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09-29-2012, 11:07 AM
Brainfart 4 Reinhart
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I think that the popularity of notions like "extra time spent in this league or that league makes a better player in the long run" is just based on hindsight bias. People are surprised by, and pay attention to, kids who have seemingly spent too much time in the minors but come out in the NHL looking great. So we tell ourselves a story that it was the time in the minors that did it. But there are just as many kids who spend lots of time in the minors and don't get better, or kids who mostly skip the minors and look great in the NHL.

Really, there's no principled way of making a rule about this. Only on a case by case basis, I think, can you say one league or the other might be better, and often only in hindsight. If a kid doesn't have the upper body strength, e.g., AND is prone to get into bad habits to compensate, maybe the NHL wasn't right for him at a certain age. But you can't come out and say this about a group of half a dozen prospects at once and conclude that therefore a lockout might make us better. There's just no way to know.

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