There are posts at the Asylum already questioning JD. I think, by and large, he's made several good moves here (including the Tkachuk and Guerin trades in '07 that landed us a few first rounders), signing Kariya (at the time, because that was a HUGE signing in terms of bringing fans interest back. Sure, the price was high, the on ice product has been a disappointment, but you can't lay all of the blame on JD for that), the Doug Weight trade that brought us Andy McDonald, the Stempy for Steen/Cola trade, etc.
I'm not saying everything he did has turned to gold. But really, in terms of rebuilding, he's put butts in seats quicker than most franchises after we had the rough '05-'06 season. But the key is that the front office has always asked fans for patience, and time, to allow the young guys to develop. They've had to fast track some of them, whereas a guy like Polak had some time in the AHL and has publicly admitted he's much better for it. It's a balancing act, really. You can't judge Oshie, Berglund, Perron on a year and a half, 2 years, etc. in the league. It's not fair to them, even though it is the nature of the business.
If this team could land a bona-fide goal scorer in a trade or by signing a UFA, I think it would make a big difference. That's easier said than done, of course. It's not like goal scorers are just handed over for nothing. I know so many folks think the rebuilding process should be done by now, but the front office wants to build a Cup contender for years, not one struggling to make the 8th spot each season. And that's something you can't just build overnight, or even in just 2 short years. Patience will remain key for awhile, even if some people think we should be hoisting Cups year in and year out already.
I can't argue with any of that, but he's also the guy that extended Brewer and Jackman and they didn't bring in a single scorer in the offseason.
I understand the 'fast track' thing with the kids and that's why I am not surprised at all by their numbers this year. I just hope it's a case where JD and company knew we weren’t good enough but just tried to sell us that we were ready, instead of a case where they miss evaluated the talent just as many of the fans did.
If has a plan and believes we are still 3 players and a couple seasons from being legit contenders, I’m behind him.
If he truly believed this bunch was going to take the ice this year and bring home a top four seed in the playoffs, I have serious doubts.
Honestly, I think what happens here at the trade deadline and in the offseason will really tell us a lot.
They gained a lot of new season ticket holders last year, but they could easily loose a ton this offseason without some serious moves. Those moves could be as simple as elevating Ellar and Pie and pubbing the hell out of them, or it could be acquiring a big name. But if they basically try to run out this same roster with a middle of the road (20 goal scorer) replacing Paulie, I think you’ll see a ton of folks not renew.
2012-2013 Official LGB Sponsor of Patrik 'Bulan' Berglund