Nestor caught up with Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz on Monday. It’s been an interesting start with both some highs and lows for Barry in his first month back in the area. If you missed their conversation you can LISTEN HERE.
Posted on 17 November 2014 by WNST Staff
Nestor caught up with Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz on Monday. It’s been an interesting start with both some highs and lows for Barry in his first month back in the area. If you missed their conversation you can LISTEN HERE.
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Posted on 29 April 2014 by Drew Forrester
It feels so good.
After a weekend of web-related issues here at WNST.net and two days of Drew-n0t-having-a-computer, the Morning Dish has returned.
I have a brand new computer, which came with its own version of sticker-shock, so I should be good-to-go for the long haul.
I was guilty of my own Donald Sterling slip-up once — back in the early 1980’s.
A friend of mine somehow entangled himself with a girl who attended Old Mill High School.
He sheepishly said to me, “Do you mind if I’m dating a girl from Old Mill? It won’t affect our friendship will it?”
I said, “No, not at all. Just don’t bring her to any of the games at Glen Burnie and we’ll be fine.”
Speaking of the long haul and my new computer and all that stuff — I’m guessing Donald Sterling of the L.A. Clippers is no longer in it for the long haul.
There’s not much to say or write that hasn’t been said or written already. I’ve listened six times to the audio clip of the conversation he had with his girlfriend that was tape recorded and shared across the country over the weekend and, honestly, I’m still not exactly sure what he was saying to her. He sounded frustrated and confused, sort of like my late, great grandfather at the family picnic.
I don’t think highly of “her”, either, but in this case, his excuse for the whole thing can’t be “I have a maniac for a girlfriend.” He said what he said. Given the opportunity on several times to either correct her or say, “Wait, that’s not what I meant”, he couldn’t or didn’t do it.
Like I said, there’s nothing else to say about the whole thing, really.
Donald Sterling will be ushered out of the league in a fairly expeditious manner and the Clippers will probably be better off for it.
These NHL playoffs – even without the Washington Capitals – have been amazingly good. The Kings were once down 3-0 in their series against the San Jose Sharks. I wrote the words “once down” because they’ve now evened things up at 3-games-apiece after a Game 6 win in L.A.
The Chicago-St. Louis series was phenomenal. The Blackhawks have somehow become my second favorite NHL franchise over the last few years. Maybe it’s the jerseys. It could go back to their win over the Flyers in the Stanley Cup a few years ago. I don’t know why, but I just find myself watching them and rooting for them.
It’s probably the uniforms.
If not for that buffoon Nene getting tossed out of Game 3 in Washington, the Wizards might have swept the Bulls in four games.
That said, despite how well they’ve played to date, this thing is far from a done deal for the Wizards, even with their 3-games-to-1 lead.
Remember, they’re still the Wizards.
They’re the Orioles of the NBA East.
In other words, they’re not used to winning, so when the time comes for them to muscle up and push through, they’re not all that familiar with how to get it done.
I think they’ll figure out a way to get past Chicago now that they’re staked to a 3-1 lead…all I’m saying is don’t buy your second round playoff tickets yet.
Posted on 14 April 2014 by WNST Audio
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Posted on 28 January 2014 by WNST Audio
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Posted on 06 January 2014 by Drew Forrester
Musings from a sports-filled weekend —
A friend of mine sent me a text on Friday morning and asked me to give him the winner of the PGA Tour event in Hawaii. After quizzing him on why he didn’t text me the day before (Thursday is the traditional start day for a pro tournament, but they’re playing this one Friday through Monday), I quickly shot him back the name of the winner: “Take Jordan Spieth” I texted.
Lots of people over the last decade and a half have wondered when the next young gun would come along to challenge the likes of Tiger Woods. A lot of names have surfaced, some have completely fizzled, some have made some money, but none – make that NONE – have come close to being as good as Woods. College golf hotshots come and go like the breeze. These guys – among others – were going to be the guy to challenge Woods: Luke Donald (has as many major titles as you, me and your neighbor’s cat), Troy Matteson (who?), Ryan Moore (nice hat), Jamie Lovemark (still looking for a win) and Rickie Fowler (sharp dresser, can’t win a big one).
But wait…because someone HAS showed up — and he WILL challenge Woods and all of those big wigs on the PGA Tour.
His name is Jordan Spieth.
Win or lose today in Hawaii (he’s tied for the lead through 54 holes), he’s the one “kid” that’s come along who has staying power. He’s an all-world putter, which means he can win on any given week. He drives it like a maniac and stripes his irons. Once he spends an off-season or two learning some short game wizardy like Woods and Phil Mickelson, he’ll be the guy everyone tries to beat well into the next decade.
He’ll finish with more career major titles than Mickelson.
Oh, and I’m opening up my own Fantasy Golf tips business. It’s $2.75 for a “regular event” and $6.50 for a major.
There’s nothing else new to say about Towson football that hasn’t been said already, either on Twitter, Facebook or here, at WNST.net.
Rob Ambrose has turned Towson football into a championship program, despite getting beat in the FCS title game on Saturday, 35-7. That’s it. His first two years, they won three games total. Saturday in Frisco, Texas, they played for the national championship.
They’ll be back…and they’ll win one of those championships.
Two takes from Saturday night’s Caps loss in Minnesota.
Those sweaters the Wild wore were freaking sharp. I need one of those. Holy cow.
Next — the Caps aren’t very good. They need some offense. Big time. They CREATE chances. Chances galore. But they can’t finish them off.
They’ll make the playoffs, but don’t be saving up your money for a cross country trip to Anaheim for the Stanley Cup Finals. Ain’t happenin’, Caps fans.
By the way, Martin Erat of the Caps has one goal in 48 games over two seasons for the Caps.
If I had played in 48 games, even now at the tender age of 50, I’d have two goals.
Florida State gets a visit from the Cleat of Reality tonight in the national championship game.
Auburn 34 – Florida State 28
Gotta tip your hat to Andrew Luck for what he pulled off on Saturday in Indianapolis.
The kid’s a freakin’ big-time player.
Let’s see what he does on Saturday in New England against the genius coach up there.
Posted on 23 October 2013 by Drew Forrester
I’ve watched bits and pieces of just about every Capitals game thus far in the ’13-14 campaign and it’s becoming more apparent with every viewing opportunity that Washington is going to struggle to make the post-season.
Their defense is terrible.
If not for Braden Holtby — and let’s face it, he’s only a “good” goaltender, nothing more, really — they might not have a win yet this season.
And, if Alex Ovechkin gets a bruised shoulder in two weeks and he misses ten games, they’re not winning any of those contests.
The Caps defense is really bad.
The only two guys who give a representative defensive effort every night are Carlson and Alzner…and both of them are capable of throwing up a stinker-of-a-shift once a period.
Erskine? Time to put him out to pasture.
Green? Doesn’t really play defense, not sure you can even consider him a defenseman.
Olesky? Still learning. He might be OK actually, but he doesn’t have a mentor to look up to, that’s for sure.
The Metropolitan Division is like moving up from the J.V. to the Varsity as far as the Caps are concerned. No more lay-ups against the bums of the Southeast Division…they have to play real hockey now, 60 nights a year.
Ain’t gonna happen, I’m afraid to say.
Not with this bunch trying to play defense, that is.
I’ll take the Red Sox in seven games in the World Series.
Not sure why.
I just think it’s their time.
It would appear that Tiger Woods and “his people” have more impact at The Golf Channel than perhaps Brandel Chamblee realized.
Chamblee, the outstanding analyst for TGC, essentially called Woods a “cheater” last week when handing out his end-of-season grades for the recently completed 2013 season. He cited several rules infractions Woods was involved in over a 5-month period and likened them to an episode of his back in grade school when a teacher of Chamblee’s cited him for cheating on a test.
The analyst never said the words “cheating” in his column for Golf.com, but he might as well have.
Earlier on Tuesday, Chamblee defended his piece and his accusations about Woods and the rules issues he ran up against…that lasted until about 8pm on Tuesday night when Chamblee sent out a series of five tweets that apologized – directly – to Woods.
He was adamant that the apology wasn’t forced by The Golf Channel or Golf.com, but the timing certainly looked odd if you ask me.
Calling someone a cheater in golf is the absolute worst thing you can do.
For the record – in my opinion anyway – Woods is NOT a cheater.
As Seve Ballesteros once told Paul Azinger at the 1991 Ryder Cup: “Cheating and not knowing the rules are two totally different things.”
That said, I still contend that Tiger should have withdrawn from The Masters last April after his Saturday rules snafu where he took a bad drop on the 15th hole.
But — like Seve said: Cheating and not knowing the rules are different.
Posted on 12 January 2013 by WNST Staff
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals’ 48-game regular-season schedule for 2012-13 begins on Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Tampa Bay Lightning at 7 p.m., the National Hockey League announced today. The home season begins with Opening Night at Verizon Center presented by GEICO on Tuesday, Jan. 22, against the Winnipeg Jets at 7 p.m..
The schedule has the Capitals facing two teams in the Southeast Division five times each (Winnipeg and Carolina), two teams in the division four times each (Florida and Tampa Bay) and the remaining Eastern Conference opponents three times each. The Capitals will host the Pittsburgh Penguins at Verizon Center on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 3, at 12:30 p.m., marking the fourth year in a row that the Capitals will play on Super Bowl Sunday.
Capitals single-game tickets for the 2012-13 season go on sale Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 2 p.m. at 202-397-SEAT, on WashingtonCaps.com, at Kettler Capitals Iceplex and at all local Ticketmaster outlets, including the Verizon Center box office. In addition, from 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15, through 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13, the Capitals will pay all convenience fees for individual tickets purchased (excluding processing and delivery fees).
Among the ticket options available is the Washington Capitals Pregame All-Inclusive Package, which starts at $89 per package and includes a game ticket, a pregame all-you-can-eat buffet in the Dewar’s 12 Club, unlimited beer, wine and soda, a Caps hat and a Caps rally towel. Also available is the Washington Capitals Rinkside All-Inclusive Package, which starts at $99 per package and includes a game ticket, an all-you-can-eat buffet in the Rinkside Club available through the second intermission, unlimited beer, wine and soda and a Caps jersey T-shirt. A new package available this season is the Hard Times Chili Mac Pack, which starts at $189 and includes four tickets, four Caps hats and four Chili Mac cards redeemable at Hard Times.
For more information on Capitals tickets contact 202-266-CAPS or visit WashingtonCaps.com.
Washington has four homestands of three games on the schedule, the first from Feb. 1-5 (Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Toronto). The Capitals have three stretches of at least three straight road games and a season-high four-game road trip from March 19-24 (Pittsburgh, Winnipeg twice and the New York Rangers). In addition, the Capitals will have eight sets of back-to-back games.
Nearly half of the Capitals’ 24 home games at Verizon Center fall on weekends, which include five games on Sundays, four games on Saturdays and one game on Friday. The Capitals conclude the regular season with three consecutive home games (Winnipeg, Ottawa and Boston).
All but four of Washington’s home games are scheduled to start at 7 p.m., with three Sunday and one Saturday afternoon games scheduled.
Television broadcast plans will be released at a later date.
Jan. 22 – The Capitals home opener at Verizon Center vs. the Southeast Division-rival Winnipeg Jets.
Feb. 3 – The Pittsburgh Penguins make their only visit to D.C. of the season on Super Bowl Sunday.
Feb. 9 – The defending Southeast Division-champion Florida Panthers make their first visit to Verizon Center.
Feb. 21 – Washington hosts the defending Eastern Conference-champion New Jersey Devils for the first time this season.
March 5 – Washington welcomes the Boston Bruins to Verizon Center for the first time since the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
March 10 – The New York Rangers return to Washington for the first time since the 2012 Eastern Conference semifinal series.
April 27 – Washington concludes the regular-season home schedule at Verizon Center vs. the Boston Bruins.
2012-13 Washington Capitals Schedule
Sat., Jan. 19 at Tampa Bay 7 p.m.
Tue., Jan. 22 Winnipeg 7 p.m.
Thu., Jan. 24 Montreal 7 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 25 at New Jersey 7 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 27 Buffalo 3 p.m.
Tue., Jan. 29 at Ottawa 7:30 p.m.
Thu., Jan. 31 at Toronto 7 p.m.
Fri., Feb. 1 Philadelphia 7 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 3 Pittsburgh 12:30 p.m.
Tue., Feb. 5 Toronto 7 p.m.
Thu., Feb. 7 at Pittsburgh 7 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 9 Florida 7 p.m.
Tue., Feb. 12 at Florida 7:30 p.m.
Thu., Feb. 14 at Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 17 at N.Y. Rangers 6 p.m.
Thu., Feb. 21 New Jersey 7 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 23 New Jersey 12 p.m.
Tue., Feb. 26 Carolina 7 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 27 at Philadelphia 7:30 p.m.
Sat., March 2 at Winnipeg 3 p.m.
Tue., March 5 Boston 7 p.m.
Thu., March 7 Florida 7 p.m.
Sat., March 9 at N.Y. Islanders 1 p.m.
Sun., March 10 N.Y. Rangers 12:30 p.m.
Tue., March 12 Carolina 7 p.m.
Thu., March 14 at Carolina 7 p.m.
Sat., March 16 at Boston 1 p.m.
Sun., March 17 Buffalo 7 p.m.
Tue., March 19 at Pittsburgh 7:30 p.m.
Thu., March 21 at Winnipeg 8 p.m.
Fri., March 22 at Winnipeg 7 p.m.
Sun., March 24 at N.Y. Rangers 7 p.m.
Tue., March 26 N.Y. Islanders 7 p.m.
Sat., March 30 at Buffalo 7 p.m.
Sun., March 31 at Philadelphia 7:30 p.m.
Tue., April 2 at Carolina 7 p.m.
Thu., April 4 N.Y. Islanders 7 p.m.
Sat., April 6 at Florida 7:30 p.m.
Sun., April 7 Tampa Bay 7 p.m.
Tue., April 9 at Montreal 7:30 p.m.
Thu., April 11 Carolina 7 p.m.
Sat., April 13 Tampa Bay 7 p.m.
Tue., April 16 Toronto 7 p.m.
Thu., April 18 at Ottawa 7:30 p.m.
Sat., April 20 at Montreal 7 p.m.
Tue., April 23 Winnipeg 7 p.m.
Thu., April 25 Ottawa 7 p.m.
Sat., April 27 Boston 7 p.m.
All Times Eastern
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Posted on 27 July 2012 by Tim Horsey
On Thursday, one of the most gifted players on the NHL market was finally scooped up after a grueling 26 days on the free-agent market. There had been rumors of a return to his former franchise and a possible return to his homeland (Mother Russia), but when all the dust was settled, Alexander Semin became a Carolina Hurricane.
Semin signed a one-year, 7-million dollar deal with the Hurricanes on Thursday. Semin, who has always been top-5 player in terms of skill in the NHL, can certainly boost the offensive production of any franchise.
That is, if the “good” Semin decides to show up and play consistently, something that plagued his time as a member of the Washington Capitals.
One can speculate about the terms of Semin’s new deal, but the general consensus is that Semin is the type of player that GMs are scared-to-death to lock up to a long-term deal. He is the embodiment of Katy Perry’s “Hot and Cold”, going stretches where his lethal shot tears holes through the net, then follows that up with games in which he contributes nothing but 2-to-3 stick penalties.
The cliché here being, “you take the good with the bad.”
When Semin is good, he is very good. After being drafted by the Capitals with the 13th pick in the 2002 draft, Semin totaled 197 goals, 211 assists, and 408 points. He ranks 5th on the Capitals all-time goal-scoring list. He is only one of 18 players in the NHL to average at least 30 goals during the last six seasons. And at only 28, Semin is in the prime of his career.
Carolina, in particular, is very wary of Semin’s elite goal-scoring ability. During his seven seasons in Washington, Semin totaled 27 goals and 45 points, his highest totals against NHL team.
But, there is also “Sasha Minor.” Semin has logged 450 penalty minutes over his career, a number that is much too high for top-six, goal-scoring forward. But the biggest problem with Semin is his consistency, or should I say, his lack of it. He also was never a good playoff producer. In his 51 Stanley Cup playoff games, Semin only scored 15 goals, and had just two points (both assists) in the 2009 playoffs, where the Caps were upset by 8-seeded Montreal in seven games.
If you are one of my loyal listeners from Dropping the Gloves, which is back on the air this fall Wednesdays from 1-2 p.m. on WMUCSports.com (I’m not above shameless plugs), you pretty much know my opinion on Semin. I like players who first and foremost provide a consistency to the team. Your teammates, coaches, and fans should know what to expect from you on any given night. For seven seasons, the Capitals looked to Semin to be a bonafide number-two scoring option behind Alex Ovechkin, and for seven seasons, they got nothing but a player with the occasional hat trick and the more than occasional hooking minor. I also like clutch performers, and although I understand Semin is not the only Capital who seems to shy away in crunch time, he is one of the main culprits.
Many fans like Semin (my co-host on Dropping the Gloves is a huge supporter), but I just could not handle the inconsistency. I honestly thought that Semin was going to be dealt at the trade deadline, and when I heard the rumors that Semin may return to the Caps this offseason, I was disappointed. Again, I understand the temptation. When he is on his game, Semin is one of the deadliest snipers in the game, who also provides stick-handling skills that are all-world. But when he is off, which is way too often for my taste, his game is filled with inconsistency and lazy stick penalties.
I wish Semin the best in his time in Carolina (except against the Caps, of course). He’ll probably go on to become the consistent scoring threat that all Caps fans dreamed of for seven years, but at least he is no longer a headache for the Washington organization. Farewell Sasha Minor.
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Posted on 16 July 2012 by andrewtomlinson
The Washington Capitals are taking a big risk by signing Mike Green to a reported three-year $18.25-million dollar contract, as the defenseman has yet to show he can play at a high level for multiple seasons.
It is no secret Mike Green was at one time a face of the Capitals’ franchise. A founding member of the “Young Guns” quartet — a Capitals marketing campaign, not a new boy band — Green has broken the NHL record for consecutive games with a goal by a defenseman, earned the nickname “Game Over Mike Green” and been a Norris Trophy candidate. Several injuries and largely inconsistent play have made him anything but a lock to be a productive defenseman for the rest of his career though.
Green declined to sign is qualifying offer of five-million dollars from the Caps, but him walking away was something everyone knew would not happen. With the Caps letting Dennis Wideman walk to the Calgary Flames and an already thin defensive core, they couldn’t let him walk away or they would risk failing to field a competitive team. It is not as if they were out of options though and the one they chose, they may regret going forward.
Saddled with a concussion, ankle and wrist injuries the last few years, Green is becoming nothing but a question mark for this team. After starting out white-hot to start the season, Green went down after taking a puck to the face and never regained his form. He started out with three goals and three assists before the injury and after, he had just one assist in February, March and the handful of games in April. He may have contributed two goals to go with two helpers in the playoffs, but altogether his totals from last year do not justify the size of the contract he got.
Using CapGeek.com to look at Green’s cap-hit, quickly you find out he is being payed a similar amount of money as players head and shoulders better than him. Comparable hits include Brett Burns from the San Jose Sharks, Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith from the Chicago Blackhawks, Dion Phaneuf of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins. During his three year stint as an offensive powerhouse from the blue line, Green might have deserved the same money as the players previously named, but not after the last two he has had.
When you talk about Green being overpaid, it isn’t an indictment on his ability or skill set, but instead on his ability to stay on the ice to use it consistently. Between 2006 and the end of the 2009-2010 season, Green was one of the top defenseman in the league. His stats have to come with a sort of asterisk though, as the team he played on was the definition of fire-wagon hockey. In the last two season, with a return to a defensive system, not only has Green only put up 31-points, but he also a paltry plus-11.
Perhaps most concerning about all of those stats, is it has come in only 81 games over two years. Considering an NHL season is 82 games long, it is not a good sign Green hasn’t even played the equivalent of one season over his last two. Recurring nagging injures and a few discipline problems have kept him in and out of the lineup. A guy cannot be defined by just two years of his career, but Green has only played a full season once in his seven years an NHLer, which is not good.
It is his consistent inability to stay on the ice that really makes this deal a head-scratcher. If you are the Caps why not head to arbitration, the worst case scenario is he earns more money for one year and you make him earn the long term contract next season. Now though, the team is linked to him for at least three years when they had other options.
Perhaps most puzzling about the extension is the Caps have a player in John Carlson ready to step in to the role currently occupied by Green shortly. Even though Carlson regressed a bit last year, the young hard shooting d-man plays the exact same game as Green and in at least a year should be ready to take over for Green. It seems feasible then, that Washington could have signed him to a shorter deal, especially since Green only wanted a two year deal originally.
Moving forward Washington has to live up to the decision it has made and while they may have a lot of cap space now, as they start to retool the roster, the space occupied by Green might be something they wish they could use. If he stays on the ice and comes back to form, Green’s deal is a steal and gives Washington flexibility, but if his career is any indication of his future, it looks like he might not be a risk worth taking.
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Posted on 30 June 2012 by andrewtomlinson
Tomorrow marks the opening day of NHL free agency and the Washington Capitals look to be at least mildly active with holes to fill, but General Manager George McPhee and the organization needs to pinch their pennies and save for the future in their moves.
The team made a big splash in free agency last year signing free agents like Joel Ward and Roman Hamrlik to contracts not exactly team friendly. Both players’ contract lengths and cap hits were not supposed to matter though, as they were supposed to help Washington bring the Stanley Cup home for the first time. Looking back now, Washington wasn’t as successful as they should have been, failed to improve on their previous playoff best and ultimately fell short of their goal, with Ward and Hamrlik providing little in the way of support. Now the team is saddled with two bad deals, two players who do not fit what they are looking for and cap hits they can not do anything about.
Perhaps the best news for GMGM is the fact this year is a new year. Part of the beauty of sports is the fact every year is a fresh start for a team. Owners and general managers can find new pieces and spare parts to combine and start another run at the elusive Cup. Despite being able to forget some of the mistakes of the past, the Caps need to remember how painful those big contracts will be heading forward and find solid players at the right price.
There are a lot of big name free agents out there for the Caps’ taking, guys like Ryan Suter and Zach Parise. Despite the two of them being tremendous talents, Washington should not even consider adding them. Yes they would be top players, but the risk of adding another bad contract to the books prevents the team from potentially locking up its star players like John Carlson and Karl Alzner in the future and also rebuilding if needed. Instead, the organization needs to add productive players who have short term deals.
Guys like Jiri Hudler, Niklas Hagman and Carlo Colaiacovo are players who are above average, but more importantly wont demand long contracts or high salaries to fill a need. Washington has holes on their top two lines and on their top defensive pairing and need to think smarter, not harder, when it comes to filling those holes. Look at an organization like the Detroit Red Wings, who have continued to fill their roster holes with lower priced castaways and aging veterans to the tune of two Stanley Cups and three finals trips in just over 10 years.
Fans may clamor for the big names in free agency, but the organization needs to resist the temptation, since this team could either be on the brink of long term success or catastrophic failure. Even if it may be a negative outlook to take, thinking the team in its current construction might not fair well, it is one the Caps need to keep in the back of their mind. Whoever they sign, they need to be able to jettison quickly, just in case they do have to reshape the team. Nothing can hinder a rebuilding or reloading plan more than a bad contract, just look at the Montreal Canadiens with Scott Gomez, so the Caps must make sure they do not give a player too much money or too many years.
There are a plethora of options out there for McPhee to peruse and ultimately offer deals to, he just has to make sure they are the right player at the right price. He has made mistakes in signings before — see Jagr, Jaromir — but has also shown a smart frugal sensibility by signing highly productive players like Mike Knuble and Matt Hendricks. Good players at better prices are available this year, it is just up to McPhee to make sure he finds them to ensure this team can succeed for years to come.