Saturday, June 30, 2012

Justin Schultz's Decision

Justin Schultz Wisconsin Edmonton
Justin Schultz abandoned the Anaheim Ducks and he had every right to do so.

Thanks to a loophole in the CBA, Schultz was able to become an unrestricted free agent before playing a game in the NHL. After completing his junior year at Wisconsin, he refused to sign with the Ducks and was courted by close to every team in the league, ultimately signing with Edmonton.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Why Mats Sundin is a Hall of Famer

Mats Sundin Leafs
Mats Sundin was never the best player in the NHL. He never won a major award and he never won a Stanley Cup. Despite lacking these typical qualifications, Mats Sundin is a Hall of Famer.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Draft Day Wheeling and Dealing

"Trade the pick!? That would require an ability to do more than sit around and pray for the lottery."
A couple of years ago Scott Cullen of TSN wrote a couple great articles breaking down the value of draft picks. It basically broke down how likely a team was to draft a quality player from certain spots in the draft. Amazingly, even if a team owns one of the first three picks there is only a 60 percent chance that player turns out to be at least a top-6 forward or top-4 defenceman. 60 percent! That's crazy.

Here's a graph I made showing how likely a player is to develop into a top-6 forward or top-6 defenceman based on when they are drafted in the first round. After round one the chances are less than 10 percent.

Likelihood of a first round pick becoming at least a top-6 forward or top-4 defenceman.
He also looked at the chances of a player suiting up for at least 100 games in his career. After the first round even that minimal accomplishment is a pretty difficult feat to achieve. In conclusion: drafting is hard!

Likelihood of a draft pick playing at least 100 games in the NHL.
I've used this data to take a look at when it is best for teams to trade up or down in the draft. You can read more at The Good Point.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Why Luongo is Toronto's Answer in Goal

A stray elbow to the head turned more than James Reimer’s world upside-down last season; it sent Brian Burke’s carefully constructed plan for contending crashing to the ground. Now Burke must search desperately to find a veteran netminder capable of leading the Maple Leafs to the playoffs.

Although Ben Scrivens just finished an amazing season in the AHL, winning goaltender of the year, the disaster of 2011-12 means the Leafs cannot start training camp pinning their hopes on two unproven goalies. With public anger rising around Burke, entrusting the keys to the post-season to Reimer and Scrivens won’t happen. Burke was burned by this same gamble last season and is in no position to roll the dice again.

More importantly, failing to find a goalie was the same problem that eventually caused his firing in Vancouver. If he doesn't find a proven goalie to share the net with either Reimer or Scrivens it could ultimately be his downfall in Toronto as well.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

2012 5MFF Playoff Awards

Dustin Brown stanley cup
Welcome to the hockeyless nights of the summer. It is truly a barren wasteland of nothingness. Sure, there's baseball, and that will keep you sane, but without hockey, you might as well just go into summer hibernation.

Before shifting gears totally into off-season modegetting excited for the draft, the blockbuster trades, and the free agent bonanza that is sure to comewe should shed a tear for another season gone, and hand out some awards to the deserving few for a playoffs well done.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Crowning the Kings of the NHL

dustin penner king stanley cup
Building a team capable of winning the Stanley Cup is hard; building a team capable of doing it year after year is even harder.

The model franchise in the regard is the Detroit Red Wings, a team that won four Stanley Cups in the past 20 years, not to mention to other appearances in the Final. They’ve built a team about as close to a dynasty as you can get and are the type of organization that others try to emulate.

This year’s Stanley Cup Final pits two teams that could head in different directions after Gary Bettman hands over the silver mug. One, the LA Kings, have all the necessary ingredients to stay atop the NHL for the foreseeable future, whereas the other, the New Jersey Devils, may wind up being a one-and-done contender.

Check out yesterday’s post at The Good Point to read more.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

2012 Wendel Clark All-Stars

wendel clark doug gilmour
"Where's your beard?"
Dustin Penner's playoff beard is overrated. There I said it. The mountain man from Manitoba may have a beard that is the woolly mammoth of beards, almost like an air bag of hair protecting his face from harm, but it's overrated. Just as overrated as Shea Weber's beard last year.

Now, this is certainly blasphemy, because anyone with a working set of eyes can see that Penner's beard lords over all other beards, just as Weber's beard last year took on a "Madness? This is Sparta" quality that kicked all other beards into a pit of death.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Going For It: The Calgary Flames Story

bob hartley flames
According to Albert Einstein, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If one of history's greatest scientists was alive today he might look at the Calgary Flames and see insanity personified.

The Calgary Flames have missed the playoffs for the past three seasons and haven't passed the first round since making the Stanley Cup Final in 2004. The roster is aging and the prospect pool is thin, which seem like good reasons to start a rebuild, but Calgary has other ideas. The Flames are blind to the apparent, and yesterday's hiring of Bob Hartley confirms that, although not on the surface.
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