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01-18-2011, 01:50 PM
  #66
seventieslord
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Melville selects Craig Muni, D



At 6'3", 208 pounds, Muni had great size, especially for his time. Late in his career, Muni was considered just a journeyman plugger, but as his career was winding down he was traded for the decent and younger Darryl Shannon, and promising youngster Michal Grosek. Just a couple of years earlier, he was traded straight up for Keith Carney. Scouting reports circa 1991 call him "one of the league's elite defensive players". His career adjusted +/- is +54, and it's tough now to find any defenseman this late with a rating like this, aside from offensive specialists who played sheltered minutes. During Muni's career, much like Joe Reekie, I often noticed that despite providing absolutely no offense, he managed to have a good +/- relative to his team.

Muni killed 43% of penalties for teams that averaged 17% better than average throughout his 819-game career. He is probably the most accomplished penalty killing defenseman available and could easily play that role in the AAA if he had to.

Muni averaged a respectable 18.56 minutes per game, and 19.13 per game in the playoffs, after my weighting formula, meaning that Muni was not just a guy who was important to bad teams and a plugger on good ones, actually the opposite. Most impressive thing in Muni's resume? He was a #4 defenseman on three cup winners - 1987, 1988, and 1990.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
Quietly, Craig Muni developed into a rugged, defensive stalwart who earned his name on the Stanley Cup three times in his 12 years in the NHL.

Muni, best known as a hard hitting, stay at home defenseman, was used in all defensive situations. A strong one- on- one player, Muni was a regular penalty killer, especially on 5- on- 3 advantages. He also developed a reputation as a controversial hitter. He was one of only a handful of players who excelled at the old fashioned hip check. However the controversy was that Muni would use his open ice hip checks like missiles, blowing out more than a few knees along the way. In one playoff series between the Oilers in Kings, Muni put both Tomas Sandstrom and Bob Kudelski on the shelf with low and controversial hits.

As solid as he was defensively, he was a one trick pony. He had little finesse game to speak of. Saying he was an average skater would be a stretch, and he had no offensive output at all. A weak shooter and poor puckhandler, Muni made a living as a 5th, 6th or 7th d-man.

Born in Toronto, he was drafted by his hometown Maple Leafs 25th overall in 1980. However he never panned out in Toronto, largely because of his skating. In 6 years in the Leafs' organization, he appeared in 19 games and was written off as a bust.

However Glen Sather saw something in Muni and in the summer of 1986 signed Craig as a free agent. Muni immediately stepped into the mighty Edmonton Oiler's blue line corps and played regularly and well. In his first 4 seasons with the Oilers he was part of three Stanley Cup championships and was a +142!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1990-91
a deceptive skater, in that he doesn't possess either great speed or quickness, but somehow he gets where he has to be... challenges opposing forwards... a conservative player... not an offensive threat... has good size and strength and uses them effectively... takes men out of the play in front... the use of his strength is made better by the fact that he stays out of the box... takes the body well along the boards... sacrifices his body to block shots... no one's exactly sure how he does it, but that mystery can't detract from the fact that Muni has become one of the NHL's best defensive players.


Last edited by seventieslord: 01-23-2011 at 02:23 AM.
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