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02-12-2013, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
To briefly hit on the first-rounders.
- We all know the story with Fleury, Staal, Crosby, and Malkin
- Jagr fell to 5th. There's a story that Vancouver (picking 2nd) interviewed the top prospects and asked them all, "If you were in our place, who would you draft?" ALL of them said Jagr. Vancouver took Petr Nedved. There was also fear that Jagr would have to serve in the Czechoslovakian Army.
- Naslund fell. He was projected to be a top-10 pick, but drafting European players was still in its infancy. Europeans in the first round of 1991 were Peter Forsberg, Naslund, Alexei Kovalev, Martin Rucinsky, and Niklas Sundblad (drafted by Calgary, so doomed to failure). The second round had Ziggy Palffy, Sandis Ozolinsh, Jozef Stumpel, and Martin Hamrlik (drafted by Hartford, which was worse than Calgary).
- Straka was 20 years old when he was drafted, taken three spots after Dmitri Kvartalnov (who was 26).
- Good for Brooks Orpik.

My point isn't to bury Patrick. He's a damned good hockey mind, but to act like he had a sterling draft record with Pittsburgh outside of the top-5 isn't backed up by anything. There's a lot of depth players, a lot of guys who never came close to the NHL, and a couple who turned out nicely.
This is the problem with you, MB--there's always an excuse or a qualification. I could give two hoots whether player X "fell." Cam Fowler fell too. Does Murray not get credit for drafting him because of pre-draft rankings that had him higher?

Which goes to another complaint I have--your over-reliance on pre-draft rankings. Is it or is it not the job of a GM and his scouts to analyze players and make a determination of what is best for the team? If not, let's fire all of our scouts and just rely on pre-draft rankings. Then we can just blame Central Scouting or whatever other person responsible when things go wrong.

As for Patrick and the later rounds, you miss a huge corrolary to the "Dougie Rule" that someone brought up above. The thesis has been that Doug rushed players and thus resulted in having a higher percent of "career NHL players" simply because he was playing guys that he shouldn't have. Well, there is a corrolary to that for Craig Patrick. For all but 3 of Patrick's years as GM, there was a guy named Mario Lemieux who played for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He took up 1 of the 6 forward spots on the roster. For 11 years Jaromir Jagr was on the Pittsburgh Penguins, taking another top forward position. For 8 years Ron Francis was on the Penguins top 6. For 9 years Marty Straka was a Pen. For 6 years Joey Mullen was a Pen. For 8 years Kevin Stevens was a Pen. Tomas Sandstrom for 4 years. Bryan Trottier for 3 years. Recchi for 3 years. Alex Kovalev for 5 years. And that doesn't even go to short-term players like Lu Robitaille or Petr Nedved. So, with all of this talent do you think there was much room on the roster for guys drafted in Round 6? Do you think the Pens were actively working to develop 4th round talent to challenge Kevin Stevens for a roster spot?

This goes to my complaint about your Detroit Red Wings critique. There are two reasons it breaks down. For one, when you develop a Lidstrom who plays on your back end for 20 years, guess what? There are fewer roster spots to fill. Secondly, when you are the Pens of the 90's or the Wings through today (all though this may be the year they finally start their fall from grace) taking time to develop players is not the most efficient use of resources. You are already close to what you need to win. So, you go out and use free agency and get a known commodity, again reducing the number of roster spaces available for picks.

The end result is that the bar is raised for any prospect hoping to make the team. Neither the Wings, nor Patrick's Pens, were going to put an inexperienced kid in and have him struggle through an 82 game season. So, were Patrick's picks or the Wings picks that bad, or was it that they swung for the fences with high risk/high reward picks because they had no immediate needs to fill?

Contrast that with Howson. The draft is much more important for the Jackets because no free agent wants to sign with this GM. Simply doing an average job isn't good enough and doing a below average job is unacceptable. Doing "well" in late rounds and loading up on depth players is not going to turn it around. Howson has to find All Star caliber players. To date he's yet to draft and develop a player the equal of a Nash or even a Klesla.

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