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2.06.2013

Victoria Trip Thread

I don't have much insightful to say about these past two games that you haven't already heard. Barring a 3rd period comeback here Seattle will be swept in the season series with the Royals.

Same problems the past two nights... poor marking of offensive players in front of the net, not enough defense and not much capitalization of the chances they are getting. Same old story.

39 comments :

Anonymous said...

Road games since Christmas = 10...goals scored in those road games = 10....absolutley disgusting...will it EVER get better...i hope so because it really cant get worse...can it????

Why do this kind of performance seem to be tolerated? It has been so similar for the last four years now....nothing seems to really change....different players same results

Anonymous said...

Fans have to make a stand versus Farwell and the brids owners. I think it has already started if you notice the pre sales for this weekend's games and last weekend's games versus Tri and Portland.

Anonymous said...

" Different players same result" Their is a reason for this. Because Seattles best prospects don't get signed or want to sign. Barzal, Gropp Unsigned, and I think we all know why. Douglas is a better prospect than Wolf, yet unsigned and Wolf can't make the line up. Our best young goalie prospect in camp was Kruizenga, yet unsigned?

Anonymous said...

@6:52 anon: I'd REALLY like to think that the low attendance numbers are the result of people 'taking a stand'. Unfortunately, I think that what we're seeing is not so much a planned revolt as much as it is pure apathy. The interest shown through chat boards, Facebook comments, and the like is dwindling by the day. People aren't talking as much about the Thunderbirds simply because the team is losing popularity. As a fan of this game, it hurts to see the way this has played out. To have the unbelievable opportunity to land a WHL team in South King, an opportunity that has been flubbed so badly from the word go. From the sports side, it's been the failures of both draft and trade. As a community, we have an owner who has never taken one second to either acknowledge/thank the fans or create an environment that makes a fan want to be one. Casual have noted little things, such as the T-Birds taking away all promotions for kids and reducing the number of giveaways while raising the price of his bottom-dwelling hockey team by $2 per ticket. Russ has ruined the product, a product that others have invested millions in. Will that be enough to push him out? We'll see.

Anonymous said...

It’s most certainly apathy and not some united effort. Russ will only leave if he sells his stake in the team. Even hiring a GM wouldn’t work, because he would still have his hands in everything. He is a career GM who owns his own team, so it stands to reason that he wouldn’t step down. I don’t think attendance is to a point where he is feeling much pressure. While there are some long term variables that could impact what he does, it is the short term that I will be watching. I attend some of the training camp every year, and there were a lot more people this past camp. They were there to see Barzal, and I suspect they will pay to watch him in a T-Bird uniform even if he is on a poor team. That being said, I think things get ugly for Farwell if he goes the college route or pulls a Seth Jones. We don't have long to wait, as we will see if Barzal gets in a couple of T-Bird games in the next month or declines the invite.

Anonymous said...

I overheard a conversation once that Farwell stated to the other part owners---" I am Canadian and I know hockey, you don't". Is that arrogance or what?

Mr Tell13 said...

Far from me to give credibility to a quote out of context from an anonymous poster, but if you compare Farwell (a career GM) to the other owners, is that an untrue statement? And to a greater extend, would you disagree that the level of knowledge of the game (by fans) is a bit lacking when you hear people screaming "shoooot" when a player is just crossing the blueline?

Not to say that he is without fault but I think Farwell as fixed most of his draft woes in the past 2 seasons, he trades decently. he can't really execute for players on the ice can he?
This team has the highest number of players ranked for the draft in the WHL with 6, I think that compared to 3 years ago, that is pretty good.
The attendance at the Showare are deceiving, especially since the week-end after 2 great showing against top division rivals. Maybe if fans would be there to cheer on the team, that would help instead of complaining about who is on the team or not on the team. I mean, I don't see Everett being that much better than the tbirds right (and for the past few year), but you feel the fans passion, not contempt.
I've seen this play out before, and its the perfect mix for a Winnipeg, Quebec city and dare, I say it, Sonics situation.
The fans fervors towards their team is much bigger after they are gone.

Anonymous said...

Mr.Tell, I respect your opinion and always look forward to reading your post(s) on his blog.
However, I disagree with what you say about Everett (not that I am a fan of theirs). They have NEVER missed the playoffs. They have banners hanging from recent years accomplishments that the birds do not. It does not take them four or more years to rebuild from a down cycle.
There is more to it. It HAS to start at the top and that is Russ. If the top boss seems unmotivated and lethargic then why shouldn't the individuals below feel similar.
Russ does/did know hockey. Maybe time has passed him by ala Mike Holmgren.
Keep up the posting...looking forward to it

Anonymous said...

Mr. Tell what do you mean by the Showare Center attendance being deceiving? The game attendance figures are on the web site, yes they sold out the teddy bear toss game but last weekend 3,200 on a Friday versus Portland and 3,000 versus Tri on a Saturday in a area of Seattle to South King County are pretty bad. You also have this weekends pre sale whcih is at about 3,000 per game unless a big walk up occurs.

Respectively

Anonymous said...

Lots of folks are focusing on the last 4 years and how bad that's been, now imagine having watched this team since the early 90's and for Farwell's entire tenure here, that even more grim. For years I hear announcers say "they just can't capitalize on their chances" No Dung Captain Obvious, that's a Farwell player for yeah. The record's speaks for themselves. Now they've almost certainly managed to finish poorly enough to get some finishers like Barzal but now can you sign him?????

Anonymous said...

NO. The incapable Russ cannot sign his draft picks. The only thing he can do is produce a team that tanks every season and take the woes of his awful product out on his fans by raising prices. Sorry, just had to answer your question. Oh, and in regards to your point about capitalizing on chances, the phrase 'puck luck' has become the catchphrase of the year for apologists. If you are reading this and you like to use it, please stop.. It's just embarrassing. Just say that they can't win.

Anonymous said...

Russ may know a little more about hockey then most of T-Bird fans. However, those fans know how to read the standings and understand that their team 12 games below five hundred. Those same fans can watch a hockey game, watch their team get blown out, and understand that it wasn't 'just not their night'. Those fans understand that 'their' boys are just not that good. Evidently, Russ doesn't understand what the common fan does because he continues to take this team down the same one way street...one way to the bottom of the standings.

Mr Tell13 said...

Anon 5:01
I meant disapointing, I can't believe that a few days after they actually beat the top team in the whole CHL, fans of this team are not showing up to support them. But lose a few and boy aren't we on the management's case.

Anon 3:15
The problem I have when people compare Everett with Seattle saying that they are "sooooo" much better is this: People are talking about Seattle being a mediocre team for a certain amount of time (Tyler himself used that word), even before the string of missed playoffs; but saying that Everett is doing good. Bullocks. When you look at Everett's playoff performance, its horrible since 2006-2007 (when both team made it to round 2). People forget that last year, Seattle missed the playoff by one goal in the game before last when they played each other. It was a major choke on the tbirds part but you know what they could keep the right to get plowed out of the first round. So don't change the measuring stick, if people are saying that the tbirds have been mediocre for the past 8 years, be honest and don't say that Everet was so great, cuz they were not.

As far as the other guys, please. Mark my words: When Barzal and Gropp are going to line up for the t-birds next season and they will lose a few games in a row, you will just find another excuse to complain about Farwell.

And as much as it is true that he probably would not be GM of this team if he was not the majority owner, I believe that he is trying. And yeah sometimes it does not work out, but that how it works out in sports. Change is not a garantee of sucess, you can see that in a bunch of examples at the pro level.
I know its a well known "fact" that Farwell does not know hockey and can't see talent, i'm not sure that its the same way that a certain d-men on the Dallas Stars roster (who is playing 20 minutes a game) feels. (/sarcasm off)

Anonymous said...

Different season, different players, different arena, different coach, different assistant coach. For the most part, same results.

There is one constant---


Fans are frustrated, and so far they are still allowed to voice their opinion in this country.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget the biggest point of them all.. If you are going to label yourself as both an owner and a GM, you'd probably want to be good at one or the other. Russ the business man is every bit as much to blame as Russ the GM is.. And if they were two different people, they'd both be terrible at their jobs. Mr. Tell asks why fans didn't rush to the gates after one win against Portland? The best guy to answer that question would be that the guy who raised the prices and sliced promotional nights in half is begging them not to show up.. It just so happens to be the same guy who has spent the last 5 years failing to put a .500 hockey team on the ice. If Barzal and Gropp line up together on opening night next year, I know I won't be the only one who will call it the surprise of a lifetime.. But I'm not holding my breath. This is why this is more of a matter than asking Russ to step down as GM.. I'm hoping that the Kent downtown partnership or the WHL is already working to find someone who can come in, cut Russ a single check that he can't refuse, and politely ask him to step aside as majority owner. In the meantime, I'd love to be a fly on the wall when Russ, Mayor Cooke, and Tim Higgins are all sitting around pointing fingers at each other over low attendance at the Sho this year.

Anonymous said...

Mr Tell 13, tell me how in the H*LL are Gropp and Barzal going to line up together? Gropp is coming up on two years without signing, Barzal one year....what indication do you have that they are going to do that, some hockey fairy going to drop them onto showare's ice next September?

Anon at 2:15pm is spot on, Russ had done nothing to move this team forward as a GM or Owner.....The Kent area should easily support a hockey team, but Russ has done nothing to inspire the attendance. Promote at all the High Schools, Fri, Sat and Sun 3 different high schools in the area get to come and with an ASB card you get half off tickets, or 2 adults buy 2 tickets, kids get in free or 1/2 off. Promote free ice skating at showare with the Tbirds on a Sunday before the game, maybe you get fans to stay for the game.

Hold a Youth Hockey Jamboree on a Sat, Sun and maybe a holiday Monday for Kent, Sno King, Tacoma, Seattle JR, Bremerton, Everett. Maybe those families will stay and pay to watch a game that night.

Have an Auburn, Federal Way, Renton, Kent, Covington, Maple Valley, Black Diamond, Enumclaw night, residents get 1/2 off tickets.

Give the building life, let the community come build a fan base. Build a team....last year, package a deal with Pickard, Nobels, Theodore and actually rebuild. Don't just piece meal a team together, Sheen for Doty a small time trade, doesn't do much on a team deficient in scoring, much like the Mariners piece mealing their offense. Sometimes you have to blow up the whole thing....Pickard should have been gone for his sake and the team's sake.

This team had an advantage 4 years ago when they were moving into the building, they squandered the opportunity and they continue to just slog along.

I guarantee is Russ was not owner of this team, he would have been fired long ago. Much like he fired Don Nachbaur and put himself on the bench and then hired Sumner. What ever happened to the Nachbaur fellow, did he go on to do much?

Poor decision making is the root of poor companies, teams, management, etc. At this point, with the same issues still occuring year and year there is only one person to blame. You can say he doens't coach or play in games and you are right, but at some point if you fail, you fix it. This team just fails and there is no fixing going on.

Mr Tell13 said...

to anon 12:35
Same result? if you consider the time since Farwell was back from the flyers, the team missed the playoff 25% of his tenure. I say its not bad. What did Soetard win again?

btw I don't stop you from voicing your opinion. As I will voice mine (as long as our gracious host allows it...its his site)

Ok, now the price was raised because Russ said so? Allright, if anybody is absolutly certain that its not the city of Kent, the managing company, increase in the cost of running the team (like travel expenses, infrastructure etc) that Farwell is pocketing that money, you have a point. I would love to see that though.

The Barzal and Gropp thing. this is TOTAL conjuncture on my part (I admit it). But since we passed national signing day (I find that completely ridiculous btw), I was thinking and i started to look for any signs of anything going on with Gropp. Now I am maybe wrong since he is a late bday kid. But I believe that if he is to be a freshmen next year, its getting very short in time to have some official campus visit or some sort of thing going on. It would be a huge "get" for any college to sign him. And nobody said a thing. So I am saying maybe its possible.

@anon 10:19 You have actually great ideas. You might want to forward them to the sales and marketing department of the t-birds. I doubt Russ really decide the promo schedule, you want him to start making the bobble heads by hand too? Laminate the magnets?

To the last part of your post, and that is my biggest problem with the anti-Farwell crowd, Its that there was problems, the drafts sucked, he added/replaced people and now going from now one being seriously looked at on this team to 6. Is it great, no its not its not. But Saying noting is being done, that there is no improvement is (in my opinion) wrong.

Anonymous said...

well the TBIRDS did manage to accomplish one thing last night...they no longer control their own destiny as far as the race for the playoffs go....nice

with six players on the central scouting watch list (most in the whl) doesn't/shouldm't that correlate with this team being better???

Anonymous said...

Mr Tell writes:

To the last part of your post, and that is my biggest problem with the anti-Farwell crowd, Its that there was problems, the drafts sucked, he added/replaced people and now going from now one being seriously looked at on this team to 6. Is it great, no its not its not. But Saying noting is being done, that there is no improvement is (in my opinion) wrong.

I would say some individuals improved but the team has not. As an organization you are measured on team success, which this team has had very little in a new building, in which the organization could have done a lot more to promote the team.

Russ being the owner and GM it is his responsibility to ensure a winning team (GM) and to ensure good business practices to sustain the on going operations (owner). Because of those titles, he needs to be held accountable. That is the reponsibility you accept when you take a position or positions like he has.

As for Gropp and Barzal, letter of intent day does not mean much, it is the first day you can sign a letter but you can sign a letter anytime after that.

The on ice product, the game experience and the highest ticket prices in the league is ultimately the owners decision. The buck stops at the top.

Anonymous said...

http://hockeyfamilyadvisor.com/chl-vs-ncaa-the-battle-rages-on/

good read and somewhat pertinent with the recurring Gropp and Barzal talk

Anonymous said...

Gropp is only 16 yrs old. A sophomore age in high school. He would not be allowed to sign a letter of intent until he is a senior, correct?. By the way, I've heard he has made "unofficial" visits to Colorado College (dad's alma mater) and the University of Denver. Similar to list player Dylan Gambrell who is "verbally" committed to Denver but since he's only 16 cannot officially sign a letter of intent. Conner Honey was in the same situation last yeat at age 17.

Anonymous said...

Yes .... the team has 6 highly rated players on the roster, but that could mean 1 of 2 things.... One: The talent is young, and its tough to win especially on the road, with a young team. And take a closer look at the roster, good players don't represent good teams. Hockey is a TEAM sport. And Second, maybe the scouting just STINKS! It is a crap-shoot on scouting 14,15, and 16 year olds.

Brian in Sherwood.

Marc S said...

Seriously, we are going to talk about controlling their own destiny with 16 games left in the schedule? Prince George has a game in hand on the T-birds, but they would have to win it to leap frog the T-birds and they have less wins than the T-birds, I don't think that is a guarantee. Next weekend will be huge as far as solidifying their spot, 2 with Vancouver are must wins, gotta walk all over the doormat and one in Everett with a chance to pull closer to them.

I agree with Mr Tell that they are improved this year. They play a lot faster than they did last year, but they are really dependent on young defensemen still.

I haven't heard anything about Barzal not wanting to sign aside from the negative nellies that chirp that the T-birds can't sign any first round picks, which is wrong, they haven't signed their last two, yet. I'm not going to be worried about Barzal until next year, he can only play five games and the playoffs this year anyway. It would be nice to get his feet wet, but I don't think it is a crisis. If Gropp doesn't want to play in the WHL then that is a bad pick, it shouldn't happen with that high of a pick, but other teams have this problem too.

I think the T-birds will make the playoffs and I think that will really help them out with their draft picks. I look forward to the T-birds taking another step forward over the summer and hopefully they will spend some resources on a goalie they can have for a couple of years and help solidify that spot a bit.

I agree that the T-birds do need to increase their publicity. They need to work with the news stations and get some mention in the sports segment and more in the papers of the region. Perhaps have some press conferences like maybe after the draft and before the season and have the sports talk radio stations carry them. I really hope they don't do the half price tickets for the south king county, it would kind of tick me off to be a season ticket holder and have to pay more for my tickets than people that go to a game every now and then because of where I live :) I think giving out a few tickets to each of the sport talk stations for each home game might be a good idea, give out say 4 tickets that would be 12 total and you can get some new people at the games and maybe they get hooked. It would also get the sports talk stations to talk about them some.

Mr Tell13 said...

more to my point, Gambrell commited as a 14 y/o. I knew Gropp's dad was a alumni for Col college, and I figured that at least an unofficial visit would happen, but nothing else as transpired. If NCAA teams are willing to anounce verball commits from a 14 y/o, I believe that more would of transpired if Gropp was serious about going the college route. I could not find any reference for the age req. As an example, Jonathan Toews played as a 17 y/o in 2005-2006 season for UND(then again Gropp is a Sept bday...)

to anon 8:00
what you said is a GREAT example of what I have a problem with. Lets blame Farwell for the bad drafts picks, but if they pan out to be decent propects, its to theses individuals credits. Farwell can't trade for his asset cuz Pickard stayed with the team. But when Noebels gets loaned for 3 months to Portland and the tbirds get 2 1st rnd draft picks (one of them who is signed) and a played that will play 3 years top good top 9 minutes, that's small change.

Anonymous said...

Roll over the doormats next week? Lol! You do know the TBIRDS are 3-22 in the past 25! Who is the doormats?

Anonymous said...

Marc S.,
You are right loosing control over your own destiny and being 3-22 in your last 25 is certainly not anything to get worried about.

At least it isn't for this franchise and that is precisely why they have been loosers for the last several years. It is really no big deal...."we have 16 games left boys and we can flip that switch anytime we want to"

I am confident that that kind of attitude would not be tolerated in the majority of the franchises around the league.

That in a nutshell is a MAJOR difference between having a winning and loosing franchise. Mindset, winning begets winning and loosing (whcih seems to be tolerated here) begets loosing.

Anonymous said...

http://www.seattlethunderbirds.com/page/bantam-draft

I'm sorry, but it's impossble to give credit for Farwell drafting top prospects when his record in the first 3 rounds is so hideous. A laundry list of players who don't make the team, are busts, or guys who just never made the team. Give a monkey a dartboard and I'm sure he too will land a top prospect or two.

Mr Tell13 said...

oh please, if you think that the hockey personnel on this team enjoy losing any more than other teams in this league, you are out of your mind.

but that make me take another tangent in this discussion.
If it is intolerable to lose, to what extend do you go to win? Do you bend or break the league rules to get to your goal?
if the choice would be to get to a league final or barely making the playoff, is it worth it to cheat....sorry bend the league regulations?

side note: Of course I think of the Portland situation, one of the things that really make me laugh about the whole thing is that the Portland brass was providing theses "perks" to players on a "financial need basis". Knowing that for example this year they have in their lineup the son of a futur NHL HOF and the son of a former NBA player (now assistant coach) make you wonder about their definition of financial need...

Marc S said...

Vancouver has 4 road wins all year, I don't think it is too much to expect the T-birds to beat them twice, especially considering that Vancouver plays 5 games next week so they might be getting a bit weary.

I'm just saying it is too early to be worried about being in control of destiny. The T-birds play 11 of their final 16 at home where they play much better (11-12-3 vs 8-20-1-1). PG by the way has more road games than home games (7 and 10) left and is 12-13-2-2 at home vs 5-17-04 on the road. I'd say the numbers look pretty good for the T-birds.

Anonymous said...

never said they enjoy loosing...i did say it is tolerated here...big difference....let's put not words in ones mouth

Anonymous said...

They did replace the entire scouting this past offseason it's a start in the right direction. This team is not good is there really a need to sound off every thread after a loss. It's rough to watch but nothing anyone can do about it. Typing a response on a blog isn't going to teach Theodore how to play defense, or any forward to lift the puck on a shot. Yes those of us that go every game have run out of patience but it takes time to rebuild a franchise after the mistakes they have made

Mr Tell13 said...

again please. Lets not play semantics games here. You think that Russ Farwell as a GM (who won the mem cup and worked in the NHL) is perfectly fine with a team that is not making the playoff 4 years in a row. And that it does not bother him to see his team lose. You think guys like Brian Burke, Bob Gainey and Mike Millbury "tolerates" more loosing than other GM's in the NHL? You think he "tolerates" more loosing than Lorne Molleken in Saskatoon?
Just because you don't see Farwell on the top of the Showare throwing chairs and screaming does not mean he tolerates it any less than lets say Johnston in Portland.
Does being the part-owner and president of the team gives him more leeway than other GM would enjoy? of course.

Anonymous said...

Hence the reason why I dub him 'the great incapable one'. It's not about what he does or does not tolerate, or what he tries to do. It's the simple fact that at the end of the day he can not. Things are alot simpler when you break down life on a pass/fail basis, and no one makes it easier than Russ.

Anonymous said...

Went to a game in Seattle (Spokane vs. Seattle), hundreds of fans were yelling Spokane "sucks" when Spokane was kicking their ass. Then, they were yelling at Spokane's goalie, that he "sucks" when the Tbirds were getting hammered.
I guess they are either clueless, or high on alcohol. (or both)

Anonymous said...

Maybe they should have chanted go chiefs go because most fans prefer to be accommodating in hopes of not offending away teams fans. I have never heard anyone yell Seattle sucks in any arena I have ever been to. So if a few of our fans are having some fun in a bad game I will correct them to be more polite. I may even buy a tips and hawks sweater just to make our rivalry more friendly.

Anonymous said...

Russ won the Memorial Cup in what year??? The reason he is no longer working in the NHL is????.....This is 2013 not the '90s...Heck Tyronne Willinghame actually was coach of the year once...

Time has passed Russ by...it happens to most coaches and GM's

Dean said...

@Mr. Tell...I don't question Russ's indifference to losing. I do question Russ's current hockey knowledge due to lack of the team's improvement over the past several years. I question his concern about the organization and the fan base because the team is continuing to rebuild year after year. Russ, like other T-Bird fans, probably hates to lose...probably more so for Russ. Eventually, Russ has to understand that he may be part of the problem.

With that, I'm thankful for Russ. Keeping the team in Seattle. My boys, growing up outside of my native FTW, has grown..check that...become HUGE hockey fans thanks to the Thunderbirds. I will enjoy that.

Mr Tell13 said...

@Dean
I get that some people do not question Farwell's will to win and just his capacity (or knowledge) as a GM in the WHL. But let's look at that objectively. Again, I don't think anyone would argue that bad picks were made in the draft a few yaer in a row. If you look at the 2010 year draft (after they retooled in staff if I am not mistaken), the tbirds picks currently have 332 WHL games played. If you look at the picks for Portland, they played 339 games. I think it compares pretty well. Did not do it for the 2011 draft as the sample size gets much smaller and I think a few guys from that year are going to play next year. (and for the sake of disclosure, I did not count the games played by Smith or Sheen, since they were listed or came here by the way of trade)
Of course the draft is dependent on if they manage to sign players and such and their performance or developement, but I think that theses factors fall also on the player's shoulder. (but they do matter)
Euro draft I think has shown good results since after the Senturyn pick. (people would argue about Sutter, but that is another lenghty discussion I feel very strongly about). In any case, you can't say that the scoring return of Delnov, Lipsberg and the trade return from the Noebels trade is anything short of spectacular. (I would pick Lippy over Bjokstrand anyday)
Trade wise, he has been pretty decent (IMO). Sheen for Doty was awsome. I think that he gets more flack for the non-moves. But at that point, its all speculative. Unless someone is showing me a definite trade for Calvin (or Hickey, or Dillon) that Farwell refused, i'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
Also, I think he believe he should run things a certain way. What I mean is that he will play it straight and not go over the rules to get to his goal. He does seem to have a sense of loyalty to his players (keeping Alos in the organisation as a trainer is an example). I can appreciate that.
Does that bring in more wins? or more chanmpionship? Nope, but it does not mean it does not matters.

Anonymous said...

Russ is that you?
)

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