What I'd Give to see Tillman and the Riders Management NOW!

I would ask them what the hell is wrong with these guys?

why they were unable to save at least one of them!!

they're pathetic attempts to keep players like Lloyd and McKenzie has frustrated me to no ends!!

We will be fine, a couple weeks ago you were trying to be all buddy buddy and now you call their attempts pathetic.

It's what he does...

I love how these armchair GMs seem to think they know better how to run a football organization...like to see how they handle it themselves for a month on the job...

A year ago no one knew who Anton McKenzie was....and no one cared because Reggie Hunt was gone and life as we knew it had ended.

Next year it'll be someone else. You want to feel bad - go look at what Wally had to do in BC.

Artie-Lange,

How right you are. A few years back the team was going to tube because we lost Jackie Mitchel; then it was because we lost Reggie Hunt; now it is because we have lost Mo and Anton. Maybe it is about time we concentrated on what we HAVE vice what we lost.

This is something new to us - it's been a long time since we've had players that were good enough to garner attention as top free agents. And as long as we're good, this will continue to happen - we'll lose good players every year, because weaker teams will pay more than we will to get them.

While it is important to keep as many of your own good players as you can, the true key to being successful long term is being good at replacing those guys that move along. You look at the best teams in any sport, the ingredients are similar - you build from within, you have a small number of must-keep players, and never over-pay the rest, trusting instead your ability to replace from within, and lastly, your forays into the free agent market are very selective.

It's extremely hard to buy a championship team.

My question then Artie is, if Mo was not a "must keep player" then is it possible to ever actually have such a creature?

I have to agree with Arius, what exactly describes a must keep player in Saskatchewan? I agree we've lost players in the past that made sense later, but c'mon, what exactly was the reasoning behind Mo? I would at least feel better if some sort of explanation came forward from the office, but when nothing comes out, it almost appears that they have all went on vacation and don't even know themselves. I mean, say something, not "we had it verbal, but not on paper".

Without out an explantion, the armchair GM's have nothing else to do but speculate and wonder. And I'm not happy about it.....

I would respectfully suggest that in a league such as this, no player appears to be a must-keep, and I don't necessarily see that as a bad thing.

Look what happened a while back, when guys like Hunt were sent packing...cries of "wtf" resounded over many different message boards...Riders got along fine, and found an adequate replacement. Now it's time to replace Lloyd...it's just the way things go sometimes.

I think there are, Arius, but they are truly rare. Look at the Red Wings - besides Lidstrom (and Yzerman back in the day) - no one else is deemed too important to let go. For every Federov and Kozlov and Shanahan that are allowed to leave, a Datsyuk, Franzen and Zetterberg come in. Look at the Patriots - who do they have that is untouchable? Ty Law, Lawyer Milloy....all those receivers that left after the one Super Bowl...they just carried on with new ones. Brady may be one such guy, but that's about it.

As for Lloyd - he's a good MLB. He's not the best in the League, in my opinion, but that's an open debate. What's not a debate is that he's far from the best of a generation, or otherwise unreplaceable. James West, Greg Battle, Barrin Simpson and countless others moved on as free agents, and they were all the Mo Lloyd's of their day.

If the Riders had no one behind Lloyd - maybe you pay what the market demands. But, if you're in the echelon of those good teams, you don't put yourself in that situation - you set your value, and make your case. If that doesn't fly, you move on and plug in the next guy, who you should have pretty much ready to go. By the Riders taking the position they did on Lloyd, I assume they feel they have a suitable guy ready to go in Rey Williams. Now the key is to go and find his replacement, which we'll probably need in a couple of years, because some horrible team will likely offer him an obscene amount of money to leave.

Regarding Mo, look where he went! Mo went because Richie Hall is there! Mo might have stayed if Richie was still here.

Well, by that logic, Anton went to BC because of Shivers. What should we have done there?

And besides, Richie left to pursue another opportunity - he wasn't fired.

Look, people, if we're going to be any good as a franchise, we'll need to get used to losing parts to weaker teams along the way. That's why you're good - what you've got is better than what others have. And, alot of the time those others choose to try and get better by taking what you have. At one point, Edmonton's QB depth chart read Matt Dunigan, Damon Allen, Tracy Ham. Guess what? They didn't keep all of them, and they didn't lose the players from the bottom end first. The top guy went, and they filled in for him from the next guy.

For as long as we are good, we will lose good players. There doesn't need to be this collective hand-wringing every time it happens, as long as those in charge have done their job, there will be a quality replacement ready to step in. As I mentioned in another post, there really aren't, in my mind, that many "must-keep" players. This "we have to keep anyone who's any good at any price" mentality stems from the bad old days, when we couldn't develop anyone, and we had Stew Fraser serve as a slotback/ punt returner for a dozen years, despite the fact that he was about 5'8" and slower than erosion. We'd love to keep our best players, but we won't - that's what happens when you're good. And the answer is not to take someone else's free agents at top dollar, it's getting the next guy into the organization before we need him. That should be our bigger concern.

And, along the way, some will play here not for the most money, but the opportunity to play for a winner. I remember a line from one of those "dynasty coaches" - I can't remember if it was Bellichek, or Parcells, or maybe even Scotty Bowman, but it was a statement to the effect that if a player is playing for my team because I'm paying him the most money, I don't want him. I remembered that longer than I have the person who spoke it, and looking back on some of the most successful organizations in sports in the last 20 years, it seems to hold.

Actually, it is interesting you bring up the RedWings as an example. I see us right now more as the Edmonton Oilers. The Red Wings, as arguably the most successful franchise in the NHL at this time, actually strongly adhere to the "must keep " principle. Year after year they do in fact keep the core together. They kept guys like Shanahan and Federov until they had been surpassed by others. And now key guys like Lidstrom, Zetterburg and Datsuk are all under long term contracts making huge salaries. They have in fact always stepped up and paid the key guys market value. And they always had the largest payroll in the NHL.

As for Mo, I believe he is the best linebacker in the league right now. And at age 26, his best years are all in front of him. He may well be that once in a generation linebacker you are talking about. And we do not have the "next guy" ready to go. Linebacking was the strength of the defence last year. And defence was the strength of the team. Now, it is conceivable that linebacking will be the greatest weakness on the team. The reality is, we simply have no idea if we will be good at that critical area. On paper, right now, we are not.

Arius, that's not quite true with the Wings. Yes, they keep their nucleus together, but not because they outbid everyone for their guys. Players want to play there, and often accept less to go (or stay) there. Hossa passed up more money in Pittsburgh to play there. They pay good money, but rarely get into a bidding war. The one time in recent memory that they did was the Group II offer they matched for Fedorov as a 29 year old (before he left via unrestricted free agency) and as an organization they now regard that move as a mistake.

There was a recent kerfuffle in NHLPA circles because Zetterberg just re-upped for a long term deal at what many consider below market dollars, just months prior to him becoming an unrestricted FA. Many agents and thought his new deal as a free agent would be a trend-setting deal, as it would establish the comparison line for top-tier forwards, and he chose to forego that and take Detroit's offer.

I think Detroit is alot farther along than we are, and as such have greater success keeping guys - not because they outbid everyone.

As for our situation, I posted on the general forum that we're where we were a year ago - we've got two LB's in place, and need the Will. Last year they had Anton in the wings, and as such let Hunt go. I expect that they have a player they expect will play well there, even if we don't know of him yet.

The sky is falling !!!!!

Just thought I'd briefly mention the Pats. In the NFL, with massive amounts of money to toss around, when you get a 6th round draft pick like Brady to become your number one QB, that has long term benefits to the salary structure of the team. Even though he eventually did receive the coin he deserved, because of the ability of teams to front load and back load and play games, the two or three years where they saved large dollars at the QB position, undoubtably trickled down to the overall success of the team. Just like the Riders right now, paying far less for qBs than any other team, it allows us to be more competitive at other positions. There are studies in the NFL that show a team is actually better off trading away top draft picks and signing free agents exactly, in part, because of the benefits as the Pats accidently gained from Brady's success. But sooner or later, you need to pay your top players as if they are top players.

My question is why did we not get one of these guys?It can't be cap room.Come on what marquee player do we have?Tell me who on this team makes big enough money to cause problems with cap room.If a guy is not worth the money we release them( I agree with Dominguez cut Too many injuries,but was resigned this time last year so what ever) But back to my question.Why can we not go after any of these guys.Look at Edmonton,big money QB but they can sign all these guys.Hamilton Sh@t the just do nothin but spen money and opps look the got room to be signin lots.Just wanna know what is with Riders.

I can see why you might make the comparison, but the difference is that the Oilers make a conscious choice to stay in the lower regions of the cap range (since there was a cap), and by economics were forced to stay cheap when there was no cap. Hence they develop talent, and then choose not to use cap room to keep them. That's a business model decision (whether voluntary or out of necessity - it amounts to the same thing).

The Riders don't do that. We were way over the cap in '06 (albeit for a variety of reasons), we were a little over the cap in '07, and it is inconceivable given the injuries of last year that were were under by anything material in 08, and there has been no talk of operating at a self-mandated amount under the cap for '09 and beyond. So it is not a case of not spending the money, it is an allocation choice - the money is being spent, we're just paying the money to other players. In Edmonton, they simply don't spend the money.

There's a vast difference.

Well, Hamilton probably has cap room from 07 and 08 carried over, and will shake about $400,000 loose when they ditch Printers, and another $100,000+ if they lose Lumsden. Who did they sign that was such a big deal?

As for Edmonton, they've already shed salary, and will undoubtedly shed more if needed. Look at their LBs and secondary - other than Mo Lloyd, they've got none....ZERO established CFL'ers. Shannon Garrett is 76 years old, and probably done. Scott Gordon - I watched him here for years - he's, well, whatever. What else do they have? That's the price Edmonton is paying for their high-priced talent.

Problem is who do we have that stops us from going after anyone.Yes when they ditch printers,that frees up space,but we have no printers,Who is our marquee play that eats up all our room.Don't get me wrong love my team,but we must have some room to get a team leader and keep them.