Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Strange Death of Waddell-Disdain?

I guess this is as good an excuse as any to talk about hockey in a dry season.

According to the famous Chronicle-readers at the Hockey News, the Thrashers have a general manager who calls himself "Don" "Waddell," and apparently some people simply do not care for him.

A member of the Hockey News gentleman's club (108 Pall Mall, SW1Y 5ER) makes the case that this Sicilian patriarch is not, as many had previously thought, the worst GM in human history after all. That honor, he says, belongs to LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi. I suppose that in some small way I'm pleased that this Ryan Kennedy human is being somewhat generous to the Thrashers, but truth is a wicked wart-faced harpy: Lombardi is actually a good GM, hence the almost-a-contender team he's built over the last few years. Waddell, while certainly not as catastrophic as some people have made him out to be (remember Rich Peverley), isn't Benjamin Disraeli either.

And the article fails to mention the advent of Rick Dudley--marked by minor miracles like the Antropov signing, the drafting of Klingberg and Morin behind Kane, etc.--which is surely a reason to JESUS CHRIST WHEN DOES THE SEASON START?

So what do you folks say? Absolute worst GM in the league or merely bad or just misunderstood?


Wayne stuck in AL said...

While it may be fashionable to praise Waddell for what he has done this offseason, it must be noted that the prospects he signed this summer (save for Kane...maybe) will not help us in the short run. Even if all prospects pan out (Postma, et al), it won't be until maybe 2011 at the earliest.

Mortimer Peacock said...

It's certainly true they won't help immediately, but they're excellent prospect to have.

The interesting question (to me, anyway) is who--between Dudley and Waddell--had the most influence on the Morin and Klingberg choices. It's totally conceivable that DW was heavily invested in Morin, what with all his USA Hockey connections, but then again, who knows?

A2B said...

I think Waddell got screwed when Heatley left town... we lost one of our Marquee players and get stuck with someone who had no reason to like atlanta. After that, he has been trying to play catch up. If he resigns Kovy longterm, we may start saying he is a competant GM after all and it just took him a few years to learn after trying to rent their way to the playoffs.

Daculafan said...

I kind of agree with A2B. I think he got hosed on some of the moves he's made or things that were beyond his control. Of course he's also pulled some moves that a half retarded, mouth breathing, chain smoking, beer swilling NASCAR fan would've questioned (I refer to selling his soul for Keith Tkachuck)

Overall I think that Don has made some good moves and picks (Toby Enstrom..this kid was anonymous now no Thrasher fan would not want him on our line)

I want to see him lock down Kovy and if Kari can't stay healthy this year then set him adrift and let's get a goalie in here who can work 65 plus games a year.

I reserve judgment on the Don but he's still got some work to do

Mortimer Peacock said...

A2B and Daculafan,

I agree that he's done some good things, and some of the real catastrophes in Thrashers history don't have a whole lot to do with him (the Heatley thing, which led to Hossagate, etc.). The way I see it is roughly:

Good DW accomplishments: the Heatley-for-Hossa trade (didn't work out but whatever), the signing of Marc Savard before he was Marc Savard, the drafting of Toby Enstrom, the discovery of Rich Peverly


DW Horror: signing Bobby Holik to a huge contract (part of the reason we didn't have the money to pay Savard, who WANTED to stay in ATL), Coburn for Zhitnik, the insane trade of our #8 pick in 2005 for Alex Bourret (his worst offense, in my opinion), Jason Williams...

Hopefully we'll be able to add Kovalchuk re-signing to his list of good things.

h said...

It is hard to rate a GM without including the owners in on the conversation. Basically, we don't always know the behind the scenes motives from up above as they relate to each move. Typically, GMs are rated based on the success of the franchise. Our franchise has not been successful to date. I agree with you MP that DW made some very good moves and some bad moves. I wouldn't rate him in the bottom 5 (although our overall results are in that category) but he's not in the top 10 either. That being said, I am happy with the moves over the last 8 months. Jason williams move blew up, but he was a close to a point a game guy coming off an injury that we paid a couple of million for on a one year deal. I don't think that was a bad move at just didn't work out. Holik anded up being a little more "over the hill" than DW thought and that was not a great deal, although I wonder if we could have gotten him opr someone like him without overpaying at the time. OK OK...long story short....DW has made some good moves (more in last 8 months than last 3-4 years) and he's made some bad ones.....I'd rate him in the middle of the pack to the bottom half....