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Performance Review

Here's the theory. Every job I have ever had in my life, I had a performance review once a year. Now, I have never had a job in which I had a contract, but I would guess the concept still applies, no? While there is no place for a merit raise when there is a contract in place, performance must be measured.

WRT over at Hitting the Post brings up a good point today. The Wild have put up their season ticket holder renewal site. He asks the question, what have the Wild done to deserve the season ticket holders continued loyalty? While I deplore the idea of stealing the idea of one of my blogger brethren, I am going to take WRT's post a step further, since I am smart enough to know something is not right, but not quite smart enough to tell you how to fix it.

So, I will pose a few questions. Pretend for a moment I am Mr. Leipold, and you are Mr. Risebrough. I will ask a question or make a statement, I want you to either defend the current situation, or tell me how you plan to improve the situation.

Good luck. Your job is riding on it.

First off, Doug, we had a unique chance to sign the only star this team has ever had. You made comments that you wanted the situation resolved before the season, but it moved into the season and blew up completely. We now risk losing Gaborik for absolutely nothing. Explain to me the situation and what you intend to do about it.

(Pause for answer)

OK, now we will move on to past performances. I watched from Nashville as you let free agent after free agent walk away. Andrew Brunette, Brian Rolston, Pavol Demitra, the list goes on and on. I am curious if you actually have the negotiation skills needed to land the free agents we need to field a competitive team. I will be blunt. Are you capable of dealing with free agent negotiations, or should I bring in someone else to handle this aspect for you?

(pause again for answer)

In the early years, I read your plan for this franchise. I was impressed. You kept expectations low, even after the remarkable run in your first playoffs. You kept telling the fans, there is a plan. Slow building, development from within, leading to a franchise that will be competitive year after year. However, the expectations have grown, and the development of the franchise from within has fallen flat. Botched draft picks, developmental challenges for the picks that have worked out, floundering development for those on the borderline.

I guess what I am asking here, Doug, is this. What exactly is the plan right now? The Aeros are not producing players that can help us, and as discussed earlier, you are not great with free agents. Where does the talent come from next year?

(*Nervously tapping foot* pause for answer)

I appreciate the amount of money that this franchise is going to make me this season. We are doing well with merchandise sales, and we still are selling out every game. I am, however, worried about the idea to freeze season ticket holder pricing to this year's level. After all, was it based on the economic situation, or the fact that our team has not improved?

(*gritting teeth*)

I will sum up, Doug, as my frustration is growing and about to show. We are about to play game 51 tonight (against my old team no less). That leaves 30 games and just under two months before the regular season ends. You have exactly 25 days until the trade deadline. There has been no movement on Backstrom, no movement on Gaborik, and no real movement of any kind. We are barely clinging to a playoff spot.

So, Doug. Are we buyers or sellers right now? Do you have a plan, and if so, what is it? The team is not as good as it should be. Regardless of your math lesson at the all-star break with goals for down, but goals against down even more, the team is struggling, and the fans are not stupid enough to be duped.

I need something, anything to give to them. What can I tell them you are doing to justify them spending what little money they have left over on this team?

(final pause for an answer)

Oh, one final thing. Did you get the site up so they can give us their money again? You did? Good. At least that's done.