I hold several personal truths to be self evident and from which I absolutely refuse to be swayed. To wit: I believe that anyone who knowingly disrupts rush hour traffic by parking on a busy street outside the posted hours because "I'll just be a few minutes" or makes a left hand turn regardless of the twenty seven signs telling them left turns are not permitted should be fined to the point of insolvency, tarred and feathered. Then summarily executed. I believe that Pink Floyd's The Wall is a load of pretentious twaddle foisted upon an unsuspecting world by a self absorbed narcissist with crippling mommy issues. I believe bacon is the most noble calling to which a pig can ever aspire.
Above all, and much to Beloved's embarrassment, I am of the firm belief that stupid people should have their stupidity pointed out to them, and wherever possible, mocked without mercy. Walk into a lamp post because you had your head buried in your iPad? I will point and laugh and laugh and laugh. Drive 20km/hr under the posted speed limit because seven snow flakes have obviously turned you into a nervous 98 year-old woman thus rendering you incapable of operating a motor vehicle? You better believe I'm blowing past you at the earliest opportunity, horn in full blare. If you can't drive in it, stay the fuck home. Does this make me a jerk? Absolutely. But if that's the price I have to pay to expose the irredeemably idiotic to the error of their ways, then it's one I will gladly bear. In the end, we'll all be better off for it.
Which brings me, naturally, to the Fisher trade. Or more to the point, the mouth breathing trogs still baying for The Bryan's head in light of the Fisher trade.
You know. The Stupid People.
Stupid People Argument #1: The trade to the Predators was too convenient to be a simple coincidence, so obviously Murray should be fired.
Of course it wasn't a coincidence. While obviously not privy to any other offers The Bryan may have had in front of him, I think it's safe to assume that he was trying to not only get a good deal for the club, but also do a solid for a guy that has done so much for the organization. And what the hell is wrong with that? Beyond the immediate return (which was still pretty awesome, by the way) isn't it obvious that the club will be better served down the road if it enjoys a reputation among, say future free agents, for doing a little more than treating players as interchangeable slabs of meat? If you answered "no" to that question, then you need to pull your head out of your ass. Or maybe go hang out in the Sun's comment section for a while.
Stupid People Argument #2: HAH! You just admitted that he may not have gotten the best deal he could! Obviously Murray should be fired.
To recap in a coldly analytical way (forgive me Mike), Bryan Murray managed to get, at the very least, a first round draft pick for a 30 year old third line centre, himself a mid second rounder, while creating $8.4 million in extra cap space over the next two years. From the standpoint of a rebuilding Sens team, that wasn't just a good deal. That was a fucking magic trick.
Stupid People Argument #3: Murray took a Stanley Cup Finals caliber team and drove it into the purgatory of Lottery Ville, so obviously he should be fired.
Of all of the ill informed vitriol surrounding Bryan Murray (and there's lots of it), this one drives me nuts most of all. Wait, scratch that for being an understatement. It drives me fucking insane. We had our shot and failed. John Muckler literally sold the farm for that shot, and failed. Now we're paying the mortgage. It's that simple. Hell, if you want to get all pissy about not winning anything, don't get pissy at the 2007 team that got pwned by the Ducks. Hell no. Save that for the 2003 Senators, the most talented team this town has ever seen. Whether Sens fans want to admit it or not, the seeds of where we are today were sown the very second Jeff Friesen's wrister from the left hash mark beat Patrick Lalime's ridiculously slow glove hand. It was that goal that convinced Muckler that we were but a tweak or two away from winning it all, which in turn led directly to the rape and pillage of the farm team over the next four years in pursuit of that tweak (I defy any self respecting Sens' fan to utter the words "Brooks Laich" without weeping). Which leads me to...
Stupid People Argument #4: Bryan Murray cannot be trusted with the rebuild and thus I will not buy a jersey/attend a game/renew my season tickets if he is still in charge by some arbitrary date I pulled out of my ass (a.k.a.: the Jeffery Simpson Manifesto).
While not exactly helpful, that's certainly your right sport. But know this. This too shall pass. And when the young 'uns and hot shots now currently in the system (all of whom were drafted and brought in by Bryan Murray, the very man you want fired it should be noted) finally come together with the even younger hotshots that will inevitably come out of our three to four year exile to the land of suck and produce a legitimate Cup contender, I won't forget how you abandoned us because it got too hard. I won't forget how your impatience borne of ignorance led you to turn your back on the team.
And five years from now, when Captain Jason Spezza is holding the Cup over his head I will find each and every one of you and point and laugh and hold you to account for the front running Stupid People you are.
Reading the archives a year later in anticipation of the 2012 trade deadline..
I get the sense that ownership pushed GM's to make short term moves for a window of opportunity to win. Since they had so many front loaded contracts and veterans nearing the end of their prime, it's not out of line to sympathize with that view. Seeing the 2011 deadline moves was probably a reflection of everyone realizing the window had closed.
Sure, stupid people are stupid and we're all correct in hating them. But what's your point? Murray should stay on as GM? Honestly, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Murray sign half the guys on the trade block to the contracts we're currently struggling under? Didn't he ship picks for dead end rentals? Didn't he sign Kovalev and Gonchar? Murray's got character and he's got an eye for draft talent but I think maybe we might be better off handing the reins to someone with an eye to the future and not a nostalgia for the past.
"And five years from now, when Captain Jason Spezza is holding the Cup over his head I will find each and every one of you and point and laugh and hold you to account for the front running Stupid People you are."
I'm making a mental note of all the people on my Facebook who are leaving comments like "I'm so over the Sens, GO PENS GO!!!1!one!" Because when the Sens do rise to the top, I will give them a big "b*tch, please". Mmmmmm.
On that note, I personally liked the Fisher trade. Yes, he's done a lot for the team but not in recent times. It really seemed like his time on this team was done. And he'll probably be grateful for the trade himself in the end. So on that account, I don't think that Murray should be fired for trading Fisher. Maybe fired for other stuff, but not this. In fact, he should be commended. But anyway, I'm glad we see eye-to-eye on this issue, SLC
Took Redden instead of Chara,
Took Lee when Mark Staal was available,
Jim O'Brien on first roung
c/mon ppl Murray way better on picking prospects (we actually have some now)
And everybod ( tell you that everybody) were happy to have Gonchar here and nobody expected him to struggle.
So where is Murray so bad? Can't see the point. Took Stanley Cup contender and ruined it? But I believe it was last splash of the Muckler team and Murray should have started scrapping it right away...
His pick up of Cullen and Sutton was bad? C'mon, Cullen was one of the best during playoff and Sutton was 'an expert" :)
In terms of Spezza people need to remember that a 1st line centre is one of, the most valuable position in hockey. All one would have to do is review the last bunch of SC champion teams to see they have at least one (usually 2) first line quality centres. If Ottawa trades Spezza for picks and prospects odds are the only way to get a top line centre again is through the draft which would be very tough or overpaying in free agency. Love Spezza or hate him he is a legitimate top line centre and the odds of finding a better replacement in the near future are very slim.
Thank you for pointing out the stupidity of some fans! At the very least we won't know if Murray is a terrible GM for a few years. We know Muckler was a retard (O'Brien a 1st rounder?) and Maguire wanting to give Elias an offer sheet is equally retarded as far as I'm concerned. I also love that someone actually stood up for Spezza. 500th career game and 499th point with a +79 over his career at 27 years old. But yeah let's trade him, he sucks. The fact is that Ottawa has sucked for a few years. Put him on any good team and see how he fares! Or maybe these Spezza haters can pull their collective heads out of their asses long enough to check the list of point a game players he's in a league with and realize that most of these guys play(ed) on FUCKING GOOD TEAMS!
This is a great post. Agree with almost everything (which is rare for this site).
However, I think Muckler blame vs Murray blame is a little distorted. Muckler giving up assets to try to put them over the top when they DID actually have a chance to win made a lot more sense than Murray giving up assets to try to put them over the top when it was clear they had no shot.
@slavitch I think it was Brent Gretzky.
@Nichols6thSens A notch below Keith Gretzky.
@slavitch My favorite story involving Lawton was that he opted to wear #98. Everyone referred to him as a notch below Gretzky.
Via Wikipedia. Sounds familiar? The SNES era might be only five years, not twenty-five.
1967–82: The "Dead Wings" era
Only a year after making the Finals, the Red Wings finished a distant fifth, 24 points out of the playoffs. It was the beginning of a slump from which they would not emerge for almost 20 years. Between 1967 and 1983, Detroit only made the playoffs twice, winning one series. From 1968 to 1982, the Wings had 14 head coaches (not counting interim coaches), with none lasting more than three seasons. In contrast, their first six full-time coaches – Art Duncan, Adams, Ivan, Jimmy Skinner and Abel – covered a 42–year period. During this dark era in franchise history, the team was derisively known as the "Dead Wings" or "Dead Things".
One factor in the Red Wings' decline was the end of the old "development" system, which allowed Adams to get young prospects to commit to playing for Detroit as early as their 16th birthday. Another factor was Ned Harkness, who was hired as coach in 1970 and was promoted to general manager midway through the season. A successful college hockey coach, Harkness tried to force his two-way style of play on a veteran Red Wings team resistant to change. The Wings chafed under his rule in which he demanded short hair, no smoking, and put other rules in place regarding drinking and phone calls.Harkness was forced to resign in 1973.
In the "expansion season" of 1967–68, the Red Wings also acquired longtime star left-winger Frank Mahovlich from the defending Cup champs in Toronto. Mahovlich would go on a line with Howe and Delvecchio, and in 1968–69, he scored a career-high 49 goals and had two All-Star seasons in Detroit.
But this could not last. Mahovlich was traded to Montreal in 1970, and Howe retired after the 1970–71 season. Howe returned to pro hockey shortly after to play with his two sons Mark and Marty Howe (Mark would later join the Red Wings at the end of his career) in the upstart World Hockey Association in1972. Through the decade, with Mickey Redmond having two 50–goal seasons and Marcel Dionne starting to reach his prime (which he did not attain until he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings), a lack of defensive and goaltending ability continually hampered the Wings.
Interior of the Joe Louis Arena, where the Red Wings have played at home since 1979, when they left the Detroit Olympia.
During 1979–80, the Wings left the Olympia for Joe Louis Arena. In 1982, after 50 years of family ownership, Bruce Norris sold the Red Wings to Mike Ilitch, founder of Little Caesars Pizza.
Both Melnyk and Murray were flailing. Making a decision (and worse, telling the boss) is shoot-the-messenger tough stuff. The only way a rebuild could happen is via two paths:
1. A mature organization with skilled talent knows where they are in the cycle and act accordingly. See Detroit and now suddenly Tampa Bay, Spawn Of Detroit, child of Yzerman.
2. An immature organization that has capitulated. Hello Ottawa! Guess what. That was once Detroit. They were the Dead Wings when I was a kid. Detroit capitulated (almost went bankrupt, actually) and got a new owner, and that owner got lucky in the draft. In 1983 Steve Yzerman was considered by Leaf fans (and Leafs management) to be a joke: 5'11", 160 pounds, from Nepean. Devellano settled on Yzerman, drafting him fourth, after Pat Lafontaine went third. The first pick? Brian Lawton. Lawton was ranked by NHL Central Scouting Bureau as No. 1 overall prospect for the 1983 NHL Entry Draft, and turned out to be a career AHL'er. Shortly afterwards, the Illitch brothers decided that they would have their own dedicated scouting organization, and not depend on NHL central scouting. The rest is history.
@Nichols6thSens I see what you're saying, but I still stand by what I said because I made the same comment on the day that trade was made. Bringing in two pending UFAs to that team when it was clearly going nowhere was a waste of assets. I guess I had a different point of view than most people because I know a little more about what is going on behind the scenes with the team, but this team had about a zero percent chance of even winning a playoff round. There were serious dressing room issues and two or three key players playing with significant injuries all year.
You can say they were coming off a Cup Finals appearance, but this is a team that went from a 16-2 start,or whatever it was, to backing into the playoffs on the last day by somebody else losing. Not exactly the same type of situation that Muckler was dealing with.
I also wouldn't say Muckler was wreckless with the assets. He added players every year at the deadline, some of them worked, some didn't. You can't just paint everything he did with the same brush and ignore the moves for guys like Varada, Somolinski, and Leschyshyn who helped the team go on playoff runs and also stuck around for a while.
@MelnyksHangovers "My only point was that in the Muckler era giving up assets made sense, while in the last three seasons Murray giving up assets made zero sense and was simply a function of him not acknowledging that his team was not a contender."
Sorry, I think it's a bit hypocritical for you to add context to the timing of John Muckler's deals and not Murray's. Being in a contending position shouldn't give a GM carte blanche to be wreckless with his organization's assets.
If you think it was irrational to move two players in an effort to shake up a roster that made a Stanley Cup Finals appearance the season before, then I'll never be able to reason with you.
Furthermore, until Robin Lehner pans/flames out, maybe you refrain from commenting on the Vermette deal.
@Nichols6thSens Again, my point was not related to how good the assets were, or what the returned ended up amounting to. My only point was that in the Muckler era giving up assets made sense, while in the last three seasons Murray giving up assets made zero sense and was simply a function of him not acknowledging that his team was not a contender.
Eaves, Corvo, and Vermette, regardless of their abilities or how they fit into the roster at the time, are all still in the NHL, and were all valuable assets that amounted to nothing for us. Giving up two players under contract for two UFAs is not a logical move when you are a middle of the pack team with no goalie.
I agree with the notion that trading last year's two second rounders for rentals was silly. (Especially in light that the team's best two-way forward, Alfie, was nursing a sports hernia injury.)
But to play devil's advocate, I could say Murray went for it by trading a marginal prospect in Eaves and Corvo (who had utility, was reasonably paid but allegedly wanted out) to shake up a roster that was struggling and did so without touching its core. Does it look bad in retrospect? Maybe, but let's not act like it was a disaster.
Regarding the Vermette trade, I'm empathetic with the move. Ottawa had a glut of centers (Spezza, Fisher, Vermette, Kelly) and could afford to move a guy who they felt would never be their second line center. Looking at Vermette's ice-time and linemates in CBS, he strikes me as a classic inflated numbers on a bad team kind of players. (Think Matt Stajan like production.) He's not going to be a top two center on a good team, so whatever... Although Leclaire is a bust, Murray can still hang his hat on Lehner. Right?
@Nichols6thSens I don't disagree. Muckler failed to make the right moves. That wasn't my point though. Giving up assets when you are close to winning makes sense. He would have given up those picks/prospects either way. Whether he gave them up for the right players is a separate issue.
Giving up assets like Corvo, Eaves, Vermette, two second round picks, etc to bring in verteran guys when you are clearly not going to win the Cup anyway is a bigger problem.
We also have to give Mucks some leaway. It's difficult to make good trades when you're passed out drunk at a bar in Kanata the night before the deadline and Jacques Martin can't get ahold of you. (Yes, that's a real thing).
@MelnyksHangovers I agree with almost everything that you said, except Muckler never actually gave up assets to land the team's intended primary targets and put them over the top at the deadline.
Instead he was throwing picks and prospects to quell the fan unrest that would have occured had the organization come up empty on deadline day. (ie. Arnason, Saprykin, Bondra, et al.)
"And five years from now, when Captain Jason Spezza is holding the Cup over his head (...)"
He's being traded to Detroit, LA or Edmonton and being named their captain? Sweet! What did we get in return?
"It was that goal that convinced Muckler that we were but a tweak or two away from winning it all, which in turn led directly to the rape and pillage of the farm team over the next four years in pursuit of that tweak (I defy any self respecting Sens' fan to utter the words "Brooks Laich" without weeping). "
Why are we crying over Brooks Laich? Is this a 70-80 point player? He's got 29 points...Mike Fisher numbers. So we traded Mike Fisher for Bondra in the hopes of increasing playoff scoring. And if we're going to talk about farm teams being pillaged, how is Philly's farm team? Yet they're all the way on top. The farm team stuff has to stop. Murray is not Bingo's GM. Yes, he does draft and overlook that, but he's with the big club and that has to be his primary concern.
On top of that, Tim Murray hadn't been down to Bingo in well over a year as of mid-January of this year...
Also, to address this again:
"And five years from now, when Captain Jason Spezza is holding the Cup over his head I will find each and every one of you and point and laugh and hold you to account for the front running Stupid People you are."
Jason Spezza has never won anything at any level. You are aware of this right? He hasn't made Ottawa win a championship with arguably its best line-up, he hasn't made the World Championships win (or whatever they're called, that non-playoff thing), he hasn't made any of his minor-league/AHL teams win.
He's a stat-padder that lacks an extra gear. If the Senators win the Cup with Spezza on board, it will be because the supporting cast was so gritty, so skilled and so determined that it overcame Spezza's deficiencies, not because of Spezza. The team wins in spite of him and I hope we trade him someday so we can get a hard-nosed, agile, two-way center that brings it game in and game out.
@Wham_City Could very well be posturing so that other teams pony up their offers.
@Nichols6thSens Don't disagree. I'm not advocating moving him for the sake of moving, just if the right deal presented itself.
Certainly not untoucheable, and I don't think Bryan see's it that way either no matter what he said on HNIC.
@Wham_City Valid points. But I think his two-way game has improved exponentially and he can be a productive player with right linemates.
I suppose the key to all of this is to draft/develop a strong two-way player who can put up points but add a different dimension to the lineup than Spezza.
@Nichols6thSens I guess I'd just emphasize style and skillset more in something like this.
I dont think his injury history is going to do him any favours when it comes to improving his board/physical play.
@Wham_City I think Thornton's the best comparison in terms of style and skillset, I look at Richards and see similar production/#'s.
@Nichols6thSens You think there that similar? I kind of always saw Richards as a poor mans' Sakic.
Spezza and Thornton are different breed imo; slower, plodding, rangy centers who are effective point producers. I'm just not convinced you can win with these guys when the pace of the game is high.
@Wham_City Brad Richards?
@Nichols6thSens It's possible, but who was the last center #1 center that played like Spezza to win a cup?
@Greg_Kingsley I agree with this for the most part. We''ve heard for years that Spezza has been undergoing an Yzerman like metamorphasis, which I find ridiculous quite frankly. Surrounded with elite talent Spezza will produce(I just doubt at the supercharged rate many players had from 05-08), but there are enough flaws in his game that I wouldn't hesitate to move him if the right offer presented itself.
More or less he's a less intelligent, more injury prone, softer Joe Thornton. A useful player to be sure but hardly one that should be beyond consideration when discussing trades.
@Greg_Kingsley Had the team drafted a center like Kopitar or held onto a center like Laich, the organization would have been faced with less pressure to spend exorbitantly to keep players like Spezza and Fisher. When faced the decision to hold onto these guys and without any NHL-ready players in the system (thanks to a farm system that was left barren by the Muckler regime), at least there would have been a cheaper, in-house alternative.
@Greg_Kingsley 22 points in the '07 final run. what a bum!
@Greg_Kingsley "The team wins in spite of him and I hope we trade him someday so we can get a hard-nosed, agile, two-way center that brings it game in and game out."
I would argue that Spezza has become a two-way centre that brings it every night. We all know his salary is a little bit too high for what he is, and he's not as hard-nosed as you may want, but this is still a very valuable player and it would be a big mistake to trade him. If they trade him for picks and prospects they will spend the next 5 years trying to find a legitimate first line centre.
#4 is what gets me the most - i only wish i could afford a season ticket, and i sure as hell don't need to see people using them as a threat.
Exactly. And just hillarious - I love your posts! But another thing should be remembered about Murray (and not just Muckler): the "bad" trades and signings he made (Campoli for a 1st; Kovalev) were made from the standpoint of undertaking that "one last tweak" as you say to put the team into the final. They were not bad moves given that the culture of the club from owner on down was NOT to build for the future but to win the cup imediately.
Campoli was the covetted PMD that a team on the cusp believed it needed at the time (and we all thought that). And had the team around Kovalev been good enough to get into the playoffs, he would have played like, well, like he is right now. He'd been a playoff game-breaker and that's why he was signed.
So, although people point to Murray's value being in the draft, I believe he has substantial trading and signing skills that have only be misdirected by the overarchig goal of the club. That goal has changed. His ability to trade for a rebuild is evidenced by the Fisher trade. Which was a great trade
@Timmo I think the underlying problem with the bulk of Bryan Murray's moves is that they were reactionary. Most, if not all, were made after a need was sorely exposed for a lengthy period of time.
@SLC I think you missed a crucial sect of the fanbase to hit on: the Kiss FM crowd and jilted female fans who will miss their "man candy".
Yes, because treating Mike Fisher like a king is going to set a precident for all other free agents. Treating players like geishas has manifested itself in a great return for the club. We have had numerous sought after free agents sign for discounts and we have never had any players speak ill of the club and get shipped out. That argument is a flaccid one because it hangs limp with no substance. Bryan "did him a solid" by sending him to any cup contender with a lovely contract in hand, rather than forcing him to toil away on a rebuilding team for the rest of his career. I wish the club would do Alfredsson a favour like that.
@S_Church I think you thought it came across as clear, but if that's what you meant you shouldn't have dropped the sarcasm for that one sentence. And I refernce " you missed the fact" about the return on Fish based on the aforementioned lack of understanding your sarcasm mix. You should have just said "I hate Bryan Murray" because at least that much is clear.
@nolookdroppass Thats funny. Read it again. I clearly said it doesn't matter what team they send him to, any team that is cup contender is good enough. I also never complained about the return. You need to pay more attention
@S_Church I hate thinking on Mondays, so I was hoping the use of a fairly common response when commenting on absolute nonsense would suffice, but I guess not.
Your comment was ridiculous. You completely altered the points made about doing a reputed player who served the team and community with 100% of his effort a favour, you missed the fact that an average player who was overpaid landed the team a first round pick, and you finish your diatribe indicating that it would better serve the team to "(force Fisher) to toil on a re-building team" rather than using him to acquire an asset.
Let me guess -- you love to shout "SHOOOOOOOOOOT!" on the powerplay and Alfie should be moved for Tavares.
@S_Church If you like the Fisher trade let me humbly suggest that you have nothing to complain about.
@nolookdroppass This is one of the least perceptive responses I have heard in a while, very unorigional too.
@MO I think you need to read a body of text without having preconcieved notions perverting your response. Try reading it again. I never said the Fisher trade was bad.
@S_Church Your right, BM did Fisher a huge solid! Set Fisher up for life and all he got in return was a measly first round draft pick and more then 4mil in cap space. Murray did a terrible job of balancing maintaining credibility to the players of the league (who arent even people and dont even care what type of environment they will work) and the organizations interests. Good for you setting the record straight . It doesnt even matter that you were probably one of the many sens fans who also moonlights as an NHL cap analyst and had repeatedly shat on murray for overpaying Fisher and making him untraceable. Once Murray managed to trade Fisher`s contract for no salary he should have gotten more! And of course he could have because a St. Louis blogger has gone on record saying that LA had a better offer, in his opinion. In fact it must have been a much better offer, they must have been throwing in at least Brayden Schenn!!! Thank you for taking the time to go with the herd and correct this little bit of internet injustice.
I would rather trust Bryan Murray to use our precious hoard of draft picks than bloody Pierre McGuire. The guy is a drafting machine. Besides, I don't think I could handle hearing the word 'monster' more than once in the first round.
You like Dark Side though, right? What about Animals? I always like Animals.... to me, it was the perfect dose of narcassism and good ole proggy goodiness.
On topic, lovely post. This Fisher trade is obviously hard to swallow, and I feel like someone just broke up with me, but it is soooo the right move and absolutely needed to happen. And seriously, I didn't think we would even get a 1st for him, so yay!
If you like (i.e, hate) stupid people, then this might interest you. I just happened upon it on wikipedia the other day: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect