BaseballCoach wrote:I suggest a different tactic to achieve the rebuild strategy. Please stick with this as I think it is a more effective way to achieve a rebuild than the top-3 strategy (Edmonton Oiler strategy)
The thing is that you can't ever be sure you will get a top-3 pick so totally tanking a season and inculcating a losing culture is very risky. Again, see the Oilers.
If I were in charge, and in "real life" I am indeed a highly successful manager, I would approach things differently. I would maximize my second and third round picks, and maybe shoot to get one more first round pick for one or both of the next two years.
I would take on lots of bad contracts to get lots of more second and third round picks in the next two years.
I would package Alzner to anyone who wants Pacioretty, because that cleans up our biggest long-term cap headache. I do this even if it means, for example, getting only a 2nd round pick back instead of a first. A team that wants immediate scoring help will take Alzner if we insist.
I would put Shaw on LTIR until he proves he is healthy, and if healthy he is tradeable for a 3rd pick to a team that wants grit with some proven scoring and being only 26-27 years old.
Take on Spezza, Moulson, Pominville, Kronwall, Colin Wilson - all one year massive contracts. Get second and third round picks for doing this, and find one deal on which we can slip Schlemko back the other way.
Trade Plekanec at the deadline. Get a 2nd or 3rd rounder in all likelihood.
Trade Byron and maybe a B-level prospect for a 2nd rounder to a team that is all in for this year and wants help without spending much cap on it.
If there is a prospect like a former 1st or 2nd rounder who you decide is not breaking through, trade him to a team willing to give you a 3rd round pick and hope that a fresh start with them pays off.
Stay away from the long-term albatrosses like Lucic, Gaborik and Ryan. At one point I toyed with Alzner for Ryan, but now believe Alzner can be moved in a different way without taking on an 8 year cap hit of 2.4M per year if we have to buy out Ryan.
It is possible to get PK Subban or Shea Weber or Patrice Bergeron and other stars in the second round of a draft. It is even more possible to get a strong player a notch below superstar, and we need those too. But if you have only your one 2nd rounder, the odds are less than 30% of getting a good player. If you have 5 or 6 2nd round picks, your chances go WAYYY up, and you also have the ability to trade up on the floor to get a guy you really want in the later first round or early second round.
When looked at this way, the semi-tank that results in finishing bottom 6 or so elevates every one of your draft pick by 10 spots compared to finishing 8th and making the playoffs. That is a solid thing you can count on and benefit from. Tanking on the HOPE you hit a home run on ONE player to be generational is too low-percentage for me as a manager. And it inculcates a loser mentality that sunk teams like Edmonton and the Islanders.
So I keep the following nucleus for the next few years - not all are stars but they can have a ROLE on a good team:
Price (if healthy, otherwise he will retire)
Weber (his role being to solidify the defence and score some key goals)
Petry (his role being to bring offence and provide 2nd pair defence)
Gallagher (bulldog who can also pile up the garbage goals)
Drouin (game breaking talent)
Lehkonen (versatility and scoring ability)
Danault (two-way play and loves to be here, can produce even from bottom 6)
Deslauriers (bring amazing positive energy and push the other bottom 6 players to be better)
I audition the following currently pro players with decent ice time, and they either become nucleus or are traded while still having potential:
Guys to audition in Laval to start, with higher than average potential to make it to NHL callup status if they do well:
Tradeable Players right now, in descending value:
Plekanec (probably mid-year to deadline deal)
Shaw (once healthy)
any AHLer not listed above
The medium-term plan is to build results with the nucleus, slowly add more guys to the nucleus who prove their worth in their auditions, give Kotkaniemi and Poehling and the other under-20s time to develop and join when they are ready to take the next step.
Having moved Patches and Byron from a team that was already bottom 4, chances are it will not make the playoffs or even come close this year, but my approach allows for the kids to try to WIN, even if at first it will be hard, instead of hoping to lose and perversely worrying that success will lower the chances of the generational talent falling into our hands.
Whether the team finishes 4th from bottom or 9th from bottom, the strategy of piling up 2nd and 3rd rounders is virtually unaffected.
This approach has a relatively good chance to succeed, but get the GM out of there so someone competent can implement it!
I've decided to quit the internet.