Friday, September 15, 2006

GMs and the Players That They Covet

I've gone on about this in the past on a few occasions, but I just thought I'd throw some more thoughts up on the same subject, taking a bit of a different angle.

NHL general managers are people too, with biases just like the rest of us. And it often seems to me that GMs go after players who have played well in the games that they have watched, which are usually the games that their team is playing. And most GMs listen to their coaches, who have an intimate knowledge of who played vs whom, and who played well, in the games that they coached.

In the case of Lowe, I know that those stints over in Europe for the WHCs weigh in. Isbister had a terrific tourney over there a year or so before he traded for him. He followed the Oilers AHL team around one year that the Oilers missed the playoffs (or maybe just an early exit) in any case I remember him commenting on a player named Torres who played for an opponent, a dominant player in the series. Surely that's Raffi.

When Atlanta traded Heatley for Hossa et al, I looked back at the shift charts for the year previous and Hossa had the Kovalchuk assignment in the OTT-ATL games. Rare, because that sort of thing is usually Alfredsson's gig. So if Waddell asks Hartley what he thinks of Hossa, well Bob and his staff have scrutinized every inch of Thrashers game tape. He's going to think that Hossa is even better than he is, because he's going to assume that he put up those great scoring numbers playing a big chunk against the Modano, Kovalchuk and Thornton types all season.

Kim Johnsson, he of the concussion problem. Minnesota took a gamble with his health when they signed him this summer. Kim also played the second most minutes against Gaborik in their one head to head game last season in Philly, 6.3 minutes. Just a bit behind Hatcher (7.1 minutes) and well clear of 3rd place Forsberg (4.9 minutes), there must have been a lot of penalties in that one. The year previous that sort of responsibility was commonplace for Johnsson, but this was a bit of a rare night for that in 05/06.

Philly played Chicago once. The game was in the windy city. Guess who Yawney played the most against Forsberg at 5on5 on the night? That's right, new Flyer Kyle Calder, a whopping 12.2 minutes H2H. Edging out Duncan Keith and Marty LaPointe. (btw: Mark Bell, who played some tough opp usually, only 2.7 on this night. Spacek, who didn't, with a typical 5.0)

San Jose played Chicago twice after Thornton arrived. That poor Duncan Keith bastard ate up most of those minutes again with 22 (does anyone even know what this guy looks like?). Then Mark Bell and LaPointe cleanly leading the march for the forwards with 16 minutes of H2H apiece.

Tjarnqvist is usually third in the march of D tough minutes against the other teams top talent. Against the Oilers he managed to edge out both Kuba and Mitchell. He played more against the Smyth/Horcoff/Hemsky trio than any other Dman for Lemaire. Now he's an Oiler.

Which L.A King played the most minutes against Markus Naslund last season? Sean Avery of all people, and it looks like he fared well. Crawford is in L.A now. And Avery, the guy that everyone loves to hate, he was brought back to the Kings.


For the most part there is consistency in this sort of thing. The guys that teams are most willing to move are usually the guys that weren't getting a lot of trust from their coach. And the guys that they covet are often the guys who were getting a lot of responsibility from their own coaches in the games that they went head to head.

There are a couple of inconsistencies. Notably PHX and CHI. There seems to be some peculiarity there, a disconnect between the coaching staff and management. In CHI you almost have to expect this sort of thing, but PHX? Damn. Is Gretzky really making the game plans and running the bench for the Coyotes or has he delegated that? Has he just stepped completely away from the hockey opps side, does he even talk to Barnet? Is he schizophrenic?

Only Michalek and Doan saw more responisbility than Johnson and Mara ... and the latter two are gone. And Derek F. Morris signed to a whopping contract? Just doesn't mesh with the actions of the coaching staff last season.


I actually do have a point to all this, for those still reading:

I hope that Lowe targets young defencemen Duncan Keith and Zbynek Michalek. On the surface they look untouchable ... but with the Yotes and Hawks you just never know. I mean I'm sure that any GM would perform due diligence; download the PHX and CHI gametapes from and make sure they weren't just flukes, review with coaches and pro scouts, etc.

But damn, I don't know if anyone is that lucky. Keith's EV+/- -7 is a lot more impressive than Spacek's +11 given the context. And Duncan Keith is just a boy by NHL defencemen standards, turned 23 this summer. Z.Michalek I blathered on about in a couple of other posts ('tough minutes' and 'big 8 minutes'), but to add to it, dude also played a staggering amount when the other team had pulled their goalie to try and tie it up. The Coyotes really leaned on the guy in Ohlundian fashion. And he's just 6 months or so older than Keith.

Just a thought.


Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Vic, this is a real beauty of a post, let me tell you. I love it.

Interesting too that people forget that in the end, these GMs and coaches, are well, people, with biases and flaws, just like anyone else. Doug MacLean's stubborn streak, Bobby Clarke's competiveness, a coach's ego leading him to believe that I, you bet, I can make a player out of Brad Isbister, sure I can. Those other dummies don't know what they are doing.

Glen Murray roomed with acquaintances of mine in Sudbury when he was a junior. One summer he was back visiting and told the story of how in his first stint with the Bruins they had lost a game and the coach at the time, Brian Sutter I believe, who had a real red ass when it came to Murray, was ranting and raving at the team on the bus to the airport after the game. Just ripping them. And the guy he was tearing into most for his poor performance that night - Murray.

Who didn't even dress for the game.

9/15/2006 8:12 am  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Ya it's strange to hear these stories of coaches and their whipping boys. Some of it makes my own personal hatred for Hamrlik, Peca and Rucinsky seem downright rational.

Ron Low and Satan, that made less than no sense. Keenan and a long list, but Linden and Doug Wilson stand out as the inexplicable ones to me. Crawford and Aucoin. Quinn and Jason Smith. If you really want to, you can trace the responibility for any scoring chance against back to some fucker that you hate. When you're coaching, at any level, and probably any sport, it is really hard to NOT do that, 'tis human nature methinks.

9/15/2006 9:42 am  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

And our Olympic team this year - I didn't have a lot of quibble with the selections in the first place really and hindsight is 20/20 - that team just didn't have it. They never clicked - I mean, Heatley did nothing and he was a 50 goal scorer etc etc - not sure if adding a Staal/Crosby would have made a difference or if they would have just gotten bogged down in whatever ensnared that team.

My point after that digression is that Gretzky picked the team he and Quinn were comfortable with - some derided his choices but can you blame him for going for the known factors - the guys he knew had produced in the past and who were still all pretty solid players - its not like he picked Peca for example - there was not blind loyalty but he went with what he knew.

Does that ramble make sense?

Final point too - regarding the disconnect in Phoenix and Chicago - I can understand that to a point - you're trying to win games so you send out Mara and Johnson but you figure that with those guys they're not getting any better or you have no choice but to use them - you dump them because with Morris (?!) you think that he can get better or maybe Paul Mara just rubs you the wrong way and you figure Morris can pick up those minutes, do almost as good a job and won't be a pain in the ass.

Or maybe Morris has the goods on Barnett.

Who knows?

Does any of that contribute to this conversation - looking back at it - maybe not.

9/15/2006 10:10 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good stuff Vic and like you say it's human nature. I usually associate this kind of thinking with MLB where you'll always see a GM remark "this guy killed us so we decided we'd rather have him on our side." The first time I can remember something like this was when the Expos picked up 1B Jason Thompson from the Bucs. I was just 11 years old and I was thinking it must have been because he killed the Spos because he was clearly on the downturn at that point. Sure enough the next time they were on TV, this is '86 remember, Dave Van Horne's talking about how his rep as an Expos killer lead Mgt to take a chance on him.

When it comes to the Oilers I really don't want to discuss the whole Satan debacle. He was young and clearly skilled and I believe he had an 11 game point streak and was named the NHL rookie of the month. It's not like our cupboard was overflowing with offense prospects, ie these were the days when the Oilers were invested fully in the US college players but none of them looked to have the hands of Miro. Yet he was thrown away for yet another speedster in Moore and then you had Millar. There were times when the Oilers would work their guts out and no one outside of Guerin, Weight or Smyth had a chance to score. I'd flip to a Sabres games and I'd want to choke Low. One guy that Sather always coveted because he was an Oiler killer was Sami Kapanen. You could make a lot of money every Sept if there was a line where you could bet on the probability that Matheson would float a story that would include, "Sather would love to take Kapenen from the Whale/Canes but the asking price is too high."


9/15/2006 11:16 am  
Anonymous bigleaguer said...

Excellent post, never thought of hockey in these terms before... I also agree with your analysis on Phoenix's Michalek. I had him as a waiver pickup in a hockey pool and got to follow him. Lots of minutes, played good D (for Phoenix, it's relative) and has a big shot from the point. Gretzky raved about him early in the season and just kept playing him and playing him. Unreal minutes for a rookie.
Not only will Tjarnqvist play for the Oilers now, he won't be playing for the Wild, which might give the Oilers a hint of a chance against them this season. If they played Minni in the playoffs, the Oilers would have lost 4 straight.

9/15/2006 11:26 am  
Blogger RiversQ said...

I would look at it this way - nearly all of the players mentioned are good players. Due diligence on every one of them outside of Brad Isbister would show that. (Torres would be straddling the line at the moment.) Just because Hossa didn't take all the minutes against the Jagr/Kovalchuk types before the ATL-OTT games doesn't mean that he isn't capable of doing it. Hartley's observations in those games possibly led him to believe that Hossa could take on more responsibility than the Sens had given him.

You know he's a good player overall, but the opportunity for tougher minutes has not been given to that player. The fact that he managed to handle them against your team is promising. Same goes for almost all of those other players mentioned to varying degrees.

9/15/2006 11:52 am  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Ya riversq, that sounds sensible. Sometimes I wonder just how much due diligence these guys perform though. Do they just "trust their eyes"? Even if they do review the rest of the games or the numbers, how much do they let it colour their intuitive opinions? I dunno, I'm sure it varies guy to guy. But whether you look at points against your team, responsibility against your team (as was done here) or any other sort of similar measure, it just seems like a helluva coincidence to me.

9/15/2006 12:32 pm  
Anonymous lowetide said...

Saw him good.

9/15/2006 12:52 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, LT, I think it's a big problem in scouting that you and I have discussed ad nauseum, but it's a bigger problem still when committing UFA dollars. You can't think you're getting a #2 D and in fact be getting a 4/5 D.


9/15/2006 1:02 pm  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Which makes guys like Lowe and Doug Wilson look that much smarter for staying out of the UFA market for the most part, whether by choice or not. What is the better move - picking up a guy for a year, even if it means giving up an asset (if said asset is a reasonable price for the return) - or giving a guy 20M over 4 years (Pavel Kubina). Almost every UFA gets overpaid in years or in dough - thats the nature of it.

Vic and I have had this conversation before about Lowe - is he that smart or is he just lucky? Probably a little bit of both - sure am glad that they got Tjarnqvist for a relative song - if things work out they can resign him after seeing night in and night out what he brings - if they don't work out - well its one year at 1.6, they're not locked into the guy for a ridiculous amount.

Flip of that is he might go for the gusto as a UFA but I think something is to be said for a guy being in the right situation for himself and recognizing that.

9/15/2006 1:15 pm  
Blogger RiversQ said...

Vic: Yeah, those are all good points and it's certainly not a coincidence. I was just trying to point out the more positive angle - it's only a bad thing if the player isn't capable of the load demonstrated in the head-to-head matchup. I think the due diligence is the key thing here. Too bad it's near impossible to surmise whether or not it was done in these cases. Isbister excluded yet again. ;)

I thought Hossa was the best example but Johnsson is likely one as well. Not only was he the top dog on the blueline for the Flyers against the Wild in 05/06 he was also Hitchcock's #1 choice in 03/04. Given that, it's not a terrible assumption by Risebrough that Johnsson can do it again.

Surely the Isbister example (and probably one of a cast of thousands from MacLean's follies) is some evidence of an inefficient market. I think you've definitely found a significant contributing factor, but can we find some more actual bad ones? Maybe Carter is one? He had 3G, 3A in four games against CBJ last year. Then MacLean goes out and pays him $1MM more than his market value... That smells doesn't it?

9/15/2006 1:32 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Good peg on the Carter thing, Riversq. Here's a bizarre sidenote, Anson and the Sedin's played far more against the Nasher than any other Nuck forwards according to the shift charts. Which might explain the scoring rates as well. ;)

Just checked Dvorak vs the Blues, he played a whopping 19.4 5on5 minutes vs the oft injured Tkachuk, who is still one of the games premier 5on5 players IMO. Well behind Pronger at nearly 25 minutes, but well ahead of the nearest other Oiler forward (which was Horcoff at 14 h2h minutes).

From the Bruins, guess who played the most minutes against Sundin? If you guessed Patrice Bergeron you're right, at 30 of Mats' 46 minutes of 5on5 hockey (Damn did that Bergeron kid step up, he played cherry minutes in his rookie year), and if you guessed that you also watched far too many Bruins games :). And if you guessed Hal Gill just a minute behind, you'd be doubly right, and a spooky NHL savant as well. Granted Gill played tough minutes against pretty much everybody.

Kubina is the glaring exception here: He didn't play much against Sundin, by the results it looks like Sarich and Pratt played the Prongerish minutes for Tortorella down in Tampa all year and the Leaf games were no different. Though both played similar total minutes vs TO, Pavel only played 15 minutes vs Sundin to Sarich's 39. With that sort of split you have to think that Sarich was taking the worse game situations on as well. So I have no idea what JFJ was thinking there, he can't use the "saw him good" excuse for that wild, wild overpay there.

9/15/2006 2:28 pm  
Blogger RiversQ said...

Wow, interesting stuff about Hal Gill. I would not have guessed that they leaned on him that much. I take it he was ahead of Boynton in that regard?

BTW, I think "The Nasher" is perfect. He's a little like The Dude isn't he?

The Nasher: "Yeah, well. The Nasher abides."

The Stranger: "The Nasher abides. I don't know about you but I take comfort in that. It's good knowin' he's out there. The Nasher. Takin' 'er easy for all us sinners. Shoosh. I sure hope he makes the finals."

9/15/2006 4:02 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hall Gill was described as a shutdown D in years past...the really really big knock on him has always been his speed, he's apparently a pylon. Here's hoping he's a positional genius and skates better than we've heard if you're a Leaf fan...oh and JFJ has a stroke.

9/16/2006 10:14 am  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...


Good stuff on the Nasher :D He's still a young guy and I'm sure he'll get better, he'll probably age Gallant a decade in the next 18 months or so though. McGuire's love for him at the '05 WHCs was surreal, bordering on sexual. Once he started talking about his hands I just turned the volume off, sweet Jeebus.

The guy has mad skill, but he was playing with Thornton and Gagne and cherrypicked like a demon. I remember a few shifts in a row where he was the first forward out of the D zone and the last forward into the O zone. He'd be hovering around mid ice looking for the long bomb pass, if that didn't materialize and Gagne or Joe brought the puck out, he'd circle back so he could be the trailer coming into the offensive end. Sweet Christ, good thing they were playing Khazakstan (I think, some non-hockey country whose name I can't spell in any case). I was out of the country for the medal round so I assume he buckled down a bit later on in the tourney. Still, funny stuff, like Pavel Bure in a Russia vs Norway game or something.


And ya, Boynton is up there too but he missed a bunch of games so his h2h icetime drops off, probably played with Gill before that, I dunno.
Stuart was no slouch either. I picked 10 top guys in the east, just guys that were clearly dominant offensive players on their teams, so no Sens or Lightning , and ran the numbers through. Gill with 541 h2h minutes against that crew, Boynton with 383, Stuart with 355, Leetch at 331 (mostly early I suspect) and on down the line. And now I'll meander off to the forwards just for the F of it ... Bergeron with 490 is a stunner though, and given the event rate you have to think a lot of own zone stuff against them too. A mile ahead of even his linemates. And it looks like Samsonov barely saw a sniff of these kinds of players after Thornton went ot the Sharks, and Glen Murray not much better. That surprises me, I thought both were better players than that. I mean obviously MacTavish kept him away from quality all playoff run, but I thought he had more game.

9/16/2006 11:51 am  
Anonymous YKOil said...

Have to comment on the salary thing.

Picking up Tjarnqvist for 1.6 is good. Not picking up Kubina for 20 over 4 is good. But not overpaying a guy over a 1 year deal when you have a significant deficiency is, imo, potentially very bad. Also, not picking up an unsigned UFA, if imperfect, to fill a hole is also bad imo.

In the first case the trick would be to find the point at which an UFA would give up the option to wait for a long term deal in return for an overpay on a 1 year deal. A 1 year deal for 3.5 million is a HUGE overpay for a guy like Hal Gill but, if he had been willing to sign it, it might be far preferable to trading away assets like MAP and MAB (LT's anticipated Stuart trade) to fill that spot.

In the second case the trick is to find a guy who is really cheap and won't hurt you too much. I refuse to believe that a player like Nathan Dempsey wouldn't help the team. Surely to goodness a guy who played 19 mins a night in LA, little of which was PP time, and ended up a +/- 0 could play 11 to 12 quality 6th man minutes a night in Edmonton and babysit some rookie a little?

Both tactics are all about the same thing - BUYING TIME.

Sure this year was a squeeze year given what UFA d-men got paid so there is little wrong in sitting the worst of it out but there were some legit pick-ups out there that would have cost the team very little and allowed them to hold on to valuable young talent a little longer until a better fix could be made. Sure MAP hasn't been traded yet... but I see the train a'comin' and it's pissing me of no end.

9/17/2006 12:31 am  
Anonymous Vic Ferrari said...

I don't know why Nathan Dempsey doesn't get more love from GMs. Seems like a solid player to me and the results certainly show that. But I think that the Oilers already got their Dempsey, his name is Tarnqvist.

And if they've assessed this Hejda player properly, then he's another in that league.

Greene is going to get a whack of icetime, and probably Smid too. To my mind at least, that's pretty evident right now.

9/17/2006 7:23 pm  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Related to absolutely nothing except I read about his troubles here, Sykore ripped another one off the crossbar in the Joey Moss game yesterday. Hope that isn't a bad omen.

9/18/2006 6:00 am  
Anonymous YKOil said...

Dempsey is one of my 'from the depths of the stats page picks' for undervalued, and thus more importantly - underpaid - defensemen file. Where I have had Carney, Weinrich, F. Kaberle, Lukowich (my current favorite), Spacek, Tarnstrom and others on the list at one time or another.

That said thsi year has every echo of last year - just substitute 'defense' for 'goaltending' wherever appropriate. And that is what has me pissed off.

Last thing I want to see is Lowe trade good young assets from the 55 game mark in for a player (Stuart) who they will then overpay in UFA (Roloson's extra year) season.

A little insurance (Dempsey among others) would go a looong way imo. People talk about a no-name defense being okay but usually they forget to mention the depth that those defenses usually have.

Hell, if I had to trade a guy like MAP I would much rather it be for a guy like Jack Johnson... except we don't have surplus defenseman to package with MAP do we... oops.


9/18/2006 11:09 am  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Well, everyone has to take some gambles. If you load up on high end talent then you are left with tragic depth (VAN, T.B), if you load up on defense then the front end is going to be fugly (TOR, ANA, CHI), and if you load up on good forwards you're going to be dangerously thin at the back (S.J, EDM, MIN). Some guys pushed it further in one direction than other guys did. It's a strange time to be an NHL GM, history will show us which of these tactics is the best one, and most everyone else in the league will copy that. But right now we just don't know.

Personally I'm pretty happy with the route that Lowe has gone here. I mean I would would rather have had 3 years of Demitra, Hossa or Gaborik, or something along that vein, than Lupul/Smid, then again I'm one of those fans that is in near constant "try and win now!" mode. And I prefer to disbelieve that JBo/Horton was really offered.

A question YK: if Lowe traded Sykora and Hejda for Hal Gill right now, straight up ... are you saying that you would applaud that move? I wouldn't. You know what you have with Sykora. Personally I'd keep Petr and roll the dice on Hejda. Doesn't mean it's 100% foolproof, far from it. I mean we all know that 7 is the best bet on the roll of dice, all things being equal. But if you get odds twice as long on a 5 being rolled, the smart man takes that bet.

Interesting times for sure, YK.

9/18/2006 12:05 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...


That's a good thing. Good goalscorers hit a lot of goalposts and crossbars. Just means that they're getting chances.

Having said that it's just the preseason, the only important stat at this time of year is injuries. And the exhibition games are kind of low budget like porn starring ugly people.

I don't know if you read it, but I like Sykora's quote in The Sun yesterday. "It's not much different than yesterday. I had three shots and they didn't go in. Today I had three shots and they did go in."

There ya go, shit happens. :)

9/18/2006 12:24 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yk - Loading up on bottom-pair guys does not fix a problem on the top pair. To me, adding more names to the list of: Greene, Bergeron, Smid, Hejda that will take bottom-pair minutes just seems like a move that an inexperienced GM would make. The "insurance" is in the forwards as they seemed less expensive this summer.

From my list, I hold the most hope for Hejda to rise to the middle-pair by the stretch as Bergeron is a known commodity, and we can not get Greene and Smid the experience that they need fast enough. At least Hejda has the experience and "all" he needs is to figure out the smaller rink. Other players in his situation have done this within a single season so its not impossible. Then one of Hejda, Tarnqvist or Staois and a forward prospect can be dealt solve the real problem.

Give it time, this team is not going to implode. Wait for the correct solution (a top-pair guy) to appear. From vic's comments, the potential trading partners are obvious and all the participants should be eager to make their own teams better when the time comes. (Think Dallas)

vic - A rhetorical question: Does Anaheim fit better in the loaded D or tragic depth group?

9/18/2006 12:50 pm  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Vic - regarding the Florida offer - that question I mean - according to Eric Duhatschek on Saturday (I think he is about as credible as they get) Florida never offered Bouwmeester and Horton - Bouwmeester was on the table but Horton never was - not at least with him in a package. They may have gotten one or the other but not the two.

9/18/2006 1:52 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bdhs - according to this link:,0,4705959.column?coll=hc-headlines-sports

the Oilers originally asked Anaheim for Lupul, Smid and a pick. They got more than they asked for to do the deal at the time.

9/18/2006 1:59 pm  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

BDHS- do you have the link to that story on the Panthers?

9/18/2006 4:52 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

andy - I think this is the article bdhs is talking about. More about the Oil than the the Panthers.

9/18/2006 5:10 pm  
Anonymous YKOil said...

I can't say that I disagree too much vic (I too would keep Sykora and Hejda) - my problem is that I don't see these things as mutually exclusive.

Lowe could have had Sykora, Hejda AND a deeper, steadier defense.

Which also leads into my response to anon - the problem isn't just in the top-pair - it is in every pairing.

Smith and Staios are a problem because they are all we have and if either one of them starts having a problem handling Modano, or one of them gets injured, we are two steps past screwed and tattooed.

Tjarnqvist and Greene are a problem because we don't know if Greene is more a Colin White than he is a Sean Brown - and can Tjarnqvist cover for his partner well? (Though we do know Tjarnqvist is steady in and of himself).

MAB and Hejda are a problem because we have no clue if Hejda can really play and MAB continue to spaz on a regular basis every night.

Smid and Gilbert... are rookie defensemen... and that should be all I need to say.

We also have NO CLUE as to the chemistry any of these pairings will have together.

Picking up a guy like Dempsey (not that I want to single him out but the price and skill level are in the ballpark so why not) isn't about fixing the top pair its about having a guy who:

-- you KNOW can cover the bet on the last pairing, and
-- you KNOW can pick up minutes on the second pair, and
-- you KNOW can probably pick up top minutes in an emergency

Tjarnqvist fits that bill. MAYBE MAB can (but we have never seen him where he isn't being babysat) and MAYBE Greene can (but he's even more raw than MAB) and POSSIBLY, MAYBE, KINDA, LET'S HOPE Hejda can.

I love our offense but truth be told this defense has me squillier than LT.

I don't mind at all Lowe/MacT taking some risks.

I do mind them taking a LOT of different risks and not getting any insurance in place - especially when that insurance is dirt cheap.

Perhaps THAT is my real problem guys. The insurance cost is/was cheap, cheap, cheap and is/was available** and so not to take it backs me up right tight.

I do a lot of risk analysis work guys. The two key factors are liklihood (think Hoover Dam - not likely it will fail) and cost-if-incurred (think Hoover Dam - if it failed...). Both of these factors are unacceptably high right now.

**(unlike last year and the goaltending conundrum where I can cut some slack because goalies weren't falling out of the trees)

9/18/2006 9:44 pm  
Blogger MetroGnome said...

Very intersting post. Kudos!

9/19/2006 11:03 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This defence needs depth added at the top, which will fix all pairs. Adding it below helps with injuries, but does not really fix anything except allowing ykoil more rest.

9/19/2006 2:00 pm  
Blogger Puck Engineer said...

I think you're quite right.

Remember many (~5, 6?) years ago that awesome game between the Leafs and the Flyers, with the Karpovtsev/Lindros fight, followed by the line brawl, with the Leafs finally winning?

I remember very clearly how good Daymond Langkow was in that game, eating up huge minutes for the Flyers (with all the Lindros penalties) and getting lots of scoring chances. So naturally, I thought he was on the way to being a number one centre. Close, but he never quite got there. Up until he got traded to the Flames, where I got to watch him more, I thought he was a lot better than he really is.

9/20/2006 7:06 am  

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