Saturday, May 17, 2008

Martin Signing Good? Maybe Not...

So the decision has been made to keep Panthers GM Jacques Martin through the 2011-2012 season.

Thanks for the heads up.

By guarenteeing Martin another three years with the franchise, the Panthers are putting all their eggs in one man's basket. In my opinion, a one-year-prove-yourself-by-getting-this-team-a-playoff-roster contract should have been in order.

But as usual, the Panthers jumped the gun. Too often they gave up on young talent too fast, and now, they were too quick to sign someone who has yet to really prove himself as the answer.

Yes, Martin has pulled the trigger on some great deals. Getting Shawn Matthias out of a busted trade was a great move, and for those of you who don't know who this kid is, you will soon. Getting Tomas Vokoun was another strong move, although it will handicap the Panthers this draft. However, Martin has not done what it takes to get this team over the hump.

Last offseason, a couple of bonafide scorers could have put this team over the top. Instead, Martin took a chance and loaded up on "role players" designed to put up 10-15 goals per season. Although Richard Zednik, Brett McLean, and to a smaller extent Radek Dvorak all made an impact, none of them were consistent enough to make the Panthers a sure fire contender.

If Martin goes out this offseason and grabs a guy like Marian Hossa, Brian Rolston, or even Pavol Demitra, I will have second thoughts about my negative feelings towards this signing. Many experts right now are saying that the Panthers franchise will not be back in contention until Martin is gone, plus two years to undo the damage. That may be very pessimistic, but that would put the Panthers out of the playoffs until at least 2014. I don't think anybody will be left if that happens.

All I can say is, Jacques, go sign Bouwmeester, Frolik, a motivational driven coach, and some goal scorers this free agency period. If you can check off those four items, I will write a blog apologizing and praising this signing.


Jay Warman said...

The Panthers are like the anti-Marlins. Shortsighted decisions on personnel and a losing record go hand-in-hand.

Imber said...

I think the Marlins and Panthers are kind of similar. Neither keep a high payroll, neither usually have a winning record. Yes, the Marlins have the two championships, but the Panthers have been over .500 many more times.

Stanley C. said...

I still don't see this as a bad signing. No one that comes to mind has ever really succeeded in the head coach + GM role, it's just to much to ask. Martin was a far better GM then he was head coach. There are some big names out there this offseason. Let's just hold judgement until we see who ends up in the locker room come October.

Imber said...

There's no doubt Martin was a better GM than coach, and maybe he'll be better without the dual role. Either way, I want to see more out of him to make this team a full on contender again.

Jay Warman said...

Saying that Martin is a better GM than coach isn't saying much. He has never made it to the Cup Finals and has only made one Conf. Finals appearance.

As for Marlins ve Panthers. The Cats have had three winnings seasons. The Marlins have had an above .500 record four times.

ASponge said...

Let's also keep in mind that the Panthers benefit from weighted win-loss records (due to the OT loss format).

Imber said...

Yeah, it's not a very fair comparison, because with the weighted OTL, the Panthers have actually had 6 winning seasons, including the last three.

In terms of Martin, I agree. I still wasn't giving him a whole lot of credit by saying that. He was a horrendous coach.

FloridaPanthers4ever said...

JM as GM for long term might be best for this franchise. I do not see them signing Frolik since they only have about 11 days left to sign him. Bouwmeester for Marion G? I would love that!

Ne way, for FA signings, just expect players of Zednik, Dvorak, and McLean's ability. There is no way a top player will want to come to Florida.