Re: Anyone Remember One Of O'Connell's Comments After Trading Thornton?
posted at 7/15/2011 9:54 PM EDT
In Response to Re: Anyone Remember One Of O'Connell's Comments After Trading Thornton?
Really good discussion here folks. First, the trade, and other perceived MOC gaffes. My sense is that the MOC era, has been ridiculously misunderstood. First, blowing up that great pre lockout team, wasn't a MOC thing. That was Jacobs. The Thornton thing wasn't on MOC's terms, but Harry's. If anyone was paying attention, MOC was never the Bruin GM. He just had the title, and the joy of taking it on the chin, every time something didn't go as planned. Based on what I saw, I can't really comment on what kind of GM he was, or could have been....because he really never did the job. He was ownerships poodle. Along comes Shero, and that disaster only seemed to validate my thoughts. Me thinks Shero turned things down because he felt the hierarchy was hopelessly commited to running the show, and he wasn't interested in being a puppet. It also seems to me that Neely was never interested in anything more than dipping his toe in the water, untill corporate philosophy changed. Fortunately for us, the Shero thing really embarrassed the company(JJ), and it gave a really short list of people interested in working for the Bruins....some leverage. What would have happenned if PC publicly turned it down too? I believe PC knew that, and saw the opportunity to forcefully put forth his demands. "If you guys want to run the team, you don't need a GM to insulate yourselves from your bad decision making. Hire a student that wants a temporary title". If you want me...fine, but I run the hockey operations, no one else". The day PC arrived, was the watershed moment. Because that was the beginning of a new way of doing things. Since day one, this has been PC's team. Not JJ's or Harry's or both. MOC never had the privledge of working in that environment. How he would have responded is anyones guess. It's my belief that no one has ever been given the autonomy EVER....to manage that team....from the day JJ bought it...right up until the day PC was hired. Just my thoughts. And, the Thornton leadership thing........I feel Thornton was totally mismanaged from the day he got here....til the day he left. He was coddled and protected his first couple of years(which would suggest the type of outcome, management harped about in later years), he was given a captaincy, he probably didn't even want, but more obviously, didn't earn, or posess the qualities to find success in. To me...really dumb. Round pegs fit much better in round holes. Then we get into the type of player JT was(and is). Whether you "build" around him.(another dumb thought). You build around several things, and rule one is.....you build around what you know to be strength, not weakness. Management also ruthlessly used that kid as a marketing "cure all". If he was anything less than a Mario Lemieux, we felt ripped off. That seems to go with a much ballyhoo'd first round pick. Anyway, JT's cap hit is 7mil. Savard made the same this year. Savard, in my books has never been in Joe's category, even without the concussion issues. Both good players...which one do you build a team around. Neither, in fact rarely do you build a team around anyone. It's ridiculous. Who is this team "built" around? Many would say Chara. Right now...many may say TT. What about Bergeron...isn't he the quintessential Bruin. How about Julian? It's reasonable to suggest the team is built around his system. There are even those that would suggest that the mojo surrounding this Stanley Cup winner is the direct result of Sean Thorton's insertion in the lineup well into the Vancouver series. I guess to those folks, the last few games of the year....the team was built around him. It's all ridiculous. When you look at great teams, it becomes difficult to tell who the team is built around. It becomes very debateable. The fact is though, great teams are the result of "team dynamics", not individual ones. That knock on any player is dumb. The whole concept is dumb. Throwing all that on Joe Thorntons doorstep is dumb. I moved on from that trade a long time ago. but, like it or not, Joe Thornton is one of the better players in the league. Like any of those guys, we can pick away at them, zero in on the negatives, but it doesn't change things.
Posted by stevegm
Good thoughtful post, however it was MOC that went to Harry with the idea of trading Thornton. Another thing, if anything teams are built around salary caps now more than anything. Is Pittsburgh built around Crosby? Heck no, because they would have brought in a true winger by now. I don't think many G.M's say they are going to build around one player, they may get a player or two that best compliments another player but I think thats the extent of it.