mamiller99

Tanking: Should it be allowed?

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So I was talking with my father about the infamous concept; tanking. Personally, I don't mind it at all. In my opinion, it's a viable option for success for the future. Conversely, he outright hates it. He says that it makes fans and players less loyal to the franchise. He even believes that teams should get penalized or have a percentage of the cap given to the other teams. He thinks that teams who are currently tanking are the Sabres and Coyotes, because the management is dealing out players left and right. Whereas the other teams in the bottom are that way because they were too dormant in the offseason. So, how do you guys feel about tanking?

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Why shouldn't it be? If your team is bad, it only makes sense for you to get rid of players who are not part of your long-term plans and replace them with assets that can help you in the future. What does he suggest, the league ban teams from making moves that could - egad! - set the team up for long-ter success?

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If you're a fan of the team, you should absolutely hate it.

For one, it shows that your team's management is not very good (whether it was the previous administration or the current ones) and that there's likely a not-so-good coach and organizational structure for your franchise. Secondly, you're paying big money for a purposely-inferior product. Seen ticket prices and all the expenses that go into attending a game lately? I know I wouldn't be too happy about buying season tickets and seeing my team purposely lose games and put a lousy product out there. That alone is bad business.

The lone positive is that you could luck your way into a great player. Sure, you'd have the best odds of winning the draft lottery, but the odds also say you have a big chance of losing the lottery. And even if you win the lottery? You've got that stud player surrounded with awful talent and still years away from realistically competing. And even so, you're one play away from your franchise player suffering an injury that prevents him from ever reaching his full potential.

There's maybe 5% good that comes from tanking.

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If you're a fan of the team, you should absolutely hate it.

For one, it shows that your team's management is not very good (whether it was the previous administration or the current ones) and that there's likely a not-so-good coach and organizational structure for your franchise. Secondly, you're paying big money for a purposely-inferior product. Seen ticket prices and all the expenses that go into attending a game lately? I know I wouldn't be too happy about buying season tickets and seeing my team purposely lose games and put a lousy product out there. That alone is bad business.

The lone positive is that you could luck your way into a great player. Sure, you'd have the best odds of winning the draft lottery, but the odds also say you have a big chance of losing the lottery. And even if you win the lottery? You've got that stud player surrounded with awful talent and still years away from realistically competing. And even so, you're one play away from your franchise player suffering an injury that prevents him from ever reaching his full potential.

There's maybe 5% good that comes from tanking.

I was going to say something along these lines, but you hit the nail on the head.

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Nonsense.

The lone positive is that you could luck your way into a great player.

Pfft, what good is that? :rolleyes:

Sure, you'd have the best odds of winning the draft lottery, but the odds also say you have a big chance of losing the lottery.

And - gasp! - still getting a really high pick! The horror!

And even if you win the lottery? You've got that stud player surrounded with awful talent and still years away from realistically competing.

Nobody's arguing that one first-overall draft selection will rescue a franchise. But you're kidding yourself if you don't think (high) draft picks help you win championships. Six of the last seven Cup champions have been centred around lottery picks, with the majority of each of those rosters being composed of homegrown players. And what's the alternative to stockpiling picks and getting low ones yourself? Holding on to those 32-year-old second-liners in hopes they'll guide you to a miracle victory? Good luck with that!

And even so, you're one play away from your franchise player suffering an injury that prevents him from ever reaching his full potential.

Yes, because we all know how likely that is. :rolleyes:

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How would they enforce and punish an anti-tanking rule anyway?

"We're sorry, it seems you've lost 50 games this season, guess you have to trade for David Clarkson now."

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Nonsense.

The lone positive is that you could luck your way into a great player.

Pfft, what good is that? :rolleyes:

Sure, you'd have the best odds of winning the draft lottery, but the odds also say you have a big chance of losing the lottery.

And - gasp! - still getting a really high pick! The horror!

And even if you win the lottery? You've got that stud player surrounded with awful talent and still years away from realistically competing.

Nobody's arguing that one first-overall draft selection will rescue a franchise. But you're kidding yourself if you don't think (high) draft picks help you win championships. Six of the last seven Cup champions have been centred around lottery picks, with the majority of each of those rosters being composed of homegrown players. And what's the alternative to stockpiling picks and getting low ones yourself? Holding on to those 32-year-old second-liners in hopes they'll guide you to a miracle victory? Good luck with that!

And even so, you're one play away from your franchise player suffering an injury that prevents him from ever reaching his full potential.

Yes, because we all know how likely that is. :rolleyes:

This.

If it wasn't for the barrel scratching season the Habs had a few years ago, they would have never drafted Alex Galchenyuk. The timing was just right it seems, because there were lots of strong picks that year.

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Building/re-building a franchise isn't exactly the same as tanking.

It's one thing to try to win, realize that roster isn't going to make the playoffs or win a championship, and trade away parts to acquire assets for the future. It's another thing to purposely try not to win for a season or more.

Tanking involves:

-Having bad coaching, bad drafting, bad personnel decisions, bad organizational structure.

-Not going after the best players in free agency.

-Not drafting the players that will help you immediately.

-Not playing your best players.

Not putting your best effort to win games in the present...that's blatantly disrespecting the game and your fanbase (and the league) and borderline cheating.

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I think every pro sport should follow the format of the Premier League. There should be a way for teams to be relegated. Every big league in the U.S. could be grouped into 2 or even 3 tiers. This would make things more exciting in my opinion. As for as tanking, I hate it. The Blue Jackets are guilty of doing it for years. Because of it, I will no longer support the team. Along with the Bengals... it just gets to a point where you give up (as a fan). Why waste your hard earned money and attention on an organization that doesn't give two XXXXX about getting to the top. ....just my opinion.

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Relegation is a logistical impossibility in any professional North American sport, including soccer. Maybe even *especially* soccer, given MLS' structure.

Want to kill tanking? Every team that misses the playoffs gets one lottery ball. And the lottery is a full draw for all of those picks, not just the first couple, with the remainder sorted by order of finish. So, for instance, Buffalo spending two seasons trying to light its own farts in an oxygen tent could still only net them the 14th pick.

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Building/re-building a franchise isn't exactly the same as tanking.

It's one thing to try to win, realize that roster isn't going to make the playoffs or win a championship, and trade away parts to acquire assets for the future. It's another thing to purposely try not to win for a season or more.

Tanking involves:

-Having bad coaching, bad drafting, bad personnel decisions, bad organizational structure.

-Not going after the best players in free agency.

-Not drafting the players that will help you immediately.

-Not playing your best players.

Not putting your best effort to win games in the present...that's blatantly disrespecting the game and your fanbase (and the league) and borderline cheating.

- I really don't think Ted Nolan is a terrible coach. Look what he did with the Latvian team which had 2 NHLers, and he's even managed to string together a few win streaks this season with Buffalo, which has, like, 3. He'll likely get a job somewhere else in the upper leagues of hockey next season assuming he gets fired here after this season, and he just might do a good job with it.

- The point of "tanking/rebuilding" is to play worse than the league to draft good future team players, not to draft bad players so you can play worse than the league. At the worst they draft good players then keep them in the minors to develop / "develop".

- Tim Murray is actually a decent, capable GM, and he knows what he's doing with this team. It might be tanking, but he knows what he's doing and he definitely has a solid plan for the future.

- Going after the best players in free agency is the way to end up in 14th pick hell. Where you don't have a good enough team to make the playoffs, but you aren't bad enough to get a higher draft pick, so you aren't good enough in the near future to make the playoffs. Besides, there's only so many 'good' free agents who aren't over 30 and on the tailwind of their career, and they are pretty overpriced these days anyway.

- Again, the idea of tanking is to draft the players that will help you in the future, if not now. Not every draft pick will come in before they're 20 and make the team better. McDavid/Eichel will do that, but we might not see all of their 2nd round picks in the NHL for a few years yet as they develop to the point where they can help the team, and the point when the team needs their help when it's ready to achieve success; and that's perfectly normal for any team in the league.

- I'm sure the coaches/players are putting their effort into winning games. I severely doubt they want to lose so younger, better players can come in the next season and take their jobs. Sure, the GM at this point in the tank / rebuild values higher draft picks than winning and/or making a playoff push, but that was pretty impossible with this Buffalo team at the start; and they have shown us that they are legitimately building on plans for the future (trading for Kane, getting rid of UFA's who wont resign, getting quality draft picks for good value, etc.) rather than just giving up everything to land that precious McEichel pick. It's just an added incentive for this season.

Trading away Enroth/Neuvirth for Johnson/Lindback is a bit much, I'll agree, but for the most part I'm not feeling wronged as a hockey fan for the Sabres efforts this season.

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Want to kill tanking? Every team that misses the playoffs gets one lottery ball. And the lottery is a full draw for all of those picks, not just the first couple, with the remainder sorted by order of finish. So, for instance, Buffalo spending two seasons trying to light its own farts in an oxygen tent could still only net them the 14th pick.

Another idea I've seen is, instead of a lottery awarding the bottom teams it'd be the other way around, so the 17th placed team would likely get the 1st pick, where the 30th placed team would get the 14th. That would kill tanking.

The only drawbacks to that would be that in seasons like these, teams like the Sharks and Bruins or even Kings could walk away with the first pick after just one mediocre season, and start another 21st century dynasty right away. (And maybe the Sharks could start one in the first place.)

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I think every pro sport should follow the format of the Premier League. There should be a way for teams to be relegated. Every big league in the U.S. could be grouped into 2 or even 3 tiers. This would make things more exciting in my opinion. As for as tanking, I hate it. The Blue Jackets are guilty of doing it for years. Because of it, I will no longer support the team. Along with the Bengals... it just gets to a point where you give up (as a fan). Why waste your hard earned money and attention on an organization that doesn't give two XXXXX about getting to the top. ....just my opinion.

You really can't blame the Jackets too much. They just got out of the 10 year "expansion woes" that most teams face, yet they still made the playoffs in that period of time. And in the past 5 years, they've had 2 winning seasons, so it isn't too fair to that team. Hell, when you look at it, there are still 11 other teams who've yet to win the Cup. And for the most part, their fan bases are very loyal.

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The players aren't being paid all those figures to go out there and purposely lose games. Its up to the GM to build a team just like its up to the players to win games regardless the situation in the standings. I agree with HedleyLamarr that it's a slap in the face to the fanbase.

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- Tim Murray is actually a decent, capable GM, and he knows what he's doing with this team. It might be tanking, but he knows what he's doing and he definitely has a solid plan for the future.

Purposely losing a bunch of games and hoping to land McDavid or Eichel isn't a solid plan. That's throwing results. And it borders on cheating not only because you're losing games on purpose, but also messing with the entirety of the league's standings and determining who gets in the playoffs and who doesn't.

Now, gaining some draft picks and prospects is a plan, but that's a plan shared by about 8-10 other teams at this point of the season. What exactly is Murray's plans if you take McDavid or Eichel out of the equation? What are his back-up plans should McDavid or Eichel either holdout and not want to play for the Sabres or they suffer a career-changing injury? Or they simply want out after their initial contracts?

No matter, you're viewing tanking from an outside perspective. Look at it from a ticket-buyer's standpoint. Your team has already gone through some losing seasons, and now your team is going to purposely lose games in hopes to getting a franchise-changing player. As a season-ticket holder being charged big-money full-price for tickets, parking, concessions, etc....don't you feel you're being cheated out of what your experience could be? You're dishing out 4- to 5-figures only to have management purposely not put the best product possible out there for you to see....you would be alright with that?

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I think every pro sport should follow the format of the Premier League. There should be a way for teams to be relegated. Every big league in the U.S. could be grouped into 2 or even 3 tiers. This would make things more exciting in my opinion. As for as tanking, I hate it. The Blue Jackets are guilty of doing it for years. Because of it, I will no longer support the team. Along with the Bengals... it just gets to a point where you give up (as a fan). Why waste your hard earned money and attention on an organization that doesn't give two XXXXX about getting to the top. ....just my opinion.

The Blue Jackets have NEVER deliberately tanked a season the way the Sabres are doing, the way the Penguins did for Lemieux/Crosby, the way the Oilers did for 3 straight years. That's insulting.

They've had some very bad seasons, but that was out of organizational incompetence coupled with some extraordinary bad luck. It was never a purposeful tank scenario. By my count they've had 2 historically bad years: 01-02 and 11-12. In both cases they were trying to build off of not terrible seasons from the year before and were shooting for the playoffs. Fans were excited about the team and the future only to have every single move blow up in their face. And in 2012 after they fired Scott Arniel and brought in Todd Richards they had a winning record in the last quarter to end the season. That's the exact opposite of tanking.

If anything the Blue Jackets are guilty of not being bad enough. They routinely finished 4th or 5th or 6th in the draft order which rarely amounts to the type of franchise changing player you can get at #1. The only time they've ever picked at #1, they had to trade up to get there.

If the Blue Jackets had deliberately tanked like you claim you'd see Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews Columbus sweaters all over Ohio.

You can get them on being a poorly run organization, and I'll back that up all night, but poor results on the ice are not from a lack of trying and certainly not from deliberately trying to be bad.

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Building/re-building a franchise isn't exactly the same as tanking.

It's one thing to try to win, realize that roster isn't going to make the playoffs or win a championship, and trade away parts to acquire assets for the future. It's another thing to purposely try not to win for a season or more.

Tanking involves:

-Having bad coaching, bad drafting, bad personnel decisions, bad organizational structure.

-Not going after the best players in free agency.

-Not drafting the players that will help you immediately.

-Not playing your best players.

Not putting your best effort to win games in the present...that's blatantly disrespecting the game and your fanbase (and the league) and borderline cheating.

TorinK92 already did a good job, but I'll throw in my two cents:

-the Sabres have the #1 organizational ranking on HF, have a former Jack Adams winner behind the bench, and have respected people running their organization

-just because you go after the best players, it doesn't mean they'll sign with you

-the NHL draft is not good at turning out players who are an immediate help

-the Sabres have always played the best players in their organization. They just rode Michael Neuvirth for 8 straight games through a hot streak.

So if the most obvious tank in the last ten years doesn't fit your definition, how exactly do you stop the tank? Every team that rents out a player at the trade deadline is "tanking". You can't say "All of your trades have to make you better right now!" It just doesn't work that way. I've said before that the Sabres have come at the McDavid Sweepstakes "honestly". They've really done nothing but shed their soon-to-be expiring contracts. They made moves to get better in the offseason: Moulson, Gionta, Meszaros, Benoit, and more. They brought in Chris Stewart at the trade deadline last year. Enroth was their goalie-in-waiting. I don't think anybody thought that would get them to the playoffs, but they did try to improve. I wanted McDavid/Eichel and was actually worried that they improved too much. The moves didn't work (obviously), but they haven't just stood pat and done nothing.

It's not about McDavid. It's not even totally about McDavid/Eichel. It's about shedding contracts that aren't returning value for you, and about acquiring multiple, talented, young players. The Sabres are in a stretch where they have more first and second round picks than any other team in history has had in a similar timeframe.

I think the NHL is actually doing it right, starting next season. I've thought about having a completely random first round and then using standings for the rest of the rounds, flat odds for all non-playoff teams, etc. I think most of those plans go too far; you still want to help out teams that are just down on their luck. The NHL's plan helps the bad teams, but there's enough fuzziness at the top (again, starting next year) that I think it discourages tanking somewhat. Teams will still do it, for the reasons outlined in the above paragraph, but it will be very hard to set your sights on a particular player (it's not even that easy now).

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And here I was, thinking this was gonna be a thread about the Sports Ecyclopedia.

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Looks like the only heavy industry left in Western New York is jimmie-rustling!

The Sabres have done nothing wrong. They have the king of redass coaches behind the bench. They went out and got Moulson, Gionta, and Gorges on July 1st. They've had stretches where they've willed themselves to wins against all odds. Of course the endgame for Murray is to load up on picks/prospects, and why shouldn't it be? The old core of Miller, Vanek, Pominville, and the rest had gone as far as it was going to go. The organization needed to start from scratch. So did Washington in 2004. So did Calgary. So will San Jose. When you ride out an aging core that you paid too much for, this is the next phase of the cycle. If it's any consolation for the legions of NHL fans who can't bear to see the Buffalo Sabres be bad -- and that is at the heart of this, right? -- they should be mildly competitive next year with Eichel and numerous prospects ready to contribute.

Also, it bears mentioning that Terry Pegula is putting money into both the Sabres and the city of Buffalo like no one has since the Knox brothers, so it's not as if he's sitting here doing a Ted Stepien or Bill Wirtz. There's an endgame here.

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I don't think it should but its the NBA's and the Player's union fault for letting it happen in the first place.

The reason teams are hoarding picks and pushing for a higher age limit is because they want these picks to be as low risk as possible.

Who wouldn't want to land a potential franchise player for at least four years and barely have to pay the guy what he would be worth in free agency?

If you want teams to stop tanking, make them pay more money for picks, or get rid of the slotting system completely. I don't expect either to happen anytime soon, so its just going to be more of trying to fix symptoms instead of root causes.

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