Had he only settled for 3…

 

Sports can be baffling from time to time.  You see these sure fire/can’t miss types that you’re certain will achieve greatness, and yet for one reason or another it never comes to forwishen.  Ryan Leaf was one of these guys, maybe the biggest bust in the history of the NFL.  Some guys don’t bust, they just don’t get to the level we thought.  Thinking of guys like Eric Lindros, Patrick Ewing, and OF COURSE King Kong Bundy.

Bundy was “the next big thing” in the WWE in the mid 1980’s.  He had the looks, the obesity, and the generic black tights to shoot right to the top in short order.  However he did not get off to such a smooth start and that seems to happen a lot with such gifted athletes when they have so much talent.  It took a blockbuster trade (yes this actually happened) from Jimmy Hart in exchange for Adrian Adonis and the Missing Link.

It is possible that Hart’s managerial techniques could have been part of the problem for Bundy initially.  The megaphone that Hart used to communicate to his wrestlers may have in fact hindered Bundy’s ability to hear, or perhaps was more of a distraction than the advantage it was meant to be.

But they didn’t call Bobby Heenan “the brain” for nothing…they called him that because he self glossed himself that.  But this trade was one of the better ones in WWE history (it may have been the only one for all I know, I don’t ever remember a trade being done).  Bundy really took off after this, going all the way to a title match with champion Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania 2. 

Bundy had a huge advantage in the match, as Hogan came into the fight with badly injured ribs (they had to be, they had tape around them).  But KKB failed to take advantage of Hogan’s injury, and lost the match.  In fairness to Bundy, a cage match couldn’t have been helpful.  The object is to get out of the cage and Bundy’s poor 40 time of 41 seconds was evidence that he may not have the speed needed to escape.  But make no mistake about it; this was a choke job of epic proportions.  

It was the closet Bundy ever came to winning the title.  He left the WWE in 1988.  HOWEVER, he made a dramatic return in late 1994!  This time should have been different.  He was much wiser, much more focus, still fat as hell.

But as what happens with so many richly gifted athletes, he eventually became over confident.   KKB started doing something that was unheard of in the business and could in no way help his pursuit of a title.  He began asking referees for a 5 count.

Career suicide!  Sure, it looked real bad ass and was fine to do against guys like the Brooklyn Brawler and Chyna.  But what about when he got to the big matches?!  It is so very difficult to keep a man’s shoulders pinned to the mat for a 3 count (as evidence by how many counts only get to 2….all but 1 per match in fact), let alone 5!

To the shock of nobody, once KKB started asking for a 5 count, his career once again stalled.  Bundy would lose to the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 11, a match that could have got him back in line for a title shot, but it wasn’t meant to be.

It really is sad to see such huge talents never achieve their expected level of greatness.  The big difference here might be that while Lindros had his injuries and Ewing had Michael Jordan in his way, Bundy really doesn’t have anyone to blame but himself.  Sure for a while he had Hogan in his way, but in his 2nd stint he should have achieved that greatness.  But his ego got in the way and the 5 count was more important than the gold.

 

Follow me on twitter @TJ_Soups

HOW did he do?

 

Get it?!  Howson…HOW…it works on so many different levels!  The sheer genius behind it is indescribable!  No wonder you are reading this right now, Soups and his writing is in-freakin-credible!!!  Laugh my friends, I know there is no way possible that you are laughing at me, you’re laughing with me!  Oh right, talking about that trade that happened…

Well, Scott Howson was in a very difficult spot with Nash.  If you ask me he made a big mistake, but it wasn’t yesterday.  While a nobody such as myself would ever be able to find this out, I think he could have got a better deal at the trade deadline.  Howson tried to call Rick’s bluff in this process and it didn’t work, Nash didn’t budge one bit.  Howson worked out a deal with Ottawa(according to reports) and Nash said no, sticking to his original list of teams.  Had Howson dealt him at the deadline he perhaps would have gotten an extra piece, or he may have got a more elite piece like J.T. Miller or perhaps at that time maybe Chris Krieder (although he likely he would have only got 2 pieces in a deal for Krieder). 

The deal Howson got today wasn’t BAD.  He got 4 pieces back.  But the roster players he got in my mind are a dime a dozen.  I’m not a big Dubinsky fan, I like Anisimov and he has some upside but the most he will ever turn into is a 2nd line guy, and Erixon forced his way out of Calgary strictly to go to the Rangers, only to be dealt away a year later.  He is the elite piece here and who knows how he will react to this deal.  Add to that while he is a solid 2 way D-man, in the limit viewings I’ve had of him I don’t see him as anything more than a nice 3/4 D-man that can play on the PP but not QB it, is solid in his own zone but can’t be relied upon as a shutdown guy.

But in fairness to Howson while it may not seem like he got much back today, history shows that he may come out of this just fine.  The deal the Senators did with the Sharks in the summer of 09 for Heatley worked out great forOttawa.  Milan Michalek just had a career high in goals with 35, hit the 60 point mark for the first time since 07 and plays a multi-dimensional game.  And he has a great contract too with 2 more years left at a 4.3 million cap hit.  Meanwhile Heatley has already been dealt from the Sharks, his point totals have been drastically dropping the last 2 seasons and he is perhaps the most 1 dimensional player in the league.  His cap hit is a horrible 7.5 million a year.

Another example would be the Oilers with Pronger.  While there is no doubt Kevin Lowe probably should have done better than he did, at the end of the day that package still turned into Ladislav Smid and Jordan Eberle who are going to be 2 very key pieces moving forward for the Oil.  Definitely not a win for Lowe (most weren’t), but it wasn’t a total loss.

I have tore apart Howson on this site quite a bit, but he didn’t do too bad.  Keep in mind, Nash didn’t have a great year, he is a winger (albeit a 6’4, 230 pound winger that can fly and play a complete game), and that 7.8 cap hit is a large pill to swallow.  Again, I believe his mistake was not pulling the trigger at the deadline, but who knows what the offers were back then.  I don’t agree with GM’s that look for quantity over quality and most of them do when it comes to these deals.  Who cares if fans think a guy is worth 3 or 4 guys?!  Get guys that are going to be cornerstones and if that means you only get 2 players for your superstar, so be it. 

But this was pretty much par for the course.  I wouldn’t call it a win by any means, but it’s not as bad as many in the media have made it out to be.  Howson actually has fashioned a decent team.  Although he still needs to upgrade that goaltending.  Dubinsky and Anisimov could each have 70 point seasons and Erixon could emerge as a top pairing D-man and yet it still won’t mean anything with a goaltending combo of Mason and Bobrovsky.

 

Follow on twitter @TJ_Soups or @Soups_on_Sports

Typical Philly

 

Well it was late last night (early this morning in the East) that Darren Dreger broke the news that Shea Weber had signed an offer sheet with the Flyers.  14 years/100 million.  In some ways I’m shocked, because while I was pretty certain Weber wanted to leave Nashville, I thought he would force a trade rather than give the Preds a shot to match an offer sheet.  But then again it’s the Flyers, they’ve done this for decades.

 

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a HUGE Shea Weber fan.  Great player, great person, in my mind he is the most complete defenseman in the game today who is just now entering his prime.  But Philly could easily be just screwing themselves even further.  The Bryzgalov contract is embarrassing, the Pronger contract was embarrassing, and now they add this one in that will cost them a boat load of picks when they already got a pretty depleated system.

 

Sure they have some real good young players like the Schenn brothers, Couturier and of course Giroux.  And they’ve drafted great.  But having said that these moves are usually suicide for a franchise.  Not to mention, guys are going to stop signing there once they figure out that while the Flyers embrace you today, they’ll likely spit you out in 2 or 3 years when something shiney and new comes along.

 

And if they want a reason as to why they make all these big moves and never win that is likely it.  How about building it from within and allowing those players to grow together?!  Crazy thought I know, especially when 4 of the last 5 Stanley Cup champs have been built that way.  When you bring in a bunch of UFA’s and big stars it takes time to build chemistry.  I know it seems easy and logical that you go get a superstar to plug in and you should be a lot better.  But it rarely ever happens that way.

 

As for Weber, if he didn’t want to go back to Nashville and they match….what the hell is he doing?!  Dreger said on twitter that Detroit, NYR, San Jose and of course Philly were in big trade talks with the Preds, which would indicate to me that Weber didn’t want to be back and knowing this Poile was trying to get something for him.  Let the trade happen.  I don’t know why if the Preds do have the money they’ve claimed to have that they wouldn’t match the offer.  So Weber is stuck!  Wouldn’t that be something if the Preds match and essentially have no money left in their budget to put pieces around him.  I hope Weber and agent Jarrett Bousquet know what they’re doing.

 

One thing I can’t criticize the Flyers of is being boring.  They’re a dynasty when it comes to winning the offseason.  And what a comeback it was this year.  Just when you and I all thought they were done for, they rose up and snatched back that title!  Too bad it’s July and winning that counts past them by in early May with a dismal performance vs the Devils….after making big splashes last offseason.  We will see how this one goes.

 

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So much for all those trades…

 

It was going to be the summer of wheeling and dealing in the NHL.  Rick Nash didn’t get moved at the trade deadline but don’t you worry he will be going at the draft.  And then Bobby Ryan was put back on the block and he would move right after Nash.  Roberto Luongo would for sure be dealt, the Canucks had to get him out.  Jay Bouwmeester was going to get moved as a salary dump, and Keith Yandle was dangled by the Yotes.  Yet here we are on July 17th….nothing.

 

I don’t know why I didn’t see this coming, this seems to be the way in the NHL these days.  Most NHL GM’s remind me of the girl that dresses up like a slut and then shuts down every guy in the bar.  Yep, I just said that.  But it’s true.  They say they’re looking to deal, but they want an absurd amount for their guys (Scott Howson I’m GLARING at you!)

 

Nash should command a good young roster player or 2, if  not 2 then a real good prospect, a decent prospect and a pick (not neccessarily a 1st).  So if we are talking about Nash going to the Rangers then the package should be Dubinsky, Del Zotto, J.T. Miller and a 2013 or 2014 1st.  That is more than enough for Nash who I like but has a pretty bad contract and hasn’t produced much in recent years (and you all know how I feel about going nuts for wingers).

 

So Howson should quit asking for guys like McDonaugh and Jeff Skinner from Carolina and get a deal done already.  He is only hurting his reputation at this point, even if Nash does crack and adds more teams to his list.

 

Ryan is being moved (if he is) because Bob Murray wants to have the cash to extend both Getzlaf and Perry but he may tick off Getzlaf and Perry if he moves Ryan.  If Ryan is moved I believe he commands the same as Nash, maybe a little more.  If we are talking about a team like Carolina dealing for him then I’m guessing the cost is Zac Dalpe, Ryan Murphy or Jamie McBain, Zach Boychuk or Drayson Bowman, and a 2013 1st.

 

Another team in on Ryan for sure will be the Leafs and in there case I would look at a package with Cody Franson, Nazem Kadri or Joe Colborne, Stuart Percy and again a 2013 1st.  If I’m either team I’m leary of doing this deal not because I’m not a Bobby Ryan fan but in my opinion neither team can afford to blow up the system like that, especially the Leafs who would still need to find that number 1 centre (unless JVR surpasses the highest of expecations).  The Ducks are in a much better spot with Ryan however because of him not having a NTC.  Nash does, had he not he would likely of been moved at this time.

 

Speaking of NTC’s, let’s talk about Luongo again….it’s Florida or Toronto Mike, make a decision because there is no market that you aren’t getting anything back for him.  Especially now that Schneider is locked down.  Trade him for a pick or a B level prospect and get the circus over with.

 

But at least that is more intriguing than an interview with Jay Bouwmeester (check out that lead in…that is sheer gold!)  And while Jay gives the worst interview in the league, and he’s failed to come close to expecatations in his career, and failed to live up to his huge contract signed in the summer of 09, he is still a solid number 2 D-man.  From what you have heard all summer, Feaster is looking to dump him.  I would have thought the price would have gone up on him, but perhaps Feaster wants too much for him…he is an awful GM (I will never let that go).  But there is a chance J-Bo won’t waive his NTC, man those things are awesome.  Let’s hope the NHL doesn’t ask to get rid of them while at the bargaining table….

 

As for Yandle I doubt he goes anywhere.  Maloney has dangled him, but I don’t think he is serious about moving him.  Wouldn’t be a bad move in my mind though.  They’re LOADED with D-men coming up (Ekman-Larsson, Gormley, Murphy, Schlemko, Goncharov, etc) and if you ask me I believe Yandle is much more a product of Tippett’s system than anything else.  Don’t get me wrong, he is a fine puck moving D-man.  But I don’t think he is more than a number 3 playing in another system.  Perhaps I’m dead wrong about that but he definitely never has done anything to impress me while watching him play.

 

So there is a little mid July look at how nothing is happening on the trade front in the NHL.  But before I go there is one more guy who could be on the move before the start of next season (January 1st….), and that of course is Shea Weber.  David Poile better not screw this one up.  Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada said last week he has heard whispers that Weber would prefer to play in more of a hockey market (I’m paraphrasing there).  If this is the case than Poile needs to move him ASAP because that value will shrink dramatically.

 

If Poile put Weber on the block before the summer was out, I know he could get a boat load from the Oilers, Flyers, Wings, Pens and perhaps the Bruins too.  Every team of course would have interest if Weber is willing to sign an extension, but those teams would have the desperation to pay what it would take to land him.

 

But then again don’t hold your breathe on that happening or any of these deals happening.  GM’s today believe the best way to hold on to your job is by not doing it, which is a shame for hockey fans.

 

Some whine with your Soups

 

I hate it.  No, like I REALLY hate it!  Every year “this” week rolls around.  The summer is sweet if you have the right job for it…I don’t.  The summer is sweet if you aren’t a big sports fan…I am.  The summer is sweet if you have time to get to the lake lots…I don’t. 

But despite all that, the rest of the summer from a sports POV is amazing compared to this.  This week is horrific.  I’m sure some of you out there were just jacked about the home run derby.  I’m sure some of you love watching the All-Star game so you can see all the games best players at once.  I’m sure some of you can’t get enough of Dwight Howard trade talk.  For me…I no longer fear hell.

Ok, that might be taking things a bit too far.  But holy shi…..cow, I can’t stand this week in sports.  If you think the players care about the All-Star game you are insane.  No, it doesn’t matter.  Sure the odd time it can get competitive like in 08 when it went 15 innings, but that is the exception to the rule.  More often than not it flat out sucks and last night was the suckiest it ever has sucked! (how’s that for maturity?)

Some people try to argue with me that “MLB’s game matters because it decides home field in the World Series”.  Lipstick on a pig.  It doesn’t matter because the players all know that it’s a hell of a lot more likely they won’t be playing in it than they will be.  Add to that, baseball might be the sport where home field makes no difference at all.  MAYBE for the Yankees, MAYBE for the Red Sox.  It used to be that it was a huge difference maker for the Twins.  In both 87 and 91 the Twins went 7 games in the World Series and all 8 of their victories came at the Metrodome.  The crowd combined with the wacky roof provided them with a great home field advantage.  But now it means very little.

As for the Dwight Howard trade talk that I hit on….ENOUGH already!!!  I used to be a big fan of this guy, but his act through out the season was a total disgrace, and now the only sports news we have is the on again off again talks that teams are having with the Magic about this guy.  1 day the Nets are where he is going, then the Nets are out and he’s going to one of the Lakers, Rockets, or Hawks…then the Nets are back in and have a deal done!  Then the deal is off and once again the Lakers, Rockets and Hawks are where he is going.

It is beyond annoying at this point.  For the love of Kazam could we please get a deal done with someone and be done with it?!?  I will touch on it for a minute and just say that I think it would be cool if they got a deal done with Brooklyn as then the Heat would have a legit rival that matches up well with them in a year or two.  But if he went to LA he would have a better chance of winning especially next year. Houston and Atlanta are wasting their time.  He won’t re-sign in either spot.  The Lakers can take that risk as few players ever want to leave that organization or town, the Rockets and Hawks can’t.

To top off all the sporting misery that I have suffered this week is the fact that it has been +30 all week.  I hate +30 unless I’m at the lake.  But I’m not at the lake now AM I?!?  No, I’m at home in my non air conditioned house writing a blog that nobody is likely reading at this point because it’s just me bitching about all that is wrong right now….and why can’t I get no damn Tang around here?! 

I guess I shouldn’t complain too much, I mean there was an MLS game on earlier.  Riveting stuff, perhaps there will be a replay of an ECHL game on the NHL Network later or Arena league football!   To not quote Green Day, wake me up when Septembers here…or at least for the Olympics.

 

Follow me on twitter @TJ_Soups or the website @Soups_on_Sports

The hole gets deeper

 

I’m betting anyone who follows me on twitter (@TJ_Soups, cheap plug I know) figured this blog was on the way.  I tried to hold off and talk about different things but I knew all week I was going to get to it, and here I am.  What bothers me is that nobody really goes after Jay Feaster.  Sure they question some of the deals, but very few take a run at him.  I’m not going to hold back (what do I have to lose?) and I’m going to tell it the way it is…Jay Feaster is a bad GM.

Everyone knows the back story about the Flames.  It’s a team that has needed to rebuild for 2 years now.  The return on Iginla is getting weaker by the day, the return on Kipper could be great right now and his NTC is now up, but Feaster refuses to go this route.  In fairness nobody knows if it is him that doesn’t want to rebuild or upper management won’t let him, but given his track record I don’t put it past him for a second.

But that’s only the beginning.  At the draft I couldn’t help but kill Feaster and company for trading down to draft Mark Jankowski.  He is a very intriguing kid don’t get me wrong but as I said that night and I’ll say again, a team whose system is loaded could take that risk.  Calgary couldn’t afford to do it.  Had they stayed at 14 they could have picked Teuvo Teravainen who was expected to be a top 10 pick by the time June 22nd rolled around, it was a gift! 

But even when Jay had traded back, he still had Olli Maatta there for the steal at 21.  Maatta would have been a solid pick had he just stayed at 14, but now he had picked up a 2nd round pick that he didn’t have previous and could still get a great prospect.  Could have been the shrewdest move of the draft.  But no, he took the project who even if he pans out is at least 4 years away from playing in the league.    

Ok so he messed up the draft (I did give him credit for solid picks in the 4th and 6th round in Brett Kulak and Coda Gordon).  That’s one thing, but maybe he would redeem himself with a good free agency period.  Nope.  Dennis Wideman got one of the most ridiculous contracts of this offseason thus far (though not as bad as the new Matt Carle deal!).  5 years and a 5.25 cap hit for a 1 dimensional player is horrific.  He can improve their PP I don’t doubt that, but he is a train wreck in his own zone. 

Also, Wideman’s 2 biggest seasons are pretty self explanatory.  His 1st big one came playing alongside Zdeno Chara, something that seems to happen to all of Big Z’s D partners.  The 2nd big season came playing in the Southeast division.  Jay Bouwmeester put up big numbers playing in the SouthLeast too.  In fact many players put up big numbers in that division and flop after leaving it.  Add to this misery, Wideman got to dish the puck on the PP last season to Ovechkin, Semin, Backstrom, and Carlson/Green.  The Flames should have a decent PP next season but it doesn’t rival that kind of artillery.  Finally, Wideman was on the Caps 3rd D pairing in the playoffs…the Caps don’t have THAT good of a blueline.

So have I trashed Wideman enough?  Ok good, now I’m moving on to Jiri Hudler.  4 x 4 for a guy who lived off Henrik Zetterberg last season, is tiny (they need size in that top 6), soft, and has had big questions about his work ethic in the past.  Ouch!  Again, a kid that was brought into improve their PP and it should be pretty good.  But it is looking more and more like a 1 dimensional team.  In the top 6 now, Tanguay, Cammalleri, Hudler, Baertschi and one of  Backlund or Cervenka.  So 1 guy (Iginla) that has size and grit.  They were already a rather easy team to play against, now they’re soft as butter. 

But some fans at the end of the day will ask “who cares, isn’t it about getting in the playoffs?”  Well, not really.  This team won’t win a Cup anytime soon and they won’t be anywhere close until they start rebuilding it which in doing these moves is going to take longer and longer to do.  3 of the last 4 Stanley Cup champions are teams that went to the bottom, built their teams through the draft, and added the necessary pieces when the time was right.  This is what the Oilers are currently attempting to do and even a team like Minnesota while they haven’t gone right to the bottom they’ve stock piled assets and drafted extremely well which played a big part in Parise and Suter signing with them.

The Flames system is bare and they’ve missed the playoffs for 3 years in a row.  They’re desperate to rebuild and what committing 9 mil to a couple of complementary pieces really does is likely set them back even further.  I’m not some Oiler fan trying to dump on the Flames.  I’m a hockey fan who can’t stand seeing piss poor management.  Feaster lived off what Rick Dudley put together in Tampa Bay and what he should have been judged on was what happened to that team after the 04 season, not prior to it. 

I could be wrong Flames fans, and then you can throw it in my face.  But to me even if they make the playoffs it’s just delaying the inevitable.  The Flames need to rebuild desperately, and it isn’t happening anytime soon.

Biggest Rematch Ever?

 

Lately this website and these blogs have been all hockey and its July….so it’s about damn time I get some variety on here.  I have been wanting to talk MMA on here a lot more and this has been something I’ve been eager to touch on for a while now.  It’s finally here this weekend.

 

It will have been 23 months since one of the most intriguing fights of all time took place between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen, a fight that Sonnen flat out dominated.  Going into the 5th round there was no question that all Sonnen had to do was be as safe as possible and he would walk away with the Middleweight title in one of the most shocking upsets in UFC history.  But Sonnen (to his credit), didn’t sit back and instead continued to punish Silva.  And it cost him.  Armbar (or choke depending on who you ask) and in the blink of an eye Silva had pulled off one of the most stunning comebacks in UFC history.

 

It’s an odd rivalry from a fans point of view.  Silva is hated by a large majority of fight fans because he will get disinterested in some of his fights, he is extremely cocky in the ring, some think he is very fake, and the fact that nobody can beat him just makes him an easy guy to dislike.  However most don’t like Sonnen either.  He brings that WWE type of act in all of his interviews.  Make no mistake, it is just that…an act.  But it is almost like fans don’t want to buy that he is doing it all to sell a fight and instead believe that’s how he really is.  Some fans know it’s an act but don’t like the extreme’s he will go to, which I disagree with but respect that opinion.  But the point is that I don’t know who the majority of fans will pull for.  Lots hate Silva, lots hate Sonnen.

 

This time however it’s more than worked.  Anderson Silva is always a calm and cool guy both pre and post fight.  Last week however he went right off!  For those of you who missed it, here you go:

“Chael Sonnen’s going to get his ass kicked like he’s never gotten his ass kicked before. What I’m going to do inside the Octagon is something that’s going to change the image of the sport. This is going to be violent and I am sorry. I’m going to make sure that every one of his teeth are broken, that his arms are broken and his legs are broken. He’s not going to be able to walk out of the Octagon by himself. I can guarantee that. He will need a plastic surgeon afterwards. And I know that he’s listening, so the game’s over. No more shit talking. It’s on now.”

 

This tells me that Sonnen has likely got into Silva’s head, which is exactly what he’s wanted to do.  And it just adds so much to what was already going to be an amazing fight.  It’s one thing for Sonnen to be talking trash and doing what he does, but when Silva tries to trash talk back like that you KNOW this has the makings to be one of the best fights of all time.

 

As if that wasn’t enough, it got even more juicy at the press conference where Dana White had to keep them seperated.  Now, sometimes this is just for show, but after all that has been said between these 2 fighters I really think it is legitimate hate between them.

 

Fights this big just don’t happen very often and it’s something very special when they do.  And I really don’t know what will happen!  Silva could do exactly what he claims he is going to do, he’s got that kind of talent and when he gets a fire lit under him he is unreal to watch.  But on the other hand Sonnen knows EXACTLY what he is doing, and should have won their first fight.  Simply cannot wait to see what happens!

 

Follow me on Twitter @TJ_Soups

If it ain’t broke….fix it?

 

No matter what the Sens used to do they just couldn’t get past Toronto back in the day.  The Leafs flat out owned the Sens.  2 series in particular (02 and 04), the Sens were far and away the more talented of the 2 teams, yet the Leafs came out on top in 7 games because they had better goaltending and had a hell of a lot more grit than the Sens did.

Once the lockout was done the Sens had 2 seasons where they were among the elite in the league.  06 they were the top team in the Eastern conference, and in 07 they finally broke through and went to the Stanley Cup final.  But once again their lack of grit got exposed and they were bounced in 5 games.

Fast forward to this past season and there was a big change in the nations capital.  The Sens all of a sudden became one of the toughest teams in hockey.  Carkner, Konopka, Neil, Zack Smith, Foligno, the Sens were TOUGH.  And it rubbed off on the rest of the team.  Anytime this team faced long odd’s during the season they sacked up and overcame.  The best examples of this were in the playoffs, game 2 vs the Rangers was pretty special from an Ottawa point of view.  They stood up to the Rangers in a big way physically and showed how mentally tough they were tying that game up late and taking it in OT.  You just never saw that out of Ottawa teams in the past.

The Sens finally have this great thing going and have a tough culture developed.  So what does Bryan Murray do?  Well, obviously he blows that up.  I can’t help but wonder why this guy is always on the hot seat in Ottawa….

Carkner out, Konopka out, Foligno out, and replaced by Lattendresse (soft), Lundin (soft), Methot (good D-man but not very physical).  In fairness to Murray, perhaps he has some gritty guys he will still bring in (hardly any room to though).  I get that they had a great season and they are developing a lot of good young talent, but this team is by no means all of a sudden in a spot where they don’t need grit.

Taking a look at guys they might plug in next season, Mark Stone is big and uses that size well but he isn’t really in your face.  Silfverberg I won’t pretend to know a great deal about but what I seen in a few viewings and read about he isn’t a kid that’s going to play that style of game either.  Zibanejad is maybe the only guy but I see no reason to rush him into the lineup.

It’s just more evidence that Bryan Murray just has no clue what he is doing as a GM.  He has done a good job stockpiling young talent, their scouts have done a great job drafting, and they have done a great job developing so it’s not like the organization is going to fall apart due to his ineptness, but it’s scary to think how great of an organization this could be if they had a good GM at the top.

Since he took over as GM in 07-08 (which was controversial in itself) the Sens have had a lot of turmoil.  The Emery saga, the Heatley saga, numerous coaching changes, it’s been a pretty large circus.  This season they finally had the right mix of guys, finally got some grit and toughness, and Murray decides to overhaul that aspect of the team….I just don’t get it.

Maybe I’m completely wrong here.  Perhaps going with less toughness and more grit is the right way to go.  But Murray has wrecked good things he had going on in Ottawa before and so I can’t help but wonder if this is another one of those situations.  We will just have to wait and see.