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  • A Friendly Warning to our Tampa Bay Friends


    First off, let me say that Russo says Tom Jones is a good guy. I've never met him, never had the pleasure of conversing with him in any form. I have nothing against Mr. Jones, but I do have a handful of disagreements with him, and some warnings for his readers.

    Make the jump, and let's look at this a little closer.

    On his Two Cents blog, Mr. Jones examines how good a fit He Who Shall Remain Nameless would be as the new GM of the Lightning. I am informed that Jones covered the Wild for the first two seasons, and a bit into the third season, before we were introduced to one Mr. Michael Russo. So, while Jones has experience with HWSRN, it is limited experience. He was here in town when the team was just building itself, so we'll cut him a bit of slack, OK?

    In the blog, he talks about how HWSRN has close ties with the new ownership in Tampa, something Russo has mentioned a few times on Twitter. However, that's where our agreement ends. Again, let me stress this, I am simply disagreeing with Mr. Jones. I am not trying to be a jerk or call him out in any way.

    Here is a couple quotes from the piece:

    I suppose he is experienced, yes. But sharp? Sharp as a bowling ball.  He was run out of town in both Calgary and Saint Paul. The only thing sharp was the spear points the fans were holding.

    Now, let's look at this carefully. Yes, the management team did a fine job in the expansion draft. Anyone who has witnessed an expansion draft knows that the players available are not upper echelon guys. So, to make a team with the players available to them was certainly not an easy task.

    I never liked Kuba. I really never liked him at all. The guy always seemed to be on the ice when the other team scored. Skoula like gaffs? No, but man, the bad luck sure seemed to follow him. Dowd, Sutton, and O'Donnell all served the team well in the formative years.

    Me either, and I am a bitter man when it comes to the Great Gaby. Were these guys ranked higher in that draft? Maybe, but GMs rarely go with what Central Scouting tells them.

    In my comment over on the blog itself, I gave credit where it was due. Getting Bruno was a stroke of genius, operative word being stroke. Then, Bruno was allowed to walk for no return, something we learned would be standard operating procedure. So, the stroke apparently passed. Walz is revered here in Minnesota, and was fired in Tampa Bay. Roloson was the beneficiary of a defense only system. How has he fared since his departure? Not well.

    Let's shake it off.


    By the way, a Google image search for "Shake it Off" returned a multitude of pictures of Mariah Carey. The things I do for you people...

    Moving on.

    Trades? You want to talk about trades? I'm having a Jim Mora / Alan Iverson moment here. TRADES?

    The man traded for CHRIS SIMON! Chris freaking Simon. He traded away draft picks to move up in the late first round. Because as we all know, when you pick late in a round, the difference in talent between one guy and another is huge, right?

    He shipped out vets to bring in prospects? When? When did he one time trade a vet to add a prospect? Stephane Villeaux is an energy guy. He was the original Clutterbuck for the Wild. Sure, you need those guys, but I don't know that they earn the GM high praise for bringing them into the system. Willie Mitchell served his purpose, but he is a defensive defenseman. Dime a dozen, in my opinion.

    It takes little imagination to come up with how many different ways this team could suffer at the hands of HWSRN.

    I offer this entire argument not as an attack on Mr. Jones, but as a friendly disagreement. Also, as a warning to my fellow hockey fans in Tampa Bay. You should be outraged that HWSRN is even under consideration. Of course, there isn't much you can do about it, but still, please don't be happy about it. It is not the fresh start you want and deserve. It will be hell on Earth, and you deserve better.


    Think you could write a story like this? Hockey Wilderness wants you to develop your voice, find an audience, and we'll pay you to do it. Just fill out this form.

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