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Candidacy 2007: Dave Taylor

Monday, May 07, 2007
This is Mikey with your You Don't Know Jack for May 7, 2007 (and yes, I am so ripping Cookie off by using that phrase to introduce today's post):

So, yeah. Not every YDKJ-related post will have just a Dis or Dat. In fact, at least once a week, the YDKJ website instead comes up with a full mini-game with seven questions (Dis or Dat included in the questions). Always expect them on Monday.

Now, on the topic of hockey, let's talk general managers. Before my hiatus, I'd taken the opportunity to touch on some of the concerns, as well as questions, I had when it came to the feasibility of Assistant/Interim GM Jim Clark taking on permanent GM status for the Blue Jackets, and to an extent the similar concerns attached to Don Boyd taking over as the GM. In essence, my concern was that with either Clark or Boyd at the top of the hockey operations food chain in Columbus, we'd simply see more of the same when it comes to decisions made for the team. After all, Boyd has been with the Jackets' since the very beginning (and that means he had been working under Doug MacLean for that whole period of time), and Clark had been in and around NHL teams at the same time as MacLean had been with those teams (the Red Wings and the Panthers) since at least the mid-90s. To me, this raises some serious red flags about whether or not Clark has "learned" too much from MacLean.

Regardless of what Stan Fischler might say, the world isn't going to end if Clark isn't given the GM position. The end.

Now, what about candidates outside of the Blue Jackets' organization? Well, one name that I see almost religiously popping up in The Columbus Dispatch and other media outlets has been Dave Taylor, former GM of the Los Angeles Kings. Currently, Taylor heads up amateur development for the Kings, so it isn't like he's been out of the game since he was dismissed as GM of the Kings in 2006 (and since that's so recent, would it really have been long enough to say he's rusty at wheeling and dealing and managing a team?).

"He's a man with vast experience and an impeccable reputation." Writes Michael Arace in his most recent article that covers several of the potential candidates. "His work ethic is legendary."

But hold on; while Taylor certainly has a respectable list of credentials as both a respected and retired hockey player and as someone who was at the helm of the Kings during their several most recent playoff berths, I have some concerns about what I've seen so far when it pertains to him. In particular, his more recent record as general manager of the Kings prior to dismissal.

In his ten years as general manager of the Kings, Taylor went 5 for 10 when it comes to making the playoffs. That's all well and good, but I'm worried about the fact that 3 out of those 5 years that he didn't make the playoffs were during his final years as GM. What, exactly, happened in those three years that Taylor was incapable of righting?

On the other hand, with the Blue Jackets' going ahead with this whole "youth movement" thing, Taylor's experience as an amateur development director could prove to be beneficial. If he wasn't capable of handling younger players or properly gauging their skills and abilities both before calling them up to the NHL and also while they're with the team, he wouldn't be the Kings' head of amateur development, right?

I've tried doing some digging in to Taylor on Google, but alas, with such a common name, even specifying my searches leads to very little outside of a meager Wikipedia article. So what about any Kings' fans out there that may be reading this post? Any thoughts or feelings on Taylor during his time as the Kings' GM? Maybe clarify some of the mistakes he made which led to his dismissal and the team's three-year playoff drought near the end of his time?

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About Me

Name: Michael
Home: San Tan Valley, Arizona, United States
About Me: A mid-20s male who feels much too old even before he's 30. Has a degree in Sport Management and after branching out and trying a few other things in the job market, has finally decided to go back to his first love of hockey and hope he can break in with a team, big or small, somehow.
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