...and here is why:
1) "missed the mark" - on the contrary...couldn't have hit it on the head better considering the circumstances. The pieces were put in place, in one off-season, to take the worst team the CHL to a consistently competitive team that has a great chance of making the playoffs in the hardest Conference to play in, in the CHL...IMO. That, in itself, is amazing...and deserves a lot of credit.
2) "marketable players" - 20 year olds are not "really marketable" in this league unless they are Eakin's or Schenn calibre players. You are lucky, and thankful, to get mid range picks for them...and they did in this case. Acolatse has gone on to have his best season in his carreer here...good for him ... good for us...we needed it to allow the younger Gibb, Forsberg, and even Marincin to develop without the pressure of having to be "perfect" against the other teams best players.
Marincin is not trade bait...he's a rookie that will be back as a dominating 19 year old.
Connolly is not trade bait with the average year he had. His stock will raise incredibly when he returns as a dominating 19 year old. His stock will stay where it is otherwise...no loss in keeping him.
Inglis will be back as another dominating 19
Should an organization build up around a CHL rookie of the year for his (probable) last year? Why not? After making significant strides this year...next year should be incredible with the most valuable core of this team completely intact for next season. The great group of 16's and 17's that will be coming in will be on a competitive team that should have a lot of success next year...that should help them succeed for the next 3 and 4 seasons of their carreer here. A true re-building cycle has actually been followed here for the very first time and the peak years are next year and, quite possibly the year after (around Forsberg and Bourke and the new 17's and 18's)
Who are the other "really marketable players"? Buonassissi? Why would you get rid of another player that will probably dominate as a 19?...he will be worth far more next year if you trade him.
3) "What good is it to make the playoffs" at this stage? - It is at this stage that I am going to relly question your hockey knowledge. Look at EVERY "dynasty" in recent history in this league.
Kelowna got their core smacked around in the playoffs THEN went deep, THEN went to the Mem. Cup.
Then the Giants had very small playoff success, then more success, then the Memorial Cup. You HAVE to start somewhere getting experience in the REAL season and if the next two years are potential peaks...you MUST get SOME experience in the playoffs now.
The Blades were out in the first round last year...HUGE collapse right? Do you think that will happen again this year? (Well it is a Brodsky owned team...but that is another topic
How bad was Portland and for how long before last and this year? Same question for Spokane and Tri-cities. They were bad teams for a long time. Then they had a brief appearance in the playoffs, THEN they started hitting "home runs".
Sorry but I think "the beav???" has really missed the mark on this one.