Everything Else

Let’s keep yesterday’s momentum rolling and move to the East:

Metro Division

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.

Atlantic Division

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.

Everything Else

If you’re a fan of the podcast, and we know some of you are even though you can’t publicly admit it for fear of  being ostracized/culled from society, you probably know that because hockey is so weird and silly we simply rate GMs and coaches by a simple, binary Moron/Not A Moron system. It’s clearly folly to try and rank them, or make anyone a genius, or make anyone a total, blithering idiot (though they might all be) because there’s so much luck involved, so much is pinned on the goalie they have or don’t have, and the cap system is just so punishing.

But because we’re running out the clock here until August when we go to figurative cottage, and mostly the free agency period has shaken out, perhaps it’s finally time to go through all the GMs and coaches and give our definitive Moron/Not A Moron say-so. So today we start with the Western Conference GMs.

Central Division

Stan Bowman – Not A Moron

Hometown bias sure, and recent seasons are pushing him toward the threshold a bit, but this is still a guy who boasts three rings (even if it’s with a core that isn’t his). He can still claim to be a good drafter, as even on the current team Schmaltz, Saad and DeBrincat are not only on the roster but major contributors, Jokiharju could be, Forsling (yes, a trade) still has hope, and departed players like Danault, Teuvo, and Johns are genuine NHL contributors. It might not be enough to save his job past this season, but he at least does one or two things well enough that he can cross the barrier.

Joe Sakic – Quite Possibly Not A Moron

Two years ago we would have said he’s definitely a moron. But then he launched Patrick Roy, and there appeared to be a plan in place for the first time. He got a decent haul for Matt Duchene, who might not be anything more than a really good #2 center or #1 left-wing, as Girard and Kamenev are very promising. He’s drafted MacKinnon, Jost, and Rantanen, though the rest of his drafts are shaky at best. The Grubauer trade looks to be all right. I’m going to leave him in the middle for now and see how this season goes.

Jim Nill – Moron

He wins every offseason, and the Stars have made the playoffs twice in six seasons. Sure, he was able to fleece the Bruins out of Tyler Seguin. Even the sun shines on a dog’s ass once a day. He’s utterly borked their goaltending for years. And Ben Bishop is no answer either. His drafts have produced Nichushkin, who fucked off for a couple seasons, and Julius Honka. He had a Karlsson trade and ruined it by telling everyone how much he was getting one over the Senators. He handed that contract to Martin Hanzal who has all the mobility of the DMV. This team has been one line and a comedy act for like four seasons. What was your favorite part of the second Ken Hitchcock era?

Paul Fenton – Incomplete

We don’t know yet, but he’s been handed an expensive mess by his predecessor Chuck Fletcher, who was definitely a moron as he’s trotted out Mikko Koivu as a #2 center for at least five years too long. All he’s really done is hand Matthew Dumba a kind-of-ok contract.

David Poile – Not A Moron, But Ignorantly Evil

He’s been around so long he has enough on the ledger to erase a first-rounder for Paul Fucking Gaustad. He’s assembled a couple different competitive Predators teams, and yet he’s still the same guy who re-signed and championed Mike Ribeiro and now has Zac Rinaldo there. Wait to see what he does with Austin Watson if you really want to see what he’s about.  The Turris trade isn’t good but there are enough picks and trades here that you have to say he’s Not A Moron. Getting Subban almost puts him there alone. That contract to Ryan Johansen is going to look Python-esque soon enough, and this team still doesn’t really have top line talent other than Forsberg, but the record is the record.

Doug Armstrong – Moron

The thing is with Armstrong, most of his moves I agree with when they happen. He held on to Ken Hitchcock too long, and the whole transition to Mike Yeo was mangled like a banana republic, and yet there’s plenty of talent here. But the insistence on shoving Jake Allen onto the Blues like he’s Roman Reigns even though he’s never proven he can carry anything, and the sticking with a blue line that is too slow and too ham-handed always limits where they can go. And this is the Blues after all.

Kevin Chevyldayoff – Not A Moron

We would have said Moron until this year, but look at this team and he finally had Hellebuyck come through to save it all. The drafting record is pretty solid, and we’ll see how he handles the cap hell that’s coming, but there are just too many good players here to label him anything else.

Pacific Division

Bob Murray – I Can’t Believe He’s Not A Moron

I still see his face in my nightmares when he was announcing the Jeremy Roenick trade, and his tenure in Chicago will always cause me to make a face like I just smelled a hot spring. And the bile I carry for the Ducks didn’t help. And yet the Ducks have made the playoffs eight of the ten years he’s been there. The Kesler contract is utterly hilarious, of course. And yet he’s brought in a raft of good, young players over the years. While Getzlaf and especially Perry are turning odd colors in the sun, they finished second in an admittedly woeful division next year before falling flat on their face. He’s close, and it’s all about to fall apart you hope, but the record is what it is.

John Chayka – Moron

He’s a computer boy, and I want to root for him, but at some point don’t the Coyotes have to actually matter? The Domi-for-Galchenyuk trade is great if they can get the ladder to pick his head up. Getting actual pieces for just taking Hossa’s contract is smart. But this team always sucks. And it has Rick Tocchet as coach. And for all the high draft picks they’ve boasted, where’s the guy you’re getting really excited about? Clayton Keller and whichever Strome they have? That’s not enough considering how long they’ve been in the shitter. If you’re going to be Hockey Billy Beane you eventually have to be good.

Brad Treviling – Moron

He traded Dougie Hamilton, probably one of the five best d-men on the planet, because he liked to go to museums. I don’t think I have to say much more.

Peter Chiarelli – Moron

The trade is one-for-one…

Rob Blake – Moron

To be fair, there isn’t much of a track record on him yet, as he’s only had one season at the helm. But we can tell where he’s going, and handing a bunch of money to 35-year-old Ilya Kovalchuk is not a good start. He also traded for Dion Phaneuf, who was never good and the only reason anyone thought he was is because he’s got “HOCKEY FACE” and his wife is hot and Canadian as well. That goes miles with Canadian media. If any player had married Shania Twain or Nelly Furtado they would have won six consecutive Hart Trophies, no questions asked.

Doug Wilson – Not A Moron, And Handsome!

The Sharks are always there, and though they’re old and kind of just there now they’re still there. Sure, he changes all the names of their prospects to something ridiculous just like the St. Louis Cardinals do, but even though all their good players are over 30 they’re still somehow the favorite in the Pacific. They’ll probably never win it, and they’ve basically existed to play the losing foil to a better team, but you go this long and remain around the fringes you’re doing something right.

Jim Benning – “Benning” Actually Means Moron

No need to go any further here.

George McPhee – Sadly, Not A Moron

This is still a guy who punched an opposing coach over a preseason game, which in any other sport would see you banished for life. In hockey it gets you a beer from Steve Simmons or something. While the luck was overflowing with the Knights last year, this is still a guy who caught onto a trend most of his colleagues haven’t and packed the team with speed and told them to play a system that got it the fuck up there. He also didn’t go all-in and mortgage the future on what is a team that will probably take a few years to get back where it was, and the Stastny contract is fine. He also has the Caps years to his credit, though they always fell short and his handling of coaches was beautifully idiotic. He’s not going to get 40 goals from Wild Bill Again, and the Fleury contract will not only bite him in the ass but devour it entirely soon. But they have so much cap space they can probably get away with it. We’ll come back to this when more of his draft picks and signings are on the docket.