Monday, March 24, 2014

M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E

So now its down to our final two. Two teams worse than the Thrashers, the Blue Jackets, the Seals, the Oilers, the Islanders. A team that makes the expansion Sens and Pens tank jobs and Chicago's long Wirtz winter look like positively joyful experiences. Awful reminders that no matter how bad you have it someone else can have it worse.

 This was literally almost a coin flip. In the end the difference was the length of one drought compared to the other and the fact that the payoff, as it were, was still a generation away. But honestly you could place these guys at number one and I probably couldn't argue too strongly against it. I almost rewrote this just now I am that unsure myself.

 This team had a run of thirteen seasons in which they had one playoff appearance but even that season they managed to lose more games than they won. They moved TWICE during that period. TWICE! And they finished in the bottom five eleven times including seven times in eight years in a 21 team league.

 Unreal. This is basically impossible

Kansas City Scouts/Colorado Rockies/New Jersey Devils 1974-1987

Length - 13 seasons

Losing Seasons - 13 for 13 (!!)

Bottom Five in the League - 11 

Last Overall - 3

Worst Season - 75/76 12 wins for 36 points, barely beating out the previous year, 13 wins for 36 points

Playoff Appearances - 1

Playoff Wins - 0

Weirdness - Ok where to start. They played two years in Kansas City, two!!, before they pulled the plug. The second season they finished the year 1-35-8.

 Look at those numbers for a second. Still want to complain about your run of tough luck Canucks' fans?

 Once in Colorado they made the playoffs pretty quickly. With a 19-40-21 record. Yep. Of course they were swept.

 In one four year stretch the club had seven coaches and two owners. In 1979/80 future television star Don Cherry, just fired by the Bruins, came to Denver to coach. He lasted one season. In his last game both teams lined up after the game forming an arch with their sticks which he walked through in a cowboy hat and cowboy boots while the crowd cheered.

 After six years the team moved to New Jersey of all places.

 In Jersey they hired Lou Lamoriello in the spring of 1987 after finishing in the bottom five four of the previous five years, a stretch in which Wayne Gretzky, who makes Sid Crosby look like Don Cherry, called the team 'a Mickey Mouse organization'.

*stops typing, suffering from sudden onset of carpel tunnel*

The Good - There is nothing good to say about this franchise during this time.

The Bad - I think their record speaks for itself.

The End Game - Lamoriello came in at a good time, the club had some decent young talent. It took him another eight years but in 1995 the club won a Cup, the first of three it would win in nine seasons. Everybody hated the Devils in those years but they were a top notch franchise, only the Wings had more success in that era.

Why They Aren't Ranked Higher - It was tight, as noted, but their run was shorter than our number one team and their payoff came sooner. A thin line but to me that was the difference.

What We Learned - I don't even know what to say. This franchise was a goddamned disgrace. Any club that would make Wayne Gretzky show that he is an actual human being with real emotions rather than a hockey playing robot built bu John Zeigler to promote the game ... well that says it all.

So I guess that's my takeaway - Wayne Gretzky is human. And also things can always get worse. Indeed in this case there is one more team to go.

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