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09-11-2013, 09:43 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
On good teams, centers are the most important players. That's why they are the highest paid.
Scroll through CapGeek, or NHLNumbers, and look at each teams' top forwards. Count the number of centers who are paid top dollars, and look where they sit on the totem pole.
(Bear in mind, some players are not currently playing center on a regular basis, but in the past they perhaps have.)
STL, CAR, COL, and SJ all list 5 of their 6 top paid forwards as centers. LA is 4/5. PHO, CGY and ANA are 3/4. PIT is 2/2 with Crosby and Malkin.
2/3 teams include CHI, Van, and Wash.
EDM is 1/4. They are 2/6 by the time you include the Nuge. Very few other teams have this imbalance. Good teams are heavier on well paid centers and lighter on well paid wingers.
I also recall the story from last season that 11(?) of SJ's forwards were trained to take faceoffs, and regularly did so during games.
IMO, basic scoring wingers are a dime a dozen in the league. Scoring wingers who can defend well are then paid a premium. And big-bodied scoring wingers who can defend are the prize possession. Wingers who can defend have often played center in the past. That's why they are more valuable, that's why teams like SJ keep them around. A winger who can step into the F3 role is super valuable.
Back to Hall. If he moves to center permanently, it instantly moves the Oilers into that elite category. Once Nuge gets his second contract, we'd be a 3/4 team. It seems to be the way great teams roll.
I am hoping that Hall and management were planning to let him play wing until the Olympics this year so he could make the team as a LW. After that, he moves to C. Yak moves to LW. We roll.
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