Why ‘good’ shouldn’t be good enough for full-rebuild teams like Maple Leafs

Sportsnet

One of the best things to happen to happen to sports coverage in a long time is the success of Netflix’s Drive to Survive, a docuseries focused on F1 racing that takes noobs like myself with almost no interest in the sport behind the scenes and lays out the myriad storylines.

It’s fascinating, and gets you invested. In it, you realize that while fans spend a lot of time rooting for certain teams, a ton of drama exists off the track in the paddocks, where half the battle is simply holding on to those coveted jobs where uncommon dollars and renown await.

Hockey’s dirty secret is that much of what front offices do is more than tangentially related to job preservation. (Good luck getting anybody to say that.) With that goal in mind, winning is obviously the single biggest factor, but with only one Cup being handed out a year (as Brian Burke liked reminding us on Hockey Central) it’s not the only thing that accomplishes it, which relates to why GMs are generally risk averse.

Do things by hockey’s great book of homogeny and fail and you’ll get another chance in the league. Do some free thinking and try to build a different style team or play a different way and fail, and you may get laughed all the way to the SPHL.

One of the best things to happen to happen to sports coverage in a long time is the success of Netflix’s Drive to Survive, a docuseries focused on F1 racing that takes noobs like myself with almost no interest in the sport behind the scenes and lays out the myriad storylines.

It’s fascinating, and gets you invested. In it, you realize that while fans spend a lot of time rooting for certain teams, a ton of drama exists off the track in the paddocks, where half the battle is simply holding on to those coveted jobs where uncommon dollars and renown await.

Hockey’s dirty secret is that much of what front offices do is more than tangentially related to job preservation. (Good luck getting anybody to say that.) With that goal in mind, winning is obviously the single biggest factor, but with only one Cup being handed out a year (as Brian Burke liked reminding us on Hockey Central) it’s not the only thing that accomplishes it, which relates to why GMs are generally risk averse.

Do things by hockey’s great book of homogeny and fail and you’ll get another chance in the league. Do some free thinking and try to build a different style team or play a different way and fail, and you may get laughed all the way to the SPHL.

Run the above through a translator, and it says, “If you ever hire me as a GM, best believe we’re conducting a full rebuild.” It’s genius! These things take years to play out, and trying to even judge how they’re going before year four is a fool’s errand. It takes a year to strip a team down and pile up the draft picks, you usually need at least a couple proper drafts with all those picks to stockpile the next core of your team, and then it takes some years for those players to come along and be NHL-ready.

Meanwhile, you’ve now held an NHL GM job for five years, and your team is suddenly good and coming into its prime, and you’re in a really good spot when it comes to public perception, which lets face it, is a relevant factor in maintaining a job in the league.

#hockey, #nhl

s
search
c
compose new post
r
reply
e
edit
t
go to top
j
go to the next post or comment
k
go to the previous post or comment
o
toggle comment visibility
esc
cancel edit post or comment