Let’s keep yesterday’s momentum rolling and move to the East:
Don Waddell (CAR) – Moron
Hardly seems fair as he only just got on the job. And that Dougie Hamilton trade is a good one. His desire to ship out Jeff Skinner probably isn’t. Not getting more of a sure thing in goal isn’t either. No pursuit of any offensive talent as well seems strange for a team that gets it in there less than a drunken teenager. But we have his tenure in Atlanta, and it didn’t come with a playoff win. What more do we need to say?
Jarmo Kekalainen (CBJ) – Moron
A bit harsh, as he’s built at least a decent, young team here and the Seth Jones deal is going to look genius in like three more years. And yet they have two playoff wins in a long time. They’ve never had a #1 center, and really without Sergei Bobrovsky they wouldn’t have a playoff appearance at all. Let’s say he’s a Moron but with a chance to change that very soon.
Ray Shero (NJ) – Not A Moron
Kind of an upset given how he mangled having Crosby and Malkin for so long. But he’s guided the Devils out from under the stench from past-it Lou Lamoriello, and turned the Devils into something you’d actually want to watch. Hell, he’d be on this list for Taylor Hall alone. They probably still need a whole new blue line, at least a top four, but it’s been way worse in the swamp. You needn’t look any farther than the other two teams in the Metropolitan New York area. Speaking of which…
Jeff Gorton (NYR) – Probably Not A Moron
We don’t know, because he was handed such a flaming dungheap from Glen Sather there isn’t much anyone could have done. They barfed up two playoff appearances for reasons no one can identify. His job would be easier if Henrik Lundqvist thought his marketing would be as good anywhere else but in NYC, but he doesn’t so what can you do? The Brassard trade was good, and the haul for Miller and McDonagh will do. Basically, he convinced an ownership and fanbase it was time to start over, and neither had ever showed the patience or stomach for that….well, ever. So that’s something. See what he does with it.
Lou Lamoriello (NYI) – Aged Moron
Wasn’t always this way, but definitely is now. The game has passed Lou by, he really did nothing in Toronto except the obvious of drafting Auston Matthews, while still diseasing the roster with Roman Polak and Leo Komarov and that ilk. He’s done even worse in NYI, where he watched Tavares walk and his only job was probably to convince him to stay. His name alone couldn’t do that. He’s then brought in Komarov and Matt Martin, which lets you know that senility has completely kicked in, and then complained everyone makes too much money like the cranky uncle who got into the gin at Thanksgiving. Except he’s running an NHL team. Just fold the Islanders and save everyone the trouble of caring. No one will notice.
Ron Hextall (PHI) – Moron Bordering On Not
Hexy has only had four seasons at the helm, but the Flyers have four playoff wins in that time. They have become younger and more dynamic, and if they take a step forward this season will blink on the “Not A” part of the sign. Konecny, Provorov, Patrick, Weal, Sanheim are all his picks and there are more on the way. It’s still the Flyers, which means they still need a goalie and will be until we find a wormhole where we can transit to somewhere we don’t have to hear about it anymore, but it’s getting there. But until the team takes the leap, you’re basically slightly more decorated Coyotes.
Jim Rutherford (PIT) – Moron With Rings
Sorry, I can’t do anything else. A first-rounder for Ryan Reaves makes my whole case. Yes, repeat champs with the Penguins but mostly with pieces he didn’t draft or get. No player he’s drafted has made an impact for the Penguins. Trevor Daley sucks and I don’t care what anyone says. The Phil Kessel deal worked out…and there have been some signings that came up trumps. Yes, there’s also the Cup in 2006, but that was based on weirdness of the entire league. I’m not even sure it happened. Again, first-rounder for Ryan Reaves (wipes hands, gets up from table and leaves).
Brian McClellan (WSH) – Not A Moron
I mean, I guess he has to be. They’ve won the division three times and finished second the other time in his tenure. They now have a Cup. The Oshie trade worked out, though that contract is still way dumb. Vrana is his only pick to contribute, but he’s only been at the back of the draft. The Carlson contract is dumb too but there was little choice it seemed. He’s brought in Eller, Niskanen, Connolly, and one or two others. He’s mostly playing with found gold, but he added to it enough we’ll let him pass through our very stern gates.
Don Sweeney (BOS) – Moron
The Dougie Hamilton trade v1 would be enough to state my case here. Trading for Rick Nash would be another cudgel that by itself I could use to beat him into the Moron category. There are some picks here, and canning Claude Julien should get some play as well. But most of this was here when he got there. Again, Hamilton and Nash. And McAvoy’s moon-faced ass is gonna flatline before too long.
Jason Botterill (BUF) – INC
Only been a year, so we’ll see where this goes.
Ken Holland (DET) – Perhaps The Luckiest Moron Ever
He’s got four rings and I have to call this like everyone sees it now. Since the cap came in Holland has been exposed as a very tan doofus who just rolled sevens with some late round picks that turned into Hall of Famers. The Wings needed to blow it up three years before they did, and now it’s not even clear their rebuild has a foundation. Even with decent picks, his last five drafts have produced Dylan Larkin and…Dylan Larkin. You can throw in Anthony Mantha and Andreas Anathasiou from the past seven drafts, and the latter they nearly fumbled away to the KHL because they ran out of money to pay him while hurling sacks marked “$” at luminaries like Mike Green, Trevor Daley, Justin Abdelkader, Frans Nielsen, and I assume still Todd Bertuzzi they just haven’t told anyone yet. Only in the NHL can a GM have as much jewelry as Holland does and we can safely say he has no idea what he’s doing.
Dale Tallon (FLA) – Moron
This hurts. He did construct the Hawks team of our lives, but see Holland, Ken. His tenure with the Panthers has been spotty at best, and his determination to undue everything GROSS NERDS did in Florida landed a conference championship in Vegas. The Panthers have yet to win a playoff series, and while they’ve had a “nice, young core (TM)” for years it really hasn’t moved forward in any way. At some point when you have Barkov, Huberdeau, Trocheck, and Ekblad, you have to DO SOMETHING. Missing the playoffs regularly is not that.
Marc Bergevin (MTL) – MORON
The Joel Quenneville coaching and management tree…IT’S FANTASTIC!
Pierre Dorion (OTT) – Moron
Do we even have to? Good.
Steve Yzerman (TB Diddler’s) – Not A Moron
This pains any Hawks fan to say, but we merely have to look at the results. He’s no genius, as the multiple contracts given to Braydon Coburn and the ones handed to Dan Girardi and Jason Garrison attest. But he’s built and kept that team together, even though there’s been a cap hell forecast for them for like three years now. Look at the other team from the ’15 Final and see who recovered from it better. Sure, Florida’s lack of state-income tax has helped, but they’re not the only state with that and yet he’s the only one been able to bend that into a feature. Jim Nill probably can’t even spell “income tax.”
Kyle Dubas (TOR) – Jury’s Out
Being a rape-apologist doesn’t help, but he’s only had the job a few months and before we know he was locked in a closet so Lou didn’t have to look at him. Signing the biggest free agent in years doesn’t take a genius, though the way the deal is structured is pretty creative. Getting Matt Martin off the books is a positive sign. If he solves their blue line problem, we’ll label him on the good side.