Here is the final post with this years Break it Down series. The rest can be found here.
And hi from whatever gutter I am currently dying in. Or maybe strapped to a chair like in Hostel.
A pretty decent off-season. It could have been better, yes, but it also could have been terrible.
It was interesting watching the Oil Change series (that should have been named Oil Same) as it highlights mainly the coaching that was going on. I found the series glossed over the idiocy of the GM group, but what it showed on the coaching was pretty interesting.
I think Renney is a smart coach. I think he’s doing the best with what he was given (and then had 50% of it taken away by the hockey gods…DAMN YOU HOCKEY GODS! (not really, sorry about that)). He has to teach all the kids how to play at this level, while also not letting them get discouraged about being a shitty team. And that’s got to get difficult after 82 games.
The assistant coaches…meh. Don’t know enough about what they do.
Tambellini had a strong summer. Could use a couple players, but for the most part he’s making strong bets on some players that could really work out for us, and if not won’t really weigh the team down going forward, and he fixed the bottom 6 forward group.
But he left defense and goaltending as big issues. I don’t have any confidence that he will fix them going forward. I think he sucks.
Coaching will be the same as last year (which was pretty strong I’m thinking). Management will be the same as last year as well. Nothing will be done.
This one was a thin article… so I thought I’d add my thoughts here.
I think Kreuger is a good assistant coach. The players really connect with him quite well. Apparently Chabot has been good with Dubnyk (which is a surprise, since Chabot was a horrible goaltender in his heyday).
I actually thought Tambellini would be a good GM when we picked him up (and many else did too). Sometimes he seems OK… other times he seems completely clueless. I’m not sure I can put my finger on one thing he does well. Wait, I do have it… the farm team. He (along with OKC Barons GM… Bill Scott?) have done quite a bit to turn our farm system from a bottom feeder into a top team. Our farm teams have been raped and pillaged by us for a few years now. Last year, they actually managed to hang in there quite well and made it into the playoffs, which is a huge feat for a new franchise (and one based off of a farm system that is constantly being picked from).
On the whole though, I think Tambellini has done a mediocre job – sometimes getting it right, but often underachieving. I think it’s safe to say that this team is now in win mode. I believe he is dedicated now (for certain) to making it win. If we stay in the basement for long, I hope to god this man is let go. But I’ll give him a chance now since a rebuild isn’t a pretty thing for a team to go through.
It’s hard to fully judge a GM in charge of a rebuild until the plan has completely been executed. However, there is little belief in my mind that he envisioned back-to-back 30th place finishes in his rebuild. In fact, I even wonder if he really envisioned a rebuild season last year at all. I think that he wanted to make the team win and the wheels fell off in December, and through lack of trying, the 30th place team happened “automagically”. How do you credit a GM for that?