Rich and Matt: A tale of two fourth-liners

Jeff Veillette
October 03 2016 07:09AM


Fellow TLN writer Ryan Fancey brought up today that the signing of Matt Martin back in July was a bit of a questionable one. That's not something that you haven't heard before; we showed significant skepticism in the moment of and those that immediately followed in early July.

But Ryan's point was that, in having a pricey and longer-term deal, Martin could now stand in the way of a rookie who impresses in camp, because there's no way that the man who just signed a $10-million dollar contract gets cut before his first game, right?

My response: This could've all been avoided if they gave Rich Clune an NHL contract instead. It was a response that got scoffed at heavily by the social media masses, but I don't think it's an insane statement. For the sake of discussing roster management rather than pumping or dumping on either player, let's do a comparison to see if there's much of a discernable difference between what they bring. 

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Jonathan Willis
October 02 2016 12:30PM


It’s another busy day on the waiver wire. We’ve got a little bit of everything today. Famous prospects, unknown late bloomers, gritty mid-career guys trying to make it as fourth liners, and even a few proven NHL’ers trying to sneak a few more games in on their way down the career curve.  

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Highlights from the Waiver Wire, 10/1/2016 Edition

Jonathan Willis
October 01 2016 03:56PM

With each passing day, we get closer to the start of the 2016-17 NHL season and hockey games with actual value in the standings. We also get closer to completed rosters, a fact which means the names on the waiver wire get more interesting by the day.

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The 2016 World Cup Of Hockey: Blame Canada? Not That Simple

Greg Brady
October 01 2016 11:06AM

Photo Credit: Kevin Souza/USA TODAY SPORTS

OK, the tournament's over.  No, honestly it is.  It didn't take as long as you thought if you rightfully avoided all the roster selection debates (which are fun, I admit, unless you're Phil Kessel) and the pre-tournament games.  So does that mean the criticism and the jokes about poor attendance, apathy, and the potential for Team USA players to destroy desk chairs at the downtown Hilton in Toronto now ends?  Well...not yet.

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How to Not Have to Walk Back Your Hall of Fame Argument

Bill Morran
October 01 2016 07:11AM

The available shot-attempt data doesn't go back an entire decade. It's all very useful, but historical debates over players are incredibly hard to quantify. Many analytically inclined fans have things they figure based on what kinds of players are over or under rated today, but that's far from a perfect method. It's not just that we lack data, but having not lived through these games, we often lack context.

In his 1995 book Whatever Happened To The Hall of Fame, Bill James discusses this at length. He notes that as time passes since a player's retirement, especially once they're involved in the hall of fame argument, debates become more statistically oriented. It's harder to feel about a player exactly as we felt watching them, and statistics become our crutch. As the godfather of sabermetrics, you'd imagine James would welcome this. He does the opposite.

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