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The Search (Hurricanes need a GM)

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10 hours ago, JonKerfoot said:

 

Is it really all that reasonable to think that there's actually anything more going on than there appears to be on the surface?

 

Perhaps

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Well to me the thing is Dundon learning from mistakes. He gets somewhat of a pass as a newbie to this arena. IMO he is going to make it clear that the new GM will be paid fairly and will not have to convene a committee every time he wants to waive a marginal player. Letting some time pass and the season end first is a smart move as is taking the process more underground.

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Dundon got out over his skis a bit at the beginning, and tried to hire a guy during the point in the season that other employed execs have other issues to deal with.  Jumping ship from a winning organization to a dumpster fire when you have a shot at getting the shiny thing is probably not happening.  Dundon comes from the business world where there is no "off season" and probably didn't get that...fully.  Truly the only guys currently available are unemployed.

 

I don't expect to see a hire until at least after the regular season, and maybe deeper into the playoffs as teams fall out and guys become available for interview and consideration.  That being said, they'll hire a guy today.

 

Capture.PNG.15a2e16b5fdc89a7ef453d9e351899cb.PNG

Edited by super_dave_1

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Remember Jeff O'Neill started the speculation and hasn't shown any facts outside of his twitter posts.

Jeff O'NeillVerified account @odognine2
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Not too often do multiple people withdraw from a gm job.

 

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    So my old team @NHLCanes wants the new smartest hockey guy available but they have little budget for it. Get serious. @TDCanes bad start buds.

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I really think that Dundon wants to go outside the organization completely to get a new look at our organization from, well, outside of it. I do think that some sort or coaching realignment has to happen. If Peters stays that would be one of the assistants. If it's Rod it would be two high profile Canes' legends shown the door right off the bat. If Rod is interested in a coaching career, and wants to go ride the bus in Charlotte, fine, but that is a big change from what he's used to. Could be tricky.

 

I just cannot believe that Dundon is going with el cheapo on the GM, and if someone put that bug in his ear, then that someone should be gone now. Talk about penny wise and pound foolish, and I'm not talking about an evil clown.

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Bob McKenzie was on NHL Overtime the other night. He touched on the Carolina GM search. It was a discussion and not a matter of fact concerning what is going on. He did say he didn't know if it was timing, concern over possible lack of autonomy in the position or financial that has caused the public search to be pulled back. He did followup the possible financial concern with an interesting statement saying something like the Canes are paying Ron Francis to not be a GM. Of course the implication is that maybe that salary could impact the amount the Canes have penciled in for a new GM. To be clear he didn't say that was the reason.

 

No one outside the executive office can be sure what the reason is for low keying the search but something went very wrong.

 

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56 minutes ago, OBXer said:

No one outside the executive office can be sure what the reason is for low keying the search but something went very wrong.

Or - I'll say it again - it was a very shrewd way of letting guys know you're interested in them, and giving them time to mull it over while their current seasons play out.

 

That being said, if TD is planning to play it like his mentor Mark Cuban he'll be running the show, whomever is named GM. The difference is that Cuban was a basketball fan before becoming an owner, where TD has openly admitted he still has a lot to learn about hockey. But I like Cuban's disregard for the status quo. If any of that has rubbed of on TD, it works for me, and is coming right when this franchise (in particular) and hockey (more generally) needs it most. 

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Sports Illustrated had a recent article by Tom Crean, the Hoosiers BB coach who was fired last march.  He spent a year on the road trying to learn from some of the best sports leaders / organizations out there.  As Crean puts it, “I want to become a better leader, a better manager, a better coach, a better man—by watching the best.”   The article shares some of the insights that Crean got from his experience.  Maybe I'm projecting the way I hope Dundon is proceeding, but I got the feeling that the structure TD is trying to create encompasses a lot of the principles Crean touched on in his article. 

 

A couple excerpts that led me to this (in conjunction with things I've heard Dundon say).

 

  • the coaches met in Brown’s suite at the Conrad Hotel. The level of detail was staggering. So was the level of organization. They started with the injury report before moving on to the Pacers’ depth chart. Three video monitors showed all that information and then displayed the practice plan. Everyone in the room could see the monitors and could add, delete or fix anything. One immediate lesson: Take advantage of technology.
  • There were 11 people in the room. If you had walked in there as a stranger, you would know that Brown was in charge. But it was a democracy. Brown didn’t look at O’Brien—who has incredible experience—any differently from his video coordinators and a scouting intern in his 20s. When everyone feels empowered to speak you send a message: There are no weak links on this staff.
  • After the meeting, the coaches joined the players in one of the hotel’s conference rooms for a team breakfast. I noticed that the meals were personalized for each guy. It was a little detail but again, it contributed to the culture.
  • This reinforced to me that player development is not just what you do with guys on the court. It’s also the time that you put into the video, the planning, the strengths and weaknesses that you constantly attend to. There’s so much that goes on that the players don’t see but, in time, they come to appreciate.
  • I visited the Chargers on a day they were assessing defensive prospects. There were probably eight people in the room, and I was struck immediately by the way they listened. How many times have you been in a meeting and when colleagues speak, people are staring vacantly or noodling on their phones? This was a total show of respect for everyone’s research and insight. For that room, an informed opinion was the price of admission.
  • I was also impressed by the level of intel, and the mix of research and intuition. There’s no denying the importance of raw information; the Chargers had reams of data on dozens, if not hundreds, of prospects. But the people in the room also had subjective opinions . . . We often pit analytics against gut feelings. But it’s not an either/or. The best decisions have research to back them up, but also incorporate emotion and judgment.

https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2018/02/21/tom-crean-teaching-year-harbaugh-belichick-tim-grgurich-lebron-james-dwyane-wade

Edited by LakeLivin

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So top and Lake, what I glean from your latest discussions is the possibility that the approach that this Tom Dundon might be attempting to usher in is a more democratic way of going about decisions rather that the"good ole boy" hierarchy that has been the course of events for the last century! If true, no doubt that its shaking the very roots of this sport. Decision by committee, particularly if one assembles an eclectic group with varied knowledge, could revolutionize the sport?

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32 minutes ago, KJUNKANE said:

So top and Lake, what I glean from your latest discussions is the possibility that the approach that this Tom Dundon might be attempting to usher in is a more democratic way of going about decisions rather that the"good ole boy" hierarchy that has been the course of events for the last century! If true, no doubt that its shaking the very roots of this sport. Decision by committee, particularly if one assembles an eclectic group with varied knowledge, could revolutionize the sport?

 

"More democratic" might be an appropriate term, but I think it's important to be more precise.  There's a difference between "decision by committee" (which can result in some pretty mediocre results in my experience) and a team that provides input to a decision maker who honestly welcomes and considers it, but ultimately makes the final call.  My sense is that RF may have had a strict agenda and may not have been as open to input from other parts of the organization as Dundon deems appropriate.  I don't know about "revolutionize the sport", lol, but yeah, I suspect that would be different from the past.    If successful, perhaps it could give the Canes an advantage over most other teams for a while?   Because if it works, you can bet that the rest of the league will follow suit, although it may take some teams a while to give up the old ways.  Just my 2 cents . . .

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Youth by nature is impatient. I think that is the best news of Dundon's purchase, because he is not only young and therefore eager to make his mark, but has the wherewithal to get the talent to do so. I've often felt the biggest challenge both Cam and E. Staal faced here was the fact that they got their rings very young: Hunger satisfied. And by going deep in 08-09, they answered the calls of "fluke" which greeted their championship from many quarters. Now we have a core roster of guys more than ready to win, and an owner who is willing to rock the boat to hasten the results he expects.

 

Edited by top-shelf-1

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3 hours ago, LakeLivin said:

 

"More democratic" might be an appropriate term, but I think it's important to be more precise.  There's a difference between "decision by committee" (which can result in some pretty mediocre results in my experience) and a team that provides input to a decision maker who honestly welcomes and considers it, but ultimately makes the final call.  My sense is that RF may have had a strict agenda and may not have been as open to input from other parts of the organization as Dundon deems appropriate.  I don't know about "revolutionize the sport", lol, but yeah, I suspect that would be different from the past.    If successful, perhaps it could give the Canes an advantage over most other teams for a while?   Because if it works, you can bet that the rest of the league will follow suit, although it may take some teams a while to give up the old ways.  Just my 2 cents . . .

 

Lake, my opinion is that you're spot-on here.

 

Maybe TomD just needs to treat the hockey media as imbeciles. ;)

 

I'm not saying that they are, just that if an owner, GM, etc. doesn't say very specifically what they mean, there are guys who will dive headlong into sensationalizing whatever subject is being discussed. This seems to be a case of this - Dundon is probably thinking "I want the whole scouting department, analytics crew, etc. to be able to provide their input and I want the GM to listen and digest the information they provide before making a decision", but by not making a specific statement like that, he invites speculative "journalists" to go to places he wasn't even thinking about.

 

I.e., explain everything in excruciating detail.

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I'm all for being kind to Dundon, there is that honeymoon period after all. But unless one subscribes to Top's theory that it is all part of the genius master plan to fail at getting a new GM now, then an error was made, or a series of them. I tend to think some combination of the rare firing of a GM while still in a race for the playoffs, with the fact that the other assistant GM's of interest are all in their own playoff run, combined with Francis' status, and him still being in the house while Dundon is at least in part advertising that his GM will somehow have less authority, with a low ball salary (that part seems hard to believe) led to a unique string of guys turning down a chance to GM at the highest level.

 

That all said, I think it will all work out fine. As has been mentioned, there are 31 of these jobs in the world at this level, and most of them are locked down. Supply and demand will prevail. Further, if the owner is willing to increase his spending, this could end up being a brilliant career move. Francis failed to make the final moves, but despite our understandable angst at how this season, is just like the others, there is a talent base, and a better pipeline than people think, and lots of cap space. Whoever comes in here gets to take the base that Francis patiently built, make a couple of moves, and look like a genius. Heck if Darling comes around and we add a good back up goalie, that alone could get it done. Then we have Zykov, Foegele, possibly Necas and others already here. Then if we sign one good UFA and make one trade for a good forward? Done.

 

Someone will see that, and take one of the precious few NHL GM jobs that exist. I also think Dundon will tone some stuff down and make sure that the pay is decent.

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I will say this as an aside. The Canes are doing their annual thing that they do, where they have a nice winning streak at the end. Draft aside, I do wonder if these late year wins have played a role in Francis sitting on his hands in the offseason. It could be a weird advantage that the new GM is not watching this team play well as constructed here at the end.

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I will also say this. I LOVE the notion of the advanced analytics Dundon speaks of if it's what I think it is. If it is what I've mentioned before, where I heard someone from the company that does this get interviewed on XM, it really could be big. When we think of analytics in hockey, it seems to me that most of it is based on shots and shot suppression, and possession. We can debate all kinds of things, but as Canes fans, there should be no NHL fans more acutely aware of the potential fallacy in these "advanced stats". We've been leading them on offense and defense for at least 3 failed seasons. Like at the top of the league in some.We are #1 in shots allowed per game. We are #1 in the NHL in face-off percentage. We are #4 in shots on goal. Yet here we are again in maximum pain territory at season's end.

 

The stats I think Dundon is talking about are fundamentally different. Rather than trying to project goals and wins onto shots taken and suppressed and small advantages in possession, this company watches and records the specific high impact plays that really matter, and does it specifically by player.

 

Rather than looking at Justin Faulk's plus/minus and saying something must be going on, or that it's a bad stat, these guys record every time Faulk wins a battle, makes a high quality assist, but also makes a terribly bad naked pinch or get's beaten like a rented mule, and assigns a specific value to each thing. Likewise, on offense. A guy can get ridiculously generous assists, like say in our own zone with an empty net on the other side, the puck finds his stick, he banks it out of the zone, to a guy who passes up to another guy who flings it into the empty net. Where another guy is making one sweet play after another that doesn't convert, then one very sweet pass to a guy who taps in. Both guys get one assist.  Also does a player's physicality lead to a turnover? A chance? They count all of this stuff.

 

These guys actually have people DVR and other camera feeds and break down every game. Which guy is truly stopping chances, and which guy is regularly creating quality or even high quality chances for himself or another guy. Watching Aho and TT together, and so far Zykov too, the naked eye can see that even when they produce no points they are creating quality chances almost all the time now. On the flip-side, a guy like Hanifin who seems prone to turnovers and occasional soft plays in his own end, but also moves the puck and creates offense (a bit Faulk-like). Which is more predominant? What can he fix? Is he a guy to trade for a forward who is also new and maybe not fully broken out yet, but who's detailed stats suggest more scoring than his numbers? There are also blatantly bad plays that never lead to a goal against, or ridiculously good plays that don't convert. They count those, and rank them, while current stats just ignore them.

 

These new stats are far far more useful than current "advanced stats" which are really just advanced math using currently available stats like shots taken, etc. The ones I hope Dundon is referring to are detailed advanced observations (stats) first, then math based on those. These are truly advanced. My guess it they will scream "sell" on Faulk, and possibly Hanifin, though due to his young age, less so. But that is just a guess. These truly advanced stats are far more expensive because you are not just paying one guy with a slide-rule, you are also paying the company to pay the observers.

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I know that one got a little long, but I'm really stoked about that topic. So there's one more thing I want to add. This company also gathers these stats for prospects. Both those of other teams, and those that are draft-eligible. This can help a team find that later round gem in the draft or decide who to trade for.

 

I think particularly of a guy like Necas. He is not a guy like say, Mitch Marner, who just destroyed the stat book in Juniors. Necas makes plays at speed, and the skill is there, but prior to the draft he mostly played few minutes in a men's league. Since his speed and skill jumps out, he was easily scouted, but another guy might make lots of great plays on a bad team and not get the points for it, and have a lot of hidden potential. We count on scouts to catch these guys, but a simple read out of these kind of stats could really assist in that. If nothing else, the stats people could say, "even though he projects late 4th round, our stats are showing that this kid Vern Blanston, over in the Swiss league is more impactful than his numbers". Then we could send a scout to look at him.

 

Anyway, there seems to be a lot of potential here.

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Dear Toronto Media,

 

I know it is difficult for you to belief we here in North Carolina don't have difficulty multi-tasking but it hasn't been lost on us that Easter fell on April 1st this year.

 

It was funny, especially the Ken Holland part

 

y'all, have a nice day and don't put your snow shovels away just yet :P

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2 hours ago, OBXer said:

Dear Toronto Media,

 

I know it is difficult for you to belief we here in North Carolina don't have difficulty multi-tasking but it hasn't been lost on us that Easter fell on April 1st this year.

 

It was funny, especially the Ken Holland part

 

y'all, have a nice day and don't put your snow shovels away just yet :P

So, OBXer, the Ken Holland reference lost me? I'm assuming, as usual, that the Canes are the tail end of some joke, but enlighten this person, who doesn't multi-task very well. Or perhaps have not come across the reference?

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On 3/31/2018 at 10:45 AM, remkin said:

 

These guys actually have people DVR and other camera feeds and break down every game. Which guy is truly stopping chances, and which guy is regularly creating quality or even high quality chances for himself or another guy. Watching Aho and TT together, and so far Zykov too, the naked eye can see that even when they produce no points they are creating quality chances almost all the time now. On the flip-side, a guy like Hanifin who seems prone to turnovers and occasional soft plays in his own end, but also moves the puck and creates offense (a bit Faulk-like). Which is more predominant? What can he fix? Is he a guy to trade for a forward who is also new and maybe not fully broken out yet, but who's detailed stats suggest more scoring than his numbers? There are also blatantly bad plays that never lead to a goal against, or ridiculously good plays that don't convert. They count those, and rank them, while current stats just ignore them.

 

These new stats are far far more useful than current "advanced stats" which are really just advanced math using currently available stats like shots taken, etc. The ones I hope Dundon is referring to are detailed advanced observations (stats) first, then math based on those. These are truly advanced. My guess it they will scream "sell" on Faulk, and possibly Hanifin, though due to his young age, less so. But that is just a guess. These truly advanced stats are far more expensive because you are not just paying one guy with a slide-rule, you are also paying the company to pay the observers.

 

Rem.  Yes.   My analog is baseball.  (Of course.)

 

If you want to see how it works live, go to a Mudcats game where it is really easy to stand behind home plate where all the scouts and stats guys are.  Be a little nosey and look at their log books computer screens.  Every tiny detail of every pitch is taken.  Speed, type of pitch, etc.  If the guy makes contact, where that contact is, even a foul tip.  Likewise, the pitcher is being assessed by the same stats, including every throw to first base to hold the runner, etc.  And then when a play occurs, every detail of the defensive play is recorded, right down to whether the throw to home from the outfield was on the fly or skipped in.

 

I actually sat next to these guys at Burlington (rookie league) and was amazed.

 

I think this is the kind of thing missing (or considered team secret) at the NHL level.   Sounds like the company you speak of is doing this.  This stuff used to be done with log books, but is now done live with a laptop.  For all I know, the feedback is instant to the data machine.

Edited by wxray1

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1 hour ago, KJUNKANE said:

So, OBXer, the Ken Holland reference lost me? I'm assuming, as usual, that the Canes are the tail end of some joke, but enlighten this person, who doesn't multi-task very well. Or perhaps have not come across the reference?

 

It was an April fools piece posted earlier today saying we had hired Kyle Dubas as GM. It was actually funny. I just couldn't resist taking a little shot at it. You do know snow shovels can be used to shovel more than snowflakes!

 

 

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OBX.  Still not funny.  You had to be there.  I googled it and this gives an idea of why you are so tickled:

Quote

Dundon has indicated he intends to be a very involved owner for the Canes, taking a direct hand in day-to-day operations of the franchise and giving himself the title of Lord Captain Commander of Hockey Operations. Dubas, for his part, conditioned his acceptance of the job on changing the team motto to “If You Have Value, It Will Be Quantifiable.”

 

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