Monday, April 21, 2008

Dead Ducks!

1) Although it really shouldn't be a shock based upon their respective records its always a bit of a stunner to see the defending Stanley Cup champs go out in the first round the following year. Many, including us at FAUXRUMORS felt that the Ducks would go deep into this post season. We were counting on not only their returning roster but just as, if not more importantly, that intangible of being the champs many times brings. Once a team has won, it usually knows what it takes and many times more than their opponents are willing to sacrifice and do the dirty work it takes to succeed in the toughest tournament in pro sports, the Stanley Cup playoffs.

2) However it appears that despite their late season surge, the Ducks never had that intangible, and were ripe for the picking by the Stars. We also should take a moment and congratulate Dave Tippett and the rest of the Stars. It was no easy feat to dethrone a champ, and many including us, did not see them as a team that could. We give them full credit in pulling this mini-upset off. We also give embattled goalie Marty Turco (The best Marty of this year's playoffs?) full credit for helping his team attain this success.

3) The next question is why? While many will try to point to the significant roster turnover from last season's squad. The loss of Penner, McDonald, etc were certainly significant as their replacements, Weight, Bertuzzi didn't seem up to the task. However we at FAUXRUMORS point our finger of blame on this entire season/mess to one man, Scott Niedermayer! Why? Well from the moment the team won their Cup last June he ceased being the team's captain and became totally self centered and placed the team below his self interests. Its not like Scott had an injury or a family situation that needed his attention. It was PURE Selfishness/self indulgence.

  • Scott had a valid contract for this past year. The team invested big dollars with the expectations that he would live up to his side of the bargain. After the Cup, Niedermayer started a 5 month odyssey of uncertainly/self indulgence. Would he retire, would he come back?

  • In a salary capped league all GM's need to know what their payrolls can be, what space to sign players etc they have. By not making his plan known until so late it tied his teams GM Brian Burke. Burke, not knowing what his selfish captain would do, was forced to assume he wouldn't be back and then signed players with that in mind.

  • This allowed another GM like Kevin Lowe to see Anaheim's possible cap space issue and use it to their advantage. Burke not knowing if Scott's 6+ mil in cap space would be free had little choice but to allow one of his big assets(Penner) to go for very little. Later when Scott (finally) decided to come back it was after a date which caused the team to have to trim payroll because of NEXT season! This led to the Andy McDonald trade as well as the literal giving away of Ilya Bryzgalov

4) When Scott finally returned in January it appeared that things were going to be just like before. However, team mates whom were with the team since September must have had resentment watching Niedermayer take 6 months off and then come back as if nothing happened. The team appeared to come together when he and Selanne made returns. (We don't place the same degree of blame on Teemu because he did NOT have a contract and Burke did not have to manipulate the roster around him, AND he wasn't captain!) However, the playoffs are usually the time that separates real teams from pretenders. This team just never seemed able to put together a full effort against the Stars who aren't exactly the 1977 Canadiens. Why? Ask the captain!

5) Brian Burke, who to his credit was silent during the Niedermayer nonsense(in private he was seething!), would be VERY foolish to consider bringing back Scott(even if he decided he wanted to come back) Cut the ties as soon as possible and move on. The Ducks still have a very talented core, and a few moves could have them back next spring hungry, and ready to sacrifice to win.

1 comment:

Zulu as Kono said...

Sorry boss i don't think Scotty was the reason we dint win against the stars. We got too many bad penalty and we couldn't kill em off. I hope he comes back next year. I think you are right that we still have a good team and will be back next year

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