Just how good exactly is Gallagher going to be?
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02-21-2013, 12:40 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Originally Posted by
You don't get to see much of the effect at the NHL level, because the few small guys that actually make it... deserve it. Natural selection occurs at the level before lucrative contracts are offered to players, and the real costly process of asset selection/development begins - i.e. at the junior level.
Look back (it won't take many years, I promise you) at the top 20 scorers from the QMJHL, OHL, and WHL, separate them into groups based on their height, tell me where they went after junior, and see what trends you find. I've been following hockey a loooong time, so I've looked back at this many times before. You'll find, almost without exception, that the talented small guys (who continued to play past junior) have moved onto leagues (often European) where the physical demand isn't nearly as great - and thus there's lower risk/chance of injury.
Now, they didn't get injured and THEN pursue hockey dreams outside the NHL. They get weeded out before that level if it's ascertained that it'd be a physical liability (and a risk to the player's health) putting him on NHL ice. So, again, it isn't about looking at the few small guys who HAVE made it to draw conclusions, it's about looking at the thousands upon thousands who HAVEN'T - often despite truly gaudy junior numbers and/or offensive talent.
I agree with everything you have said there. At least in general. In fact,
this selection process you refer to, is one reason I think very short players
get injured less in the NHL. Their selection more often happens at lower
levels of competition. The ones that fight through to the NHL, are more
experienced at playing against opponents bigger than themselves. And
those more vulnerable to injury get weeded out earlier.
But as adults I think there is a practical structural reason why shorter
players are less vulnerable. The stress put on joints increases with the length
of limbs. And more importantly short players have a better ratio of thickness
and strength of connective tissue, to this stress on joints.
Anyhow, I base none of this on accidental observations of those short players
that have made it to the NHL. And I have no data to support these theories.
That's why I would really like it, for someone to do a proper study of this.
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