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1
All Sports But Hockey / Re: Raptors close to acquiring Kawhi Leonard
« on: July 19, 2018, 09:13:56 PM »
I don't. Because I think the fundamental question is ultimately the same. If a team isn't in a realistic position to win a championship with the current roster, do you want your management to be making the big and frequently difficult decisions in order to change that? Sure, the Leafs in Kessel were at a different point in the process but right now do you think any of us would blink at trading someone like Gardiner or Kadri if it returned a defender who would help the team win?

I would like the team that I cheer for to make smart difficult decisions.  So take the decision to trade Shea Weber for P.K. Subban.  I'm sure it was a difficult decision for Poile to make that move even with the term Subban had.  Does he make the move if Subban only has one year left, and there are rumors he hates country music?  Does he roll the dice on one year of P.K. Subban because they haven't gotten over the hump yet?

So if Subban walks after that year, and now they don't have Subban, and they don't have Weber, are they in a better situation?  Was that one year of Subban really worth giving up Weber?  Is the one loss in the finals worth where you are afterwards? What about Edmonton's trade with the Blues to get Pronger?  Edmonton bought low on that one, and it worked great for a year, but then he wanted out, and Edmonton has been a shambles since then ( although to be fair they were a shambles before Pronger got there too ). 

And that's really how this discussion started.  You posted about how this will be considered a brilliant move or an insane one.  I think with all the red flags around Kawhi, and what is likely to happen after he leaves, I think a person will be able to argue that this will end up a swing and a miss.

I think you're focusing a little too much on the one year of Kawhi vs. the larger issue though. The Raptors didn't just have some bad playoff losses in the last few years, they had some bad playoff wins. Teams that, by virtue of their respective records, the Raptors should have stomped took the Raptors to tense 7th games. Then getting swept by a very vulnerable Cavs team(who Boston and Indiana could push and who Golden State obliterated).

I'm focusing on that aspect because to me that is the thing that makes the trade make less sense for me.  It negates the whole "we are going to win a championship" argument because even if the Raptors get to the final, they are probably going to lose because of the strength of the west.  So in that respect, you aren't really building to anything.  I don't necessarily buy that they are going to be able to flip Kawhi for more than they gave up because if the rumors are true, they would be dealing with only one team.  The sign and trade aspect does give them a little bit of leverage, but there really isn't anything on the Lakers that is overly exciting in return.

So you've gone back on your word on a player that spoke highly of the area that he played in, which can have negative effects when dealing with other players and you are already a market that has trouble retaining players, to buy a one year shot at a final that is likely to be unsuccessful.  I don't disagree that things were fundamentally broken, but you could also play it out by saying "Well Lebron's not here anymore, so let's take another swing at this with the team we've got" and if that fails, you can still break up the team and do a rebuild because you can then say "Well it wasn't just Lebron", because that has been the argument for their failure for some time.  That they keep running into Lebron.  I agree that it's not the reason and that the team with DeRozan isn't constructed to win much in the playoffs, but in two years time, you are probably in the same spot where you need to rebuild.   

2
All Sports But Hockey / Re: Raptors close to acquiring Kawhi Leonard
« on: July 19, 2018, 02:39:15 PM »
I don't know to what extent you're a Basketball fan but I feel like that's the sort of thing that would never fly in a million years if we were talking about the Leafs. Imagine, for instance, not trading Phil Kessel because he was a good guy who liked it here and who'd signed two extensions with the Leafs.

But just like trading Kessel was ultimately necessary for the Leafs to take the right steps, this probably was too. I get that it sucks because DeRozan was a good guy who liked it here and it's a shame that he's not going to be someone who we get to see any more but Raptors fans are just as invested in the Raps winning as most of us are with the Leafs so to ask them to put that on hold so that DeMar can stick around would be a tough sell.

It's unfortunate, and it really sucks that it looks like they weren't forthright with DeRozan about it, but that is the nature of the beast when it comes to following professional sports.

I think the situations were different though.  The Leafs weren't winning, so most fans were willing to do something in order to build a winning team.  If the Leafs were consistently making the playoffs and were getting to the second round or the third round, and Kessel was a big part of that, then maybe there would have been some angst if they dealt him for someone, say Karlsson, who was only going to be here for a year and then was going to bolt to Tampa Bay (yep, I went there).

I get that basketball is a different beast though.  In order to win, you need to have the best player on the court.  It's incredibly hard for a good "team" to beat a team that has a super star on it.  Which is sad, but that's the way it is.  So I understand that the Raptors are taking a chance at making a run by getting a true superstar.  Chances are that they are going to lose to the Warriors though.  That's a team that has good role players and a couple of true superstars.  And that's if they get past the 76ers or the Celtics.  Indiana and Milwaukee look to be on the rise too.

So for me, how much more does it mean for the Raptors to get to a finals and then lose, and then lose the player that got you there, versus having a player that was invested in your team as much as any player ever in the NBA, and was looking to grow your brand for you?  Like I said, it's a rock and a hard place, and I'm not entirely sold on the idea that it is better to try and make it to the finals at all cost versus having a competitive team year in and year out that has a good story around it.   I get that the Raptors before the trade were basically the Atlanta Hawks of a few years ago.  Good team, would finish in the top three of the conference, pretty consistent, but was never a threat to make it very far.  I will admit though that I am not a die hard Raptors fan.  I watch games on T.V., and look at the stats here and there, but I don't live and die with every win and loss. 

3
All Sports But Hockey / Re: Raptors close to acquiring Kawhi Leonard
« on: July 18, 2018, 03:32:53 PM »
UGH.  As much as I love John Tavares, he's probably in the 10-20 range in the league.  And in the NBA, the superstars drive your success more than they do in the NHL (see:  McDavid)

Tavares is who they traded, Matthews is closer comparison to who they got back.

So not to belabor this point, but I am totally going to labor this point.  It was a bit tongue in cheek. 

Kawhi Leonard has been described as a superstar.  One of the top 5 players in the league when he is at his best.  The pundits have said that they gave up a real good player to get him. 

I put John Tavares in the superstar category and above the real good player category.  Is he top 5 in the League?  At his best, possibly.  2015 was a monster year for Tavares.  He finished third in Hart trophy voting, and he was a 1st team all star.  He also finished second in the scoring race.  So he's three years removed from that, but he has gotten to that level before, and I don't think he has dropped off that much.     



4
All Sports But Hockey / Re: Raptors close to acquiring Kawhi Leonard
« on: July 18, 2018, 02:34:20 PM »
I don't know anything about Basketball. How good is Kawhi really? I've read he's like top 3-5 in league good. Any comparable hockey player or old school bball player?

John Tavares

5
Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: John Tavares is a Maple Leaf
« on: July 18, 2018, 02:33:55 PM »
Anybody worried that a guy like Clutterbuck may take a run at Tavares just to prove a point?

Nah, I'm more worried about some nut in the crowd than anyone on the ice.

I was just thinking of the crowd being fired up, lots of booing, lots of adrenaline.  Islanders want to make a statement, and someone crosses the line.  He probably does have a bunch of friends on the team still, and it's not like anybody on the Islanders is Gudas level. 

6
All Sports But Hockey / Re: Raptors close to acquiring Kawhi Leonard
« on: July 18, 2018, 12:26:39 PM »
I think I am leaning towards utterly insane.

I think how this looks now might be very different from how it looks if the Raptors flip Kawhi at some point.

But honestly, what's the other option? Bring everyone back to try and win an Eastern Conference where it already looks like they've been surpassed by the Celtics and the Sixers, the grand prize being a surefire sweeping in the finals?

Yeah, rock and a hard place situation.   Kawhi is a top 5 player when he is at his best.   Probably the best player that has been on the team since Carter or McGrady, depending on how you view Bosch.  They had to do something other than shuffling the deck chairs, but it would have been nice if they could have come up with a creative way to add to the group without getting rid of DeRozan.  Sure you wouldn't get a talent like Kawhi, but maybe there is something else out there that you can do to augment the team.  As has been mentioned by others, here is a guy that committed to the team, and you just up and traded him.  I know it happens, but in this situation, it feels like that should have been avoided.

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All Sports But Hockey / Re: Raptors close to acquiring Kawhi Leonard
« on: July 18, 2018, 09:00:39 AM »

What i like here is that this is either brilliant or utterly insane with no inbetween.

My guess is Ujiri knows he's sort of on his last legs and is shooting the moon.

I think I am leaning towards utterly insane.   

8
Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: John Tavares is a Maple Leaf
« on: July 18, 2018, 08:57:26 AM »
Anybody worried that a guy like Clutterbuck may take a run at Tavares just to prove a point?

9
Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: The Matthews Extension
« on: July 17, 2018, 09:30:52 PM »

The quoted text is from an Athletic article by Craig Custance:


Hmmm, it feels like someone here was just saying that.

What would the compensation be if someone offer sheeted Marner? 5 first round picks?

The biggest RFA compensation is 4 first rounders:

https://www.capfriendly.com/offer-sheet-calculator

And like I said, you'd match any Matthews offer sheet and Marner really doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who'd sign an offer sheet and bail on his hometown team and playing on Tavares' wing.

I think Down Goes Brown had an article that said the problem with the RFA system is that the compensation isn't higher.  The reasoning behind this was that it's a no-brainer to just match the offer.  If the compensation was higher, then the GM may actually have to think about whether or not they wanted to match it and it may lead to more RFA offer sheets.

11
Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: John Tavares is a Maple Leaf
« on: July 16, 2018, 02:59:16 PM »
They better have good security at that Feb game in NY (or wherever the hell the Islanders play), based on the vitriol I've seen online, I really worry something stupid might happen when Tavares goes back to play.

Yeah, things might get tense after he scores his 3rd goal and 5th point of the night.

Hey, it's NY, I wouldn't feel there was any issue if he played in say, Calgary all these years and moved to Toronto, but people can be fairly crazy down in the U.S.  I'm just saying I hope that after a few months the crazies have let go of their hatred and the worst that happens is he gets constantly booed when he touches the puck.

You should probably find a Calgary thread online that tool place during the Phanuef trade.

Why would Calgary have hated Phaneuf for a trade?  It's not like it was his choice to leave, he was dealt.

Didn't people used to link to the Flames' HFboards thread about that trade and laugh at the Flames fans disgusted reactions as they learned about the return?

Ah, I must have gotten that confused somewhere.  I thought I remember fans posting stuff about how he was useless, and a cancer in the dressing room and things along those lines.  It seemed irrational towards a player being traded to say these things about him when it wasn't even really his fault that he was being moved along.   

12
Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: John Tavares is a Maple Leaf
« on: July 16, 2018, 10:47:01 AM »
They better have good security at that Feb game in NY (or wherever the hell the Islanders play), based on the vitriol I've seen online, I really worry something stupid might happen when Tavares goes back to play.

Yeah, things might get tense after he scores his 3rd goal and 5th point of the night.

Hey, it's NY, I wouldn't feel there was any issue if he played in say, Calgary all these years and moved to Toronto, but people can be fairly crazy down in the U.S.  I'm just saying I hope that after a few months the crazies have let go of their hatred and the worst that happens is he gets constantly booed when he touches the puck.

You should probably find a Calgary thread online that tool place during the Phanuef trade.

13
Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: John Tavares is a Maple Leaf
« on: July 16, 2018, 10:29:57 AM »

As far as I can tell, the "reasons" for Islanders fans being mad at Tavares all sort of boil down to the idea that Tavares had secretly made up his mind long ago and engaged in a pattern of deceit in order to screw the Islanders out of getting something for him.

It is, quite honestly, ridiculously stupid. The "proof" of this is even stupider. Look at that letter again. Tavares tweeting out a picture of himself as a kid is "proof" that he'd made up his mind long before the Leafs even talked to him or made him an offer.

While it's true that a lot of the Leafs fan reaction to Sundin was also stupid, I don't think that mitigates this stupidity or means it shouldn't be called out as such. I had no problem at the time calling Leafs fans morons for thinking badly about Sundin and am happy to do the same here.

The problem isn't that fans can't separate their own identities from their team's, it's that a lot of fans are stupid and selfish.They're not loyal in any way to the players they purport to have affection for. Their relationship is entirely transactional. We care about these guys so long as they help the team, the second they don't they can get bent. What's more, they're expected to sublimate their own interest for the team's. Playing well over the course of their contract isn't enough, they need to leave in a way so that the team can extract every last ounce of value possible, regardless of how the player feels or what they want.

It's a case of fans being greedy, entitled jerks. Which, common though it may be sadly, still deserves being called out.

I agree totally.  I just felt the tone of the conversation was that this is a Islanders fan phenomenon and I believe it to be more of a standard fan phenomenon.  My point about fans separating their own identities from their teams is that there is no reason for the fan to be stupid and selfish if you can distance the things that are happening to the team from things that may be happening to you.  Tavares didn't leave the Islanders fans.  He left the Islanders organization.  Just because he left the organization that you cheer for doesn't mean he left you personally, so you shouldn't make it personal. 

At the end of the day, we can have differing opinions on why this phenomenon occurs, and there are probably a myriad of reasons, but really there is no justification for getting angry at an athlete  for exercising their contractual rights and choosing to play where they want to, when most of us would probably make a similar decision.

Take a situation where Matthews bolts when he is a UFA, for any reason.  First off, I can't really criticize him in this case because that would be hypocritical.  I can't be happy about Tavares coming because it works to the advantage of the team I am cheering for, and then be angry at a player that leaves because it works against them.  Secondly, I would probably miss seeing Matthews play more frequently.  He is a fun player to watch, and he contributes to a team winning, and those two things are probably linked, so in a way, with Matthews leaving, it would probably be less fun to watch the Leafs.  But again, that's not Matthews fault, so I am not about to get on the internet and scream about how he should be deported because of some sort of lineage in his nationality.  To me though, that's not being smart, that's just common sense.     

14
Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: 2018 Offseason Review
« on: July 16, 2018, 09:20:38 AM »

Does this even warrant a new thread?


This doesn't mean that they are actually going to try playing him next year does it?  Or does it mean that they plan for him to go a similar route to Liljgren?

15
Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: John Tavares is a Maple Leaf
« on: July 16, 2018, 09:19:09 AM »
The fans vitriol should be directed at ownership and management, not Tavares.  The organisation has been clown shoes going back to the Mike Milbury days.

I don't disagree with you.   However, Nik brought up the feelings directed toward Sundin when he left and they weren't all that dissimilar to what is being said now, minus the Canucks pajama's and such.  And in the Sundin case, that was totally a management decision, and most of the anger was directed toward him because he actually wanted to stay.  I've lived in Ottawa most of my life.  I have seen Heatly go (This was the worst.  When he came back fans put signs up in the stands that said "Warning, dangerous curve ahead", which is really tasteless in my opinion ), Alfie go, Spezza go, soon to be Karlsson.  In every case, there is a small contingent of the fan base that looks at it rationally, and then there is a large contingent that is absolutely over the top about player x not wanting to play for their team.  I think all fan bases are the same.  I would expect the same sort of vitriol from a large contingent of the Leafs fan base if Matthews was to leave for another team.  The problem, in my mind, is that fans can't separate their identity from that of the teams.

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