Bet: Ian Thinks Adam Oates Will Be Back Next Year

Ian and I were doing some blog biznass this morning when I learned something stunning. Ian actually believes Adam Oates will be back as head coach of the Capitals next season. This is astonishing, so we made a bet.

The Bet: Ian bets Peter that Adam Oates will be head coach of the Washington Capitals in 2014-15.

The Stakes: 77 cents, in pennies, and a $10 gift card to the burrito restaurant of the winner’s choice.

You guys are witnesses. I also want to point out that Ian is running a very cold streak in bets lately. Also also: Chipotle > Qdoba, all day, every day.

YEP BET

77 cents and a free burrito for me. Take it to #thebank.

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  • Seth Malaguerra

    My first bet is that GMGM won’t be back next year. And any GM who takes the job with the condition that he can’t choose his own head coach, well, that’s not a GM you want.

  • patmanbnl

    Is this the beginning of sponsorship coming to RMNB? Also Cafe Rio > Chipotle

  • https://twitter.com/Haddaweezy Holy_Cal

    Chipotle best )))))))

    Also, I’d have to think McPhee and Oates both stay. Leonsis just doesn’t fire front office personel see: Wizards, Washington.

  • Rob W.

    That free chipotle burrito is going to be pretty tasty

  • Kim Peacock

    Well that decides it for me… Chipotle for dinner! Thanks guys, was having a hard time figuring out what I wanted.

  • William

    Already had my chipotle for the day…might just have to go again in honor of adam oates departure..

  • Lawrence

    Ian..Ian…Ian. These bets man. They must stop, you are losing them all!!!

    What makes you think he would be back though anyways? Oates didn’t even go to practice today, that basically spells out that he is gone.

    Random thought: I will miss how nice he was to the media.

  • GregV

    Ian gets big props for being willing to take a bet after the spandex incident. I can’t decide which confounds me more, though: his belief in Oates’ Teflon qualities, or his attachment to Qdoba.

  • Matt McNeely

    Ian, if the stakes were higher I’d accuse you of being out of your mind. Where are you going to find 77 pennies? I haven’t seen that many pennies in one place since, like, ever. This is going to cost you a trip to the bank, too. Have fun with that!

  • Foppa

    Way too much Oates talk – what about the one who hired him in the first place.
    GMGM – longest tenured GM in the league – staggering.

  • OVECHKING

    Ian thinks George Mcphee should return to the caps. Can’t really take him seriously after that. Not sure if he trolling or being serious. I’ve yet to hear clarification on his opinion of mcphee.

  • alchemistmuffin

    I don’t know. Where I live, Qdoba > Chipotle. I don’t know how they manages survive in a town where Qdoba just outlasts Chipotle in all competition.

    I do also believe that Oates will be back next season, but as soon as this season repeats itself in first couple weeks, he probably will be bought out.

    As for GM, he’s not gonna be retained, I can guarantee you that. (And I am betting $10 iTunes gift card if you are willing….)

  • Anthony Elworthy/scrubversive

    Maybe that’s his plan. He knows he’ll lose the bet, so he chose the most desireable outcome to bet against. Ian bets on Oates, Ian loses, Oates gets fired. See the logic in the causality?! Brilliant, Ian!

    I liked how Oates talked to the media, but after a while I tuned him out because the words felt hollow.

  • Matt McNeely

    I didn’t hear Ian say that. Are you making shit up again? Citation needed.

  • drew6

    Are we even trying to get a girlfriend?? Come on, now..

  • OVECHKING

    I’m not making anything up. Are you making shit up because you lack the ability to go read previous threads and every one of his comments?

    “Making shit up again”, i must have missed the first time I made shit up. Just because you might lack knowledge in the game of hockey which prevents you from understanding what I write in my comments is not me making shit up, that’s your own problem.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    I do?

  • OVECHKING

    You really didn’t say that you think GMGM should stay and Oates should go? I’m looking at that comment right now.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    FYI – this bet is what I THINK will happen, not what I WANT to happen. Big difference.

  • Brouwer Rangers

    Peter you could’ve won so much more.

  • Matt McNeely

    Aw, he’s sensitive. That’s cute.

  • OVECHKING

    ^By my account, this fella here is violating rule #4 #6 and #10 of your sites Commenting Policy.
    http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/comment-policy/

  • Begemot

    I haven’t had Qdoba. Baja Fresh > Chipotle out here, but plenty of local places beat them both.

  • Graham Dumas

    Why don’t you just post the quote/link? That’ll solve the whole thing right there.

  • Seth Malaguerra

    Lime Fresh, anyone? Anyone?

  • OVECHKING

    Im not sure Ian would want that. I’m trying to give Ian the chance to clarify his position. But w/e it seems like he is ignoring my posts anyway. I’ll post it at the top.

  • Graham Dumas

    I think posting it is beneficial to all: that way, we see what you’re referencing, and, knowing your argument, Ian can respond fully, so you get your clarification.

  • OVECHKING

    From the “which ex caps player should be new coach”

    Ian Oland RMNB Peter Hassett • a day ago
    I think Oates will stay. I think GMGM will be gone. I think all of the assistants minus maybe Kolzig will be gone.

    What I think should happen? GMGM should stay (*GASP*) and the entire coaching staff should be fired.
    —————————————–
    There it is. I guess the joke is on Matt McNeely. Lets see how “sensitive and cute” he gets.

  • Matt McNeely

    Straight talk, then? Okay, just this once. Dude, you come in here with your deliberately inflammatory comments. Nobody likes it. Not me. Not the moderators. Not the readers. Nobody. This is supposed to be and has historically been a FUN blog. RMNB does a great job of that. That’s why pretty much everybody comes here. We’d like it to stay that way. Your style of venom doesn’t belong here. We don’t want to hear it.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    *gasp*

    Yeah i kind of remember saying that. I think he’s excellent at drafting and I think 90% of his trades have been good. I think he’s bad at hiring the right coach – we always hire coaches with no NHL experience – and he’s put together a team that has a lot of overpaid underperforming players. He also hasn’t gotten returns from ribeiro and Semin when he knew they weren’t coming back. The Tom Wilson/Perreault thing still drives me insane to this day. I could go either way with him. It might be good for the entire organization to start fresh, but no I don’t think he’s a huge problem. Look at how easy this team has won when they started playing more loose.

  • OVECHKING

    Aw, he’s sensitive. That’s cute.

    Seriously? If you guys are having fun, then why do I read comments in post game threads about people being frustrated and “not understanding oates’s coaching methods”. Why do I read comments about people emphatically wanting Oates head? Explain that if you are all trying to have fun?

    You don’t have any clue what you are talking about. That’s why you see my comments as “venom”. The truth hurts. Sorry to tell you. Can’t handle it get out of the kitchen. Peter Hasset yesterday participated in a well versed debate over some of aspects of this team. I can’t speak for Peter but I dont think for one second he doesn’t welcome debate like that on this site when its clean and not personally based. You hate my comments so much,yet you respond with immaturity and vulgar. What hypocrisy. I respect anyone’s comments. Everyone has a right to express their opinion. Whichever side of the fence they sit on. You should do the same when reading mine. Do I get carried away sometimes? yes, When Ian points it out, like he did yesterday, I fix and adjust my comments.

  • OVECHKING

    You are a contributor on this site. Why not publish all this into your own article? I’m sure this is not the full extent of your opinion. This would allow readers a better opportunity to debate your points and opinions.

  • Graham Dumas

    If that thing in the Post yesterday is correct about GMGM having an absolutely terrible relationship with players’ agents, in turn causing those players to overlook the Caps (which I don’t necessarily think has been borne out by facts: Grabo, Halak, Penner), then that’s a HUGE problem and I think GMGM needs to go.

    Other than that, I agree with you that, individually, GMGM has done a good job with trades (some more than others), but perhaps a poorer job putting together a team, rather than a group of players. He has done an excellent job with draft picks, though, and I think people have to recognize that.

    I also agree that he just doesn’t seem to have a good feel for coaches. I don’t have any sense of why that is, but it’s another gaping hole in the system that needs addressing.

  • Sarah

    I would give longer odds if I were Peter, e.g., if Ian is correct Peter has to rock the Brouwer Ranger spandex.

  • Matt McNeely

    Hey now, slow your roll there, Tactful. All I asked for was a citation. I mean, if you’re gonna call somebody out at least show your work.

  • OVECHKING

    Matt McNeely • 10 days ago
    I will proudly angry-mob with any and all other dissatisfied Caps fans.

    Matt McNeely • 4 days ago
    What a mess.

    Matt McNeely • 21 hours ago
    Can’t beat Nashville or Dallas with the season on the line. Get eliminated. Crush the Blues and Hawks. WTF? Does that bother anybody else? Cuz it kinda bothers me a little.
    ———————————–
    You’re having real FUN. Great “venomless” comments there Matt. You deserve the humanitarian of the year award for your service mankind.

    The comments I post are what you posted, just not “barebones” like you. They actually include perspective. Again, if you don’t understand something, you should not consider it “venom”. You should instead try and learn and understand what it is exactly someone else is going on about. Or even better, debate their points / opinions.

  • VeggieTart

    If the Caps get a new GM, they will almost certainly have a new head coach. No intelligent GM is going to keep Oates on after what he did.

  • VeggieTart

    What drugs was ian on when he made that bet and can I have some?

  • RESmith

    I agree with Ian. I don’t like it but Oates will be back next season. Just a sinking feeling. Something about giving “not being too hasty” & “a second chance.”

  • RESmith

    Don’t feed into it. I remember him from my time on the Caps’ WaPo comments section. He is going to argue whatever you say.

  • DCSportsDork

    I am looking forward to when Chipotle and/or Qdoba have a bidding war towards your youtube video. As much as I love Chipotle so much (having it for dinner tonight!!!), Qdoba at least competes because of their brownies. Also, Baja Fresh should be in the discussion, but man did they change their menu in such a bad way a few years ago.

  • Owen Johnson

    Honestly I WAS ok with GMGM sticking around. Then I read Katie Carrera’s article yesterday.

  • pixiestix

    Go IAN!!!! that Qdoba burrito will taste oh so good. what’s that flavor? oh. yeah. IAN WAS RIGHT! SOOO TASTYYYYYY

  • poodlewoof

    Go Ian! Even if you don’t win, come to SF and we’ll treat you to a real burrito in the Mission. (Yes, Caps fans exist in San Francisco…)

  • sheena dunn

    Why does Ian keep making bets?? Does he not remember that happen last time?? HAHA.

  • Max McCool

    If you think about it, Ian is really just being the ultimate team player here. Taking one after another for the team. He’s going to bet his way all the way to a Stanley Cup for us.

  • Seth Malaguerra

    If a new GM takes the helm and decides Oates is his man, then Oates will stay. :'( I think Oates is out of his depth as an NHL head coach but I’m not in the game, I wish someone in the game would agree with me. The players were all but saying it in Katie Carrera’s post-mortem today. And if Ted makes keeping Oates a condition for any new GM, then that’s a sucker’s deal. Which would make any GM who takes the job in all likelihood a sucker.

  • Bilal

    Thanks Ian! You betting Obviously means you’ll lose! So BYE BYE OATES

    Wait…maybe that was your plan…..

  • Seth Malaguerra

    And Chipotle all day.

  • 70Caps

    I honestly don’t think he will be fired. Maybe it’s just because he’s desperate for his job, and I know it’s a small sample, but the last few games, a lot of the usual problems have been not nearly as bad. Other than wilson/kuzy and shorthanded chances, he has been pretty good.

  • 70Caps

    Look literally to the 4th or 5th comment. Anthony Elworthy said the exact same thing.

  • Bilal

    Okay so him saying your making shit up, automatically means he lacks knowledge for hockey………………………………………yea ok

  • Bilal

    GAWD DAMMIT

  • Owen Johnson

    Great minds think alike?

  • Bilal

    sure lets go with that…..

  • Myan

    For $10 at Chipotle, you could get a burrito WITH GUAC! Oh wait… #avocadoallergies

  • Lawrence

    I disagree , but I can see your side of things. Regardless, maybe if they still made the playoffs with the way they have played recently his job would be saved, but not making the playoffs + the rest of the horrendous regular season that has gone on = fired even in Ted’s book. They are both good as gone already. Sunday will be the last day.

  • Fait

    Ian is to RMNB what Wardo is to the Caps this year – completely awesome 95% of the time and totally entertaining while embarrassing himself silly that last 5%.

  • Smiley456

    Seth you said, “The players were all but saying it in Katie Carrera’s post-mortem today.” That is the key why Oates will be gone. And wouldn’t any new GM demand the right to choose their own coach?

  • Myan

    I can’t imagine a new GM keeping a head coach, especially if the guy has just had a terrible season. Every GM is going to want his own guy so if GMGM goes I think Oates goes out with him (hopefully).

  • Smiley456

    GMGM should be let go, if only to signify a “new start” for the Caps. I think the average GM will be as good as GMGM, so at worse, we aren’t any worse off.

  • Smiley456

    If Oates is coach next year, on opening day all the fans should throw burritos on the ice! :-)

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    That’s true, but for right now I enjoy this low key discussion.

    It’s honestly harder to railroad GMGM than you might think. Even though the team is a disaster right now and missed the playoffs, it’s for mistakes that were made 3-7 years ago. McPhee has actually done a really kick ass job lately bringing in prospects and getting great value from his low round picks.

    The defense – while awful now – is really stacked in the minors. Burakovsky looks like a very good player. Barber and Grubauer too.

    This is going to be an up and coming team again as soon as next year with some re-tooling. If McPhee’s not back, the next GM will get the credit, but it’s really going to be McPhee who set this team up for the future.

    I’m supportive of whatever happens. It’s been 17 years. He’s definitely had a fair chance to take this team to the promised land.

  • Myan

    I think Matt means that you can say what you want without making snarky remarks and calling out other posters & people. There is a very big difference between frustration and “venom” and I would like to think that we are all aware of when our comments cross the line from one to another. You have personally attacked me on these messages…something about “not being able to dumb myself down to your level.” Seriously? That’s venom and that kind of attack makes commenting NOT FUN. Even if you know more about hockey than 100% of the people here, what you say is insignificant when coated with such abrasion.

  • Myan

    God, I hope you’re wrong. DON’T BE RIGHT.

  • JP

    Chipotle > Qdoba.

    However, Cafe Rio > Chipotle.

  • Seth Malaguerra

    I hope so. But the closer you look at Caps front office management, the fewer and fewer management best practices you find. Ted’s top idiosyncrasy is “continuity,” after all.

  • That Guy

    I try not to think about things. I find it only leads to complications.

  • Bugs Fire

    I kinda missed your passion. A bit of a sideways question – what do you think of Penner? Expectations were high, but then Oates messed him up a bit and maybe he was not that good to begin with. Seemed like a mess yesterday. So is he good on his own or just when surrounded by Getzlaf and Perry?

  • PleaseKillMe

    Right around the corner from Chipotle.

    Gogi Bop for the win.

  • Barrett

    Isn’t that he only reason George McPhee has been around this long? He piggy-backed a Stanley Cup appearance off a team that David Poile built in the 90’s.

    What has McPhee done? He assembled one of the worst teams ever to be loaded with talent – only to be forced to blow it up and have Ovechkin fall into his lap because his birthday is two days past the cutoff date (otherwise he’d be a Florida Panther).

    If the only thing George McPhee is good at is drafting talent – then show him the door. About 75% of the GM’s in this league can scout and draft talent. The difference is more of them are capable of pulling off trades that work, acquiring free agents and managing their own teams salaries.

  • Nate

    Authentic Mexican Taco Joint > Cafe Rio > Chipotle > Qdoba > Taco Bell.

  • Bugs Fire

    I do think sir OVECHKING gets a bit too passionate sometimes (it’s only game, why you heff to be mad?) and may occasionally cross some lines (but we all do).

    However, your comments are totally off the mark here. (Sorry). You can’t possibly know that “nobody likes it”. I prefer fun over sadness, but following a hockey team is not *always* fun.

    It makes no sense to have a blog with readers’ comments, yet only allow comments of certain kind.

    And most importantly – how is this a problem if nobody (and I mean nobody because doing otherwise might be illegal in the state of Maryland) is *forcing* you to read OVECHKING’s comments? He is covered by freedom of speech because you are free not to listen.

    Don’t interpret this as if I subscribe to the same set of opinions as the person in question. (Although I do share his frustration over how Capitals have not maximized Ovie’s chances to be on a Cup-winning team).

    How about we ask Peter/Ian/etc to provide a fun/not fun selector for posts? That would help you stay with the “fun side” of things if you so choose on a particular day.

    Eh, go Caps?

  • Smiley456

    I hope for Ms Carrera’s sake that we have a new GM and Coach. Cause she sure is going to be ignored a pressers and forget any interviews. :-)

  • Smiley456

    FWIW…..to all, stick to talking hockey, not personalities, and any issues just go away.

  • Diller M

    One comment and one question. I’m with you all the way Peter. Oates will not be back and Chipotle is king.

    Question: Can Dick Patrick be fired? As minority owner how would that work? Ted would just buy back the shares? Interesting times…

  • http://batman-news.com tominsocal1

    McPhee hasn’t done that good a job drafting. 16 years and only about 5 guys ever played who were picked 4th round or later, and one (Oduya) wasn’t signed by the Caps and then signed with NJ. Most of the “good” first rounders turned out to be lesser players (Eminger, Gordon, Semin to be honest, Green, Schultz, even Alzner to some extent, Fehr, the list goes on). Except for the fire sale and the 08 deadline, his trades have been very minor in nature. He constantly overpays and has done especially bad at signing UFA d-men. And, WORST of all, perhaps, the Caps development of players has been poor.

  • http://batman-news.com tominsocal1

    Oh, my reply for Ian not you.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett
  • OVECHKING

    I dont think its very fair to include “outliers” like Backstrom and Ovechkin on a success or failure list for mcphee. As those were no brainer picks. He picked the best player available and consensus picks in his position. You can run those drafts over x100 with different GMs and they’d both take Ovi and Backy. The point I beleive tom is trying to make is where are the Gustav Nyqvuists of the world from the caps development? Has any caps 2nd round pick or later been an effective everyday player with this organization?

    Orlov certainly looks like he could finally be one guy for mcphee. Aside from Goalies (which his scouting staff deserves credit) he hasn’t had any success with guys outside the first round. There are also a bunch of organizations who are in the same boat as the caps, but you always strive to be the best. The sens, wings, devils, hawks, lightening all seem to find players that develop into guys that can eventually help the team in an impactful way. Not just roster fills like Carrick.

    It’s no surprise how the Wings can suffer so many injuries from Franzen, Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Alfredsson, Eriksson, Helm, Kronwall etc throughout the season yet still make the playoffs. They have guys developing in the minors like Nyqvuist, Tatar, Smith who can step in right away and fill the role effectively for a long duration of time. The development philosophy of this organization is also a huge dark spot.

    To add to this problem, talent evaluation seems to be a big issue with the caps. See Varly.

  • OVECHKING

    I just find all this sensationalist and hypocritical. Did you even read the first hostile response from matt to my comment? Ian is a big boy, why do you folks need to act like butt buddies and jump into a question i asked HIM specifically? Whats all that about? Look at the people thumbing up the comments from both Ian and Matt. Ian’s reply to my question is essentially calling me a liar. Gangpack mentality agrees, judging by the thumbs up. Matt refers to me as Sensitive, thumbs up, including one from yourself.

    None of this bothers me, I just thought I should point it out that what you preach is clearly not what you folks practice You try to act like you are noble men / women speaking the word of the book then you turn around and participate in the same crap that you despise. You are no better in my eyes. This is the internet. Please don’t forget that.

  • Bilal

    Once Oates get fired (hopefully), who do you guys think is gonna take over? I know its still early on, but hey, im curious.

  • http://batman-news.com tominsocal1

    @Peter Hassett: Interesting you pasted Neil’s draft analysis there. I went top to bottom on NHL GMs about a year ago and rated McPhee “about 20th best.” Since then, at least two of those worse (Feaster and Gilles) are gone plus I think Howsom in CBJ. The draft analysis has Caps about 20th there. Also of note, the 2001 draft was considered “Good,” but let’s face it, Sutherby and Pettinger don’t make a good draft. Neither was a difference maker. The 2002 draft looked good over about a five-year period but Semin has really faded off. Problem is, McPhee’s drafting is one of his – ahem – strongest points. The fire sale probably his high water mark and he has also done a decent job in some low-level trades like Chimera, although of late the Perreault deal was as bad as the Chimmer deal was good.

    My final grade for McPhee is “Below Average,” a C- at best but more likely a D+. Player development has been weak. His selection of HC’s has been pretty bad. And one of the biggest problems has been his penchant for acquiring players who are weaker than their size, especially his favorite “Puckmoving” defensemen, guys like Mironov, Pothier, Corvo, Poti, etc. Poti got tossed around like a rag doll by Sid in 09 and Jeff Schultz couldn’t bench press a pencil. Then we have all the “quick, flashy but weak” forwards like Flash, MaJo, Baby Gus, etc. Fehr was a big disappointment until recently.

    McPhee as an NHL GM is below 50% and above 25%. For me, he’s not the guy you want to build a championship team. He’s had 17 years. We know he can’t do it. At least try and give someone else a chance. Maybe that someone else can finally get us a veteran coach, if nothing else.

  • https://twitter.com/Haddaweezy Holy_Cal

    I hope I’m wrong too.

  • OVECHKING

    If you look at what Jim Nill (ex detroit org) was able to accomplish in one summer, then I don’t think its all that wild to think that a new regime can make changes immediately to help this team get to the promise land.

  • OVECHKING

    Only general manager in North American professional sports who has a 3x MVP on his roster and never appeared in a championship game. This has never happened in the MLB, NBA or NFL. Something like this just doesn’t happen. – source TPR04

  • http://batman-news.com tominsocal1

    The real question is where does the blood-letting begin? I believe the right move is to put Dick Patrick out to pasture, finally, and do like many teams are doing now and hire a president who will be involved in the team. Then let the president pick a GM and then the two of them can select a coach. There was speculation earlier that Gretzky could be the president. Dale Hunter would be an interesting choice except that I think he may have tired of Ted. Terry Murray could possibly be a choice as Prez. I don’t profess to know. The thing with Gretzky, could he bring in Messier as GM? Again, my opinion is McPhee is below average, so I want someone new, although I don’t know who that person would be.

  • Eric Schulz

    I can’t see your side of things… I thought Oates was given too much crap overall, but the article by Katie painted a pretty bleak picture… things were even worse (re: Oates and GMGM) than I thought.

  • Bilal

    A lot of people have been talking about how our management (ted and D.P and such) are business people, and that they more about the money then the team. If we were to get another president/owner or something, I hope it could be like a former player or something. They seem to be the more “involved with the team” type, due to there love and passion for this sport. Ted is more in it for the money. Notice how back when we were given the 2015 Winter Classic a few months ago (which is pretty cool BTW), Ted said it was his dream to host one. Why is his dream, hosting a winter classic, rather then a Stanley cup? Probably because hosting a winter classic gets you a lot of money………..

  • Eric Schulz

    Pothier was pretty damn good… we moved him for Corvo (we obviously needed more offense that year, so we could afford to lose a little defense, right?… right?), and we never really got a chance to do anything with him on the roster. MoJo, I believe was a ridiculous pick, given how low he was. Not many guys after him were at all worthwhile (obviously there are a few, but we got damn good value there)…
    I agree with your overall point, but I really do think he’s drafted very well. I remember reading an article about a year or two ago that broke it down by expected GVT per spot that stated that he was average to slightly-below-average, but I can’t find it again… so maybe I’m overrated him, but it feels like he’s done a great job drafting, we just needed to hit on one or two big free agents, and we never really have, right? Everybody loves Grabovski this year… before now, I don’t think anybody. Certainly not a physical defender like we needed. Shit, even an Andrew Ference this last year could’ve been huge paired with Green on the 2nd D unit. Years ago, a guy like Rob Scuderi; we didn’t need anybody remotely elite, just a steady guy. And, with the prospects we’ve developed, we *could’ve* added a big piece (Neuvirth should’ve netted us a young top-4 guy, Forsberg should’ve… )
    I would have NO problem with him sticking around if his only responsibility was drafting.

  • Eric Schulz

    To be fair, continuity is awesome… remember when “continuity” would’ve meant more Bruce Boudreau?

  • Eric Schulz

    To be fair, we traded Varly because a) he was injury-prone, and b) the position was stacked. I think Holtby is better than Varly (obviously Varly’s had a better season, but this is an outlier, in a good way, for Varly, and bad for Holtby… overall, I think it’s very close, Holtby’s been insane in the playoffs, Holtby’s younger, cheaper, and more durable). Plus, we got this INSANELY talented prospect with that 11th pick we got from the Avs… so, hooray for turning Forsberg into Chris Brown (I like his drafting, not his trades).

  • DashingDave314

    The wager should have been the loser has to eat a burrito at a restaurant of the winner’s choosing! #ConvertIanToChipotle

  • Eric Schulz

    From what I’ve seen, Penner is ridiculous at forechecking… that would seem to be a hell of an attractive skill to have from the third forward on a line with Ovie and Backstrom… we should’ve seen him be able to use that, and his size and skill, to complement those 2.
    He made some great skill plays (setting up Ward), but at only 6-7 mins per game, it’s hard to tell. Only thing I saw that I can say with confidence is: dude can forecheck.

  • Eric Schulz

    Taco Bell rules; way better than any “real” Mexican place.

  • MuzzMuzzington

    Good Guy Ian: Knows his bets result in the opposite happening, bets for Oates to remain as coach.

  • DashingDave314

    Peter, you should have made the wager “loser has to eat a Chipotle burrito”. #ConvertIanToChipotle

  • OVECHKING

    According to the katie article, Varly was identified to be the best goalie in the caps system from the management but Mcphee was not prepared to give him $2.8M a season because they weren’t sure if he would ever be successful. They didn’t want to commit to him. The reason Mcphee couldn’t sign Varly was because he overpaid for a guy like brooks laich. Its all very ridiculous what mcphee has done with the more recent trades.

  • DashingDave314

    Holtby’s better anyway. Stop being a contrarian troll and actually formulate points.

  • OVECHKING

    If you consider what Penner brought to the table for the Ducks (the games he wasn’t a healthy scratch for Bruce), he provided net front pressure and defensive zone help in the corners for Perry and Getzlaf. That was the most important and underrated thing about him I think. When that line got caught in their own zone, he seemed to be the guy who could plug a corner during an opposing team’s cycle play and break it up. Get Getzlaf the puck and they would do the rest. He was on pace for a 50 point season when he was playing in Anehiem. You can rationalize what Mcphee was trying to recreate here with Ovechkin and Backstrom. But at the point of acquiring Penner, oates had alread begun experimenting Ovi and Backy on different lines. The rest is history.

    I’ve never witnessed this must dysfunction between Coach and Gm ever.
    GMGM thought Orlov was ready contribute, Oates did not. He though Carrick and Schmidt would be better to fill #5. Force Orlov to ask for a trade.

    GMGM though Nuevy and Holtby could be #2 and #1. Oates did not as he played Grubs for close to two weeks straight when both his NHL goalies were healthy. Didn’t give Nuevy a start for a month. Forced Nuevy to ask for a trade.

    GMGM though Erat was a top 6 F. Oates thought Erat was best as on his off wing when Erat spent his entire career on the right side… Oates put him on the 4th line because Erat couldn’t adjust. Forced him to ask for a trade.

    Oh boy.

  • 70Caps

    I just think he is part of the problem, and so is George McPhee, but there are so many other factors that led to the capitals having such a mediocre season.

  • OVECHKING

    A player never given a chance to succeed playing his natural game… common occurrence under oates regime.

  • 70Caps

    I am thinking the same thing.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    I still think we should give him another 17 before we rush to judgment

  • OVECHKING

    Binding agreement with the coach! 17 more years of Oates and Don Fishman too.

  • Eric Schulz

    I think the uncertainty was due to his injury history though, not his talent level.

  • OVECHKING

    Yea probably.

  • OVECHKING

    I simply point to the Stars “rebuild” in one offseason under Nill as an example of what is possible. Its to bad people of Nill’s expertise are not many, but this caps team is not a full rebuild away but a 2-3yr plan away from contending again with the right guy steering the ship.

  • Eric Schulz

    I agree I’d rather have Holtby, but he just said that Varly was identified as the best goalie in the Caps system… this was back when we had Varly, obviously, so Holtby wasn’t nearly as advanced/mature of a player as he is now.

  • Matt McNeely

    There ya go! See what happens when you show your work? Quality discussion. And nobody gets mad. I just want to see you be nice.

  • Eric Schulz

    We’re one year away with the right guy… keep Grabovski, add one defender to pair with Green, one to pair with Orlov.. get a good coach:
    Ovechkin – Backstrom – Fehr
    Kuznetsov – Grabovski – Wilson
    Laich – Johansson – Brouwer
    Chimera – Latta – Ward
    Alzner – Carlson
    X – Green
    Orlov – X
    Holtby
    Grubauer
    that’s a contender (maybe you upgrade the backup too; I’d prefer a veteran… but not a huge deal.. if Holtby goes down, we’re screwed, but most teams would be if they lost their starter).

  • john

    two points regarding some comments made. about not hiring an NHL coach with experience, hasnt every single NHL coach been hired without experience as a nhl head coach? i could be wrong, but pretty sure a rookie, second year, third year, and maybe beyond head coach has won the cup.

    those who say mcphee inherited the team for their only cup run. if GMGM is gone next year, and the caps happen to get to the final, will you say the same thing, that the current GM inherited the team or the new GM was a mastermind?

  • Matt McNeely

    Oh! You forgot the .gif I posted. The one with the girl making the face. I liked that one a lot.

  • Matt McNeely

    I rarely do. Felt like maybe I could make a difference today. I dunno… fuck it.

  • Eric Schulz

    2nd point first: GMGM has done, IMO, a great job of building a foundation, but he has shown he cannot finish the job. The primary reason (I’ve stated many other places): he can’t identify the problem. It’s defense.. we need a top-4 guy to pair with Green, and I’d look for a slightly lesser version of that player to pair with Orlov on the 3rd… since GMGM thinks goaltending is the problem, we will NEVER address it, fix it, and contend under him. (He’s had 17 years, and I think the only time he addressed defense was the Flash-for-Hannan trade… which I liked – not happy to see Flash go, but the trade made sense to me – then he let Hannan go that very offseason).
    I think our roster next year should look like:
    Ovechkin – Backstrom – Fehr
    Kuznetsov – Grabovski – Wilson
    Laich – Johansson – Brouwer
    Chimera – Latta – Ward
    Alzner – Carlson
    X – Green
    Orlov – X
    Holtby
    X
    with Beagle as a scratch… Brown waiting in the wings, a very nice prospect pool all waiting (I thought no way Burakovsky would be ready next year… the way he’s going, he might be, but even if he is, another year couldn’t hurt)… a pretty nice AHL defense with Carrick, Schmidt, Brouillette and Wey down there (pretty sure all would be AHLers next year), but to me, those guys don’t complement our NHLers… if Green goes down, then sure, move Orlov up a line and callup Schmidt, but I don’t want more OFD with OFD pairs… and Grubauer developing

    I’d be okay with signing just one guy to pair with Green (I’d look for a rebuilding team willing to make a trade first, since it’s a weak FA class with re: to defense, but I’m sure there’s one legit DFD out there that we could add), and using Brouillette as Orlov’s partner… sign a veteran goalie, and see how the team develops. If we need another guy on defense, we can add him via trade. Maybe the signing doesn’t work; perhaps you move the FA to Orlov’s pair, and add a legit top-4 guy; you have to be willing to move some legit players, but we have some. Maybe Johansson, Carrick, Sanford, Galiev, and a 2nd to add a legit top-4 DFD, and then you move Latta up, and callup Brown for the 4th (or just dress Beagle). If the FA is good enough, but Brouillette is up-and-down, you can make a smaller trade, and use Brouillette as your 7th defenseman.
    I don’t think we are that far away… and we owe GMGM for that… but it’s clear that he isn’t going to finish the job.. not just because “he’s been here 17 years and hasn’t gotten it done,” that’s a tenuous argument (like, San Jose hasn’t won a Cup, but as good as they are, I wouldn’t rule them out… they could be a contender for another 5-10 years)… but for reasons that can be identified: he can’t get a coach, he alienates players, he thinks our defense is good enough.

  • Matt McNeely

    I kinda felt the same way about GMGM. I would have been okay having him back, but that piece by Katie Carerra in the Post really frightened me. There’s no reason to think all of her sources are anything but reputable. That story hit very hard for me. I think he should go along with Oates.

  • Eric Schulz

    Yeah, I don’t know why Oates seemed to have such a problem with it… dude is a Hall of Famer, I’m just some dude who watches a lot of hockey.. you’d think that he could nail that part, at least… if he failed as a coach, you think it’d be the other, day-to-day, mundane stuff, not the easier things, like fucking line combinations…

  • OVECHKING

    Exactly. Well said. I’m not looking for gangpack mentality either. Just an honest shake. Yesterday, things got pretty serious on the ex caps player coach thread and peter dove into some pretty good debate about the caps from more “passionate” fans. I’d hope he enjoyed that from the usual pat on the back stuff people usually post in the comments. Within the comment policy of this site, it mandates and promotes active discussion and debate. The “fun” stuff is just “fun stuff”, not much to debate there.

    You can kinda relate it to people playing low level organized sports. You’ll have guys who want to win and get disappointed when they dont, but you will also have guys who are just there to “have fun” and fool around. The people there to win have fun too, its hard to explain but their fun is enhanced when they win. Theres nothing in it when you win or lose. Just like theres nothing in it here if im RIGHT or WRONG. When I play a pick up game of hockey with my buddies, I want to win, I usually have one or two guys on my team that d!ck around and dont care, it frustrates me during the game and if we end up losing im a bit sour, but I enjoy the game throughout. Its not like anybodies not having fun. Again at the end, I would not have gotten anything out of winning (in comments, being right) or losing (being wrong). It is what it is.

  • John M

    I don’t think it’s desperation-quite the opposite. With the pressure gone, the team is finally able to relax and play (and other teams, especially the Blackhawks, have not shown up). Maybe if the NCAA disqualifies the Capitals from the postseason for 2014-2015 due to backstrom’s allergy medicine, they can go to win the President’s Trophy.

  • Eric Schulz

    The problem is, while McPhee has set up the team for success, there’s no reason to think he can finish the job. He laid the foundation… the house is built now, but we don’t have any electricity, and he thinks the problem is that our TV isn’t big enough… we aren’t going to fix that final problem and contend with him as GM.
    Hypothetically, let’s say this offseason he:
    fires Oates
    brings in a legit coach (not sure who I think it needs to be.. but hypothetical, so no details necessary)

    resigns Grabovski
    trades Grubauer, Carrick, Sanford, Galiev, and a 2nd for Bogosian
    is that enough that I want to keep him? Well, yes. All I want is some impact defenders; two good ones would be great, one great one may be even better (and I think those are definitely pieces we can give up; trade makes sense to me too; maybe Jets aren’t looking to move Bogosian, but with Trouba, Byfuglien, Enstrom, Stuart, let’s say they can move him, and they need to upgrade their goalie situation; we have Holtby, I think we all want a veteran backup… even though we all want to keep Grubauer, I think we would be okay with moving him for a legit top-4 guy to pair with Green… Bogosian is young enough, big enough, that I think we know have an excellent top-4… with Green, Orlov, Schmidt, I think Carrick, while his future is bright, is also expendable… and our 3rd pair is Orlov with somebody: Brouillette, Wey, Schmidt, a free agent, w/e… we look pretty good) given that we have some nice young ones coming up; I think they still skew too offensive, but w/e. If we add a guy like Bogosian to pair with Green (Alzner – Carlson, then Bogosian – Green), now we just need somebody to emerge to pair with Orlov; between Brouillette, Wey, Schmidt, Bowey… we definitely have a guy who will be good enough even if we don’t know which one it’ll be.
    The problem is… GMGM thinks our defense is good enough, so I don’t see a situation where he actually addresses it.. to me, that ONE thing is what prevents him from sticking.. if not for that, I would definitely be cool with keeping him for another decade. I love continuity, I have no problem with churning out a contender every year. You don’t want to be the Sharks, not ever winning the Cup, but you don’t fire the GM who put together a contender every year just because of bad luck… but GMGM has a huge blind spot, and I don’t see that changing… it’s been 17 years.

  • Eric Schulz

    The problem with that is, it hurts teams that draft low… Pens had Crosby, Malkin, Fleury, Staal, in 4 straight years (I believe… it may have been 4 out of 5, w/e), ALL were top-4 picks. WOW, way to scout Malkin there, very savvy… and, as Ovechking responds (and is absolutely right), GMGM deserves little credit for Ovechkin… that was an obvious pick. Backstrom I don’t think was *that* obvious at the time… but he was a pretty highly rated prospect.
    The big thing is, I feel like GMGM really *didn’t* do a good job of drafting, but it seems like he’s done better recently. There was an article that addressed drafting in general (and touched on GMGM in particular a bit; it wasn’t about him, or the Caps, but he was singled out for some reason… I think it had something to do with him adding extra picks so that he could take chances, like grabbing Semin and Kuznetsov – you know, Mercurial and Enigmatic players – which… if you have more picks, you don’t need to hit on as many), and they looked at GVT, and the average GVT of a player for each position. That’s a better way to judge… have no idea how I’ll find it though.

  • Eric Schulz

    I didn’t read that article until now… I knew that he was pretty bad in later rounds (later being non-1st, at least in the NHL… hard to get value past the top-10, honestly), but it’s hard for everybody. Honestly, if you get a legit pick in the 1st round, you are doing fine. You have to hit on lower picks because you won’t go without 1st round busts… but, if you have extra 1sts, then that’s even less important.
    Not that I want to keep GMGM, of course… but people always seem to misunderstand the NHL draft, and therefore incorrectly evaluate how good somebody is at drafting (and how much value a draft pick actually has).

  • http://batman-news.com tominsocal1

    Ted is P.T. Barnum; McPhee is MC of the three-ring circus; and Ovechkin is the lion tamer.

    As long as the tickets sell, Ted is happy. Remember a few years back when a writer questioned Ted’s unflagging allegiance to McPhee? Ted said, and I paraphrase, “Why should I change anything? The renewals are at 98%.”

    We all have our motivations in life. Mine is seeking out the best wines up and down the California Central Coast to pair with my dinners; Ted’s is selling tickets.

    Tonight it is Fess Parker 2009 Viognier paired with pan seared albacore tuna. Bon appetite.

  • http://batman-news.com tominsocal1

    You just said “average to below average” and then “great job” in the same performance review.

    It can’t be both, now can it?

  • http://batman-news.com tominsocal1

    Boudreau hasn’t accomplished one thing to date in the Playoffs. Once he does, and I wish him the best coming up, both he and Matty P., a big loss of us Caps fans, I’ll sing a different tune.

  • http://batman-news.com tominsocal1

    I will always believe Varly was traded because George wouldn’t pay going rate; no, couldn’t pay, because our cap had been used up by guys like Hamrlik. The Caps mistreated vary, just like McPhee has mistreated many players.

  • Eric Schulz

    Boudreau is a great coach… a great coach isn’t going to be the ONE factor that contributes to playoff success, you need other things (a good roster, an experienced goalie, a goalie playing at the top of his game, some puck luck, the officials to not suck), but I’d rather have a great coach than a not-great coach. If you have a great coach, you keep him, give him the best team you can, and go at it. If you don’t have playoff success, you go back at it again the next year, and so on. Only one team wins the Cup; not winning it doesn’t mean you suck; but if you suck, you won’t win it.

  • Eric Schulz

    Key phrase was “FEELS LIKE.” I’m saying that it SEEMS like he’s done a very good job drafting, especially of late, just by looking at some of our young guys in the NHL (Kuznetsov finally, Wilson, Carrick is a good player although not NHL-caliber yet, but I think we all like his upside/future, Grubauer) as well as our pretty good (you know, not as good as if we had Forsberg, not nearly, but still) prospect pipeline/farm system.
    But the article stated that he wasn’t… it’s like when your eye tells you one thing, and the numbers tell you another. MORE THAN LIKELY, I’m wrong… but it also seems like he’s done better recently, so I wish I could find the article and try to figure out WHY it didn’t like him, so I could see if 1) it was right to not like it, 2) if it matters (if he is savvy enough to acquire 2 extra low 1sts every year, then only hits on one of our 3, then so what? We aren’t maximizing the picks, but that’s just as good as hitting on it without acquiring the extra picks), and 3) if he has gotten better recently, or if I’m overrating him.

  • Eric Schulz

    … at the time, I thought that, with Varly, Neuvirth, and Holtby, we had 3 goalies, and you only need 2. It was a position of strength. Varly probably had the most trade value, and we got back a HELL of a package; some people panned it, thinking the Avs gave up too much. They were underrating Varly; as it turns out, even more than I realized. Also, that pick ended up being lower than we had any right to expect… so, from that perspective, it wasn’t as great as I thought, BUT we still got a top-4 pick out of it… I thought that trade was a great job by McPhee.. I just hated that he wasted it by giving away Forsberg.
    At the time, our farm system was *weak.* Although we needed (then, now, and always) a defender or two, I liked that trade because it’s so much harder to get high picks; we could’ve easily added a quality defender in FA and really put ourselves in good position… so, after the draft, we were in EXCELLENT position… then, GMGM wasted it by not addressing defense in the draft, then giving away Forsberg… one step forward, two back…
    However, I didn’t, and still don’t, have a problem with the trade, not given that we had Neuvirth and Holtby.

  • Tadd

    I’m with Ian on this one. I think Adam Oates will coach this team for many years to come, almost no matter what. HIs assistant might (hopefully) change though.

  • madsenkd

    If Ian loses he should also be have to learn how to perform a proper handshake.

  • CadleCreek

    So if the Ducks win it this year it’s a better roster? BB had goalies and the puck luck, ref whining doesn’t fly.

  • RESmith

    At least, you guys got him to finally post the citation. That was a difference.

  • RESmith

    I try to. That is why I comment here on RMNB now than the WaPo Caps articles. The community here, in general, is respectful of that.

  • VeggieTart

    Laich, really? And Chimmer and Ward should NOT be on the fourth line under any circumstances.

  • serpent

    Thank you!

  • http://batman-news.com tominsocal1

    17 hours, we can agree with that.

    “17 Years a General Manager: The George McPhee Story,” on bookshelves starting Tuesday.

    I’d better get busy writing.

  • http://batman-news.com tominsocal1

    The article was drafts through 2006. McPhee had some terrible years. Until 2002 he only drafted Pettinger and Sutherby who helped us at all. Got some good ones in 2002, although in the long run they did nothing to help get past the 2nd round. 2003 a bust unless you count Fehr, now a re-tred. 2004 a big year but Ovi was consensus no 1 and we only got that jumping from third on the lottery to first. Schultz in hindsight not a good pick. 2005 a total bust, Sasha Pokulok was ranked like a 3rd rounder but George knows best, right? Backstrom and Alzner the next two years were good. Perreault a great pick 6th rd 2006 but gave him away! And we all loved Matty P for what he bring. 2008 was a very good pick to package Eminger and a no 3 for Carlsson (guess Eminger wasn’t so great in 2002?). I forget Varly and Neuvy but then again both were, essentially, given away. So you have only Latta and Brown from them. Baby Gus another head-scratcher. Kuzzy might be a good one, as might Burakovsky. 2011 pick became Brouwer, you can say that worked. All the other players are still prospects, although Tom Wilson likely real deal and Grubauer seems to have been a good one. Bottom line, 17 years a general manager, and his overall record in that time (two second round appearances after 2008) is extremely McPheediocre.

  • http://batman-news.com tominsocal1

    @Eric Schultz: The bottom line is you are crediting George McPhee as being good in the draft. However, in the last two years or so he has given away Varly, Neuvy, Forsberg, Eakin and Perreault all the return is Brown and Latta. McPhee is fond of arrogantly saying, “Because we (notice use of royal ‘We’) have drafted so well, we can make these trades.” No, his drafting hasn’t been “so well” but maybe “above average a little, counting all 17 years.” But, giving so much talent away, this is like if I said to you, “Hey, Eric, I made a million dollars in the stock market.” “Wow, Tom, that’s great.” “OK, but I lost a million too.” (BTW, this is the truth, sadly.)

    “17 Years a General Manager: The George McPhee Story”

    Look for it on bookshelves beginning Tuesday.

  • Eric Schulz

    They lost in the 1st round last year; you call that “lucky?” Nope.

  • Eric Schulz

    What if the circumstances were: they will DEFINITELY regress given their numbers this year (they were outpossessed, they just had a very high shooting and and their on-ice save percentage). Also, Laich is better than Chimera, Brouwer is better than Ward… so, yeah, they are on a line ahead of those two (and Johansson is better than Latta). Having 4 strong lines is a good thing.

  • Eric Schulz

    Varly was “given away” for Filip Forsberg; that was an awesome trade.

  • factoryofsadness

    yall havent been to freebirds. I will never eat chipotle again.
    #capsfanintexas

  • factoryofsadness

    liked it until i saw 21/20. BLACK. HOLE. Everything else is just about perfect with that though.

  • http://batman-news.com tominsocal1

    Oh, I agree, it looked great for awhile. But, in the end, we got two picks for Varly, and traded them along with Eakin, and we have Brown and Latta and Varly is a top-echelon NHL net minder. Those are the kind of deals that kill your team. Oh, and had McPhee made a better pick at 11, say Matta, maybe we never do the Erat deal and we have us another top-flight young blue liner. You can’t defend the man when the end results are McPheediocrity. Two 2nd round appearances in 16 years. Not good enough. He’s not terrible, not the worst, but he’s below average. And that won’t cut it.

  • Foppa

    Exactly – the guy’s been at it 17 yrs [longest-tenured GM in the league] and presided over some stinkers – so yes, he’s been okay at drafting, relatively speaking.

    BUT – any semi-competent professional, drafting THAT HIGH for THAT LONG – is bound to hit on a few. Furthermore – he’s had way more misses than hits, especially given how high the Caps typically pick. How many late rounds Caps picks ever pan out (Caps fans: late in the 1st round – ie Kuzya – is not a late pick. Nor is high in the 2nd [Orlov, Erskine].

    The media, and especially Caps fans – simply cut gmgm waaaay too much slack. For a big-market team with a loyal, passionate fan base, you’d expect a lot more from the guy who’s been at it longer than anyone in the league.

    Time for gmgm to go.

  • Mike Logan

    By way of comparison, I think Ken Holland with DET is the only other gm who’s been at it longer than the press-friendly gmgm – but it’s apples and oranges to compare drafting, because DET, which makes the playoffs every year – picks way lower than gmgm. Of course, those lower picks tend to do at least as well as gm’s high ones – Datsyuk (6th round), Zetta (7th rd), Nyqyuist (late 4th), Lidstrom (3rd).

    There’s also the minor point, that, DET has not only made the playoffs however-many straight yrs, they’ve also won cups in the interim – gmgm has won how many playoff series, exactly?

  • Mike Logan

    Overall I agree – but you still give gmgm too much credit imo, how can you say a guy’s built a great foundation – when D is the foundation to any championship team.

    Also – offensively I love your first line, but opposing coaches would be chomping at the bit – they’d never get the puck out of their own end.

  • Barrett

    Lou Lamoreillo has been with the Devils since 1987. Jim Rutherford with Carolina Hurricanes since 1994. Ken Holland and David Poile (who McPhee replaced) are just months behind in 1997.

    I agree though. Times up, George.

  • Mike Logan

    Good catch, and fair enough – but those guys have all won cups, iirc. Since his rookie year gmgm has not even come close.

  • Barrett

    Yeah, Rutherford has one. Lamoreillo and Holland have multiple cups. Poile is stuck in Nashville – his highlight is getting a playoff contender. McPhee is the worst if the four by far.

  • Owen Johnson

    Varly was the most talented maybe, but he was hurt all the time. He surrendered the #1 goalie position to Neuvirth that year and Holtby was playing well. We made the right move.

  • Stevarooni

    That’s what I bet here in the comments section last week but I was more specific that Calle would be gone, GMGM would be gone, and the new GM would determine how long Oates stays (which means he could be let go after 6 weeks next season).

    I’d be curious if you think Oates actually coaches the full season next year though. I don’t see that happening if I’m not the GM that hired Oates and trends continue, especially if he is not playing the players I’m bringing in or limiting them to small minutes on the 4th line.

  • Stevarooni

    Hey, I’m also a Caps fan in Texas!

    My associates and I view it as like Houston vs Dallas: people like one and not the other. I’m definitely a Chipotle guy over Freebirds – eating team lunches there once a week – but that’s not to say that I don’t agree with you that Tons of Texans do prefer Freebirds (for some reason) ;)

  • http://batman-news.com tominsocal1

    One good thing McPhee really great at, patting himself on the back and telling everyone how great he is. But, thanks in part to Katie’s article, plus all of us hammering away at him, the hockey world now knows the truth. Hopefully Ted does as well.

  • Eric Schulz

    I don’t think that Matta over Forsberg is a better pick. Forsberg, when is all said and done, ends up being a better player.
    I was merely trying to single out his drafting though, that’s why I ignored him eventually trading Forsberg; I think it’s missing the mark to get annoyed about the Varly trade when the Forsberg trade was the obviously bad one… I think his trades have been mostly solid, with a few good ones… and his bad ones are awful. I’m not defending him; I want him fired. It’s just frustrating, because he’s not so bad that it’s so obvious he needs to be fired. He does a lot of good things, and has put us in pretty good position moving forward. He’s not an awful GM to have; if you are rebuilding, you could do a lot worse. I just don’t think we take the next step with him.

  • Eric Schulz

    The puck would never be in their own end. Fehr dominates possession, as does Ovechkin, and Backstrom too. Plus, Backstrom is incredibly underrated defensively. The fact that those 3 dominate possession tells me that they are better defensively than you think.

    You are using the word “foundation” differently than I am. I’m saying, if your foundation, or core, is Ovechkin, Backstrom, Grabovski, Kuznetsov up front, Alzner, Carlson, Green on the blueline, and Holtby in net, you can, and should, contend. If I give you those guys to build around, and then you can choose from among Brouwer, Penner, Fehr, Wilson, Laich, Chimera, Ward, Johansson, Beagle, Latta, Brown, Orlov, Hillen, Schmidt, Oleksy, Carrick, Brouillette, and Wey to fill the holes or use as trade bait, you have a contender on your hands, no question (I think you need a legit partner for Green on the 2nd pair, and we don’t have that, but you have the pieces for a trade; you can easily choose a few pieces from the 2nd group – and prospects I haven’t mentioned – to address that without losing a piece you need. Johansson, Carrick, and a 2nd ought to be enough to get you most of the way there depending on the needs of the other team… you throw in another piece, Sanford if they want a forward, we could even move Orlov if they wanted a defender, and have Schmidt takes his 3rd spot… I wouldn’t want to move Orlov, but that package would be pretty ridiculous; if the team was rebuilding, they’d have a hard time saying no to that).

  • Bugs Fire

    OK, thanks. So I take it you feel that Penner is a niche player out of his niche? He should walk then (and he likely will).

    As for dysfunctional management, it is indeed quite remarkable. My unfounded conspiracy theory is that Oates accepted the job with singular goal to undermine McPhee. Maybe to the point where he does not even care if he loses his own job. I am no expert, but Oates’ lines seemed to be designed to minimize productivity. And most of McPhee’s rather decent moves at the trade deadline were simply fixing the mess. At which point Oates did everything to assure that Halak and Penner are not staying.

  • Boush