Quebec is far from a slam dunk market. What has changed from the 90's? Are they going to have more corporate and government support? Will they still insist focusing on how French they are and have problems getting English language coverage?
I'm not convinced the Jets have a long term future either. They have a small arena, and even with selling out almost every game they're only the 20th valued NHL franchise. If they don't win consistently, which was their major problem in Atlanta, the novelty of having "Our Jets" back will wear off and fans will stop spending the money on games.
We did this conversation last year so I know no one is going to convince you, but I'll respond a bit.
The "If they don't win consistently..." argument ignores how dedicated people are to hockey up north. The Oilers have sucked for how long? and they've sold out 100% for at least the 10 years that this chart goes:
Edmonton's revenue will go up when they get their larger arena. Jets could probably move to a bigger place in the coming years. They're planning to add about 300 seats, but that's not enough, obviously.
Their media revenue will be higher now due to the sportsnet deal which shows many more games (especially compared to the 90s)
A lot has changed economically since the 90s. The salary cap changes everything, to start with. One of the huge factors for the Jets and Nordiques leaving was that they couldn't compete financially with other team for free agents - now the playing field is pretty even in that respect.
It was also the era of Bettman growing the game into the U.S. and so the league was more than willing to take the opportunity to take a team south.
Mostly off the top of my head are top hometown draft picks that played a vital role for each Cup-winning team since the cap has been in place. In parentheses are top picks who played a minor role.
2006 Hurricanes--Staal (Ladd)
2007 Ducks--Selanne though he left for several years. Getzlaf and Perry are picked late enough in the first round to not count. Pronger and Neidermayer weren't homegrown obviously.
2008 Red Wings--None
2009 Penguins--Crosby, Malkin, Fleury, Staal
2010 Blackhawks--Toews, Kane, maybe Seabrook at 14th overall
2011 Bruins--None (Seguin not vital but got him from drafting Kessel)
2012 Kings--Doughty, Kopitar, Brown, and Johnson got them Carter
2013 Blackhawks--Same as 2010
2014 Kings--Same as 2012
This year, it's either Chicago again or Tampa which drafted Stamkos and Hedman, while using Drouin sparingly.
So I'd say us and the Bruins are the only teams in the cap era that didn't win our Cups with the help of top 10 draft picks. But we were incredibly lucky picking up Lidstrom, Datsyuk, and Zetterberg when we did in the draft. That's like winning the lottery three times and I don't think we'll ever be quite so lucky again. Honestly, I see us as becoming a team with good depth in the future, but lacking the star power to consistently be much of a threat. Our only hope is Mrazek becoming a truly elite netminder and Larkin to develop like Bergeron or Toews (don't believe he has anything near 2008 Datsyuk or Zetterberg potential). Even then, we have absolutely no elite talent coming up on the blue line. So I'm really not sure what the plan is when Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Kronwall decline and retire. We need to hit some more home runs in the draft obviously.
I look at it this way: Datsyuk, Z, Lidstrom, Holmstrom, Franzen, Kronwall, Osgood, Hudler, Filppula, McCarty, Kopecky, Meech Helm (didn't play in playoffs) were all homegrown draft picks on that 2008 team. Yes, none of them were top picks. That's a team built pretty much the same we're rebuilding now - with lower picks, UFAs (Rafalski, Lebda, Lilja, Hasek, Cleary, Drake, Draper - or 1 dollar "trade") then a few well timed trades (Maltby, Stuart, Chelios).
Drafting Lidstrom, Datsyuk, and Zetterberg isn't just luck. We have a former scout as GM and a great scouting staff. We already have some very good recent young pieces up front in Tatar, Nyquist, and Sheahan. Larkin, Mantha, AA...we may have a few more. Lucked out with DD and Glendening showing up. Marchenko looks great. We have Jensen Ouellet Sproul waiting in the wings. I feel great about the team's future.
I know you're talking about stars, though. DD could get to Kronwall's level. Tatar and Nyquist could develop into star forwards (look at Hudler's career trajectory). As you suggested, Mrazek looks like a stud. Larkin or Mantha could get there. There is a possiblity that we become a team with just good depth after D,Z,K, leave, but we have more players than just Mrazek who have a very high ceiling in terms of potential.
Selanne wasn't drafted by the Ducks - he was drafted by The Jets. With your reasoning, that would make those 2007 Ducks another example of cup winning team without top draft homegrown draft picks.
Any improvement the team makes will be mostly the result of the kids improving. And back tracking will be mostly the result of them regressing or stagnating. And I stand by my belief that most people drooling over Blashill will turn on him when he plays Ericsson with Kronwall and Abdelkader and Helm in scoring line roles, and doesn't give Holy Slapper 4 minutes of PP time a night.
I do think that Blashill can inject some new energy, but I agree that improvement will be from prospect coming in (Mrazek, Marchenko, Pulkkinen) and youth improvement. Getting Mule back and the possibly having Weiss make a larger impact could also make us better if either happen.
I also totally agree that those that have railed against Babcock's roster decisions will find that any new coach will do similarly. After Abdelkader's last year he should and probably will be with Datsyuk. Also, the magic man wants him there(or a similar player) so it's been a player decision as much as a coaching decision.
Big E on the top pairing is a result of lack of high end talent on D. As of today, it's probably still the best way to handle the D pairings given the personnel. We'll see if we add someone or if Marchenko or can take a huge step this year. Otherwise, there will be more complaining about E as he plays a role slightly over his skill level.
Helm will be pushed down the roster if we either: get Mule back, have Weiss take a larger role, Pulkkinen finds his NHL scoring touch, Jurco finds his offensive game (though he needs to claim a 3rd line spot first). I love Helm and don't mind him filling in on the 2nd line and like that he is basically able to move up and down the roster an fit in. It's an important aspect to have in the event of injuries or struggling chemistry.
I think Babcock's reputation for unlikely lineup configurations is exaggerated and I think many people ignore the causes for certain decisions.
There was a report after the playoffs that said Franzen thought he might have played if we made it to the next round. That sounds like he'll definitely be back.
He would be a welcome addition. I feel like he is one player who would be happy Babcock is gone. It's speculation on my part, but I'm guessing that Mule was one of those players that Babs hounded - or “...I cross the line at times with a player." as Babcock said recently. I always thought that Franzen's "get back to having fun" comment was owing to some situation of him being criticized/pushed by the coach.
As I've already said, I don't think he's a liar. I think that $50 million dollars is a universal motive. You can say your decision will be about other things. You can mean it when you say it. But when someone offers you 50 million bucks to do something different, you change your mind.
He said his decision would be based on X,Y,and Z, and then went to a team that didn't have X,Y,and Z but DID offer him the hugest contract. It's pretty simple.
My problem isn't with Babs. It's with the way everybody is bending over backward to make excuses for the guy. Tons of people "do it for the money", he did too. Why is there some compulsive need to shield Mike Babcock from criticism? Particularly if the "criticism" isn't even that big of a deal.
You contradict yourself, though: saying that "He said his decision would be based on X,Y,and Z, and then went to a team that didn't have X,Y,and Z" is calling him a liar
That says money was the motivation. my previous post shows my reading of that.
Yeah, the money was part of the decision. I don't criticize him for that. It also seems like the new challenge was important, coaching for an original 6 franchise, also a place that worked for family (not too far from the D. More power to him if he can also swim in pool of money.
And even if she did "see that offer from Toronto and say 'let's go'" then its ABOUT THE MONEY which is what I've been saying.
But to reiterate, you are wrong about this. Completely.
If you watch the Detroit presser, they're keeping the Detroit home and his wife will still be able to be in Detroit. The fact that Toronto and Detroit are 4 hours apart definitely played a part in the decision. He did take his family's input in this decision. I think that's why BUF, TOR, DET were the final options. Anywhere else and they couldn't be so connected to their current home/community of friends. The wife is the boss comment was a joke.
Your trying to pin him down as a liar and make this into a messy breakup thing and it really doesn't seem to fit. He said that money was a factor from the beginning. He said he wants to win, but that doesn't necessarily mean right away. He wouldn't have gone some place that doesn't have a vision/commitment for prolonged success that he believed
He chose to leave and that's fine. From all the pressers I just get a sense that from the beginning he just thought it might be time to move on - a new challenge. On the fan's side many felt a similar thing. Babcock did a lot for the team and I would hate for the legacy to turn into - but he just shunned us and followed the cash. It doesn't seem like that to me.
Watching you run down all his comments and try to pin down inconsistencies demonstrates to me why I think Babcock will have trouble with the Toronto media. He speaks honestly in the moment and not with well planned PR soundbites.
Anyway, bring on Blashill! this whole thing has made me incredibly excited for next year! It does feel like turning a page and have the possibility of a new energy within the team.
Of course those teams will want to resign their stars. But they don't have the cap space to do it. That is the point. Some teams will make moves and get it done. Others will strike out and some of these guys will become UFA's. Others will trade. It happens all the time. Now which is which? No idea. But this is a starting point.
Lets take LA as an example. Kopitar is a UFA next year. His current cap hit is 6.8 IIRC. For his next contract that will be 8 million or so. Maybe more. They are cap tight now and have to resign RFA Toffoli-another very good young C. They also have carter who was their leading scorer and is signed to a big money contract. That is 3 good C's all are or will be making big money. There is an opportunity here for a GM with some insight and guts. I would take anyone of those 3 guys. All would be a major upgrade to our team.
Same is true with the Hawks. They have several guys to resign, no cap room, and a couple big time stars hitting UFA soon. They want to move Sharpe and his contract. Not sure they can without "paying" someone to do it. If they can't move him, they will not be able to keep Seabrook. Again a window of opportunity is open here. This is where kenny needs to be on the phone and make some offers. Make these teams tell us no multiple times.
Then list Carter or Sharp as possible cap issue cast offs. They are more likely to get than Kopitar and Stamkos. There is no chance we're getting those guys
I didn't see Darren : having sit down interviews with Hitch, Bylsma, McClellan, and Carlyle to discuss their decision making process. There are also not up to the minute twitter posts and articles discussing the very latest developments regarding everybody else. If you think they're the same thing, you're obviously not looking too hard at all the hype Babcock is garnering.
Why don't they care about these other guys? McClellan has a higher winning percentage. Bylsma has a comparable winning percentage AND as many cups. Hitchcock has as many Cups and has 700 wins. But Mike is the story for some reason. Presumably because hype builds on itself.
I'll let Wikipedia's intro paragraphs show the "some reason": I just took title acheivements.
Carlyle: He won the Stanley Cup in 2007 with his previous team, the Anaheim Ducks.
I think if you step back from your anti-Bab position you'd realize why he's being covered the way he is. He's kind of a star especially because the olympic wins brought him into the limelight. He's also in this rare situation where he's a coach who's looking for jobs without having been fired by a team (usually a non-playoff team). Babcock has done a lot for this team so he deserves the right to explore other jobs. This is the soonest time he could have talked to other teams and helped us out by not waiting to free agency. The media is obnoxious, though, but that's the nature of mass media.
Edmonton doesn't need a $5m/yr Babcock when they can get McLellan for say $2.5m/yr ... end result won't be much different.
I don't get the money argument. Coaches don't count against the cap. When you're paying 70+ million for players you know they've got the extra money. Anyway, they're an organization under great scrutiny by the media and fans - they wouldn't scrimp to turn it around. Just Babcock's name would bring them some much needed good publicity.