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About top-shelf-1

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    Dr. Gonzo

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  1. BTW... hope you're all enjoying a k!c%@$$ Thanksgiving. Peace out.
  2. That's where I'm headed. Hulu just gouged its customers raised rates $10/mo for the same reason dogs lick themselves. I'd rather my money go mostly to the League--Bettman's presence notwithstanding--than to network executives whose industries are on self-inflicted life support.
  3. Yup. As someone who worked, early in his career, for his hometown, locally owned daily newspaper, and later for the radio station that same family owned, and who returned to the same org--then owned by Gannett--to edit its weekly newspaper 20 years later, I can vouch for the fact that mega-chain ownership, and its shifting of its primary interests from the needs/wants of readers/listeners/viewers to constantly increasing its share price has not merely warped these orgs' sense of what average people can afford (and will tolerate), but completely obliterated it. And based on reports from pretty much anyone who has worked for them, Sinclair is the worst of the worst.
  4. Right. That's what I'm talking about.
  5. There's more Whalers fans in Hartford's suburbs (are there even Hartford suburbs?) than there were Flames fans in all of Georgia. When your team is based in Canada and actual flames shoot out of your scoreboard, references to the town that (twice) lost an NHL franchise aren't necessary to sell sweaters. The Canes, OTOH, will gladly take every buck they can swindle get from current and transplanted Yanks. And, no: No one can explain that term.
  6. I think JR did everything right up until the Cup year, and everything wrong after. The best sizzle is winning, and JR's deals with Staal and Ward were a big red flag that he'd forgotten that. They seemed like a declaration that Carolina had arrived, coming as they did at the same time that teams like those you cite--i.e., in traditional markets--were signing guys like Crosby and Ovi. If JR and PK had taken a minute for the high of Cup win to clear, they might realized how they did it and have kept doing what they did to get there: Finding journeymen guys who had gone deep but never won a Cup, complementing them with under-appreciated young guns (think Willy), choosing charismatic on-ice leaders, and letting the magic happen. But after years of mediocrity, I think both men felt like they'd earned a reward, and bought into a dream that only comes true when the owner has bottomless resources: making a small-market team in a non-traditional market run with the big dogs year in and year out. They wrongly thought committing to two huge contracts would do it, but lacking that sugar-daddy owner, the Canes, self-handcuffed as you point out by Staal's and Ward's NTCs, were not going to make the dream a reality.
  7. This is the only small bone I have to pick in all you wrote (and that's saying something, b/c you wrote A LOT ). And it's not so much a bone to pick as pointing something out, to wit: There doesn't need to be any guessing or prediction about attitude, because are always "tells." You just have to be willing to look for them, and to move on when you find negative ones--and it is here that the Canes have made their biggest and, IMO, most critical change post-JR: They now scrupulously and exhaustingly check out guys' attitudes before they trade for them or draft them. As noted in my OP, the tell with Hanifin was his insistence on a guaranteed spot on the NHL roster as a signing condition. If a team's stock answer to that is anything other than "Sorry, no," no matter who the guy (thinks he) is, that is a team in trouble. In the Canes' case, from the end of the season following their Cup win until JR was out the door, the trouble in which they found themselves resulted from JR's spendthrift approach with Staal and Ward, which turned us into a team looking for any prospect who might put (1) a few extra butts in the seats, and/or (2) a lot more pucks in the net, while still on their ELC (read: cheap). As the endless parade of failed picks being rushed to the NHL showed, the brain trust were willing to give almost anyone exuding sufficient (in their view) skill a shot at doing one (or both) of those things. Exactly one guy succeeded (Skinner), and he was never going to be enough, once the two players sucking down most of the payroll had reverted to the merely above-average (Staal) or average (Ward) players they actually were. Then, as the team got more fiscally desperate, JR/PK had no option but to go looking for that guy at any price--which is how we got HWSNBN, another guy with plenty of attitude tells preceding him, all of which were ignored, and we've only now settled that bill. I am sooooooooo freakin' glad those days are over.
  8. Hanifin was pure Ronnie Franchise hype. Once he (Hanifin) fired Bobby Orr's agency, and said agency's managing partner blamed it on "disillusionment," it told everyone pretty much all they needed to know. Of course, many suspected Noah thought a whole lot more of himself than people who actually understand how Dmen develop did, and that Ronnie had taken Noah's bait. It's never a good sign when a player infers he might opt to return to college rather than sign an NHL deal if the signing team couldn't guarantee him an NHL slot. That's the point at which smart teams wish them luck, shake their hand, and walk run away. Then, when Noah laughably got sent to the ASG, the stage for his "disillusionment" was set. It only took a dose of Tom Dundon reality to send him packing. Both Hanifin's and Faulk's stories perfectly illustrate what had ailed the Canes under JR: unfulfilled hype. All Star game appearances are earned, not bestowed. By giving two guys who clearly were not All Stars that credential, the Canes tied their own hands in contract talks. It cost them dearly with Faulk, and they were headed down that same road with Noah--until Dundon spotted the pattern and put a stop to it by showing Ronnie the door. This is why I just don't follow prospects or even draftees much. I get that it can be fun and pass the time until there's NHL hockey again, but until a player sets foot on NHL ice, it's all hype and conjecture. So much can happen--and often does--between draft day and that day, that my primary concern is whether the club is able to weed out the ones who have spent too much time on their own profiles at EliteProspects. Before Dundon, IMO, this club almost totally lacked that ability.
  9. I was gonna send Pierre a mask for Christmas. But I think a gag is more fitting. (Clearly, he's already got the blindfold.)
  10. I really don't. I love his game calls, I love his long-term commitment to the org. I only hate what he tried to pull and when he tried to pull it, especially when he'd witnessed firsthand, on any number of occasions (Franchise, Hanifin, Lindholm, Kaiton to name but a few) that when it comes to business decisions, TD doesn't bluff. He tells people what's expected of them and what he's willing to pay for them to achieve it--and they can take it or leave it.
  11. We'll see. He might demand to call AHL games when the spirit moves him and queer the deal.
  12. I'm sorry you found it too long. Then again, if that's the message you took from it, your reading comprehension could be lacking.
  13. I've stayed out of this so far primarily to avoid giving Ky the satisfaction of watching me jump in, 😄 but I think even he would agree that Skinner, while many things, is not a head case. He's a former figure skater who knew how to score the puck in ways and from spots that 95% of guys who ever lace them up in this league can only dream abou. The fact that Roddy didn't like him and stuck him on the third line (read: Roddy cut his nose to spite his face) in his last year, purposely deflating the value he might otherwise have returned, is merely indicative to me of the length of the immaturity streak running down Roddy's back. It's something he reminded us of again recently, when he took the crybaby approach in addressing what he saw as the injustices of the officiating in the playoffs. It made him feel better... but it screwed the team, and good. He might have instead placed the blame for the lack of a response to that adversity where it belongs--on the team he (supposedly) coaches--but it seems he wants to be both his players' friend and their boss. Take it from someone who's worked in management a lot longer than you, Brindy: That never works.
  14. Lake, when I read through the rules for the Vegas expansion (which are the same this time) I took the waiver of NMC to be temporary, i.e., this is happening and while it plays out the NMC is null and void. But whether the player waiving is taken by the expansion team or stays with his current one, the NMC is back in force once the draft is complete. If the Canes are smart (and Jordan is willing) they will work a deal with Seattle prior to the draft, like they did with Vegas, when they gave the new team a fifth-round pick in exchange for agreeing in advance to take Connor Brickley in the draft. This time around they could offer a higher pick--a second-rounder, maybe?--and agree to retain half of Jordan's salary if Seattle agrees to draft him in expansion. As I've written elsewhere, Seattle would get a ready-made journeyman Captain with a Cup ring and well-known hockey name, while the Canes would both shed a crappy contract and open the slot Trochek should have been playing in all along.
  15. I've posted it here a bunch, but I first saw Willy play while I still lived in Philly. He scored 25 points in 63 games, solid for a rookie, but it was his work ethic that you noticed right away. He was unrelenting every shift. 19 years later, he still was. Thanks for everything Willy, and most of all, for being a class act every step of the way.
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