Thread: Speculation: Value of Grit and Toughness
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04-24-2012, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by nickschultzfan View Post
I wasn't asking "what is more valuable, talent or grit?" That's an easy question.

I was trying to get that that some teams will be looking for gritty players this off-season, and whether the Wild should take advantage of that by trading a guy like Clutterbuck for a more skilled player or some other valuable asset?
The way I would look at it, using your Chicago example, is "what would Chicago need differently to beat Phoenix in that series?" "Grit and toughness" wouldn't be my #1 or #2 answer. The best thing to turn that around would be swapping out Crawford for an average to above average NHL goalie. Put someone like Theodore, Harding, Elliott, Anderson, or Niemi in net and Chicago likely wins that series. Crawford is "good enough" when Chicago's scoring at a decent clip. When they run into a system team like Phoenix, that scoring gets stifled, and they lose their edge.

For the second thing to change on that team, defensive depth. Chicago had Keith, Seabrook, and the rest of the guys on defense. Hjalmarsson looks like he was just a product of Campbell. Leddy's still not 100% NHL ready (and is only playing in the NHL because of how desperate Chicago is). Oduya isn't real desirable in the top 4. The rest of the guys might not make the Wild's defense this year. Chicago was basically playing with a 1st pairing, 3rd pairing, and some depth guys.

I don't think that a perceived lack of grit in free agency will do anything to improve Clutter's value. However, the fact that he's nearly unique as a player, and fulfills an interesting role while still tallying on the scoresheet, means he's still more valuable than your average guy in his position.

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