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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Anonymous Comment Hall of Fame

I have no idea what just happened... but someone just left a comment in the previous thread that I would consider one of the best comments I have ever seen on this blog. For some reason... it isn't showing up in the comment section.

Fortunately for myself and all of us... I have every comment forwarded to my inbox. This comment deserves its own thread. And if the commenter wants a job writing for the blog, let me know.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Believe it or not... Seattle is still alive":

A lot of lies and rumors have been spread about the players and management of this team. One of the funnier mistruths often repeated is that Russ doesn’t care about winning. This is a business and Russ absolutely cares about winning. By owning a winning team he would be able to raise ticket prices, sell more merchandise, and receive more money should he choose to sell his stake in the team. No denying that they haven’t gotten the job done, but to say he doesn’t care is to really not understand the motivations of a business man. Another lie was thrown out there by a guy on the Big Baby Facebook page, otherwise known as the official T-Bird page. He said that Pickard asked to be traded and that Mike Caccioppoli could confirm this. I asked Mike about this and he informed me that he had no knowledge about that trade request. I know, shocking.

Why should Russ change anything? What is the incentive? This is a business after all. The facts are that Rob Sumner cannot possibly make as much money as Hay, Hartsburg or Johnson, due to his having no AHL or NHL coaching experience. This equates to more money in Farwell’s bank account. By paying himself to act as GM, he pads his account even more. Oh, and just in case you thought that the weak on-ice product would affect the bottom line…… hasn’t. Attendance was up this year. This of course means more money going to Russ. Also, according to the organization they have around 150 new season ticket holders signed up for next year. It is also laughable that some have called for Russ to step down as GM. Would you fire yourself at a time when profits are up? If so, I feel sorry for the people depending on you to provide for them.

What we are seeing with the t-shirts, signs and creepy cardboard cutouts of Sumner is just a union of victims. If you think that Russ and Rob are bothered by any of this, you are clueless. They are probably laughing at you. Russ will listen to you when either he has had enough of the status quo, or you are able to cost him money. The tickets, beer, food and team merchandise you buy all show Russ how much you really care. Some of the most recent posters seem to have figured this out. They have the business sense to talk with their wallets instead of a high school sign. While I will keep attending and cheering for the Birds, I respect people who disagree with me and who won’t be coming back next season….when they act like adults instead of whiners. When you are yelling at Rob during the post-game interview it is because you are paying Russ for the privilege to be there. Is that an effective strategy? Would any of you be wimpy enough to quit your job because people yelled at you? How can you take people like that seriously? I take the people writing on this blog seriously, because they are expressing their opinion of the need to replace Sumner in a thoughtful manner, whether you agree or disagree with them.

Some have talked about going to Everett instead. You might want to do some research before jumping ship. Looks like Hartsburg hasn’t been able to get a “talented” (about as talented as Seattle) group to play well this year. Funny how even a former NHL player and coach can’t get a less talented team to achieve, but Sumner is expected to work miracles. Not to mention how Hartsburg’s 3rd place team was booted by the 6th seeded Kelowna Rockets in last year’s playoffs. And take a look at the Froese & a 3rd round pick for Ferraro deal as it was quite the stinker. Soetaert should probably fire himself over that one. Ha ha! Funny, I thought only Seattle made bad trades. It will be interesting to see if the people that have openly talked about leaving actually “man up” and do so, or if their reputations as whiners will be solidified at the ShoWare next season.

The marketplace is the ultimate arbiter of how things are going, and thanks to your patronage things are good!


Unknown said...


Well said anonymous commenter!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I think it would be nice if the people who claim to be giving up their season tickets would post where their seats are so those of that are renewing can decide if those seats are better.

Anonymous said...

Hallelujah! An intelligent voice of reason!
An extremely well thought out and mature expression of opinion!
So refreshing after the juvenile antics of some. Amazing how expressing your thoughts in a mature constructive manner garners the RESPECT of your peers isn't it?

Anonymous said...

I've just discovered this blog and I now know where I can find a decent discussion about the team. Facebook is full of people who will attack you if you disagree with them. Agree with the anonymous poster for sure. I read somewhere that Farwell has revamped the scouting department recently in an effort to right the ship in that respect.

Thunnex said...

Welcome. Glad to have you. Tell your friends and other fans!

Anonymous said...

Why would russ have to revamp a scouting department? Profits are up aren't they? Or are they?

Anonymous said...

Maybe because profits are up he can afford to revamp the scouting dept.

Anonymous said...

Is he going to start paying scouts now?

Anonymous said...

How does one KNOW that this franchise is profitable?

Anonymous said...

I hope he revamped the scouting department but I won't assume he has until I see some verification. If this is true I'd love to know when it occurred so I can track their work. Troock looked like a fine first round pick but unfortunately he's been out of action. Theadore looked very good when he was called up and who knows maybe Hauf will work out. They will draft high this year so if they know what they are doing they have a good chance to add some talent. We've suffered long enough it would be nice to finally get it together. To be fair they are in a tough division at the moment, Spok, Port and Tri all know what they are doing and that makes a tough neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Seattle has a pair!

Calgary Hitmen - Six balls

Swift Current Broncos - Five balls

Regina Pats - Four balls

Lethbridge Hurricanes - Three balls

Seattle Thunderbirds - Two balls

Kamloops Blazers - One ball

Anonymous said...

Hope one of the drops! I sure don't want to see it get scratched.

Anonymous said...

Seattle can only win as high as the third pick, if I understand the lottery right.

Anonymous said...

I must take issue with your comment regarding "a high school sign". Your are being far too generous. The display and disruption put on by that particular group is something you'd expect from grade schoolers.
The pathetic, immature threats to "expect even more" taunting next year if Sumner remains they and their followers have posted on FaceBook only serves to prove their pompous. self indulgent, self important attitude. If I were Owner and or GM of this organization, I would do the fans around them a huge favor and invoke my right to refuse service.

Anonymous said...

Strange that on one hand they say if Sumner is back next season, they won't be, while out of the other side of their mouths they say if he returns he can expect even more of their antics next season. I'm confused. I thought their point was they will not buy tickets and support the team if Sumner is back, but in order to continue their taunts next season, they'll need to buy a ticket? They want Farwell to make a decision on Sumner yet they can't even decide what they are going to do once he makes that decision.
And to the other post, yes, if Seattle were to win the draft lottery the best they could do is move up two spots to #3 in round one's draft order.

Anonymous said...

It's good to see this organization has two balls!

Phuxy said...

I almost forgot...if you're interested in my seats let me know. I have 4 of them I may be giving up.

Phuxy said...

Hrm. My long response wasn't posted so I may have come up on a maximum post size so I will post my response in chunks...Sorry for the multiple posts everyone.

Phuxy said...

As one of those “grade schoolers”, I always welcome good dialogue. While I can’t speak for everyone that has voiced their discontent at the Sho I can at least speak for myself and why I’ve done some of the things I’ve done.

I totally agree with the poster that the reason Russ does a lot of the things he does is because he wants to make more money. I am all for that but put a winning team together for those of us that pay to be there. Going to hockey should be entertaining and the grind the last two years has made it more of a chore than a pleasure but alas we go to support the boys.

Phuxy said...

As for being a union of victims, I can assure you that simply is not the case. We are simply very frustrated fans trying to make the team very aware of our displeasure with the current direction of the organization. Being loud and in their face is the best way we/I know how in this particular case. I do not believe writing letters or blog posts will help get our point across although I know of a number of letters Farwell will be receiving. I guess we’ll see if all of this was an effective strategy or not over the summer.

Another reason for doing what I have done is so that others can feel it is ok to voice their discontent over the direction of the team. Given how the volume of the chants increased over time I think we were successful in helping others feel confident they can voice an opinion without fear of retribution.

Based on Rob flipping us off and the glares from the owner’s box, I am pretty sure that Russ and Rob and not kickin’ back beers laughing about it all.

Phuxy said...

I’m sure some will think of me and the others as a group of fair weather fans or whiners but many of us have been season ticket holders for 10 – 20 years. Some organize numerous groups per year and others have given tickets to new fans that for one reason or another had a poor experience at the Sho. I want nothing more than to have a sold out game every night and to start raising banners. What I am is pissed off! Pissed that the only option I have left is to not renew my tickets to watch a team and sport I love because the performance of our coach has not resulted in his termination. I’ve already stopped buying jerseys and merchandise.

If Sumner is back next year, they will not have to invoke their right to refuse service. Sean already knows that I will not be renewing with Sumner in the picture. However, given Russ is a business man, I don’t think he would want to lose the ticket revenue from my seats. Others, even though they are unhappy, will return to taunt Sumner if he is back because they want to see the hockey. While I would love to join them, this last year was my last chance for them with Rob so I got vocal and next year I vote with my wallet.

Phuxy said...

The questions I have for those that don’t agree with me and my tactics are:

Do you think we should all just sit quietly in our seats no matter what the outcome of the season and trust in Russ? Are you happy with the coaching staff and the performance of the club? Are you frustrated at all with the organization? If you’re frustrated, how do you think we should go about voicing our frustrations and do you think they matter to the club?

Anonymous said...

Good stuff written there! When it comes down to it, I am not the kind of guy who would ever get in the face of our coaches and yell at them. But... I totally understand the frustration have done so over the past couple months. With that said, I hope the staff will take some time to reflect on how unwanted, disrespected, and unwelcome they will be at ShoWare should they choose to return. It's easy to say 'would you quit your job if you got booed by a few people', but there's more to it. It's inevitable that they will bring the baggage of the last two seasons with them and that isn't good for anyone. They are the faces of the Bargain Basement Birdies. The 2nd-tier, value village low-priced coaches of the division and every team knows it. Hard to bring a winning attitude when every other team smells blood, and next year they are toast. Because of this, I too will speak with my wallet from this point forward and promise to sit out for at least the next season.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why everyone cares so much about what others are saying of Facebook, what signs are being held up and what they are yelling after the games. Who cares?

Aren't you doing the same thing they are? Complaining and whining about them complaining and whining? Don't do it. That's wasted energy.

I have my opinions about the team, Rob, Russ and the rest of the staff...but who cares? It's my opinion. If you agree with it fine, if you don't, fine too. Freedom of speech. I do know that no matter what, I am a hockey fan. No matter how bad we do, I will be there cheering on those boys. Those boys, that's what is really important here. Nothing can keep me from watching hockey. Especially not Sumner and Russ.

As for the money being spent showing the support of Rob and Russ...I personally purchase things in the support of those boys out there trying to earn a spot in the NHL. And if that doesn't work out then I am helping with their college education. Yes the money goes to help fund Rob and Russ too, but that isn't why I do it. I am there to support those kids. Win or lose. I will cheer for them on EVERY home game and I hope all of you do too.

I will be back next season no matter what happens. (The only person I really wish they would get rid of is West...not a fan of him.) With that being said...GO BIRDS!!! I will see you guys next season.

(Fyi...the consession money goes to the Showare...not the team.)

Anonymous said...

In all honesty, nobody really knows what is going on with the team, the owners and the coaches but them

Anonymous said...

Phuxy, I appreciate your post. I too am not the happiest of fans. What has frustrated me is that many of the posts (especially on facebook) are inflammatory, disrespectful and completely unproductive. I got your point that you feel like there is no other way to be heard and I guess we should agree to disagree on that point. I have been a hockey fan for over 30 years and I truly love the game, but for folks to spend SO much negative energy bashing the coaches and Russ seems like such a waste. Do you really feel better after all the bashing and yelling? What kind of GOOD could we see if all the "haters" banded together to do something POSITIVE???? TBird fans are awesome - I think we can do better. That's all (PS - I agree with the West comment too)

Phuxy said...

For me it has made me feel better at times. It's at least given me an outlet to channel my frustration.

I am open to any ideas that people have of things to do to make a positive change to the organization. If you got them throw them out there. It may be something I can get behind.

And I'm on board with the West comments also. For god sakes man stop announcing your name and talking during play.

Anonymous said...

To answer a previous poster, yes, I am satisfied with the coach. When Sumner has had a talented roster, he has done well...a winning record his first 6 years. Give him the talent and he will put a winner on the ice. And I don't mean just one or two top end need depth to be successful in the WHL. Even in their best years, the team has always lacked depth to carry them deep in the postseason. When the talent level dropped off..and it has, dramatically the past 3 seasons...the team's performance has dropped off. The same thing is happening in Everett and the same happened in Vancouver this year under Don Hay...the talent wasn't there. The only reason the Giants and Chilliwack are in the playoffs is because they didn't have to play Portland, Spokane and Tri 30 times this season like the T-birds did (Seattle was 5-2-1 against those teams). How can you say Sumner is the issue when this team has had to go out and mine other organizations' rosters just to field a team. It's a miracle he got them playing as well as they did the first half of the season. Look at the roster this past season...Toomey, Gallimore, Bobbee, Bonsor, Spooner, Button, Frank, Rouse and Salmon (earlier in the year Aasman and Baecker)...half the team acquired in trade because they couldn't draft well enough to develop their own players. And these aren't high end players they are trading for. They're mostly serviceable players to get them through the season. You expect Sumner to drive this car to the finish line in first place with used parts and duct tape? If you seriously think this team's roster was more talented then their final record, I don't think you're watching the same game I am. By the way, it wasn't Sumner who passed over Ryan Johansen 7 times in the 2007 draft. Sure other teams did too but it just goes back to the fact this team's scouts have a hard time recognizing talent. Taking Eric Fleming when they could have had Joe Morrow, Spencer Main, Blake Gal, Jordan Messier or Ryan Harrison. Drafting Cody Hanson when they could have had Tyler Myers or Lance Bouma. But, you can't change the past, so hopefully the "tweaks" to the scouting we've heard rumors of pay off and the drafts improve because that is how you build in this league and if you don't do that, it doesn't matter who the coach is.

Anonymous said...

Well said, I believe the last few drafts have been better. Troock, Hauf and Theodore looked great in the limited time we got to see them.

Anonymous said...

Sumner just finished his seventh year as head coach of the Seattle Thunderbirds. Out of a posssible 1008 total points his teams have been able to garner a whopping total of 535. That is a percentage of .5307%.

Seven years is more than a fair amount of sampling. Like I have said in prior posts, if you are content with a .500% person at the helm then you have the right person in charge.

I for one want more, maybe much more.

Anonymous said...

And what was that winning % before the last two seasons, before the scouts, and less than stellar drafting, left the cupboard bare? He had a winning record every season.
Did you know Chilliwack had 7 players attend NHL training camps last fall yet their "championship" coach only got them to 2 games above .500 (mostly on the strength of a goalie who played out of his mind the last three weeks). The T-birds had only one player (Pickard) at an NHL camp yet they were in contention for a playoff spot until the final weekend...and they beat that Chilliwack team and their 7 NHL camp attendees 3 out of 4 times, losing only in OT on the road. Sounds like a coach getting the most oout of the least.

Anonymous said...

I am really glad you can call a coach getting the most out of the least from a team that was basically a "lock" for the playoffs at X-MAS to really not being a factor for the final two weeks of the season.

That kind of makes one wonder did the team kind of quit on the coach.

You can't legitimately ask what his winning percentage was before the last two seasons. The last two are part of his resume. If you are allowed to eliminate the last two then wouldn't you be allowed to eliminate his first year?

I am not sure I totally buy the scouts leaving the cupboard bare. Remember the trade deadline of Jan 2010. The cry was to trade whoever we could, get younger and let's make a run in 2011-12 Pickard's 19 year old season.

If the cupboard was bare it SHOULD have been plenty evident then.

Like Chuck Knox always used to say "you play the hand you are dealt". It seem very evident Rob does not do a very good job of that. If he had they would have been in the playoffs this year.

No playoffs just last place...again

Anonymous said...

If you thought this team was a lock for the playoffs at the holiday break I'd like some of what you are smoking. Every team in the conference was in position to make the playoffs back then. No one outside Portland, Spoke and Tri was a lock.
We had no one worth trading at the Jan 2010 deadline because the cupboard was bare. We traded the only player of value, Acolatse. You have to have something other teams want. We didn't. I'm sure other teams tried to low ball them to get Pickard. You certainly don't trade the young players you are trying to build around. Should've traded Rai. Only one NHL draft pick on this roster until they traded for Button. How many drafted players on the team the previous year? One, Rai, a 5th rd pick. Any coach looks like a genius when they have a roster stacked with talent. What was Johnston's record his first season in Portland when they had nothing? I guess Portland should have fired him after that year. But now with 8 NHL picks he's got the top team. And to get that team they had to miss the playoffs for three seasons. And unlike Sumner he's also the GM so he has a major say in what players they draft. Before the season most in the media that cover the WHL picked the T-birds to miss the playoffs. They don't make that decision based on the coach, they make it based on the talent on the roster. Seattle's best players are also their youngest and their most of their older players aren't that good.

Anonymous said...

You say Acolaste was the only thing of value to trade in Jan. 2010. You could not be more wrong in my eyes. Also traded on Jan 6 was Jonathan Parker who went on to score 45 goals in PA this year.

Anonymous said...

You are right, forgot Parker, although at the time of the trade he had gone stone cold offensively. Hadn't scored a goal in two months. And as I recall didn't score the rest of the season in PA. Great job by him to turn it around. Maybe the trade woke him up and made him get his butt in gear. But who made that trade? Not the coach.

Anonymous said...

As far as bad drafting, don't forget that a lot of the really good kids will tell the teams that they regard as "bad" not to bother drafting them, they wont report. What might make a kid think that this is a bad team to play for? Fans, awesome. Facilities, Awesome, City, awesome. Billets, Awesome. so what is left? why not come here?

Anonymous said...

You say that not paying Sumner as much as Hay, Harstburg, or Johnson is more money in Russ's pccket. Is it really?

The last I checked all of those coaches had home playoff games with their team upcoming. My guess is at least two of the aforementioned coaches will have multiple series.

By missing the playoffs the last two seasons, don't you think that that has cost Russ tens of thousands of dollars in missed home playoff dates?

You say attendance was up this year. That is a true statement. However, with a winning product on the ice the team would sellout the vas majority of Friday, Saturday and Sunday games. I mean come on with over a million to draw from don't you think there would be at least 6,500 who would want to attend those games. The attendance at the SHO is frankly embarrassing. I think there is a direct correlation to a very weak on ice product and the low numbers of fannys in the seats.

To say an increase of 150 season tickets is a success may or may not be a valid statement. How many will they loose? How many more may have been purchased with a contending team? Any business should strive to increase there "base". To hang your hat on the 150 number seems like a bare minimum to me.

You ask if Russ should fire himself when the profits are up. How do you know that this franchise is profitable? It is not a public corp and as far I know the books are closed. Do you have privy to those books?

It can be aruged (I believe) that IF this franchise is profitable that a good business man would put a chunk of those profits back into said business. That may or may not have been done. I sure don't see it on the ice. I will say the marketing has improved. However, could it have gotten any worse than it was, might be rational view of that situation.

As Tyler said your comment was well thought out and well written. I am not bashing you or the contents. I am saying however, that this is a very complex situation and maybe not as cut and dried as one might try to make it.

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