Poll: Best Pens GM, Rutherford or Patrick

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Poll: Who was/is the better Penguins GM, Jim Rutherford or Craig Patrick

Poll ended at Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:48 am

Jim Rutherford
6
40%
Craig Patrick
9
60%
 
Total votes : 15

Poll: Best Pens GM, Rutherford or Patrick

Postby FLPensFan on Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:48 am

I saw this question asked in Dejan's Q&A session this week, and figured with still a lot of hockey news lacking, I would ask it here for debate. Respond to the poll and post with your reasoning.
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Re: Poll: Best Pens GM, Rutherford or Patrick

Postby interstorm on Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:07 am

There are pros and cons to each and both of them were lucky to inherit one of the best to ever play the game. One thing I'll say is that Patrick often gets a lot of blame for those later years howevet I think at some point he wasn't trying to win games...he was trying to keep a business afloat and in the city of Pittsburgh. JR **might** be better but Patrick had to deal with things few other GMs ever do. JR also didn't have to institute a culture change in the organization (and city) - Patrick did and did it well.
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Re: Poll: Best Pens GM, Rutherford or Patrick

Postby pens_CT on Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:41 am

I voted for Rutherford for many reasons. Most importantly he had to make trades in a cap era, something that Patrick never had to deal with, he could just make hockey trades back in the day.

Certainly Patrick made the best trade in franchise history by acquiring Ron Francis, Ulf, and Grant Jennings. The Tocchet trade in 1992 probably won them the cup that year, but Recchi/Coffey was a heavy price to give up in that deal.

When you look at the deals that Rutherford made which lead to the Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017 its pretty impressive

2014 Patric Hornqvist for James Neal
2015 Phil Kessel from Toronto, Nick Bonino for Brandon Sutter, Trevor Daley for Rob Scuderi, Ian Cole for Bortuzzo
2016 Justin Schultz from Edmonton for a pick
2017 Ron Hainsey from Carolina for a 2nd round pick & a minor league player

All of those guys contributed big time to win the cup in both years or in the case of Hainsey 2017.

Trades too early to judge but certainly look good thus far

2019 John Marino for a 6th round pick
2020 Jason Zucker for Galchenyuk, 1st round pick

There have been some stinkers in the Derek Brassard trade, David Perron, and the free agent acquisitions Jack Johnson. The Kessel trade to the Yotes is tied in my opinion to what Zucker & POJ contribute to the Pens going down the road. On balance you have to give Rutherford the edge.
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Re: Poll: Best Pens GM, Rutherford or Patrick

Postby Hatrick on Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:30 pm

they have more similarities than I realized when I really started thinking about it.

They have both made some brilliant trades that led to back to back cups.
They both have dealt with financial constraints, as pointed out Rutherford has to deal with the cap. But with the financial situation the team was in under Patrick the financial constraints were even bigger towards the end of his tenure than Rutherford has dealt with here.
Both made some awful trades and signings.
Patrick generally drafted well but its pretty easy to draft Jagr(once it was known he wanted to come here), Crosby, Malkin, etc. Rutherford hasn't had many first round picks let alone high first round picks to have the chance to have a good draft. (if we somehow end up with the number one pick that one would be his first high pick, which is a pretty large consensus who the pick would be)

Overall I think a slight edge to Patrick.
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Re: Poll: Best Pens GM, Rutherford or Patrick

Postby FLPensFan on Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:01 pm

I voted Craig Patrick for the following reasons:

--I think he "inherited" a team that was in much worse shape than what Rutherford inherited. Patrick had Lemieux, Coffey, and Barrasso as his cornerstone pieces. Rutherford got a team that had already won a cup several years prior, and still had a lot of good young pieces that just underachieved.
--The big Cup year trades he made...Murphy and Taglianetti, getting Francis & Ulf, then the next year getting Tocchet, Samuelsson, and Wregget.
--Some other great trades he made:
-----> Joey Mullen for a 2nd round pick
-----> Robitaille for Tocchet and a 2nd
-----> Nedved and Zubov for Robitaille and Ulf
-----> Stu Barnes AND Jason Wooley for Chris Wells
-----> Kovalev for Nedved ( plus others on both sides that nobody cared about)
-----> 2003 #1 overall pick (MAF) & 3rd rounder (Carcillo) for Mikael Samuelsson, 3rd overall (Nathan Horton) and 2nd rounder (Stefan Meyer)

There were also the stinker trades he made:
----> Stojanov for Markus Naslund
----> Hatcher for Zubov
----> Beech, Sivek, and Lupashuk for Jagr

BUT.....you look at those stinkers above....
---Naslund wasn't working out in Pittsburgh. Patrick should have gotten more, but, he was going to have to move Naslund.
---We've all heard the stories of how Lemieux wanted him gone. Maybe true, maybe fiction, but, it was a fact that both Lemieux and Zubov were puck dominate players on the PP, and that wasn't going to work. Again, he could have gotten a better return, but he apparently had to move Zubov too.
---I know Jagr made the dying alive comments, but, I have heard stories were Jagr orchestrated some of that to make Jagr look like the bad guy and not the team or GM. He know the team couldn't afford him, knew the team couldn't get fair value for him, and hoped the team would be able to survive after he was gone.

I also think the lack of a salary cap and the teams financial state worked against Patrick. They had to make a lot of moves for financial reasons rather than hockey reasons....the Jagr trade, the Kovalev trade, etc. That's something Rutherford never had to deal with.....Rutherford has a team that spends to the cap every year. Patrick did not have that luxury.

Here's Patrick's top 5 draft picks under his tenure:
--Jagr, 1990 (5th overall)
--Crosby, 2005 (1st overall)
--Fleury, 2003 (1st overall)
--Malkin, 2004 (2nd overall)
--Naslund, 1991 (16th overall)
----That's 5, but that leaves out: Straka, 1992 (19th overall), Letang 2005 (3rd round), Orpik 2000 (18th overall) and a few more other notables.

Rutherford's 5 best
---Samuel Poulin 2019 (21st overall)
---Kasperi Kapanen 2014 (22nd overall)
---Domink Simon 2015 (5th round)

I can't even give Rutherford 5 picks. In the 6 years that he has drafted, he has taken 30 total players. Poulin, who is probably the best player GMRJ has drafted, hasn't played a game yet. Only 5 players have played NHL games (Kapanen, Simon, Sprong, Angello, & Lafferty). The Penguins scouting department went downhill fast after Patrick left. Yes, Patrick had a lot more 1st rounders in his time, but, Patrick and his scouting department hit on a lot more mid to late round picks than Rutherford and his team have.

Finally....Bob Johnson, Scotty Bowman, and Herb Brooks....Patrick was able to bring in some legendary coaches for the team. That isn't a strike against Rutherford, but is a big plus for Patrick.
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Re: Poll: Best Pens GM, Rutherford or Patrick

Postby largegarlic on Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:59 pm

I think it's an interesting question, and I'd say Patrick comes out just ahead.

Not that I'd vote for him, but does Shero at least deserve to be in the poll? He inherited a team that was an absolute dumpster fire, and while he did get gifted Crosby and Malkin, he did a lot of good work to turn the team into a Cup contender sooner than anyone expected and almost got back-to-back Cups himself.
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Re: Poll: Best Pens GM, Rutherford or Patrick

Postby Jim on Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:37 pm

You can't use draft picks in the top 5 as support for a GM being good. You can really only use those as support for the GM being bad if they are misses. Even then, it is more on the scouts.
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Re: Poll: Best Pens GM, Rutherford or Patrick

Postby FLPensFan on Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:07 pm

Jim wrote:You can't use draft picks in the top 5 as support for a GM being good. You can really only use those as support for the GM being bad if they are misses. Even then, it is more on the scouts.

For Patrick, you can easily remove Crosby, Jagr, and Fleury, and put Orpik, Straka, and Letang if you don't want to use top 5 picks. Patrick obviously has a much larger draft pool, but, he hit on some of the mid-round 1st rounders. There are even a half dozen fairly decent picks from Patrick, pure mid rounders, that I didn't mention (Goligoski, Kennedy, Moulson, Talbot, Malone, Scuderi, Ferrence, Rozival, Hrdina, Lalime, Moran) In my book, if you managed either 300 plus games played or 200 points, you were at least a decent draft pick (for a forward, defense is a little different scale). Take Talbot for instance....he played 704 NHL games. Doesn't matter to me that he was a bottom 6 guy, that is still effective use of a draft pick to get a guy that played that many NHL games (he also had 204 points, so he crossed both thresholds).

As for Jagr, I still have to give him some credit there. Everyone wanted him. I know the Lemieux factor played a big part of Jagr coming to Pittsburgh, but, Patrick and his scouts had to put in some extra work. If you recall, some teams were afraid Jagr wouldn't be able to come over to NA to play. Some of this was the difficulties of getting players to leave Europe/Russia at that time. Others believed that he had military commitments that he could not get out of. The truth, though is:

---Craig Patrick admits that Jagr told the top four teams drafting in 90 he wouldn't come to NHL. Told Pens he wanted to play with Mario.

You can also say its the scouts, but, it's the GM's job to hire a scouting director and said scouts.

You go back to Rutherford's smaller body of work:
--2014 draft - Kapanen, Angello, and Lafferty are all playing. Kapanen is already over 200 games played. No guarantee Angello or Lafferty will get there. Jaden Lindo and Jeff Taylor were complete busts
--2015 draft - Sprong looks more like a career minor league player, Simon is playing, Tiffels washed out and went back to Germany, and Penguins only willing to give Pavylchev an AHL only deal
--2016 draft - Gustavsson traded (and still no NHL games played), Bjorkqvist two major injuries, Connor Hall injury prone and washed out, Ryan Jones could be WBS player this year from College, Almari is in WBS, Masonious washed out and is bouncing around the ECHL.

Those 1st 3 years have yoru players that are 24 and older by now. I think Almari was 17 at draft time, as he is still listed as 22. But, guys that are 24....if they went and played 4 years of college, are 24, and are still requiring at least a full year in WBS or more....not a great pick. There are exceptions, but 24 for forwards is kind of that make or break year. Even goalies and defenseman, when they reach this age and they haven't gotten a sniff of the NHL.....I'd have strong doubts if they can be successful long-term NHL players.
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Re: Poll: Best Pens GM, Rutherford or Patrick

Postby no name on Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:47 am

Lets not forget the extra 10m Patrick got us in the Kovelev and Jagr deals that kept us afloat for those years.

We all know he didn't want to do that but he had to. Those deals would not of happened without the extra funds. Patrick was great at getting guys off the waver wire.

Suprised Shero wasn't mentioned he had a few solid years as a GM here but not at the level of the latter 2.
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Re: Poll: Best Pens GM, Rutherford or Patrick

Postby longtimefan on Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:34 am

There's so many directions to go. Patrick was here so much longer, it's hard to compare. Patrick was dealing with a shoe string budget at the end. The rules are different. No cap, but no real free agency. When you're around a while, you're going to have good trades as well as bad. Good draft picks, but a lot of busts. Both were aggressive, not afraid to take the big swing. That may be the one thing they had in common. The guts to take a big swing. For a Francis or a Kessel.

Here's an interesting question. Since the advent of the cap and the frenzy of UFA spending began, which GM made the best signing? I don't think it's in much dispute. It was Patrick's signing of Gonchar. Another quirky fact. Craig Patrick has had a hand in all 5 Cups. He was the one who drafted Crosby, Malkin, and Letang. The first two are no brainers, but his fingerprints are still on this team's roster. Perhaps that will give him an edge in this debate.
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Re: Poll: Best Pens GM, Rutherford or Patrick

Postby Cow_Master66 on Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:45 am

Both were/are wildly successful but really hard to compare because of how different the circumstances they had to operate. Overall, they are both HOF hockey executives that we were fortunate enough to have for extended periods of time. I will say, they should be included earlier in the discussions when talking about the team's success over the past 25 years.
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Re: Poll: Best Pens GM, Rutherford or Patrick

Postby brwi on Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:20 pm

I gave JR the slight edge, though on the whole body of work for both, CP maybe comes out ahead, but CP gets a bit of a down mark from me for presiding over the country club atmosphere that led to underachievement. The fact that the Pens ever got to the point to where they could be slackers though is a remarkable turnaround from what CP inherited, which was awful. For several years, CP was in a class by himself of general managers but then came back down to earth some, part due to financial constraints and part due to some bad decisions on his part.
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Re: Poll: Best Pens GM, Rutherford or Patrick

Postby FLPensFan on Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:20 pm

longtimefan wrote:There's so many directions to go. Patrick was here so much longer, it's hard to compare. Patrick was dealing with a shoe string budget at the end. The rules are different. No cap, but no real free agency. When you're around a while, you're going to have good trades as well as bad. Good draft picks, but a lot of busts. Both were aggressive, not afraid to take the big swing. That may be the one thing they had in common. The guts to take a big swing. For a Francis or a Kessel.

Here's an interesting question. Since the advent of the cap and the frenzy of UFA spending began, which GM made the best signing? I don't think it's in much dispute. It was Patrick's signing of Gonchar. Another quirky fact. Craig Patrick has had a hand in all 5 Cups. He was the one who drafted Crosby, Malkin, and Letang. The first two are no brainers, but his fingerprints are still on this team's roster. Perhaps that will give him an edge in this debate.

For the UFA signings....I'd say for Patrick it is pretty close for Gonchar or Trottier.

For Rutherford....I'd probably say Matt Cullen.
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Re: Poll: Best Pens GM, Rutherford or Patrick

Postby longtimefan on Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:09 pm

FLPensFan wrote:
longtimefan wrote:There's so many directions to go. Patrick was here so much longer, it's hard to compare. Patrick was dealing with a shoe string budget at the end. The rules are different. No cap, but no real free agency. When you're around a while, you're going to have good trades as well as bad. Good draft picks, but a lot of busts. Both were aggressive, not afraid to take the big swing. That may be the one thing they had in common. The guts to take a big swing. For a Francis or a Kessel.

Here's an interesting question. Since the advent of the cap and the frenzy of UFA spending began, which GM made the best signing? I don't think it's in much dispute. It was Patrick's signing of Gonchar. Another quirky fact. Craig Patrick has had a hand in all 5 Cups. He was the one who drafted Crosby, Malkin, and Letang. The first two are no brainers, but his fingerprints are still on this team's roster. Perhaps that will give him an edge in this debate.

For the UFA signings....I'd say for Patrick it is pretty close for Gonchar or Trottier.

For Rutherford....I'd probably say Matt Cullen.


I was excluding Trottier because he was a completely different type of UFA. The Isles let him walk because they felt he was done. His signing would be somewhat equivalent to the Cullen signing. The players were being brought in for character and leadership, understanding their physical traits were in decline. Gonchar, on the other hand, was one of the stars of the first UFA frenzy under the cap. Gonchar was the #1 defenseman on two Cup final teams, so I consider his signing #1 personally. His role was more prominent and critical. It may rank relatively high among all the UFA signings since the cap was instituted. He had a tough first season, but was a major part for the next four.
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Re: Poll: Best Pens GM, Rutherford or Patrick

Postby Jim on Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:13 pm

The Palffy signing was the same day as Gonchar wasnt it? He was really just throwing money at UFAs because they had won the Crosby lottery. When you win the golden ticket you go all in and the players (the UFAs) are willing as well.
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Re: Poll: Best Pens GM, Rutherford or Patrick

Postby longtimefan on Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:44 am

Jim wrote:The Palffy signing was the same day as Gonchar wasnt it? He was really just throwing money at UFAs because they had won the Crosby lottery. When you win the golden ticket you go all in and the players (the UFAs) are willing as well.


Not the same day, but the same class. The Pens went into that season full of hope. Lemieux was playing, Crosby had been drafted, and the league had gone to a cap. Free agency was a frenzy, and CP tried to fill in the blanks through free agency. He signed Gonchar, Recchi, Thibault, Palffy, and Leclair off the top of my head. He also signed Andre Roy to be the enforcer.
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Re: Poll: Best Pens GM, Rutherford or Patrick

Postby Cow_Master66 on Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:24 am

My excitement level when the Pens signed Palffy was through the roof....Love him for LA and thought he was gonna light it up for our team. Then he quit mid-season and he's now dead to me. :face:
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Re: Poll: Best Pens GM, Rutherford or Patrick

Postby Fast B on Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:11 pm

Man, so many good arguments for either, it's hard to pick. I'm cheekily tempted to give an edge to JR for getting anything at all in a trade for the washed-up remnants of Scuderi. Greatest heist of all time.
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Re: Poll: Best Pens GM, Rutherford or Patrick

Postby Sams_Dog on Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:46 pm

FLPensFan wrote:I voted Craig Patrick for the following reasons:

--I think he "inherited" a team that was in much worse shape than what Rutherford inherited. Patrick had Lemieux, Coffey, and Barrasso as his cornerstone pieces. Rutherford got a team that had already won a cup several years prior, and still had a lot of good young pieces that just underachieved.
--The big Cup year trades he made...Murphy and Taglianetti, getting Francis & Ulf, then the next year getting Tocchet, Samuelsson, and Wregget.
--Some other great trades he made:
-----> Joey Mullen for a 2nd round pick
-----> Robitaille for Tocchet and a 2nd
-----> Nedved and Zubov for Robitaille and Ulf
-----> Stu Barnes AND Jason Wooley for Chris Wells
-----> Kovalev for Nedved ( plus others on both sides that nobody cared about)
-----> 2003 #1 overall pick (MAF) & 3rd rounder (Carcillo) for Mikael Samuelsson, 3rd overall (Nathan Horton) and 2nd rounder (Stefan Meyer)

There were also the stinker trades he made:
----> Stojanov for Markus Naslund
----> Hatcher for Zubov
----> Beech, Sivek, and Lupashuk for Jagr

BUT.....you look at those stinkers above....
---Naslund wasn't working out in Pittsburgh. Patrick should have gotten more, but, he was going to have to move Naslund.
---We've all heard the stories of how Lemieux wanted him gone. Maybe true, maybe fiction, but, it was a fact that both Lemieux and Zubov were puck dominate players on the PP, and that wasn't going to work. Again, he could have gotten a better return, but he apparently had to move Zubov too.
---I know Jagr made the dying alive comments, but, I have heard stories were Jagr orchestrated some of that to make Jagr look like the bad guy and not the team or GM. He know the team couldn't afford him, knew the team couldn't get fair value for him, and hoped the team would be able to survive after he was gone.

I also think the lack of a salary cap and the teams financial state worked against Patrick. They had to make a lot of moves for financial reasons rather than hockey reasons....the Jagr trade, the Kovalev trade, etc. That's something Rutherford never had to deal with.....Rutherford has a team that spends to the cap every year. Patrick did not have that luxury.

Here's Patrick's top 5 draft picks under his tenure:
--Jagr, 1990 (5th overall)
--Crosby, 2005 (1st overall)
--Fleury, 2003 (1st overall)
--Malkin, 2004 (2nd overall)
--Naslund, 1991 (16th overall)
----That's 5, but that leaves out: Straka, 1992 (19th overall), Letang 2005 (3rd round), Orpik 2000 (18th overall) and a few more other notables.

Rutherford's 5 best
---Samuel Poulin 2019 (21st overall)
---Kasperi Kapanen 2014 (22nd overall)
---Domink Simon 2015 (5th round)

I can't even give Rutherford 5 picks. In the 6 years that he has drafted, he has taken 30 total players. Poulin, who is probably the best player GMRJ has drafted, hasn't played a game yet. Only 5 players have played NHL games (Kapanen, Simon, Sprong, Angello, & Lafferty). The Penguins scouting department went downhill fast after Patrick left. Yes, Patrick had a lot more 1st rounders in his time, but, Patrick and his scouting department hit on a lot more mid to late round picks than Rutherford and his team have.

Finally....Bob Johnson, Scotty Bowman, and Herb Brooks....Patrick was able to bring in some legendary coaches for the team. That isn't a strike against Rutherford, but is a big plus for Patrick.


I agree with this. Overall I have to give Patrick the nod. Despite the awful deals at the end that definitely had something to do with financial distress he has a lot of great decisions to his credit. His performance from June 90 to June 91 is pretty much flawless. He batted 1.000 there. Every hire, UFA, and trade was a home run with the one exception of Rob Brown for Scott Young which was even. His top draft pick is probably the greatest European player ever. Hard to beat that. The only performance over time that may have been better was Harrison Ford from 1980-1983.

80 - The Empire Strikes Back
81 - Raiders of the Lost Ark
82 - Blade Runner
83 - Return of the Jedi
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Re: Poll: Best Pens GM, Rutherford or Patrick

Postby Maestro on Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:58 pm

Poll ended, but I just can't see how CP gets so many votes considering the Jagr trade.
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Re: Poll: Best Pens GM, Rutherford or Patrick

Postby longtimefan on Tue Jul 21, 2020 7:43 pm

Maestro wrote:Poll ended, but I just can't see how CP gets so many votes considering the Jagr trade.


I've never blamed him for that. The climate was toxic, and Jagr made it clear he wanted out, and it was just as clear the Pens didn't have the money to pay him. Glen Sather got coy thinking he was the only one bidding for Jagr and wouldn't up the ante. Slats was pretty shocked when the Caps grabbed him. The offer from the Caps was in fact better if you can believe that. Rangers featured their deal around a guy named Pavel Brendl.
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Re: Poll: Best Pens GM, Rutherford or Patrick

Postby Maestro on Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:48 am

True that everyone knew the Pens were essentially bankrupt, Jagr was not going to delay salary,asked to be traded all season it seemd, etc.
Still, the way CP talked up Kris Beech was laughable from the start. Who remembers Ross Lupaschuk?

"Despite what the team lost, the team’s general manager, Craig Patrick, tried to sell the deal to the fans. He told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he was “delighted” with the return the team received for Jagr, going so far as to call Beech a potential franchise player with skills comparable to those of Ron Francis."
https://thehockeywriters.com/revisiting ... omir-jagr/

Too painful for me. I had to go with JR.
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Re: Poll: Best Pens GM, Rutherford or Patrick

Postby theblackarts on Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:32 pm

Having this conversation is a good problem to have. Imagine being almost any other team in the league.
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Re: Poll: Best Pens GM, Rutherford or Patrick

Postby pressure=9Pa on Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:50 am

theblackarts wrote:Having this conversation is a good problem to have. Imagine being almost any other team in the league.


Yeah, our best GM poll of the last 35 years (correctly) excludes an option of a third guy who won a cup.
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