Obviously if you’re Brian Murray, you hope that Cowen is the next Myers and that all the weirdness around his last few years is going to wear off.
There’s so much fan hate on all the sites for Cowen (and Greening) but you’ve also got to remember this guy is still finding his groove and is doing it playing top minutes most nights. He never had the normal transition into the top 2 or top 4 that most defenceman would benefit from. He’s often compared to Wiercoch or Ceci who are being eased into their roles and despite his road bumps, he still has potential. He’s played many years of hockey and was scouted by Ottawa and many other teams, so at one point of his career he was playing good hockey. He also had a hip injury and you can see by his lateral movement that this has affected him. Some players will bounce back from something like this and others can’t, just how our bodies work.
If you were to invest in a player like this with draft picks and a contract, based on what you saw before his injury, you’d continue to ride it out for a while to see if he gets his groove back and this is what it seems like Murray is doing. They put huge expectations on him this year, after a big injury and obviously this looks bad in hindsight but you can’t just give up on a guy that you’ve invested this much into.
Greening takes a lot of flak for his play because he has a big body that he doesn’t always use and a "HUGE" contract in the eyes of Sens fans. Management took another gamble here and hoped that he would become a good line 2/3 winger and he looks more like a line 3/4 winger in the long run of things. Now he may not be worth it for a rebuilding team like Ottawa, but this is the type of depth forward that Cup teams need. His contract really isn’t that bad for a line 3/4 winger, and he was paid a bit more because of some streaks of potential that he has shown. In my eyes, when he was signed, they saw him as around a Dustin Penner type of player with the potential to do more but now we’re seeing that he may not have it. However, his contract is short and it’s a risk you have to take when trying to build a team with the cards you have in your hand.
It’s also another situation where the return from trading/demoting him is likely less than keeping him for now and trying to have him figure out his role. People keep saying they should call up prospects in his place, but there’s no point in bringing up a goal scorer and having him play bottom 6 minutes when he can keep finding his offensive stride in the minors.
Fans have this perception that you can just trade/demote these guys and suddenly call up new players or acquire new guys and all the problems will be solved. This isn’tNHL 09 (Trademark:EA Sports) and you can’t just add/dump guys until your team is stacked. You have to manage the assets that your scouts have scouted, you have drafted and you have signed to contracts. Some will win big and some will not, but you have to take risks in projecting the value of players and sign them relative to these projections.