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07-22-2013, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Grant McCagg View Post
Can you not respect that I'm involved in NHL scouting? I really don't need the lengthy diatribes that are nothing more than wild assumptions. I worked for the Habs last year on a consulting basis, I was employed by the Hockey News and McKeen's...I saw many games and talked to many scouts. Bob McKenzie and I consult on a regular basis on the draft - I am one of the scouts whose opinions he trusts for his draft rankings. Does this not mean anything to you? I guess not, because it goes against your opinion.

I'm not just expressing my opinion only (unlike yourself), nor the opinions of just one other scout. I gave you assessments from three different sources on is an NHL head scout, one is now an assistant GM, the other is a senior scout. They all thought Jessiman was a terrible pick for the reasons I stated. I tried to appease you by saying that perhaps I understated Jessiman's skill level a took this as an opportunity to become even more adamant in your incorrect assumptions.

Write all the words you want - but the fact remains McCarron is not even close to being a bust right now as Jessiman was in 2003 - there were a lot more signs with Jessiman...and that's an important factor.

I never said Jessiman was a good skater....or that he had good hands. Yet you have based on what you think you recall being said by Bob McKenzie during the draft. Neither is the case or he'd have made his way into the NHL despite his softness. Average skater, average hands, and soft as butter. Mac doesn't compare to Jessiman at all. Can you get that through your head..possibly? Being an "okay skater for his size" is irrelevant if the player doesn't use that size. Not only is Mac a better skater than Jessiman was..but he uses his size WAY more effectively. Again - that is important!

When you say things like "most agree" McCarron was a mid round pick halfway through..where do you come up with this? "Most what"? Trevor Timmins was telling me in November that he thought McCarron was a first round pick, and I felt the same way. Other scouts that didn't like McCarron as much early on still thought he was a second round pick at worst. I don't know where you come up with this stuff...I understand trying to support your argument, but when it's with complete BS...hard to take you seriously.

Yes Timmins drafted Fischer SEVEN years ago - every team has had a bust prospect over the past decade. Doesn't make the odds of McCarron being a bust any higher than any other prospect. Fischer was thought to be a reach by many other NHL scouts at the time..I did not like the pick. That is not the case with McCarron. Now you're throwing Hayden's name in the mix....fill your boots. You didn't see Hayden or McCarron play live last season..but you sure think you have them figured out.

Again - I will relate to you that I talk to several scouting sources quite often in addition to the exhaustive scouting that I do myself. No one outside of the Habs' organization that I've talked to feels the same way about McCarron as they did about Fischer, who was horrible in his draft interviews, was much too skinny, had a terrible shot, was soft, and little offensive upside. There were several warning signs with Fischer - they do not exist with McCarron. Again - a really poor and irrelevant comparison by you. "Well..Trevor busted with a pick 7 years he must be due with this one too because I liked some other prospect more." Pretty silly logic, and again...grasping at straws.

No discernible weaknesses is a very important point that for whatever reasons you choose to ignore because it doesn't fit your agenda on this. You leave the distinct impression that you are one of the "I told you so" posters on here. You weren't happy with the McCarron pick, so you are going to trash it and predict he is a high risk pick in the hopes of being proven right in a few years.

The many times you mentioned that there is a bust factor with Mac... you failed to add that there is also a bust factor with the top three picks until your last email..perhaps you could have mentioned that before your last email? Of course McCarron may bust if you put it in that perspective..nothing is 100 per cent guaranteed. If that's what you want to hear..there you go.

I didn't want to compare Hurley and Mac..someone else did. Why compare a prospect's play at the start of the season to another one's play at the end? Seriously? That's a pretty silly are grasping at straws with that argument as well.

NHL scouts I talked to that watched Hurley and McCarron play at the end of the season for the most part saw no comparison between the two prospects - McCarron was the much better player. Having to adapt to a new league is one thing..but they don't hide the fact that a player's hands are poor and that he lacks the offensive upside that some scouts thought Hurley had BEFORE he joined the USHL. It became much more noticeable when he played against better competition. McCarron not only outplayed him in the USHL, but he was outstanding at the U-18's.

Hurley didn't improve as the season went on - just the opposite happened..he was exposed. Mac did improve as the season went on, and has improved the past few seasons. That is another encouraging sign, and something the pros look at. Evidently it's not something you find relevant. I can assure you that the fellows that do this for a living do find that extremely important.
First of all, I want to make clear that my first language is french and not english. It could explain why you don't understand a few of my points. I do my best to make myself clear but I clearly failed this time.

I follow almost all of your posts. I know who you are and think you bring tremendous knowledge to the board. I didn't mean to insult you in any ways. I simply meant to expose a different point of view. Sorry if I came across as rude or know-it-all. Simply stating my point of view regarding what you say. I take your posts seriously.

I have been educated to question people and authorities in any subject and form my own opinion. It is not meant as a disrespect to anyone. So, being against your opinion as you say, is not a sign of me not respecting you. In fact, I take your word 100% when it comes to describing who McCarron is as a player. I just don't take your word in the prediction of what McCarron will become. People have proved to overestimate their capabilities in predicting the future. Not just in hockey but in most in endeavors in life.

I don't want to derail this thread but I'll give you my background in case you're interested. I have a math background and took great interest in statistical analysis in sports since reading Moneyball. At first, I was interested in knowing if there were any such stats model in hockey. I asked around on HF and got a clear no as "hockey cannot be modeled statistically". It is supposed to be way too fluid or whatever expression people use. I saw it as a great opportunity to investigate hockey from a statistical perspective.

At first I took things casually but things became more serious for me over time. I started modeling games and got into predictions. I will concede that predicting games is far different from predicting what prospects will do. That said, I've become quite successful. I'm making good money betting on games and actually helped my father retire quite a few years in advance. I've built models for hockey, baseball, basketball, and football (NFL). To give you an idea, for the last 4 NBA seasons and 3 NFL seasons I've beat the spread for more than 60% of the time. As good as those results are, hockey turned out to be even simpler to model. But that's not important. Point is, I have a math/stat background, applied it to sports and turned out well for me. Granted predicting games is different, I still know what I'm doing.

So, over the years I have worked on building models to predict the future impact of players. I'm quite confident in the quality of my models even though they're not perfect. For example, although I'm not into predicting the actual draft, this year I had MacKinnon at #1, Drouin at #2, Barkov at #3 and Jones at #4 pretty much all year. Granted no actual scout commented on my rankings, people pretty much trashed the work I did saying it was impossible to have Jones at #4 and that I should basically not quit my day job.

I'm not here to say that stat guys should overtake the world of hockey, just saying that I'm offering a different perspective. I'll never be as good as you or other scouts at judging players based on viewings. However, what I can do well is assess their stat line (stats as in data, large data, not simply points and PIMs). You're entitled to reject my point of view as I know stats guys are much worse well seen than lepers in the small community of the NHL. Anyways, I'll come back to this later.

The only point I made comparing Jessiman to McCarron was that you pointed out that McCarron had good hands and good skating for a player his size. I mentioned that people said the same about Jessiman in '03. This was said by the Rangers scout and Bob McKenzie in their review of the '03 draft. I did not say that McCarron would bust like Jessiman did. Just saying that some players in the past were said to have similar abilities in the past and have busted. I gave Jessiman as an example but said there are many more.

Height-weight-speed guys are the fetish of most scouts in any sports by the way. The Raiders have ruined their franchise wasting countless picks on such guys who were said to have immense potential if they developed. Fact is, most of the time, those guys don't pan out. For every Lucic, there's several examples of players who don't develop.

As for McCarron being thought as a mid-round guy. I mentioned that the Habs probably had him on their radar for longer than that. That said, what we heard from Craig Button and Ross MacLean was that McCarron really made a name for himself in the second half of this season and especially at the U18. I don't know who they talked to but they seem to be well connected in the scouting world.

I never said that because TT drafted Fisher that McCarron would bust. All I meant was that all scouts make mistakes or take shots with people others don't value as much. I meant to defend the Rangers scout saying that they have made other very good picks over the years even though they surprised the hockey world drafting Jessiman so high. I said TT is one of the best in the business and made several good picks yet he made surprise picks like Fisher when others said they wouldn't touch him with a 100 foot pole. It doesn't make him incompetent because he saw something others didn't see like you said about the Rangers scout.

I mentionned a few times that I only wish to be wrong about McCarron and that he'll turn out better than Mantha or Bigras (just want to point that I'd trade McCarron and DLR 10/10 for Mantha). Of course I play the I told you so game. Everybody does around here. That's why we gather here to discuss players and give our opinion. Everybody around here has their story about hey I wanted that guy in that draft and he turned out great when we took X instead who busted or that I knew the Gomez trade was terrible from the start. It's one of few pleasures we have without getting taxed. I play the game with the outmost respect for Trevor Timmins and everybody dedicating their life to hockey (for a meager salary in most cases I guess).

I understand you don't follow all of my posts, so you're probably not aware that in most cases I do not see things in black or white. Even if it took 3 messages for me to point out that MacKinnon could bust, for me it's a given that all players could bust. I don't think it's fair to the kid raising expectations too greatly to begin with. It's simply not true that there's no bust factor with McCarron. It's quite siginificant IMO.

My stats work shows that it's way more fair to compare Hurley's body of work to McCarron's first year in the USHL. Comparing McCarron's first 10 games is not the perfect comparison. That said, comparing McCarron's first year in the USHL to Hurley's first 10 games is much more fair to Hurley (granted 10 games is clearly not a whole lot). All I meant was that if you say that Hurley's production wasn't good scoring 1 goal and 8 points in 11 games then you have to mention by the same token that McCarron's production has to be not all that great for a power forward who's roughly 50 pounds heavier than the average USHL player. I know you don't care about stats and will point out that Simon Gamache didn't make it as an NHL superstar, so splain that, this proves stats don't work kinda thing. McCarron's production is actually pretty underwhelming as a USHL player.

Also, my work shows that big men don't develop more offensively than an average 5'11 185 guy. Big men make for better defensive players not better offensive players. In fact, you'll find negative correlation between players weight and goals allowed (meaning that an heavier team will allow fewer goals). On the other hand, smaller teams tend to score more goals to teams with bigger forwards (obviously, fact that small players are undervalued in the NHL will have that the average small guy will have to be more productive in order to stay in the NHL compared to a bigger player).

Btw, it's not just my work, I can post link to studies that measured various significance of body indicators and showed that weight matters for d-men and goalies but not for forwards. That's where I'm coming from saying that I prefer big men who are solid defensive players to begin with. That way they can play tough minutes (i.e. against better opponents and starting in their own zone) and leave quality minutes to higher scoring guys. Prust is a good example of that. The guy was always a great PK guy while being somewhat productive offensively despite playing opposing teams' top lines. Brouwer also fit the bill as a junior prospect, Backes, and so did a few big men/aggressive types who found theit way to the NHL. All I pointed out earlier was that it doesn't look to me like McCarron fits the bill. Although not terrible defensively, it doesn't look like he'll handle big defensive minutes. IMO big guys who aren't that productive simply take quality minutes from more productive players (extreme example: Laraque given quality offensive minutes because he can't handle his own at all defensively).

Anyways, didn't mean to offense you but don't like your reaction either.

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