I wandered out onto the ledge after that last game, didn’t I? I was still hot about it when I wrote the post-game post so I might have lashed out a little.
But Mike Heika has been writing about being patient the last few days and I agree with him.
The Stars are a team in transition, and this is just 30 games into the transition. Yes, there are moves that can be made, and might be made. But the bottom line is new general manager Joe Nieuwendyk has a budget of $45 million for this season, and there’s no indication that will change, even if Tom Hicks does sell the Rangers.
So then you have to ask yourself – if you were the GM – would you try to roll the dice on a big move in attempt to possibly go after the Stanley Cup this year, or do you stay patient and allow your young players to get more experience?
I’m always on the side of not trading away the kids. I think that defensemen take time to develop and you have to let them. I don’t think that there is a “top-six” defenseman out there that is worth what we’d have to give up, or is available for what we have to trade. Players like Dion Phaneuf are overrated, and players like Dan Boyle are unavailable.
I have no problem waiting out the development of all the kids on the team. It’s just something we Stars fans are not used to. We used to be the last stop before retirement for washed-up third-liners. Now, the under-30s way outnumber the over-30s. But these are unusually talented under-30s. They just need some experience.
My rant the other day was more about the system that Marc Crawford is putting into place. I was blathering on about how they should all have learned it by now. But it’s only been 30 games.
30 games into a new era is not really much to go on. If I’m going to advocate years of development for a new defenseman, I should give a new system a little time to gel.
Heika thinks we may need to give the GM a lot longer than that.
…how much patience does Joe Nieuwendyk deserve?
I personally think it’s a lot _ like two seasons (or maybe more). And the reason is because I think not only does he have to find the right fit on the team, but also the proper fit in the locker room.
Unfortunately, I can kind of see that. But if Nieuwendyk is working on a long arc of building the team, he had better be good at it. He can’t knee-jerk and trade a future star (lower-case) for the flavor of the month. Or be swayed by the Free Agent Frenzy in the summer and spend all his cap room on an overrated player just because the Toronto media anointed him the best of the FAs.
So, as they W-L-W-L-W-L their way through the season, I’ll try to keep the big picture in mind. I’ll only panic if they start tossing around Phaneuf’s name.