. (points should come) 

While we have been one of the top teams since BB's arrival, there are holes on the team. 

If it looks like we are going to miss rhe playoffs this year at the TDL, is it better to address some of these issues or run it back again next year? 

No doubt this is a playoff team but the question is, is it a cup calibre team or do we make tweaks in a year where we under perform and miss the playoffs for a bigger payoff next year? 

I agree with everything you say. I'm hoping that they will continue to improve under BB. Boeser started well, and then got stuck outside the country with Covid and lost his momentum. Those first 6 or 8 games for him under BB, he was looking more like his old self again. Hoglander I think needed to be called out and challenged more on his defensive play, and I'm hoping that now that he has a goal, we'll start to see him recover his offensive touch. The kid has moves like few others on the team, and even though he's short, he's built more like a tank. Myers definitely needs to be more consistent in his own end. He' has games where he looks like a Norris defenseman, then plays where he looks like a first year rookie.

 

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2 minutes ago, Vinny in Vancouver said:

If you are looking at just wins and losses, you also have to somehow factor in the win bounce due to a change in coaching - e.g., see Montreal and Edmonton. 

We got the win bounce and then we got hammered by Covid and guys getting stuck outside the country. Now that we're through that, we seem to be returning to where I think we should be as a team. Over the course of a regular season, the group that we have together should be capable of delivering somewhere between .650 and .680 hockey over the course of a full 82 games season.

 

If we were to prorate the points from games where we had guys who were out of the lineup, not because of injury or actually being sick, since BB took over we're probably closer to .690 or even .700 hockey.

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4 minutes ago, luongianone said:

I think this team does have the building blocks in place, but I think there's a few mismatched fits which is what's mostly hurting us. Hughes not having a legit top 4 D to play with, OEL playing with Myers has been well enough defensively but poor offensively. We don't really have a 3rd pair but with Hamonic back there's some legitimacy there. 

 

We have a very good top 6 and a great 4th line. The 3rd line is in need of a centre, and bad. I'm not saying Petey/Miller/Bo are not good centres, but rather that I want all 3 on the top 2 lines. With Petey back to being himself we could try the Lotto line again, but who centres the 3rd line then? Even with Dickinson healthy, he's just not good there. 

 

The main move this team needs to make, IMO, is to shed Myers. If you go back to pre-season (I know, it's just pre-season) you'll see how OEL played with Poolman. He was much more aggressive and was creating offensively. Why was that? Because he knew he had Poolman staying back and playing the defensive role. Poolman isn't a top 4 defender either but the fit itself IMO would maximize OEL. Hughes needs a similar partner. Wish we kept Tanev because they were LEGIT. If you give OEL a partner that thinks D first (at a high level) I think you'd have one of the top pairs in the league. OEL himself is so good in his own zone that giving him a guy to let him be offensive would be the only way for this team to get full value out of his contract. 

 

The sad part is to make this all work someone is going to have to get traded, and it'll likely be at least one top guy. ATM I would put my money on Brock being that guy. He has all the tools to be a 40 goal scorer but it's been an up and down year. Not all his fault. He'd still fetch you quite a bit (right handed shot, goal scorer) so I actually don't think his value is low. On the other hand, if you can move guys like Pearson/Dickinson/Hamonic/Poolman/Myers then you can easily keep your core. Hog and Pod SHOULD continue to get better and remain cost controlled on their next contract too, which would help you round out your forward group without breaking the bank. 

 

To sum it up, this team needs to find a 3rd line centre and 2 right side d-men. This, IMO, solves most of your inconsistency problems because you have everybody making everybody's job easier. You'll have a team that can roll 4 lines and at least 2 D-Pairs that you can deploy against anybody with how good Hughes has been in his own end.

Good post. 

I do however like Miller Petey and Bo Lammiko as the 4 Cs

I also agree that we can probably keep the core if we can find a way to trade guys like Poolman, Dickinson, Pearson however, is Boeser a good fit for this team going forward? Im a Boeser fan and loved how he played last year and in the bubble but it looks like we are trying to become a faster team and I dunno if Boeser fits that criteria. 

His defensive awareness is questionable as well. 

If he is not scoring, hes not adding much to the team. Hes making too much to be a passenger 

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1 minute ago, CanucksJay said:

Good post. 

I do however like Miller Petey and Bo Lammiko as the 4 Cs

I also agree that we can probably keep the core if we can find a way to trade guys like Poolman, Dickinson, Pearson however, is Boeser a good fit for this team going forward? Im a Boeser fan and loved how he played last year and in the bubble but it looks like we are trying to become a faster team and I dunno if Boeser fits that criteria. 

His defensive awareness is questionable as well. 

If he is not scoring, hes not adding much to the team. Hes making too much to be a passenger 

I agree. It's hard for me to campaign trading Boeser because he's repeatedly said how much he loves it here and has expressed desire to stay. But business is business and out of our main forwards he's the weakest one IMO.

 

On the other hand I also understand the trade JT talk. He'll be 29 in 10 days, and he's going to want to cash out on his next deal. He'll start his next deal at 30 years old. This is the best year of his career so far, and chances are he's not going to score at this pace again. That being said, he's an all situational guy that can play multiple positions and multiple roles. You can probably count on one hand how many players there are in the league with that ability.

 

So, do you want to trade Brock because he's the weakest link?

Do you want to trade JT because there's a risk of his contract aging poorly? + he also fetches you the best return.

 

I also do love having that 4 centre lineup. The part I don't like is when one of them has to play with a plug like Chiasson. Easy move is to find a better player than Chiasson, but then again, cap space. You also have Dickinson making over 2.5 and the 4th line is too good to break up. You also don't know if you can even keep that 4th line together depending on how much $$ they want.

 

There's not an easy solution here. Team needs work, no doubt. I would start from the back end and work my way to the forwards. Build from the net out. If you can give Demko good defence in front of him we'd see him rack up the shutouts.

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1 minute ago, luongianone said:

I agree. It's hard for me to campaign trading Boeser because he's repeatedly said how much he loves it here and has expressed desire to stay. But business is business and out of our main forwards he's the weakest one IMO.

 

On the other hand I also understand the trade JT talk. He'll be 29 in 10 days, and he's going to want to cash out on his next deal. He'll start his next deal at 30 years old. This is the best year of his career so far, and chances are he's not going to score at this pace again. That being said, he's an all situational guy that can play multiple positions and multiple roles. You can probably count on one hand how many players there are in the league with that ability.

 

So, do you want to trade Brock because he's the weakest link?

Do you want to trade JT because there's a risk of his contract aging poorly? + he also fetches you the best return.

 

I also do love having that 4 centre lineup. The part I don't like is when one of them has to play with a plug like Chiasson. Easy move is to find a better player than Chiasson, but then again, cap space. You also have Dickinson making over 2.5 and the 4th line is too good to break up. You also don't know if you can even keep that 4th line together depending on how much $$ they want.

 

There's not an easy solution here. Team needs work, no doubt. I would start from the back end and work my way to the forwards. Build from the net out. If you can give Demko good defence in front of him we'd see him rack up the shutouts.

Great post. 

I would love to keep the 4th line together.

Priority signing for me would be Motte as he can also move up to 3rd line and is so versatile. 

I think keeping the 4th line together gives us the best value in terms of money for performance. 

The points you make about Miller and Boeser are solid. Do we use them to rebuild our defence? 

However is defence actually a problem when we allow the fewest goals 5 v 5?

Wasnt poor PK what sunk us? 

I think consistency and mindset is our biggest issue. 

BB nailed it when he said the team has a woe is me mentality. He said we didn't have that mentality last night when we gave up the lead. We continued to battle and fight. 

I want a team of battlers. I think we have the skillset. We dont have the mindset to perform consistently. 

I would be ok if the management team shipped out guys that dont battle rather than getting the best possible asset management. 

 

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, CanucksJay said:

Great post. 

I would love to keep the 4th line together.

Priority signing for me would be Motte as he can also move up to 3rd line and is so versatile. 

I think keeping the 4th line together gives us the best value in terms of money for performance. 

The points you make about Miller and Boeser are solid. Do we use them to rebuild our defence? 

However is defence actually a problem when we allow the fewest goals 5 v 5?

Wasnt poor PK what sunk us? 

I think consistency and mindset is our biggest issue. 

BB nailed it when he said the team has a woe is me mentality. He said we didn't have that mentality last night when we gave up the lead. We continued to battle and fight. 

I want a team of battlers. I think we have the skillset. We dont have the mindset to perform consistently. 

I would be ok if the management team shipped out guys that dont battle rather than getting the best possible asset management. 

 

 

 

 

Our team has began struggling 5v5 defensively over a lot of metrics in the past little while. They have performed admirably for most of the year but it's still an issue. They're poor at breaking the puck out and don't create nearly enough offence. Your back end needs to be a scoring threat. At the moment only Hughes is. That's a big, big problem. We have 13 mill accumulated to OEL and Myers and they provide minimal offensively. 

 

PK is a huge problem that needs to be addressed for sure. Part of that equation is still a defender. 

 

Our teams mindset is definitely an issue. We need a culture change in the locker room. Some sandpaper guys that drag you into the fight whether you like it or not. Just once I wanna see these guys stand up for each other aggressively. Not just hold someone by the jersey for a few seconds. Not enough players on this team play pissed off like JT does.

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43 minutes ago, CanucksJay said:

Good post. 

I do however like Miller Petey and Bo Lammiko as the 4 Cs

I also agree that we can probably keep the core if we can find a way to trade guys like Poolman, Dickinson, Pearson however, is Boeser a good fit for this team going forward? Im a Boeser fan and loved how he played last year and in the bubble but it looks like we are trying to become a faster team and I dunno if Boeser fits that criteria. 

His defensive awareness is questionable as well. 

If he is not scoring, hes not adding much to the team. Hes making too much to be a passenger 

I'm generally on board with your thought process - BUT - I strongly suspect Boeser is traded as he is a one-dimensional player (a shooter.) that we will likely not afford to keep and don't be surprised if Horvat is gone too - if the management is truly intent on changing the culture of this team from a passive-agressive, neutered Euro/Swede finesse style Sedin-Like led team, to a more rugged team of fast skaters of size, grit and comsistant play.  That would not susprise me one bit and I'm almost expecting it at this point.   (Besides, we all know who the true leader on this team is!)

 

Ditto for some of our softer and less talented & consistant players like Hoglander, Pearson, Hunt, Chiasson, Hamonic to name a few.   All of the above and possibly some of our higher priced defenceman like Myers & OEL (to name a few) might be offloaded to free up cap space and bring in younger, hungrier D's that can actually score on occassion, as we essentially have close to "ZERO" output (except for QH) from our back end and will never go far without that.

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Remember on Boeser, just because his QO is over 7 million, doesn't mean that we couldn't sign him to a 6 or 8 year extension at 6 - 6.5 million. Few players of his stature, accept a 1 year QO. They want stability of a long term deal.

 

We all know that he's better than his numbers reflect right now, I would think lock him up long term for around 6 million per, personally.

 

QO's are generally only accepted by guys coming off their ELC, who want a year to prove that they deserve a much higher number.

 

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It's not really about how good or how bad the team is.

 

The reality is making the post season will be a grind so management needs to be proactive and take advantage of the current position and their analysis.

 

In other words, if the team misses the playoffs and 3 or 4 players walk to UFA that's terrible. So make the adjustments now and move on.

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My viewpoint has been that under Boudreau we’re a good enough team to make the playoffs, and all this trade talk about Miller and everyone wouldn’t be happening since if we had competent coaching all year, we’d probably be in a playoff spot right now. 

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1 hour ago, Vinny in Vancouver said:

If you are looking at just wins and losses, you also have to somehow factor in the win bounce due to a change in coaching - e.g., see Montreal and Edmonton. 

Green got us 18 points in 25 games this season. 
Even if BB got us 500 hockey so 25 points in 25 games (difference of +7points), that would put us up to 67 points. Good for second in pacific, tied for 4th in Western conference and this doesn't even account the points we would take away from opponents had we gained 7 points (some teams are losing points)

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Current standing: 

Colorado - 84
Calgary - 71
St Louis - 70
Minnesota - 67
LA - 65
Nashville - 64
Edmonton - 64
Vegas - 64
Dallas - 63
Anaheim - 61
Vancouver - 60

 

Just for fun i looked at the first 25games. IF we played 500 hockey and 3 of the wins came against Wild, Coilers and VGK instead of the lost this would be the standing:

Colorado - 84
Calgary - 71
St Louis - 70
Vancouver - 67
Minnesota - 65
LA - 65
Nashville - 64
Edmonton - 62
Dallas - 63
Vegas - 62
Anaheim - 61

 

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2 hours ago, luongianone said:

I think this team does have the building blocks in place, but I think there's a few mismatched fits which is what's mostly hurting us. Hughes not having a legit top 4 D to play with, OEL playing with Myers has been well enough defensively but poor offensively. We don't really have a 3rd pair but with Hamonic back there's some legitimacy there. 

 

We have a very good top 6 and a great 4th line. The 3rd line is in need of a centre, and bad. I'm not saying Petey/Miller/Bo are not good centres, but rather that I want all 3 on the top 2 lines. With Petey back to being himself we could try the Lotto line again, but who centres the 3rd line then? Even with Dickinson healthy, he's just not good there. 

 

The main move this team needs to make, IMO, is to shed Myers. If you go back to pre-season (I know, it's just pre-season) you'll see how OEL played with Poolman. He was much more aggressive and was creating offensively. Why was that? Because he knew he had Poolman staying back and playing the defensive role. Poolman isn't a top 4 defender either but the fit itself IMO would maximize OEL. Hughes needs a similar partner. Wish we kept Tanev because they were LEGIT. If you give OEL a partner that thinks D first (at a high level) I think you'd have one of the top pairs in the league. OEL himself is so good in his own zone that giving him a guy to let him be offensive would be the only way for this team to get full value out of his contract. 

 

The sad part is to make this all work someone is going to have to get traded, and it'll likely be at least one top guy. ATM I would put my money on Brock being that guy. He has all the tools to be a 40 goal scorer but it's been an up and down year. Not all his fault. He'd still fetch you quite a bit (right handed shot, goal scorer) so I actually don't think his value is low. On the other hand, if you can move guys like Pearson/Dickinson/Hamonic/Poolman/Myers then you can easily keep your core. Hog and Pod SHOULD continue to get better and remain cost controlled on their next contract too, which would help you round out your forward group without breaking the bank. 

 

To sum it up, this team needs to find a 3rd line centre and 2 right side d-men. This, IMO, solves most of your inconsistency problems because you have everybody making everybody's job easier. You'll have a team that can roll 4 lines and at least 2 D-Pairs that you can deploy against anybody with how good Hughes has been in his own end.

This is probably the best analysis I've seen anywhere on this site or off on what we COULD do to get better rather than just saying "Sell all our top players for futures!" especially the fourth paragraph.

 

I think the main reason why both OEL and Myers are both poor offensively this season though is PP usage.  Hughes takes up the vast majority of the PP time and the second unit has rarely produced anything since Boudreau took over.  OEL's even strength scoring clip this year is pretty much on par with last year and only slightly below his average clip of the last 4 years...and that's being as the second driver of offense from the backend.  So I don't think it's really the pairing, but having multiple offensive defensemen and only 1.5 PP quarterback jobs (that Hunt has even been taking a share of).

 

While I really like Myers the past couple years, I do agree that if we get the chance to move Myers this summer while being able to take advantage of getting a younger cost controlled defenseman we take it.  However, I don't think we can get rid of Myers if we don't get someone to fill that hole he'll leave.  He is by far our best RD and by having noone take those minutes would be completely detrimental to our squad for the next few years.  The problem is RD are the hardest commodity to get cheaply.  Look at all the contracts for RD that are not on ELC's this year.  Is there one that you would consider underpaid?  I don't think there is.  We consider Myers and Poolman to be overpaid and while that might be the case, comparing them to almost all the RD in the NHL they are pretty much on par with the average contract.  The problem I have is Myers age.  When his contract is over he's probably done at that point.  Who will we replace him with right in the middle of our cup window?  It's a problem that is probably better solved now than then.

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3 hours ago, VegasCanuck said:

So, I keep seeing a lot of fans posting about how bad we are and how we should just sell everyone and start again. I wanted to do a little deeper dive on where this team would be, based on a extending their record under BB, through the whole season.

 

Things to keep in mind through this discussion:

#1. Pettersson has now admitted that his wrist wasn't 100% at the start of the season and as such, was wearing a support band around it which partially led to his slow start.

#2. We had possibly the worst possible schedule out of the gate, with multiple games where the team is standing around getting cold while teams in other cities are doing 30 min before game, introduction of their season roster. Not to mention starting with 6 straight on the road with minimal practice time after Pettersson and Hughes sitting out almost all of camp.

#3. We had really bad luck again with Covid hitting players while they were in the US, making it much longer before they could rejoin the team.

#4. Since BB took over, this team has given up less goals at 5 on 5, than any other team in the league.

 

So, our record under BB, is .677 hockey. If we go extend that all the way to the start of the season, we'd be around 76 points right now which is good enough for 1st in the Pacific Division, 2nd overall in the Western Conference and tied for 5th in the league overall.

 

Instead of talking about who we can sell, we'd be talking about who we can add to put us over the top and round out the team.

 

There are a lot of people who are pissed at Benning, and we did have a horrible start, but this team is a LOT better than many fans think, and Benning did do what he said he would by putting the pieces in place who should be able to compete for a playoff spot, and based on our record under BB, he accomplished that.

 

This team still needs some adjustments, needs to get a little bigger and a little faster, but we have the building blocks and the assets to accomplish that through some strategic trades. I think we'll see some adjustments at the deadline, but I think part of the reason we haven't seen any yet are, JR etc, know that this team IS better than their record reflects, but they can't directly say that publicly as it would be an endorsement of Benning.

 

That's my take on it. I'm enjoying watching how the team is playing now. Other than the occasional game like NJ, which happens to all teams and all goalies, we have been playing fairly solid.

 

Thoughts?

 

Said it before and I'll say it again.  Benning deserves way more credit for assembling this team than he gets.  His downfall was his refusal to move on from Green when it was obvious his time was done.  Whether ownership prevented him from doing that, who knows.   

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3 hours ago, CanucksJay said:

While I love how this team has played under BB (for the most part), I'd like to reserve comments on direction of the team until TDL. 

The games leading up until March 21 will be indicative of which direction we should go.

Consistency is the biggest issue. I guess the question is, do we think we have the guys that can bexome more consistent or are they who they are at this point? 

Horvat needs to be more consistent. 

Boeser doesn't look deserving of the QO he is due

Myers has brain farts

Hogz needa to be better defensively. (points should come) 

While we have been one of the top teams since BB's arrival, there are holes on the team. 

If it looks like we are going to miss rhe playoffs this year at the TDL, is it better to address some of these issues or run it back again next year? 

No doubt this is a playoff team but the question is, is it a cup calibre team or do we make tweaks in a year where we under perform and miss the playoffs for a bigger payoff next year? 

I think those two in bold might be the biggest assets that we should look at moving (along with Halak; Miller for the right price and if he'll price himself out contract-wise should be on there too, but he brings such leadership intangibles that if Brock goes I'd be open to sign JT for a couple years).  For an off year, Boeser's still at 0.6 points/ game which is respectable and he should still provide value, but we do have replacements internally.  Thankfully Myers played with OEL so he has increased value now too, but Hamonic has looked solid despite not scoring much so hopefully we can find a taker for Myers.  If we play Halak before TDL and he raises his value to a contender, I'd love to see him moved.  With an addition at 3rd C and stable defensive play from Hamonic/ Poolman, I think we could have a good group.

Petey - Miller - Pod/ Garland
Pearson - Horvat - Garland/ Pod
Dickinson - ______ - Hoglander (fine with this as a counterattacking unit, also can recoup some of JD's value)
Motte - Lammikko - Highmore

OEL - Hamonic (safe, tough minutes; Hamonic permits OEL to roam more offensively)
Hughes - Schenn
______ - Poolman (find a mobile, safe LD)

Demko
Martin 



  

Edited by Phil_314
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In the context of our current squad & standings, there appear to be 2 questions:

1- Where are we going?

2- Are we THERE yet?!

 

From the late-teens(about 2018, 19-ish) we've made pretty good progress. It hasn't been linear, but in the NHL, that's fairly routine for rebuilding squads.

 

In the cap-world, must keep integrating youth. Whenever possible, inject character, speed, size & overall-depth(primarily making the farm/system also younger & deeper).

Of Miller/Bo & Boeser/Garland, would say we should deal 2(1C & 1RW); this may occur at TDL, or off-season. Dependent mostly upon when the right, primo offers arrive.

 

This fwd depth/cap allocation needs to be shifted towards the back end. More depth on the blueline is a requirement for deep runs/PO seasons, when games become more physical.

 

It's too bad JB stuck with lame-@$$ coaches & kept throwing FA cap hits at mostly useless, peripheral-contributors. Had he avoided these 2 pitfalls, he might have built a young, deep POWERHOUSE.

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