September 03 2013 09:29AM
Martin St.Louis was repeatedly passed up in the entry draft because of his small stature. Who else joins him on the All-Undrafted team?
We're roughly a month away from the start of the 2013-14 NHL regular season, which is certainly exciting because I think we're all ready for the return of hockey. However, that also means that time for goofy, random, fun (if you're a hockey nerd like myself) projects is running out.
We just concluded our prospects series at Canucks Army, in which we profiled the Top 20 players in the team's system. That entire project got me thinking about value, and finding different ways to bring quality talent into your organization. While it's nice to get your hands on a top pick, you can't simply rely on that. There's more to it. As a GM, you have to be creative, and willing/able to take a chance on a guy that others didn't because of certain perceived flaws.
Just because a player doesn't get selected in the entry draft doesn't mean that he doesn't have a future in the league. It's why I find it comical when people try to tell you that they know exactly what a prospect will turn out to be. Scouting, and talent evaluation is an inexact science; all we can do is make the best possible educated guess based on the information we have in front of us. Unfortunately, that's usually not enough, and we're wrong far more times than we're right. But that's what makes it fun.
There are plenty of valuable, competent NHL-caliber players that are currently succeeding in the league after having been passed over time and time again by all 30 teams (210 different times, to be exact). Most of the guys listed below were told that they were too small, or too slow, or [generic reason a guy is told he can't succeed]. If there's one thing hockey people seem to have a fetish for, it's a centre with some size to him. A small winger who doesn't have overwhelmingly obvious puck skills will more times than not fall through the cracks.
Read past the jump for the All-Undrafted team.
August 29 2013 11:17AM
One of my biggest complaints with the data currently compiled by various hockey databases is that none of it, at least that I am aware of, allows for a user to restrict components of individual or team averages by date. This becomes particularly problematic when looking for trends in data that don't necessarily manifest in year-long averages.
No one was particularly surprised when Montreal lost to a comparatively strong Ottawa team, and data-friendly hockey fans saw Detroit giving Anaheim a world of trouble in round one. But, splitting the numbers to focus on the more-recent team data would have provided us with a far more definitive look at other match-ups, including that four-game sweep of the Vancouver Cauncks by the San Jose Sharks.
August 23 2013 12:52PM
Image via Puck Daddy
Cam Charron, hockey blogger, doesn't have too many things in common with the fantastic Belarussian two-way hockey player Mikhail Grabovski. However, as it turns out, they could both use some additional support. Fortunately for Grabovski, at the time of the taping, it was announced that he had been given 3,000,000 votes of confidence by the Washington Capitals. Cam is still searching, and I hope that I can provide it.
It has been a while since we've recorded a podcast, but that's understandable given how little has been going on in the NHL. We'll be picking back up with our weekly schedule in the coming weeks as we aim to preview the upcoming season and provide some predictions. This time around, we talk about some of the more recent offseason moves, and look at the Restricted Free Agent still left without new contracts.
Click past the jump to stream the podcast!
August 23 2013 09:21AM
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
I've said for a couple of seasons now that I think Matt Stajan is still a quality player. Even when he was in the midst of his .3 PPG season in 2011-2012, some were still defending him even though scores of Flames fans clamored for a buyout. With him entering perhaps his final season in Calgary, it's time to examine exactly what went wrong.
Let's take a look at the numbers and do some analysis.
August 20 2013 12:11AM
It's that time of the hockey year when every young forward who sits above league-average size bills himself as the next Milan Lucic. Derek Zona has already talked about this plenty. Over at LeafsNation, Cam Charron was forced to do the same.
What drives me absolutely batty about the obsession with developing and acquiring toughess is the tangentially-related obsession with hitting. For every David Backes and Scott Hartnell type, there are a litany of forwards who are more or less hitting because they're never in possession of the puck. We already know that at the team-level, teams win far more often when they're getting out-hit. Which, of course, makes looking at individual data fun!