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05-17-2012, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Talks to Goalposts View Post
I'd say its more accurate that by the NHL level the balance of hard work and talent that leads to performance is pretty much already there for the most part and is reflected by how they do on the ice. By all means avoid the guy that has a truckload of puckskills but does nothing to drive the play but don't ignore a consistent 30 goal threat because you don't like him personally.

The ability to work hard, such that it is different in NHL players, already will show up in results. Its not a magic extra thing that makes those results more worthwhile. To many people use working hard as a mental proxy for defense but defense should be measured by measuring defense not how hard a guy looks like he's skating.
When I say "hard work/character", I allude to the commitment they show/make to a team, buying into systems, and playing "mental mistake free" hockey because they have great practice/training habits, etc. Talented players get drafted all the time but some never really make it to the NHL. Other than bad luck/timing in some cases what happens? There's just too much hard work going on in the NHL these days for talent to coast in and have an impact. It's an intangible, and it's impossible to measure, but you're foolish if you think intangibles are completely meaningless to teams looking to make the best selections with their draft picks, for example.

I think talent is perhaps still ultimately the most important (there's definitely a level of "minimum requirement" that no amount of hard work can overcome), but if we were to apply this to, say, the acquisition of someone like Radulov (for example), I'd be very reluctant to divert a lot of resources/assets to those ends.

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