Thanks Steve for your response - you truly are unique because I can't imagine a GM in any other sport even considering being a part of these types of forums.
With that said I'm not sure if anyone has ever disagreed/argued one of your points before, but if not I guess I will be the first.
Steve Govett wrote:
Hamley's departure was felt but didn't affect the team significantly
I have to disagree with this point just by looking at the results. We were 5-0 prior to Hamley leaving and after that we were 4-7. I know injuries played a part of our failures but every team has injuries. Carey and Sims each played in 5 games after Hamley left and they both played together in 4 of those games. In those 4 games we were 1-3. Overall we were 1-4 when Carey played and 2-3 when Sims played.
Another point you hinted at several times was players wanting to be here. I'd assume that when we were 5-0 everyone was happy throughout the organization because everyone was on the same page and it showed on the field. Once the losses started to add up is when I'm assuming there was some frustration from the players and lead you to say..."We are currently deciding on which players want to be with us and believe in the same goals and which players are along for the ride." Couldn't Hamley's departure have played a role in some of the players outlook and morale? I guess what I'm saying is that based on the results and some of your comments unless the timing was pure coicidence, then Hamley's departure did affect the team more than you are suggesting.
Ok now on to the second point...
Steve Govett wrote:
Tranny players were asked to secure our own goal first before leaving our own end and risking higher percentage shots against.
If Sims, Carlson, Gajic were all asked to secure our own goal first before leaving our own end doesn't this represent a change in philosphy by Mr. McMahon and his staff that greatly under utilizes these three players talents? I can remember numerous times in 2007 when Sims was on the break and had one defender barring down on him and he just lowered his shoulder and actually attacked the defender before scoring a goal. This did not happen in 2008 and this has to be because of the coaching philosophy. He average over a goal a game in 2007 and in the 10 games in 2008 he was at 1/2 a goal a game.
I think a more concentrated effort on the defensive end of the floor is a definitely a good thing, but something has to give when that approach is taken and to me that was the transition game. Sims, Carlson, and Gajic were never able to get those one on one scoring chances because they were staying back on the defensive end and by the time they started to run up the floor the other team already had 2-3 defenders on the floor to stop the transition.
I think this played a major role in the lack of offense. I know you mentioned that we forced the most shot clock violations of anyone in the league, but we also had to be up there in having the most shot clock violations. Because our transition guys were back at the defensive end of the floor and not getting the offense going quickly by the time our offense got set we had 4-5 seconds left on the clock. Once again I believe that this coaching issue led to this player issue...
Steve Govett wrote:
For example, one player who has consistently shot 21% or better, shot 14.6% in 2008, when that player takes more shots than all but one other player on the team, that results in 11 fewer goals in the season than we have come to expect. This is not a coaching "game management" issue, this is a player issue.
By the time Gavin got the ball he had very little time to make an extra pass or put a move on a defender to get a higher quality shot on goal and was forced to throw a shot on net to avoid a shot clock violation. Pinning our struggles on all the players and Gavin in particular doesn't seem very fair when, especially on the offensive side of the floor, they were dealing with a coaching style that gave them a lot less time to run the offense. Expecting a player to put up the same shot percentage and score the same amount of goals in two completely different offenses seems unfair to that player.
I mentioned this earlier but wanted to touch on one of your points again and that is you continued to mention or hint that there are a few players that you and the coaching staff aren't sure if they want to be here or buy into the system. All I can say to this is that is concerns me a lot, because I would bet that a lot of these players are veterans who played for the previous coaching staff and are players who I would consider fan favorites and the face(s) of the Mammoth. If the players who I think you are talking about end up playing for another team I would be thoroughly disappointed. I understand getting rid of these players who aren't on board is necessary to make the team better, but it would definitely hurt seeing them in different colors.
One other topic that has been heavily discussed on the forums is the departure of John Gallant. Now that it seems official can you please give us a little insite as to what happened and why John was not one of the protected players? Was he was one of the players who didn't believe in the same goals as management? Or was it assumed that since he came out and said he would and could only play for the Mammoth because of other obligations that Boston would not pick him up?
Overall, I want to thank you again for actually reading and being a part of these forums. I can tell you that it makes me mad when people threaten to not renew season tickets after one down year (even a year in which we made the playoffs). I can assure you that no matter what the results or what personel decisions are made I will be renewing my season tickets for many years to come, because win or lose I'm a huge fan of the Mammoth. (But it is a lot more fun when we win).