I am done with Hartsburg... he is dead to me.

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    davetherave
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    Re: I am done with Hartsburg... he is dead to me.

    Post by davetherave on Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:48 pm

    Thanks very much MOI. It's a pleasure to discuss hockey with all of you.

    Just to clarify my take on Hartsburg, I will use the following metaphor and anecdote.

    The Senators remind me of a sales team I once managed at a company that was struggling. You had a few 'superstars', some middle of the pack types, pluggers, a few youngsters and some deadwood.

    The 'superstars' weren't performing up to their capability, so I sat down with them and said their best efforts would be needed to turn the company around.

    One of them stepped up. The other one kept doing the same thing over and over again. This eventually caused the first one to slip back into bad habits as well.

    This had a negative effect on the team. Though they started to adopt the new sales program we had prepared for them, one of the stars, who had a following among the group, openly voiced his disdain for the program.

    We fired one of the superstars and promoted the best one of the pluggers; following that, a few of the mid-pack and deadwood types resigned from the company.

    The company got turned around.

    ---

    Now, about Jason Smith. He is a veteran with a distinguished career. However, last year, the Flyers decided he was done and handed the captaincy over the Mike Richards, while letting Jason leave as a UFA. There were very good reasons for that. One of them is that Jason Smith is just too slow to be an effective starting D-man in the NHL.

    Why Bryan Murray signed him on a two year deal for 2.6MM a year continues to elude me. A one year at 1.25MM, maybe.

    Just MHO.


    Last edited by davetherave on Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:49 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : punctuation)

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    Re: I am done with Hartsburg... he is dead to me.

    Post by Guest on Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:44 pm

    davetherave wrote:Thanks very much MOI. It's a pleasure to discuss hockey with all of you.

    Just to clarify my take on Hartsburg, I will use the following metaphor and anecdote.

    The Senators remind me of a sales team I once managed at a company that was struggling. You had a few 'superstars', some middle of the pack types, pluggers, a few youngsters and some deadwood.

    The 'superstars' weren't performing up to their capability, so I sat down with them and said their best efforts would be needed to turn the company around.

    One of them stepped up. The other one kept doing the same thing over and over again. This eventually caused the first one to slip back into bad habits as well.

    This had a negative effect on the team. Though they started to adopt the new sales program we had prepared for them, one of the stars, who had a following among the group, openly voiced his disdain for the program.

    We fired one of the superstars and promoted the best one of the pluggers; following that, a few of the mid-pack and deadwood types resigned from the company.

    The company got turned around.

    ---

    Now, about Jason Smith. He is a veteran with a distinguished career. However, last year, the Flyers decided he was done and handed the captaincy over the Mike Richards, while letting Jason leave as a UFA. There were very good reasons for that. One of them is that Jason Smith is just too slow to be an effective starting D-man in the NHL.

    Why Bryan Murray signed him on a two year deal for 2.6MM a year continues to elude me. A one year at 1.25MM, maybe.

    Just MHO.

    I would say that your sales analogy would suggest you are an advocate of wholsesale changes?

    As for Smitty I think we have to agree to disagree. He does not get beat very often as many may suggest. I watch very closely, he is mostly in position. Also, if you watched his playoff performance last year you would not say washed up. The guy played with two separated shoulders and a Jaroslav Modry who's had a death in the family and was not focused. Despite that he made Sidney Crosby's life miserable, who is one of the top players in the world. That is all I will say. If we were a playoff team and using him appropriately, I think everyone would appreciate him more. Everyone is entitled to their opinion however, this is just mine.

    EDIT: Also if you remember back to the end of last year, Philly was right up against the cap and had to sign superstars. Their management would have loved to have him back, they had to prioritize other needs ahead of him. If they thought he was finished they would have traded him as a UFA prior to the deadline. If they could have signed him for 1.55 M they would have kept him for sure.

    EDIT EDIT: I guess that was not all I had to say about that. Smile

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    Re: I am done with Hartsburg... he is dead to me.

    Post by davetherave on Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:59 pm

    MOI, I am not an advocate of 'wholesale changes' so much as 'targeted change'. To have a winning team, in sports or in business, you have to have everyone buying in to the plan.

    Those who don't buy in, have to move on and/or be moved.

    It's not a pleasant or sentimental view, and BTW I have a number of issues with how businesses treat people, but that's another discussion.

    As for Jason Smith, I certainly did watch his excellent performance in the playoffs last year. But I also saw an aging defenseman giving it his last shot with a body that has been battered over the years. Therefore, I would have never signed him on a 2-year, 5.2 million dollar deal. Just not a wise investment.

    Besides, the team needs to see what Bell, Lee and Picard can do. It's a numbers game.


    Last edited by davetherave on Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:00 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : grammar)

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    Re: I am done with Hartsburg... he is dead to me.

    Post by Guest on Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:14 pm

    To use a statement made by N4L about Kelly: Smith would look much better and be more useful on a team that was busy defending leads, instead of always having to catch up.

    Both Lee and Picard are at least two years away from being true NHL top-4 defencemen and Bell will never be a true NHL defenceman. Coupled with Kuba who is being asked to be a #1 offensive defenceman (which he most certainly is not) we really didn't stand a chance with this make-up....We have a bunch of the right players playing in the wrong position and in the wrong collective.

    It really is a targeted approach - as you say Dave - that is necessary for this team to have some success. One or two alterations and this team would stand a chance of truly competing for the top.
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    Re: I am done with Hartsburg... he is dead to me.

    Post by davetherave on Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:32 pm

    Cash, agreed 100%...Jason Smith has value. The Senators' D simply has too many other needs.

    If Ottawa can land a few of the very talented young defensemen (Hedman, Cowen) available and trade for or sign a PMD, they can address their depth issues on the blueline relatively quickly.

    Even if they are young, promoting them can pay dividends, as LA is showing.

    A possible 2009/10 depth chart snapshot (in no particular order) might be:
    Volchenkov, Phillips, Lee, Picard, M. Karlsson, E. Karlsson, Hedman/Cowen, Bell, Smith, PMD to be determined

    The goaltending question remains huge.

    At best, IMHO, 2009-10 is a transition year.

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    Re: I am done with Hartsburg... he is dead to me.

    Post by Guest on Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:36 pm

    I cannot see Bell getting re-signed. I also don't think we'll finish low enough to get Hedman or Cowan. And E.Karlsson is a definite toss up - there's no guarantee that he'll be ready for NHL competition.

    I agree that next year is a transition year for the team.

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    Re: I am done with Hartsburg... he is dead to me.

    Post by Guest on Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:39 pm

    I think Bell will be resigned. For 500K, he is a good guy to have in there, and he hasnt played poorly. He is a good guy to have back on the 2nd unit and put in the right situation he is fine.

    I think for sure he gets resigned, no reason not to. Still tied for 2nd on the back end in goals and has played less than 1/2 the games as everyone else.

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    Re: I am done with Hartsburg... he is dead to me.

    Post by Guest on Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:35 pm

    I definitely don't see him being re-signed. If you think he will be, then there are definite parts of his game that you aren't catching. So long as the other 5 "regulars" - Smith, Phillips, Volchenkov, Lee, and Picard - are still with this team, there won't be a spot for Bell.
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    Re: I am done with Hartsburg... he is dead to me.

    Post by COLLAR UP on Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:42 pm

    MurderOnIce wrote:
    SeawaySensFan wrote:I agree with everything. Reading your post jarred this thought from my brain. Smith was "accountabilitied" because Donovan is injured.

    I was flamed on the "internet" for posting my thoughts on Hartsburg and his dubious NHL record and lack of suitability for the pro game, despite junior success.

    I'll say this. Hartsburg = Great coach, wrong hire.

    The players have a LOT of blame in this. I'm still willing to say "it's just one game" and we'll see what happens against St. Louis and Columbus, in particular.

    I was a Tortorella guy from the time the position needed to be filled. I will tell you things could have been very different this year with the right hire. Even if you don't agree with me, the press conferences would at least be friggin' entertaining....

    I too was a Torts guy fro the beginning...and still am...

    Torts is the best coach not in the NHL right now...by far...
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    Re: I am done with Hartsburg... he is dead to me.

    Post by davetherave on Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:25 pm

    I really am of two minds about Tortorella. Sure he's won a Cup, but really hasn't done much since. And there are real questions about his abrasive style.

    When I lived in Florida over the last few years I watched a lot of Lightning games. They weren't fun, and often brutal displays of inconsistent effort and lack of coherent play.

    Sound familiar?

    Tortorella was tough all right, but his team didn't win consistently or convincingly, and he went through goaltenders like a buzzsaw.

    2007-08: 31-42-9, 71 pts, last in the Southeast, out of playoffs
    2006-07: 44-33-5, 93 pts, 2nd in SE, squeaked into playoffs, bounced in round one
    2005-06: 43-33-6, 92 pts, 2nd in SE, squeaked into playoffs, bounced in round one

    'Best coach not working in the NHL'? Not sure what that means, and not sure that means he should be coaching the Senators.


    Last edited by davetherave on Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:26 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : omission)
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    Re: I am done with Hartsburg... he is dead to me.

    Post by Acrobat on Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:41 pm

    MurderOnIce wrote:
    Case in point, yesterday's decision to sit Jason Smith. You can debate whether it was warranted. I will assert that it is not but as a big fan of his I excuse myself from that debate, that is not what this post is about. The fact of the matter is that he didn't know why he was being sat. That is BAD coaching, very BAD. You owe it to any player, much less a 15 year vet, to explain to him why he is being sat. This violates all three things he preaches.

    You're kidding, right? That's just wrong.
    Atom-level coaches would know better, and do better.

    Suddenly, I'm rethinking my support for keeping him on; interestingly, it also calls into question Murray's judgement, and suitability, too. I wonder if Melnyk is going through this thought process?

    Well thought out and laid out, MOI.
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    Re: I am done with Hartsburg... he is dead to me.

    Post by Acrobat on Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:52 pm

    504Heater wrote:
    Jordo wrote:Just a random thought- do you think sitting Smith was to light a fire under him so he whips the rest of the team into shape? We know what kind of attitude Smith has when he's in his game... maybe they're trying to get him to come out swinging in the next game and inspire some others? I might be way off- but it's just something to think about. The timing doesn't really make sense...

    I thought that too. Make him pissed so he takes it out on the guys who are doggin' it.

    And yes, I too thought Picard blew last night. I made sure everyone around me knew how much I hated our entire D - especially Picard last night.

    I sure as hell would hate to be the one in his way when he gets pissed.
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    Re: I am done with Hartsburg... he is dead to me.

    Post by Acrobat on Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:32 pm

    Cronenbergfan wrote:
    ElliottRules wrote:To sit Smith and expect him to break heads the next game, I think is expecting too much. I am sure that he is pissed but don't you think he has been pissed and embarassed since the beginning of the season? For a veteran, he doesn't need to be a healthy scratch to get him to bust heads in the locker room. This is something a guy like Smith attempts to do on all the teams he has been on. The fact that he wasn't even given a reason makes he think that he will just think that management has no clue and that they are grasping at straws.

    While I have next to no faith in Mlakar, I think we ALL know that deep-down, Murray knows what he's doing, and if he asked or TOLD Hartsburg to sit Smith, Murray had a reason, and hopefully the desired effect will work and take effect, so to speak, otherwise another wasted opportunity I suppose just passed us by.

    While I wouldn't mind seeing Smith finish out his contract here, I could see him being fed up and just asking to be moved at this juncture.

    Just before I read these posts, I began to wonder the same thing. I suspect he'd be a good addition to a team looking for the extra veteran presence and grit going into a long playoff run. And he may be worth a decent pick or prospect; maybe packaged with Vermette or Kelly, we could get a first rounder.

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    Re: I am done with Hartsburg... he is dead to me.

    Post by Guest on Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:02 am

    Acrobat wrote:
    Cronenbergfan wrote:
    ElliottRules wrote:To sit Smith and expect him to break heads the next game, I think is expecting too much. I am sure that he is pissed but don't you think he has been pissed and embarassed since the beginning of the season? For a veteran, he doesn't need to be a healthy scratch to get him to bust heads in the locker room. This is something a guy like Smith attempts to do on all the teams he has been on. The fact that he wasn't even given a reason makes he think that he will just think that management has no clue and that they are grasping at straws.

    While I have next to no faith in Mlakar, I think we ALL know that deep-down, Murray knows what he's doing, and if he asked or TOLD Hartsburg to sit Smith, Murray had a reason, and hopefully the desired effect will work and take effect, so to speak, otherwise another wasted opportunity I suppose just passed us by.

    While I wouldn't mind seeing Smith finish out his contract here, I could see him being fed up and just asking to be moved at this juncture.

    Just before I read these posts, I began to wonder the same thing. I suspect he'd be a good addition to a team looking for the extra veteran presence and grit going into a long playoff run. And he may be worth a decent pick or prospect; maybe packaged with Vermette or Kelly, we could get a first rounder.

    How many teams would be willing to take on $5 million in salary though. If a first is coming back, that almost certainly means less in the way of roster talent. I don't think the Sens would be asking for much anyway. That means most of the money leaves Ottawa. I don't know how many teams, if any, have the cap space and desire to spend it.

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    Re: I am done with Hartsburg... he is dead to me.

    Post by Guest on Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:16 am

    davetherave wrote:I really am of two minds about Tortorella. Sure he's won a Cup, but really hasn't done much since. And there are real questions about his abrasive style.

    When I lived in Florida over the last few years I watched a lot of Lightning games. They weren't fun, and often brutal displays of inconsistent effort and lack of coherent play.

    Sound familiar?

    Tortorella was tough all right, but his team didn't win consistently or convincingly, and he went through goaltenders like a buzzsaw.

    2007-08: 31-42-9, 71 pts, last in the Southeast, out of playoffs
    2006-07: 44-33-5, 93 pts, 2nd in SE, squeaked into playoffs, bounced in round one
    2005-06: 43-33-6, 92 pts, 2nd in SE, squeaked into playoffs, bounced in round one

    'Best coach not working in the NHL'? Not sure what that means, and not sure that means he should be coaching the Senators.

    I think you are forgetting the most important year. 2003-2004: Stanley Cup.

    Also, the goaltenders he was given to work with after his Cup winning 'tender left were mediocre at best. The fact that he's emotional and a hardass somewhat overshadows his coaching ability. He was a Sabres assistant for a long time before being in Tampa, as well as stops in Phoenix and NY. He also won an AHL championship with the Amerks. He's a good hockey man.

    I don't think he's the best coach not working, but he's certainly in a select group. Everyone talks about how his shelf-life is shorter due to his hot-headedness, but Feaster backed him until the day the new ownership sideshow came in and forced him out. With good reason. Lecavalier blossomed under Torts, as did Dan Boyle.

    Is he the right guy for Ottawa? I don't know at this point. What I do know though is that this team either needs some serious change personnel wise or the right coach for this group of guys needs to be brought in. If we go by way of the second option, I think it's high time we had a guy that's not going to give these babies any leash. Like others, Hartsburg's senseless benching of a solid character guy in Smith, who gives up his body EVERY shift, infuriated me. If 2/3 of our roster played with the kind of passion Smith has, we'd almost certainly be in a higher position today.
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    Re: I am done with Hartsburg... he is dead to me.

    Post by dennycrane on Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:03 am

    If Torts had been hired as coach, I would have paid real money for a picture of the look on Martin Gerber's face.

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    Re: I am done with Hartsburg... he is dead to me.

    Post by Guest on Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:06 am

    dennycrane wrote:If Torts had been hired as coach, I would have paid real money for a picture of the look on Martin Gerber's face.

    Or any goalie for that matter. Gerber would have packed up and headed back to Switzerland pretty quick though. :lol!:
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    Re: I am done with Hartsburg... he is dead to me.

    Post by davetherave on Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:49 am

    Our esteemed colleague Hemlock is correct in bringing up Mr Tortorella's Stanley Cup, which I duly gave Torts credit for. Mr T had a talent-laden Cup team.

    But after that, he managed less well, with less talent. For example, though Marc Denis should have been more than adequate, Tortorella could not make it work with him. He could not adjust his system to compensate for the changes in the talent at his disposal.

    Hence my point. Why would you hire Tortorella to coach a Sens team with issues, most specifically in goal?

    If Melnyk and Murray hired Hartsburg and not Tortorella, it is logically because they felt Hartsburg's fundamentals and system were more suited to an Ottawa team that was and is going through a transition and rebuilding.

    Tortorella is not necessarily that kind of coach. He has some special qualities as a motivator. Would he have done a better job of handling Spezza and Heatley? There are good arguments for that.

    IMHO a more lucid view of the Ottawa coaching situation is that very few candidates were prepared to take on what is a truly complex and, as we have seen, often thankless, challenge with the problematic Senators.

    There are other 'new' coaches, who like Hartsburg, are finding the ride more than rough.

    Look at John Anderson in Atlanta, who has endured enormous frustration in his first year. The Thrashers have as many/few points as the Senators.

    Scott Gordon is another excellent coach hampered by a serious lack of personnel in Long Island.

    My point is there are no 'bad' coaches in the NHL, and neither are there 'magically endowed' coaches who single handedly turn bad teams into good ones.
    :pirat:

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