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I would have liked to see GMTMs plan through.  I think he had a good vision for the team.  I also think he was probably a personality that would not last long and his firing was inevitable.

Bylsma did get the most out of a roster since Ruff.  We hated his style of hockey but I think he recognized the limitations of the roster and played to those limitations.  Usually we praise that kind of adaptability but the game was boring so we pilloried him.  Ultimately I think his game was the right one for the short term but I doubt he would have been the right coach for the short term.  I also think out tankfruit was his undoing, not his performance.

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16 minutes ago, Weave said:

I would have liked to see GMTMs plan through.  I think he had a good vision for the team.  I also think he was probably a personality that would not last long and his firing was inevitable.

Bylsma did get the most out of a roster since Ruff.  We hated his style of hockey but I think he recognized the limitations of the roster and played to those limitations.  Usually we praise that kind of adaptability but the game was boring so we pilloried him.  Ultimately I think his game was the right one for the short term but I doubt he would have been the right coach for the short term.  I also think out tankfruit was his undoing, not his performance.

I wrote this exact post word for word and then DM’d it to Weave.

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Note: although I disliked how XGMTM rushed the rebuild and wasted assets about as stupidly as XGMJB did and I intensely disliked XHCDDB's system and player development, they did have a plan which might have partially worked in spite of them.  They should not have been canned before the end of year 3.

I find the longing for them nothing short of mind-blowing.  It is a sign of how low our standards have fallen that people think they were good.  I grant and agree that their mediocrity was above the execrable records which followed, even if XGMJB deliberately sank Housley to get XHCRK -- or at least he acted like it by undermining his players and coaches by not making moves to sustain hope and then denigrating them in the first post-TDL press conference.

In the XHCDDB era, XGMTM had no idea how to acquire defencemen.  The best part of those back-ends pre-dated XGMTM.  He grossly overpaid for quick fixes.  Some were good (e.g., O'Reilly) and some were not (McGinn, Lehner).  This compounded the offence of destroying a winning mindset from which the franchise still has not recovered and wildly over-paying for Bogosian and Kane.

As he did in Pittsburgh, Bylsma undermined the natural growth of the youth and ran a system which stunted their development.  He also dragged the play down to unimaginatively predictable levels.

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TM was smart. But he wasn't as smart as he thought he was. He was too smug for the results that he got. He thought he was the smartest guy in the NHL. He wasn't. 

DB was boring. That's all I got. They were lousy. Not exceedingly lousy. Not atrocious. Just lousy. The roster was crap and I guess he might have made the most of it. Sure. Why not?

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Loved GMTM's persona with the public but it wouldn't last long behind the scenes with such an abrasive/blunt way of communicating. He had some very good ideas yet simultaneously seemed determined not to use the many draft picks at his disposal even though he was a supposed draft guru. He brought in some great players but seemed incapable of understanding personalities and how they interact on a macro level. He was single minded on players and would spend anything needed to acquire them to a fault. In the end I think his plan hinged on McDavid; the tank wasn't meant for the safety net of Eichel but McDavid or Bust. When we lost the lottery, we all saw his anger over the outcome and it may have begun his downward spiral with the Pegulas. 

Bylsma was a separate story; he had the correct approach of trying to build a system around the team's personnel but fully looked to cover weaknesses instead of pushing their strengths. Byslma seemed incapable of adjusting on the fly and seemed to base his entire offense on low percentage stretch passes while GMTM brought in his version of LAK styled players. Effectively making one of the two completely on a separate page in terms of direction. However his biggest problem was his nigh-emotionless demeanor. When your team is feeling lax; a coach needs to show some emotion; not screaming, but emotion. Additionally he seemed incapable of creating a connection with the many players on his roster which alienated parts of the younger players altogether. He worked well in Pittsburgh because he adjusted a preset team with a vet core, young super stars, and a young stud goalie. He never did well generating a leadership core after that old vet core had left which is evident in Pittsburgh's lack of playoff success after their Cup in 09. It would take Crosby until 2014/2015 or so to start really showing he could be a mature leader that showed it both on and off the ice and didn't fall into every honey trap set by the Flyers or Bruins. 

 

 

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I've always said Murray's idea was sound (on paper and in theory) but he chose the wrong pieces and rushed it and thus f'd it up and it all crumbled down fast.

Find franchise goalie - check - but he overpaid for him and somehow missed knowing he had mental issues/problems. Perhaps developed/helped properly he'd have given us what he's giving others now.

Trade for underachieving sniper/power forward to play with future superstar - check - but he was an egomaniacal f up and never really committed to hockey. Never grew up so to speak.

Draft superstar - check - but he got the B grade one not the A grade one.

Traded for solid 2C who should have been C period. Good idea, but again probably overpaid.

Traded away too many picks. 

Coach had success with a Crosby-less team so in theory, until we had Eichel prime and a better roster, not a terrible idea for playing style.

In many ways it should have worked. But it didn't gel. So any number of theories as to why. Personally, I give up on trying to figure it out beyond, the obvious. It really is the water. 

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Couldn't draft anything past the first round

It was an easy decision for sam, jack so any gm could make those picks .

 

So he basically drafted Borgen,Asplund ( and could of got way better talent) 

 

2 players out of 3 drafts to help us 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Marvin, Sabres Fan said:

Note: although I disliked how XGMTM rushed the rebuild and wasted assets about as stupidly as XGMJB did and I intensely disliked XHCDDB's system and player development, they did have a plan which might have partially worked in spite of them.  They should not have been canned before the end of year 3.

I find the longing for them nothing short of mind-blowing.  It is a sign of how low our standards have fallen that people think they were good.  I grant and agree that their mediocrity was above the execrable records which followed, even if XGMJB deliberately sank Housley to get XHCRK -- or at least he acted like it by undermining his players and coaches by not making moves to sustain hope and then denigrating them in the first post-TDL press conference.

In the XHCDDB era, XGMTM had no idea how to acquire defencemen.  The best part of those back-ends pre-dated XGMTM.  He grossly overpaid for quick fixes.  Some were good (e.g., O'Reilly) and some were not (McGinn, Lehner).  This compounded the offence of destroying a winning mindset from which the franchise still has not recovered and wildly over-paying for Bogosian and Kane.

As he did in Pittsburgh, Bylsma undermined the natural growth of the youth and ran a system which stunted their development.  He also dragged the play down to unimaginatively predictable levels.

"Longing" is overstating it by a fair amount.  Recognizing that they were the best of a bad lot and we did not have a sense of how much worse it could get is closer to what is being conveyed here. Housley underperformed Bylsma by a fair amount and RK came along and said hold my beer.  Botteril proved to be in over his head and KA is now running things using training wheels.  The circus went from a school gymnasium to 3 rings in an arena.  What a ***** show.

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They weren't great, but we haven't had a GM, or coach, as good since. TBD on Adams and Granato

10 hours ago, Weave said:

I would have liked to see GMTMs plan through.  I think he had a good vision for the team.  I also think he was probably a personality that would not last long and his firing was inevitable.

Bylsma did get the most out of a roster since Ruff.  We hated his style of hockey but I think he recognized the limitations of the roster and played to those limitations.  Usually we praise that kind of adaptability but the game was boring so we pilloried him.  Ultimately I think his game was the right one for the short term but I doubt he would have been the right coach for the short term.  I also think out tankfruit was his undoing, not his performance.

Bylsma didn't even get the benefit of coaching an Eichel that was beyond his sophomore year, the one he started at age 19. I dunno if the tankfruit was his undoing unless you are referring to the overall process. 

Edit - Oh, do you mean Jack got him canned, by suggestion? 

Edited by Thorny
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1 hour ago, Thorny said:

They weren't great, but we haven't had a GM, or coach, as good since. TBD on Adams and Granato

Bylsma didn't even get the benefit of coaching an Eichel that was beyond his sophomore year, the one he started at age 19. I dunno if the tankfruit was his undoing unless you are referring to the overall process. 

Edit - Oh, do you mean Jack got him canned, by suggestion? 

Yes.  I seem to recall that post season player meetings were the impetus behind DBs firing.

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Let's look at his transactions as a GM.

Below is every single trade in order of which they happened. Source.

Steve Ott and Ryan Miller to St. Louis for Jaroslav Halak, Chris Stewart, William Carrier, 2015 1st (traded, see below), 2016 3rd (traded, see below)

  • Halak was traded along with a 2015 3rd (Robin Kovacs) for Michal Neuvirth and Rostislav Klesla
  • Stewart was traded to Minnesota for a 2017 2nd (post-Murray selection)
  • Carrier was selected in the Vegas expansion draft
  • 2015 1st was traded to Ottawa for Robin Lehner and David Legwand
  • 2016 3rd was part of the deal to move up with Florida to get Rasmus Asplund, further details below
  • Michal Neuvirth was traded to New York I for Chad Johnson and a 2016 3rd which was then traded for ... Dan Bylsma
  • FINAL TRADE: Steve Ott, Ryan Miller, 2015 3rd for Dan Bylsma, Rostislav Klesla, Robin Lehner, David Legwand, 2017 2nd, part of Asplund/Kulikov

Matt Moulson and Cody McCormick to Minnesota for Torrey Mitchel, a 2014 2nd (traded, see below) and a 2016 2nd (traded, see below)

  • 2014 2nd (Vitek Vanecek) was traded to Washington for a 2014 2nd (Vaclav Karabacek) and a 2014 3rd (Brycen Martin)
  • 2016 2nd (Chad Krys) was traded to Montreal for Josh Gorges
  • Torrey Mitchell was traded to Montreal for Jack Nevins and 2016 7th round pick (Vasily Glotov)
  • FINAL TRADE: Matt Moulson and Cody McCormick for Vlaclav Karabacek, Brycen Martin, Josh Gorges, Jack Nevins and Vasily Glotov

Brayden McNabb, Jonathan Parker, two 2nds to Los Angeles for Hudson Fasching and Nicolas Deslauriers

  • Hudson Fasching was traded to Arizona for Brandon Hickey and Mike Sislo
  • Nicolas Deslauriers was traded to Montreal for Zach Redmond
  • FINAL TRADE: Brayden McNabb, Jonathan Parker, two 2nds for Zach Redmond, Brandon HIckey and Mike Sislo

2015 Condition 7th (never converted) to Winnipeg for Jordan Samuels-Thomas

Luke Adam to Columbus for Jerry D'Amigo

Jhonas Enroth for Anders Lindback and a 2016 Conditional 3rd (Casey Fitzgerald)

Tyler Myers, Drew Stafford, Joel Armia, Brendan Lemieux, 2015 1st to Winnipeg for Evander Kane, Zach Bogosian and Jason Kasdorf

  • Not doing a trade tree here because the trade of Kane was not done under Murray. This is his final version of the trade.

Brian Flynn to Montreal for 2016 5th (Vojtech Budik)

Nikita Zadorov, Mikhail Grigorenko, JT Compher and a 2015 2nd to Colorado for Ryan O'Reilly and Jamie McGinn

  • Jamie McGinn was traded to Anaheim for a 2016 3rd
  • 2016 3rd was traded to Nashville for Jimmy Vesey who did not sign
  • Rest happened post-Murray
  • FINAL TRADE: Zadorov, Grigorenko, Compher, 2015 2nd for Ryan O'Reilly

Mike Weber to Washington for a 2017 3rd (post-Murray selection)

Minor-league deal with Ottawa involving Phil Varone leaving and who cares about the rest

Mark Pysyk, 2016 2nd, 2016 3rd to Florida for Dmitry Kulikov and a 2016 2nd (Rasmus Asplund)

2014 4th to St. Louis for Anders Nilsson

Daniel Catenacci to New York R for Mat Bodie

 

By my count there's a mixed bag here but I firmly believe the Evander Kane and Ryan O'Reilly deals were absolutely brilliant that should have been franchise-changing type deals had he been given more time to fill out the roster.

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5 minutes ago, Hoss said:

Let's look at his transactions as a GM.

Below is every single trade in order of which they happened. Source.

...

By my count there's a mixed bag here but I firmly believe the Evander Kane and Ryan O'Reilly deals were absolutely brilliant that should have been franchise-changing type deals had he been given more time to fill out the roster.

Thanks for doing all that.

BIAS ALERT: I would have preferred XGMTM's sind of team here to XGMJB's vision.

Although I understand the goal, I personally think the Kane-Bogosian trade was gross over-payment.  We could have moved some players is separate deals and wound up moving fewer assets in the end for the same outcome.

I also think the O'Reilly-McGinn trade was massive over-payment.  This is another one where the goal was the right one, but too many assets went out the door for them.

I strenuously disagree with his seeming refusal to full stock Rochester to create a genuine player pipeline.  IMHO, this is his biggest sin.  This meant there was almost no room for error in trades, drafts, etc.

All three of these issues point to what I think is the crux of his problems: he over-estimated his own ability to judge talent and relative value.  His philosophy on handling assets only works if you are perfect in evaluating the value of what you got.

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I think Murray's biggest flaw was not his penchant for home-run trades, nor his player evaluation skills.

It was his failure to understand he was managing people not horses.

This manifested in many ways, but in terms of his dressing room, he effectively installed Bogosian, O'Reilly, Lehner and Kane (all reasonable to good NHL players, but less than ideal personalities) as his leadership core and mentors for Eichel and Reinhart.

It was a major miscalculation and placing Bylsma in charge of this group effectively derailed the rebuild.

Edited by dudacek
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59 minutes ago, dudacek said:

I think Murray's biggest flaw was not his penchant for home-run trades, nor his player evaluation skills.

It was his failure to understand he was managing people not horses.

This manifested in many ways, but in terms of his dressing room, he effectively installed Bogosian, O'Reilly, Lehner and Kane (all reasonable to good NHL players, but less than ideal personalities) as his leadership core and mentors for Eichel and Reinhart.

It was a major miscalculation and placing Bylsma in charge of this group effectively derailed the rebuild.

Well stated.  On paper those players were huge additions.  Given their personalities, it didn’t work out.

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I thought both ROR and Kane were good players, the best players involved in their respective trades and good players to add, although poor leaders.

The price was too high for Kane IMHO but fairly reasonable for ROR.

The McNabb trade was terrible. 

It's also fair to hold TM accountable for not knowing Lehner better -- this is consistent with @dudacek's horse trader theory.

I generally agree that TM gave away good draft picks like a drunken sailor and this was partially responsible for the cupboard being bare in Rochester.

Overall, between lousy on-ice accomplishments and some unstable and unprofessional incidents (from TM and the players) it was fair IMHO to can TM, if a bit precipitous.

As for DDB, he didn't seem like he added much, but I don't think he was a net negative like RK, either.

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20 hours ago, Hoss said:

Where do you stand on GMTM and Bylsma, the only tandem to produce a competitor in the modern era of Sabres hockey?

Everything Murray did to move us one step forward, put us three steps back in future years. In the cap era, you need a constant supply of good cheap youngsters each year. 

Shipping out all those picks and prospects was what made the tank as bad a plan as it has been.

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1 minute ago, JoeSchmoe said:

Everything Murray did to move us one step forward, put us three steps back in future years. In the cap era, you need a constant supply of good cheap youngsters each year. 

Shipping out all those picks and prospects was what made the tank as bad a plan as it has been.

He drafted more players than Botteril.  This is a tired, worn non-factual point.

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10 minutes ago, Weave said:

He drafted more players than Botteril.  This is a tired, worn non-factual point.

Yup. It wasn’t that he traded too many away it’s that he acquired so many (as had Darcy) that it wasn’t reasonable to just make all those picks.

I also disagree strongly that he overpaid for O’Reilly in any way. That was a great price for what we got. The Kane trade can be debated but I think the price paid was fair there because they also go Bogosian. Bogo didn’t exactly pan out here but the trade wasn’t exclusively about getting Evander (who is damn good and entertaining).

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3 minutes ago, Weave said:

He drafted more players than Botteril.  This is a tired, worn non-factual point.

Huh? My buddy scored more goals than me on our beer league team, but he's still not going pro.

Think about how many high draft picks he gave away. That was our future he flushed down the toilet for a quick fix. We know how it worked out. Loading up on veterans will only get so far until you run out of cap space.

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