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12-28-2012, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
Hook, line, and sinker on what "conventional logic" dictates in regards to expansion.

Where you make completely erroneous assumptions is that NHL players are not shaped in the slightest by time and circumstance. And, with this established, the idea that there are a certain number of players who exist merely as letter grades, and that a larger number of roster spots means that a group of F-level players will fill those spots. And then you just kind of keep going off the deep end.

In any pro sports league, there are a very small number of A-level players who will be All-Stars regardless of their circumstances. There are a very small number who will be an abomination no matter what. Everyone else is in between, and is shaped by their circumstances.

Let's take a look at Nashville's (first-year team. Those aren't F-level players, those are a lot of B- and C-level guys, with a handful of AHL-level guys thrown in.

But I want to focus on one guy in particular, and that's the guy in goal. Tomas Vokoun was drafted by Montreal (1994) when Patrick Roy was still in net. Roy, of course, was traded in 1995 in a deal that landed Jocelyn Thibault. Jose Theodore had already been drafted (also 1994), so Montreal had three young goalies who were all a year apart. Thibault had NHL experience, Theodore was burning through the Q, and Vokoun was struggling. And when Vokoun got one shot, he was terrible. Montreal could have used him as the backup in 1997-98, but went with a 37-year-old Andy Moog instead.

So in 1998, expansion hits. Montreal leaves Vokoun and his lifetime 12.00 GAA and .714 save percentage unprotected. Nashville claimed him, and given an opportunity...he actually looked good. In fact, he became one of the best goalies in the league. If not for expansion, he doesn't get that chance, and he probably goes back overseas and is never seen again.

Undoubtedly there were people who laughed at Vokoun being picked up in the expansion draft, figuring he was never going to amount to anything. And yet...look what happened. He's still here. All he needed was a chance. There are a lot of guys in this position. It's not just a bunch of random depth guys who will never amount to anything, it's guys like Vokoun.
I see you one Thomas and raise you another.

Imagine if Thomas had been given his chance at a reasonable age and he'd been able to put up 6 or 7 more years at his peak level. We'd be talking about a lights out Hall of Famer.

Any team struggling to find acceptable starting goaltending talent isn't doing so because that talent can't be found. They're doing so because they can't find the talent -- an entirely different, if superficially related, thing.

Philidelphia and Toronto, I am looking RIGHT AT YOU here (hard to do both at the same time, but I always knew I was part chameleon)

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