I don't see the big deal in the Steve Ott hire. He wasn't great here as a player, but he isn't returning as a player. He's returning as a third assistant. This isn't an obviously bad hire to me like it is to some of you, but even if it is, this is such a low impact move (in either direction) that I just can't be too upset even if it doesn't work out.
And there's plenty I agree with in terms of the players. Rattie and Jaskin were never given a fair shake here, IMO. Guys like Parayko and Edmunson forced their way onto the roster and have stuck around so it's not like the coaches are NEVER playing the kids. They just, unfortunately, have to force their way on or have injuries take a toll to be inserted and take advantage of their opportunity.
Is that really SO different from any other team?
Management can improve in that arena, absolutely. I'm not saying they're geniuses. As a fan we ALWAYS want management and coaching to be better. I wouldn't shed a single tear if Armstrong was replaced. He's made some great moves (not re-signing Jackman, Brouwer, Backes, trading Elliott/Shatty, working out a HELL of a cap friendly 8 year deal for Tarasenko) and has made some crappy moves.
Maybe we're just not getting the right guys drafted? Maybe Rattie and Jaskin et al. really aren't that good? Maybe we've had bad luck in the draft in recent years?
Trust me: I'm as jealous and frustrated as anyone else seeing the Preds and Penguins pull these kids out of their proverbial arses that were drafted in the 3rd round and step right in and make a huge impact. Makes you frustrated and upset as to why it's not happening for YOUR team. But I don't think we're THAT off course.
As has been
in this thread: This, for me, was a transition year anyway. It was pure gravy. Lost Elliott, Backes, Brouwer and ultimately Shatty. My expectations weren't terribly high. And we still won a first round series and in near dominating fashion against a darn good Wild team.
Next year my expectations will be considerably higher. The core now knows how to win a playoff series. Kids are coming along. Our salary cap ship is largely in shape. We're not going to lose any major player in the expansion draft. We have two first round picks this year... It's not all terrible guys.