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Sweeney et al.

Discussion in 'Rick Middleton's Pron 'Stache: Bruins Forum' started by grimshaw, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. grimshaw

    grimshaw the new rudy SoSH Member

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    I was a bit hesitant to start a new thread since I am less knowledgeable about the Bruins in general but think it is worth revisiting.

    I think most would still agree that the Claude situation was poorly handled, and it was a split among posters as to whether the change needed to be done or not. I was also afraid of what Sweeney would do at the deadline in terms of possibly mortgaging more of the future just to make the playoffs.

    It appears (at least in the short term) they pulled the trigger at the right time with the coaching change and also bolstered the roster with Stafford without giving up a ton. The team didn't collapse at the end like it had the previous two years, and may have even snuck in as the three seed had Marchand not Marchanded at the worst possible time.

    I think they are probably still one and done - especially due to end of season injuries, but really, I wasn't expecting them to make the playoffs, much less not be a wild card team. They exceeded my expectations.

    I'm slightly more optimistic than I was but what do the rest of you think about current management now? Did we underestimate their competency?
     
  2. Smiling Joe Hesketh

    Smiling Joe Hesketh All Hail King Boron Dope

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    Donnie sent away a 3rd rounder for Rinaldo to play in Providence. That's a big hole to climb out of and he may never do it.

    Snark aside, the jury's still out. Getting Stafford was a good move because it cost them nothing of note. Donnie's legacy will depend on how his draft picks pan out, which is one area where Chiarelli really fell down on in his later years here.

    The team rebounded and played well under Cassidy, which is a credit to....someone. Not sure who to credit for that. Great, they played better under Cassidy, but the transition was such a dog's breakfast that it's tough to overlook in the larger scheme of things. Making the playoffs is good, better than missing yet again. Donnie probably made the right decision by not sending assets away for a backup goalie at the deadline as Khudobin vastly improved his play down the stretch and made Cassidy look real smart when he gave Rask some rest. Of course we don't know how hard Donnie tried to swing a trade, so....who knows?
     
  3. RIFan

    RIFan Member SoSH Member

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    Jury is going to be out for a while on signing McAvoy to an ELC to make him available for the playoffs. Losing that year of control may bite Sweeney if they run into a salary cap crunch in 2 years. I caught McAvoy in Providence and while the skill set is obviously there, he looked to be feeling his way through the game rather than letting his instinctual game happen. Carlo looked much more confident and steady during his ATO time last year. We can hope for a Krug like playoff splash, but I fear they'll get a few games of replacement level play from McAvoy that won't help them advance and will cost them down the road. It might not be a popular move, but I'd go with Cross taking Carlo's spot and Liles taking Krug's. Morrow as the 7th. Cross has played well and has played both sides on D in Providence.

    As far as the coaching change goes, I definitely thought it was handled terribly. The way it was handled was at best tone deaf to the fan's reaction and incompetent at worse if it was a knee jerk. You can argue they don't need to to cater to the fans, but part of their job is to manage expectations and show solid stewardship of the team. They failed miserably at that. I tend to lay most of that at Neely who I remain unconvinced is up for job. Sweeney has shown enough with talent evaluation and drafting to get the benefit of the doubt that he belongs in his role.

    I don't think it's terribly surprising the coaching change had a positive effect, because the shock value of these type of changes tends to get the locker room's attention. I think Cassidy is a good coach and I've been surprised the last few off seasons that he didn't get traction on open HC spots. It looks like elevating Cassidy to Claude's staff at the start of the season was a good move if they anticipated an in season move might be possible.
     
  4. cshea

    cshea Member SoSH Member

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    They aren't losing any control over McAvoy. He'll reach UFA at the same time as if they waited until next year to sign him.

    As for the overall job by Sweeney- still too early to tell. His wagon was hitched to draft and development. He definitely replenished a barren system and we're now at the point where we're starting to see some of the kids with the big club. Now he has to navigate developing them properly so they can make an NHL impact.
     
  5. RIFan

    RIFan Member SoSH Member

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    Typed it wrong. They burned a year of ELC. That could cost them millions in cap space in year 3.
     
  6. FelixMantilla

    FelixMantilla reincarnated mr hate SoSH Member

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    Keith Gretzky also left the Bruins for a higher position with Edmonton. That's gotta be a blow for the amateur scouting department.
     
  7. Dick Pole Upside

    Dick Pole Upside Member SoSH Member

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    Thus far, Sweeney's drafts have shown promise.

    His ability to properly value and acquire NHL talent (Rinaldo, Hayes, Beleskey, Liles, likely Backes, etc.) has been consistently poor. When Dominic Moore is your best acquisition, something is wrong.

    Difficult to assign "credit" for the Cassidy/Julien move, though Cassidy deserves praise for pulling the team out of a ditch.

    Neely has been President for seven seasons. Seven. And in that time he has shown virtually no specific ability to do anything other than pound his fist on the table and talk about grit, heavy sticks, and will. He is stealing money from the Jacobs.
     
  8. Smiling Joe Hesketh

    Smiling Joe Hesketh All Hail King Boron Dope

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    I will forever remain convinced that the prime motivation for the Bruins hire of Neely was to put a face popular with the fans on the frontlines of the team and thus take the hate and the heat off of the Jacobs. This was fine when Chia was the GM and the Bruins were one of the best teams in the league (2010-2014 or so) but Cam getting a promotion and having Donnie report to him has not been a wise move in any case.
     
  9. TheStoryofYourRedRightAnkle

    TheStoryofYourRedRightAnkle Member SoSH Member

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    Also, it was fine when Cam was actually doing media appearances to actually take heat off the Jacobses.
     
  10. shaggydog2000

    shaggydog2000 Member SoSH Member

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    So were Sweeney's good drafts due to some specific skill of his, sheer luck, or possibly the talent of Keith Gretzky? It's hard to evaluate drafting without a very long track record to even out the odds. And even then it's hard to assign specific responsibility for it. But if the team rebuilds itself young while he is in charge, it's hard to justify getting rid of him. The NHL level moves have been hot garbage.
     
  11. lexrageorge

    lexrageorge Member SoSH Member

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    The bolded players all appear to be abject failures. Granted, acquiring Hayes allowed them to ditch Savard's contract, but then Donnie extends Hayes for whatever reason. If there's any consolation it's that the players that the Bruins have let go as UFA's under Sweeney's watch haven't performed up to their price tag either (Soderberg, Eriksson being the most notable).

    I'll give Sweeney a pass if the kids come up and perform, and if he's able to decide whom to keep and whom to let walk when the time comes. Color me slightly concerned on the latter point, just because I can still picture Neely pounding his fist on the table about needing more "grit" when and if the Bruins are eliminated from this season's playoffs.
     
  12. Dick Pole Upside

    Dick Pole Upside Member SoSH Member

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    Sweeney/Gretzky have had two drafts. Right or wrong, Carlo, JFK, and McAvoy will debut with the varsity this season. DeBrusk, Senyshyn, and perhaps Lauzon aren't far away. Czarnik and Vatrano were signed in the waning days of Chiarelli and likely have Sweeney's fingerprints on those moves as well. That's a pretty good yield in a short period of time, especially in comparison to the poor overall draft record of Chiarelli (although his last couple of drafts will likely bear fruit as well in Bjork, Cehlarik, Gabrielle, and Donato). But the NHL moves and associated prices in $ and/or picks are grotesque.
     
  13. twibnotes

    twibnotes Member SoSH Member

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    Am I the only one baffled by the decision to use Mcavoy and lose a year of the entry level contract? I know they had injuries, but this team just isn't a contender.
     
  14. lexrageorge

    lexrageorge Member SoSH Member

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    GM's don't think this way when they are in the playoffs. With 2 of the team's better blue liners out for an extended number of games, I'm not sure there's a GM in the league that would not call up one of their most promising prospects in an attempt to steal a series win.

    They should be able to manage the cap implications 2 years from now if (a) they are at all competent; and (b) if the NHL doesn't continue to screw up revenue growth opportunities. OK, I just scared myself....
     
  15. Eddie Jurak

    Eddie Jurak Go Leafs Go Lifetime Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    That's a bit over the top SJH. The typical 3rd round pick makes no impact in the NHL. It was and is an awful move, but I'll take "threw away a perfectly good 3rd round pick for nothing" over the disastrous series of bad moves (and awful drafts) made by Chiarelli in his last few years.
     
  16. TheRealness

    TheRealness Don't make him go all Lucic on your ash SoSH Member

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    I'm with SJH, that was such a horrible trade at the time and it has just gotten worse. It was absolutely a hole for him to climb out of. Then you have the trades last year for Liles and Stempniak, losing four draft picks with no results. Trading wise, he's just not very good, although the Stafford deal gives me a little hope. Sweeney does seem to be a driving force behind the youth movement, even if Gretzky gets some of the credit for the drafts. Prior to him being GM, he ran the development camps and had a real focus on bringing up the kids.

    The biggest difficulty for me these past few years was realizing Neely was the problem. His vision of hockey is dated and a vestige of a bygone era, yet he refuses to change and has likely driven the motivation behind trades like the one for Rindaldo so they can get "tougher". It's been depressing, but I feel Neely is a far bigger problem for this organization than Sweeney is. Yet, they are tied to the hip, so if Sweeney fails Neely may survive, but I don't see any way they get rid of Neely but not Sweeney.

    Sweeney's fate will be tied to how these young kids develop. Moreover, if he fails to sign someone like Bjork and loses him next year, that will also be a negative that follows him around. Hopefully the work he has done in development gets Bjork signed, but I think if that was going to happen it would have already.

    I would give him a C- overall, but he's got a chance at improving based on how some of his draft picks coming up adapt to the NHL.
     
  17. Eddie Jurak

    Eddie Jurak Go Leafs Go Lifetime Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    I'm not arguing that that trade was in any way defensible. Just that the value of a 3rd round pick shouldn't be overstated. Giving value away for nothing is never a good thing to do, but let's not overstate the downside, which is a 3rd round pick.
     
  18. Smiling Joe Hesketh

    Smiling Joe Hesketh All Hail King Boron Dope

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    On the other hand, Zac Rinaldo is a piece of crap and this was well known at the time the trade was made. Giving up anything for him was a bad move; giving up a 3rd rounder was inexcusable.
     
  19. Eddie Jurak

    Eddie Jurak Go Leafs Go Lifetime Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    No argument.
     
  20. Reggie Hammond

    Reggie Hammond lurker

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    I think there is universal agreement that the Zac Rinaldo acquisition was ridiculous, particularly when one considers the way the playing style of the league was trending when that trade was made - less physical, all about speed, quick transitions from defense to offense, etc. Sweeney (and Neely for that matter) shouldn't have been blind to those differences.

    The problem with Sweeney as I see it, as mentioned upthread, are his difficulties when acquiring NHL players off of other teams. Dominic Moore should not be, at this stage of Moore's career, your only example of a transaction that worked in your favor. Beleskey, Hayes, and I'll even say Backes, because I think the pace of play in the league has surpassed his physical capabilities, have been, to put it mildly, inadequate additions to the team's veteran "core."

    As for the kids and Sweeney, it's too early to say in my view. What do we really have, for example, in Frank Vatrano? And Czarnick for that matter? Vatrano seems to have all the requisite puck and skating skills necessary to be an effective player in today's iteration of the NHL, but he goes missing for long stretches it seems to me. And Czarnick is skilled as well, but is his lack of size a hindrance to long-term success? The small guys that are having success in today's game are lightning fast in my view - J. Drouin, Johnny Hockey to cite two examples - and I'm not sure at this point if Czarnick is quick enough to perform at that level.

    As for the other kids, there needs to be a hard commitment from Sweeney and Neely to play them for long stretches next year to truly see what they have. I for one would have loved to have seen more of Danton Heinen this year with the big club. Skill wise I think he gives you a lot more than a guy like Tim Schaller, who to me is an NHL version of a JAG.

    At least we should get a pretty long look at JFK and C. McAvoy next year.
     
  21. FL4WL3SS

    FL4WL3SS Member SoSH Member

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    I think there is more benefit. This kid is a potential future captain and could pay huge dividends as early as next season, getting an extra year of playoffs experience isn't without benefit here.

    I don't love the move, but I certainly don't hate it.
     
  22. FL4WL3SS

    FL4WL3SS Member SoSH Member

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    Dude, look how long it has taken Marchand to become an elite player, this shit doesn't happen overnight for the majority of players. Vetrano goes missing for long stretches because he's young, first of all, but he's also being pulled in different directions, not getting consistent minutes, not getting critical minutes. These things happen with young players, let's not start writing the books on these guys after one season. It'll take some time.
     
  23. Reggie Hammond

    Reggie Hammond lurker

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    I didn't think I was "writing any book." I'd prefer to see Vatrano, Czarnick, Heinen, and the rest get more ice time, not less, even if the team regressed while they were learning the NHL game. But I also understand the mix on the roster has to have plenty of "vets" because management would like to make the playoffs every year for the revenue that is generated. No problem there.

    My point is play the young guys who would seem to have more skill. Don't exclude their opportunities for JAGs.
     
  24. Eddie Jurak

    Eddie Jurak Go Leafs Go Lifetime Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    He's very inexperienced, too, as compared to other players his age. At 23, he has only 37 NCAA games, 46 AHL games, and 83 NHL games (during which he has popped in 18 goals).
     
  25. lexrageorge

    lexrageorge Member SoSH Member

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    It's hard for me to find reason to blame Sweeney for the Bjork situation. If he decides that he really wants to go back to Notre Dame for another season, it's hard to blame anyone. All Sweeney can offer is the ELC and a chance to play in the playoffs. But if Bjork would much rather play for ND than ride the Providence/Boston shuttle for $900K, it's his decision.
     
  26. joe dokes

    joe dokes Member SoSH Member

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    10,702
    Unlike basketball, hockey (rightly so) is rarely defined as a "make-and-miss league." But I think the ability to shoot and score is often taken for granted. Vatrano seems to have above-average skill to turn basic opportunities into actual scoring chances. I see him having a Michael Ryder-ish ceiling.
     
  27. Eddie Jurak

    Eddie Jurak Go Leafs Go Lifetime Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    Sweeney for executive of the year? He's come a long way.

    He came in after the disappointing 2014-2015 season, inheriting an aging team in a bad situation due to salary cap issues and an overreliance on aging veterans, and almost immediately made a series of bad moves:
    • Hamilton trade
    • Rinaldo trade
    • Trade of Reilly Smith for Jimmy Hayes
    • Matt Beleskey signing
    On the other hand, he handled the Lucic trade well, did OK for the team in the 2015 draft (2 regulars already, with promise of more to come).

    The following year he invested too heavily in an aging but good player (David Backes), but chose a guy who may go down as one of the best players chosen in the 2016 draft (McEvoy) and brought in a couple of cheap but good bottom 6 forwards (Riley Nash, Scaller). He also signed Danton Heinen and Matt Grzelcyk, among others, to entry deals.

    Midseason, he replaced Claude Julien with Rob Bruce Cassidy, a move that has, to say the least, worked out well.

    This year, he signed David Pastrnak to an extension, and Anders Bjork and Ryan Donato to entry deals. He made a series of solid moves at the deadline, adding Rick Nash, Nick Holden, Brian Gionta (via FA signing), and Donato, all of whom have contributed. Team depth in the playoffs looks like a strength, even with a couple of key injuries (Carlo, Riley Nash).
     
    #27 Eddie Jurak, Apr 15, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  28. Murby

    Murby lurker

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    Rob Cassidy? Autocorrect must have gotten ya. Bruce. Not bad list though.
     
  29. TFP

    TFP Dope Dope

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    McEvoy and Scaller must have been real under the radar acquistions too.
     
  30. TeddyBallgame'sDirtbagSon

    TeddyBallgame'sDirtbagSon lurker

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    I had some pretty nasty things to say about him following the Hamilton and Shithead trades. It didn't take him long to feed me my own foot.
     
  31. FL4WL3SS

    FL4WL3SS Member SoSH Member

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    Don't really know where else to put this, maybe a new postmortem thread, but my opinion about this team couldn't be any more opposite of where it was when last season ended. I was pretty down on the team and did not see much room for improvement outside of some kids taking massive steps forward. A lot of things went right for them this year and I haven't been this excited to start another season in a long time.

    What an exceptionally fun team to watch and the upside is unlimited. Need to shore up a few holes (defense), but there's so much to like about the team. Pasta, McAvoy, Carlo, DeBrusk, Heinen, et al took huge strides forward this year and we should see a lot from Bjork, JFK and Donato next year.

    Just please please don't resign Rick Nash (or maybe either Nash). Spend that money on defense and fill in the offense with more kids.

    Bring on 2018-2019!
     
  32. FL4WL3SS

    FL4WL3SS Member SoSH Member

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    Also that was a massively fun season. I know it ended pretty disappointingly, but I have no qualms about how this season went. They way overachieved my expectations and that was one of the more fun seasons to watch in a long time.
     
  33. TheShynessClinic

    TheShynessClinic SoSH's Doug Neidermeyer SoSH Member

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    Yup. If you said at the beginning of the season they would get eliminated in the second round of the playoffs to the #1 team in the East, with most of the kids playing significant and (most productive) minutes, the entire board would have had a good feeling about the season.

    They over-exceeded expectations significantly in the regular season, and that make have given most fans unrealistic expectations for the playoffs.

    Either way. I have way more faith in Sweeney now than I did two years ago, and I like where this team is going.
     
  34. Salem's Lot

    Salem's Lot Andy Moog! Andy God Damn Moog! SoSH Member

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    First full year of the youth movement went extremely well. Big steps forward from McAvoy, DeBrusk, Heinen, And Carlo. I'm very happy with the direction that they are going. Honestly after they won a round anything else was a bonus. The only real downside is that Carlo again couldn't get any playoff experience because of a late injury.
     
  35. AMcGhie

    AMcGhie The Robinson Canoe of RMPS SoSH Member

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    I agree. I was very happy with this season as a whole, and the bitter taste of the end of it is very unwelcome.

    There are a lot of good things about this team, and they have a number of young contributors that are generally the key to a championship run. Those kids score goals and don't (relatively) get paid, and the veterans who need $ can be acquired at the deadline. I think this team is in a good place, and I think there are a number of people posted to take further steps forward.

    I think I'm finally turning on David Krecji though. He might need to be the 3rd or 4th line center next year, and that's disappointing.
     
  36. Smiling Joe Hesketh

    Smiling Joe Hesketh All Hail King Boron Dope

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    I agree the team exceeded expectations, but it's still a bitter pill to swallow to see how this series unfolded while in the West a fucking expansion team has made the conference finals.

    I have to wonder if Marchand is now so loathed in the league offices that such disparities in officiating like we saw in this series will become the norm going forward. That was farcical.
     
  37. Salem's Lot

    Salem's Lot Andy Moog! Andy God Damn Moog! SoSH Member

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    It could also be that Tampa has been whining to the league about the 2011 series for the last 7 years and this was the refs "evening it up". The first series was normal home bias that happens in Toronto or Montreal. This series was something else.
     

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