Posts Tagged ‘Rebuild’

Fear not, fans of the winless Arizona Coyotes: The desert club is simply adjusting to a new approach that will eventually lead to long-term success, according to general manager John Chayka.

“Could we have more points playing a different style if we trapped it up, slowed it down, and just played safe? Yeah, maybe, but we’re not going to reach that threshold of where we want to get by playing that way,” Chayka told Craig Morgan of Arizona Sports on Monday. “This is the way we’re going to reach it and there’s an adjustment period. We’re going through it.”

To say it has been tough sledding for the Coyotes in the early going of the season would be an understatement. Through six games, Arizona has failed to record a win – the lone NHL team to do so – and picked up just one of a possible 12 points.

The team’s most recent defeat came Tuesday, as the Coyotes fell 3-1 to the Dallas Stars. But there was at least one bright spot – rookie netminder Adin Hill turned aside 31 shots in the loss.

The 21-year-old was recalled Monday and stepped in for a struggling Louis Domingue as starter Antti Raanta remains sidelined with a lower-body injury. The Coyotes acquired Raanta from the New York Rangers in an offseason deal, but injury concerns have limited him to just five periods of on-ice action.

“Adin Hill was solid,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet told reporters Tuesday. You’re just looking for somebody to make a play and score a goal. Guys worked hard, just couldn’t score.”

Tocchet joined the Coyotes this offseason following back-to-back Stanley Cups as an assistant with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and is looking to implement a similar playing style with his new club.

Arizona’s next chance to deliver its first win of the season comes Thursday in a rematch with the Stars.

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Derek Jeter and new controlling owner Bruce Sherman spoke publicly during a press conference for the first time on Tuesday after their group’s $1.2-billion purchase of the Miami Marlins.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports the former New York Yankees shortstop revealed the team may be in line for a shake-up.

Said Jeter: “Moving forward there will be at times unpopular decisions,” made for the “betterment” of the franchise.

Jeter acknowledged he didn’t like the term “tear down,” but did mention the possibility of a rebuild.

“Some things you keep private. We will sit down with me and (president of baseball operations) Mike Hill and his staff. We do have to rebuild the organization. It starts with player development and scouting. We will build it from top down and bottom up,” he explained.

One certain topic of discussion will be the future of home run king Giancarlo Stanton in Miami. Earlier this week, Stanton said he didn’t want to be involved in a rebuild.

“I don’t want to rebuild,” Stanton said Friday, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. “I’ve lost for seven years.”

When asked about Stanton’s future with the Marlins, Jeter was discreet.

“Unbelievable season. I don’t know him well. I haven’t spoken to the players. I haven’t spoken to him. Anything we’re going to do moving forward with the organization, I will discuss with Mike Hill.”

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Giancarlo Stanton‘s sensational season has overshadowed the murky future of the Miami Marlins – the debt-riddled franchise set to be sold to a group helmed by Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman – but the 27-year-old reportedly won’t sit idly by if his team’s new owners opt for a full-on rebuild.

Having never made the playoffs – or even played on a winning team – in eight seasons with the Marlins, Stanton is ready to go if the Marlins’ new baseball operations department decides to dismantle the current roster and plan for the future, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

“I don’t want to rebuild,” Stanton said Friday following his club’s 6-5 victory over the Atlanta Braves. “I’ve lost for seven years.”

It’s unlikely, though, that the losing stops anytime soon. Saddled with $400 million in debt, the Marlins’ new owners probably aren’t inclined to dish out big money on marquee free agents in the near future, and the financial quagmire they inherited may necessitate a rebuild, frankly, as Sherman and his partners can alleviate their financial burden by unloading some future liabilities.

“I’m sick of the negativity,” Stanton admitted. “Anything positive I’ve done, there’s still negativity. I’m doing this … but the owner’s doing that. I’m doing this, but the team’s doing that.”

If the Marlins opt for that route, Stanton – who has yet to meet with Jeter and Sherman – has no immediate recourse other than requesting a trade (he can’t opt out of his 13-year, $325-million contract until after the 2020 campaign). There will be plenty of suitors, no doubt, should the time come, as a host of teams reportedly expressed interest in Stanton both before and after this year’s non-waiver trade deadline, including the New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, and Philadelphia Phillies.

To his credit, Stanton has done wonders for his trade value this year. Heading into the penultimate game of the season, the four-time All-Star leads the majors with 59 homers – he’s the first player to hit that many since 2001 – and boasts a career-best 7.0 WAR and 1.014 OPS (167 OPS+) in 157 contests.

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Despite missing the playoffs in three of the last five seasons, the Philadelphia Flyers are not in rebuild mode – if you ask general manager Ron Hextall, anyway.

Yes, the Flyers did pick with the second overall selection in this year’s draft, but that was mostly due to a stroke of good luck, as the Flyers were a competitive team that finished only seven points short of the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. A result that Hextall feels is a strong indication of the direction his club is going.

“You’re not rebuilding when you’re competitive,” Hextall said, according to Sam Carchidi of Philly.com. “A rebuild, to me, is when you go to the bottom and you pick high, high, high – and essentially, you’re not trying that hard to win. That’s not in our DNA. We want to win. We want to win as many games as possible.”

“We’re not going to go to the bottom of the league and pick first overall for four or five years. That’s no way to build culture. Our vision was to stay competitive, and build, and get younger – and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

Landing Nolan Patrick with the second overall pick obviously goes a long way to ensuring that vision come to fruition, but, Hextall realizes that at the end of the day, execution on the ice is all that matters.

“I can sit here and tell you 85 points, 105 points, but it really doesn’t mean anything,” said Hextall. “What’s (important) is when our team starts the season and we go do it. Do we expect to make the playoffs? Of course we expect to make the playoffs.”

” … I’m comfortable saying we expect to make the playoffs because our team on paper is good enough to make the playoffs.”

The Flyers drop the puck on their 2017-18 season Oct. 4 in San Jose.

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The Dallas Mavericks may be entering a full-on rebuild, but the franchise likely would’ve treated this year’s offseason much differently had it been in the Eastern Conference, according to team owner Mark Cuban.

“We’re rebuilding, and there’s no question about it,” Cuban told ESPN during Sunday’s summer league game. “If we were in the East, we would not be rebuilding. We’d be handling things completely different.”

After whiffing on several big-name free agents in recent years, the Mavericks have taken a less aggressive approach this offseason, with longtime power forward Dirk Nowitzki serving as the team’s lone free-agent signing.

“I think I’m going to kidnap Adam Silver and not let him out until he moves us to the Eastern Conference,” Cuban joked. “Given where we are, given where the Warriors are, and what’s happening in the Western Conference, it kind of sealed what we have to do.”

Cuban hasn’t been afraid to share his thoughts on the imbalance in the two conferences, recently suggesting that the league should consider tweaking the current playoff format to help solve the disparity.

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Ron Hextall doesn’t want to use the R-word.

The Philadelphia Flyers general manager admitted to the Courier-Post’s Dave Isaac on Saturday that his club is “methodically getting younger,” but refused to classify it as rebuilding.

“Yeah, we’re getting younger. A rebuild, absolutely not,” Hextall said from the NHL Draft in Chicago.

After taking Nolan Patrick second overall Friday night, the Flyers traded 25-goal scorer Brayden Schenn to the St. Louis Blues for Jori Lehtera and a pair of picks, using the 2017 selection on center Morgan Frost at No. 27.

The Flyers had the 11th-youngest roster in the league this past season at 27.006 years of age, according to NHL Numbers, and they’ll once again be complementing their veteran core with a bit of a youth movement next season.

“We have young players,” Hextall said Saturday. “At some point here we have to open up opportunity. We’ll let them play when we feel they’re ready to play. Unlike what people think about our philosophy, we do not want to hold players back. When they’re ready to take that next step we’ll allow them to take that next step. In saying that, we feel like we’ve got some young players who, if they’re not ready they’re close.”

Travis Konecny showed flashes of skill in his rookie season, and the 2017-18 Flyers will also likely feature 23-year-old college free-agent signing Michael Vecchione as well as 19-year-old defenseman Ivan Provorov and 23-year-old blue-liner Shayne Gostisbehere.

The biggest concern for Philadelphia, though, will be compensating for the loss of Schenn’s offense. Patrick should be able to contribute relatively soon, but head coach Dave Hakstol said the top prospect’s teammates might have to raise their games, too.

“It’s a lot (to make up), but I think that’s where some of it has to come from,” Hakstol said. “Some of the quality minutes that Brayden Schenn has been in, not necessarily all, some of those minutes could go to young players. Not only a couple guys that may be new to the roster this year but a guy like Travis Konecny, guys like that that can benefit from more minutes in more situations.”

Call it a rebuild, a refresh, or whatever R-word is more applicable, but only Wayne Simmonds scored more goals for Philadelphia than Schenn did in 2016-17, so the Flyers are going to need to match that lost production somehow.

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Gerrit Cole may want to hold off on searching for housing outside the Pittsburgh metropolitan area.

Sources close to the club told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that the Pirates, despite sitting seven games under .500 after play Sunday, are not intent on beginning a rebuild this summer. That line of thinking would make a midseason trade of Cole “unlikely” to happen, reports Rosenthal.

This report would appear to fall in line with the words of general manager Neal Huntington earlier this season. Huntington responded to speculation about a Cole trade in May by stating that he plans for the 26-year-old to “be a Pirate for a while.”

A Cole deal this summer could potentially net the Pirates some significant prospects in return and kick-start a full-scale rebuild, while also opening the door for more of the team’s promising young arms to join the rotation. However, trading him now would also mean the small-market club – whose current payroll of $104,098,424 ranks 23rd in the league, per Spotrac.com – would be surrendering two full seasons of control over the player, and the Pirates may not be ready to do that just yet.

Cole has another two seasons of arbitration eligibility before hitting free agency, and is making just $3.75 million this year.

Cole emerged as a potential trade candidate after he began 2017 looking more like his old All-Star self instead of last year’s injury-plagued disappointment. But he’s been mired in a rough patch of late, owning an 8.20 ERA while allowing eight home runs over his last five outings; opponents have hit him at a .356 clip over that stretch, and his season ERA has risen by nearly two runs.

Still, he showed signs of coming out of the funk in his most recent outing on June 13, when he allowed just a run on three hits in seven innings against the red-hot Rockies, albeit while pitching on seven days’ rest.

The MLB-leading Houston Astros have already been connected to Cole this season.