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AA Draft Finals: #1 Rensselaer Engineers vs #2 Pittsburgh Pirates

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01-14-2012, 08:26 PM
  #1
DaveG
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AA Draft Finals: #1 Rensselaer Engineers vs #2 Pittsburgh Pirates

Rensselaer Engineers



coaches Karel Gut & Dick Carroll

New lines:



Josef Augusta - Ernie McLea - Eduard Novak
Miroslav Vlach - Jorgen Jonsson (C) - Jan Klapac
Randy Cunneyworth (A) - Skinner Poulin - Eddie Wares
Tuomo Ruutu - Jeff Halpern (A) - Edgar Dey
Jaroslav Drobny

Kris Letang - Toni Lydman
Petteri Nummelin - Wilf Loughlin
Irek Gimayev - Gord Lane
Tapio Levo

Ron Grahame
Bohumil Modry



VS



Pittsburgh Pirates


Coach: Gerry Cheevers
Assistant Coach: Odie Cleghorn

Josef Cerny (A) - Carey Wilson - Andrei Kovalenko
Jean-Guy Gendron (A) - Gerry Meehan (C) - Kristian Huselius
Curt Bennett- Mike Zuke -Mike Corrigan
Andrew Ladd - Matt Cullen - Ryan Callahan
Pentti Lund, Errol Thompson

Danny Markov - Rick Lanz
Marc Staal - Aaron Miller
Terry Carkner - Hannu Virta
Dan McGillis

Jimmy Foster
Wayne Stephenson

Jimmy Foster
Carey Wilson

Josef Cerny
Rick Lanz

Andrei Kovalenko
Danny Markov

Gerry Meehan
Hannu Virta

Jean-Guy Gendron
Aaron Miller

Kristian Huselius
Mike Zuke

Marc Staal
Curt Bennett

Mike Corrigan
Gerry Cheevers

Pentti Lund
Andrew Ladd

Matt Cullen
Terry Carkner

Wayne Stephenson
Dan McGillis

Errol Thompson
Ryan Callahan
Odie Cleghorn

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Old
01-17-2012, 12:40 AM
  #2
Rob Scuderi
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Things have been a bit slow so I'll post the numbers and accomplishments for the defensemen in the series. The stats are their adjusted averages over the course of a full season.

Toni Lydman - 738GP 22ESP/7PPP/45% PK usage
TOI Ranks (excludes years with under 40GP): 1,1,2,2,2,3,3,3,4,4

Kris Letang - 299GP 25ESP/16PPP/23% PK usage
1,1,2,4

Petteri Nummelin - 139GP 12ESP/19PPP/not a PKer
2,5

Gord Lane - 539GP 14ESP/not a PP guy/25%PK usage on team
3,5,5,5,6,6,6,6 (of note: his three years as a #5 were out of only 5 defenders)

Danny Markov
538GP 24ESP/8PPP/36% PK usage
2,2,2,4,4,4,6,6

Rick Lanz
569GP 19ESP/17PPP/35% PK usage
1,1,1,3,3,4,5

Aaron Miller
677GP 17ESP/not a PP guy/42% PK usage
2,3,3,4,4,5,5,5,6,6

Marc Staal
321GP 17ESP/4PPP/53% PK usage
1,1,4,5

Hannu Virta
245GP 23ESP/13PPP/not a PKer
4,5,6,6

Terry Carkner
858GP 16ESP/not a PP guy/43% PK
2,3,3,3,3,4,4,5,6,6,6,6

AST Votes:
Kris Letang: 253 pts for 5th in '11
Marc Staal: 7pts for 13th in '11
Toni Lydman: 3 pts for T15th in '11
Aaron Miller: 2pts for T19th in '02

Norris Votes:
Kris Letang: 144pts for 6th in '11 (also tied for 17th in '11 Hart with one vote for 5 points)
Toni Lydman: 13th with 3 pts in '11
Marc Staal: 17th with 1 pt in '11

ASG Appearances:
x1 Kris Letang
x1 Marc Staal

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Old
01-17-2012, 07:46 PM
  #3
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I think the biggest difference in this series is between our defensive groups. It's a shame Russell went unnoticed because I'm sure the Engineers would have had another quality defender to throw into the mix.

-For the second series in a row I may have to yield the title of best defender in the series to my opponent. Lydman's the better #1 over Markov who is more physical but that's his only definitive advantage here.

-Letang has the highest peak of anyone here but with so few years I feel he compares more to Marc Staal than Rick Lanz. He and Staal are the only two to make an all-star game and I think Letang gets an edge. He's far more dynamic than Staal and still solid in his own end. Staal's the better shutdown guy though. The difference between the two is that trailing in the third you want Letang on the ice, but if you're leading in the third you want Staal out there.

-I see Aaron Miller with a big advantage over Loughlin. I'm not sure what to make of Wilf, is he supposedly a scorer? I really don't have any idea, but was he a starter during his time in the PCHA/WCHL? Nothing of LoH seems to talk about offensive and it mentions his struggles adjusting to the NHL. Miller on the other hand is a big shutdown guy who can skate well and a much more distinguished resume. Maybe I'm missing something here.

- Gord Lane and Terry Carkner are pretty much identical in roles for our teams but I think Carkner has a certain edge. Lane was his team's most sparingly-used defender in all but one of his professional seasons. Carkner plays the same enforcing style but at least rose above the bottom pair more than once in his career. Granted Lane played on the Isles, but it's not like Washington utilized him any differently before his trade. Carkner didn't win any cups but he still got into two deep playoff runs and was a top 4 guy for Florida in '96.

- Hannu Virta and Petteri Nummelin were both offensively-minded guys from Finland. Nummelin scored more throughout his career than Virta, both domestically and internationally with his 64 points in 104 World Championship games leading his case. Virta's NHL career was 100 games longer and he produced much better at even-strength than Nummelin. If you want a PPQB who can help the transition game then these are two great choices, but I think they're both definitely suspect defensively. Virta will be on my third pair whereas Nummelin will be asked to play a top four role which I don't think is really ideal, especially with my team's aggressive forechecking under Cheevers.


Last edited by Rob Scuderi: 01-17-2012 at 08:48 PM.
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01-17-2012, 09:23 PM
  #4
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In a series where 5/6 the top six wingers are Czechs who didn't have NHL careers you'd think we have some simple comparisons. The problem is I'm struggling to find complete statistics for all of these guys. My understanding is if you had to rank RPI's guys it'd be: Klapac, Novak, Vlach, Augusta. Klapac seems to have been the strongest player and had one excellent tournament tying for his team's lead with 15 points. Novak seems to have been a pretty solid goal-scorer. Vlach had a lot of nice finishes among his teammates but the problem is his era, so despite him possibly outproducing Novak I think he still slides in at 3. Augusta is probably the worst scorer but he's also the only one with mentions of work-ethic. My question is though, are any of them on the same level of Cerny? Klapac seems to have been more useful around the net than Cerny but that's the only edge I see. Novak seems like a weaker version of Cerny and Vlach's PPG in the Olympics certainly came against weaker competition than the other four.

- I don't know what to make of McLea either. He has a scoring finish nothing else. Wilson brings a lot of different elements with his game and I think he's definitely better here.

- Jonsson and Meehan are both two-way guys wearing the C but I think Meehan has a clear edge offensively. Gendron's offense is lacking compared to Klapac and Vlach but his hard-working style and defensive chops will make him a perfect forward for Cheevers. It's hard to know where Huselius's offensive compares here but my guess is up there with Klapac as he's put up solid numbers in the NHL and in the World Championships.

- This is a really strong third line for the Engineers. Cunneyworth and Wares are excellent defensive-minded wingers. Bennett and Corrigan probably aren't as strong defensively but they're probably stronger scorers as a pair. Poulin and Zuke are two fine two-way centers as well that I'm not sure how we can really compare. These lines can both be employed against scoring lines and should serve both teams well.

- Halpern and Cullen are pretty similar with Halpern getting the defensive edge and Cullen the offensive. I'd take Ladd, Ruutu, and Callahan in that order as well. They're all excellent ES scorers who play physical. Ladd having two cups lifts him over Ruutu's similar numbers. Callahan is last being young but it's worth noting that he's by far the best PKer of this group. I'm not sure how Dey factors in but his defensive game probably made him in the same league as Callahan PK-wise rather than Ladd and Ruutu.


Last edited by Rob Scuderi: 01-17-2012 at 11:16 PM.
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Old
01-18-2012, 05:48 PM
  #5
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The sort of elephant in the room with my team is Jimmy Foster. If Vlach gets dinged for his Olympics record in the 60s then what does that mean for Foster's record in the 30s?

He was by all accounts excellent and posted some really superlative numbers, but we have to remember it was against mostly meaningless amateurs. The one advantage Foster has here is he at least posted his numbers against the Canadian powerhouse at the time. He also posted stellar numbers in a few Allan Cups so it's clear he was certainly an elite player relative to his amateur peers. The question is whether that role as one of the best outside of the pre-expansion NHL meant he was an excellent player like Seth Martin (who played in the 50s, not 30s) or far more questionable like Jack McCartan who went from 1960 OG hero to NHL flop to aging WHA backup. I really have no idea where Foster would have fit in that spectrum with nothing to look at aside from his OG and Allan Cup successes.

I've laid a lot of reasons to doubt Foster, but I think Grahame has plenty of his own. First of all, there seemed to be confusion over his year winning the supposed WHA Goalie of the Year and not making the post-season All-Star Team. The Ben Hatskin Trophy goes to the goalie with the lowest GAA average at the end of the season, it's not the equivalent of a Vezina (I'd argue the post-season All-Star Teams are). When Grahame won his Hatskin in 76-77 he actually played a few less games than his team's other goalie, though he did play more in the post-season so it's possible he was injured. He still did make the WHA 1st and 2nd AST teams once each and the WHA Hall of Fame. He has a good record of playing against professionals and had one successful season in the NHL with Boston but then at 28 things starting going downhill and he retired by 30.

Obviously the WHA was a stronger level of competition than the Allan Cups and Olympics of the 30s but I don't think either is nearly as strong as the level of competition most of our skaters did. What I mean by this is that neither goalie here will be a gamebreaker. I think guys like Cerny, Klapac, Augusta, and Huselius could really light things up if either goalie falters and I think having a stronger defense group should help me out in this regard.

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01-19-2012, 12:29 AM
  #6
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Thanks for the in-depth analysis of the series - I think it's been really fair so far. I'll post my thoughts and questions tomorrow night.

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01-19-2012, 12:39 AM
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I would say that I think the goal for this series should be to be completed by the 23rd, the official start date of the ATD. I think it gives you an ample amount of time for arguments at this point Hedberg, a couple of rebuttals, and time for votes to be collected. Does this sound good to all three parties?

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01-19-2012, 12:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vecens24 View Post
I would say that I think the goal for this series should be to be completed by the 23rd, the official start date of the ATD. I think it gives you an ample amount of time for arguments at this point Hedberg, a couple of rebuttals, and time for votes to be collected. Does this sound good to all three parties?
Definitely this should be finished by the start of the ATD. There's been a lot of time already that I haven't made use of, so I'm not really worried about when the series ends.

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01-19-2012, 02:08 AM
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By the 23rd is fine with me as well. DaveG has been taking votes starting on fridays normally so that'd give people plenty of time to send them in.

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01-20-2012, 01:09 AM
  #10
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I think your comments have been good analysis and covered a nice spectrum. You've touched upon every player other than Gimayev, I believe. While there's not a ton on him, he's probably around Carkner's level.

A few responses:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Back Scuderi View Post
I think the biggest difference in this series is between our defensive groups. It's a shame Russell went unnoticed because I'm sure the Engineers would have had another quality defender to throw into the mix.
Yeah, we made a colossal mistake and it's hurt our defensive strength.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Back Scuderi View Post
-Letang has the highest peak of anyone here but with so few years I feel he compares more to Marc Staal than Rick Lanz. He and Staal are the only two to make an all-star game and I think Letang gets an edge. He's far more dynamic than Staal and still solid in his own end. Staal's the better shutdown guy though. The difference between the two is that trailing in the third you want Letang on the ice, but if you're leading in the third you want Staal out there.
They are difficult to compare, because as you mentioned they're pretty different styles of play. Letang is the player who suffers the most from our mistake as I'd much prefer him on the 2nd pairing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Back Scuderi View Post
-I see Aaron Miller with a big advantage over Loughlin. I'm not sure what to make of Wilf, is he supposedly a scorer? I really don't have any idea, but was he a starter during his time in the PCHA/WCHL? Nothing of LoH seems to talk about offensive and it mentions his struggles adjusting to the NHL. Miller on the other hand is a big shutdown guy who can skate well and a much more distinguished resume. Maybe I'm missing something here.
He had to have been a starter when he was a 2nd Team All-Star in 1921. I think he was also a starter for two other seasons. He's a different player than Miller to compare, as he's more of a 2-way guy than Miller's pure shutdown.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Back Scuderi View Post
- Hannu Virta and Petteri Nummelin were both offensively-minded guys from Finland. Nummelin scored more throughout his career than Virta, both domestically and internationally with his 64 points in 104 World Championship games leading his case. Virta's NHL career was 100 games longer and he produced much better at even-strength than Nummelin. If you want a PPQB who can help the transition game then these are two great choices, but I think they're both definitely suspect defensively. Virta will be on my third pair whereas Nummelin will be asked to play a top four role which I don't think is really ideal, especially with my team's aggressive forechecking under Cheevers.
Nummelin is really hard to figure out because he's wonderful at World Championships, which is probably a higher level of competition than the AA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Back Scuderi View Post
In a series where 5/6 the top six wingers are Czechs who didn't have NHL careers you'd think we have some simple comparisons. The problem is I'm struggling to find complete statistics for all of these guys. My understanding is if you had to rank RPI's guys it'd be: Klapac, Novak, Vlach, Augusta. Klapac seems to have been the strongest player and had one excellent tournament tying for his team's lead with 15 points
Vlach may or may not be ahead of Novak. The lack of stats is frustrating and I can't provide anything more unfortunately (other than for Klapac). VI knows more about Novak and Augusta than I do. We selected Vlach because his international stats are pretty note-worthy, but he's an enigma when it comes to player comparisons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Back Scuderi View Post
My question is though, are any of them on the same level of Cerny? Klapac seems to have been more useful around the net than Cerny but that's the only edge I see. Novak seems like a weaker version of Cerny and Vlach's PPG in the Olympics certainly came against weaker competition than the other four.
From seventies last year (the stats may be from the Society for Hockey Research) - Klapac was 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 6th in Czech league scoring and had 405 points in 355 games from 1962-1977 that we know about. Cerny's still better, but he may not be on another tier

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Back Scuderi View Post
He was by all accounts excellent and posted some really superlative numbers, but we have to remember it was against mostly meaningless amateurs. The one advantage Foster has here is he at least posted his numbers against the Canadian powerhouse at the time. He also posted stellar numbers in a few Allan Cups so it's clear he was certainly an elite player relative to his amateur peers. The question is whether that role as one of the best outside of the pre-expansion NHL meant he was an excellent player like Seth Martin (who played in the 50s, not 30s) or far more questionable like Jack McCartan who went from 1960 OG hero to NHL flop to aging WHA backup. I really have no idea where Foster would have fit in that spectrum with nothing to look at aside from his OG and Allan Cup successes.
I don't think there was anyone in the 1936 Olympics other than Rudi Ball and Gustave Jaenecke who was selected, so the level of the competition wasn't particularly great. It's also difficult finding rosters for the 1930s era Allan Cup, but I'm not finding many recognizable names. I find it interesting Foster is not in the IIHF Hall of Fame, although I guess it could be due to him being a Canadian playing for Britain. I'm interested in who the most note-worthy players Foster played against were (I easily could have missed some).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Back Scuderi View Post
Obviously the WHA was a stronger level of competition than the Allan Cups and Olympics of the 30s but I don't think either is nearly as strong as the level of competition most of our skaters did. What I mean by this is that neither goalie here will be a gamebreaker. I think guys like Cerny, Klapac, Augusta, and Huselius could really light things up if either goalie falters and I think having a stronger defense group should help me out in this regard. What I mean by this is that neither goalie here will be a gamebreaker.
Perhaps, although I think Grahame at least has experience against this level of players. Modry was as strong (probably stronger) at the level of competition than Foster or Vlach. He would probably get in if Grahame falters early.


Last edited by Hedberg: 01-20-2012 at 01:21 AM.
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01-20-2012, 01:16 AM
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I would say that I think the goal for this series should be to be completed by the 23rd, the official start date of the ATD. I think it gives you an ample amount of time for arguments at this point Hedberg, a couple of rebuttals, and time for votes to be collected. Does this sound good to all three parties?
so then, as usual, the last draft of the year gets brushed aside as everyone gets excited for the shiny new ATD?

I want to finish off the A draft properly but I bet no one, not even VI, who's not participating in the ATD, is with me there.

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01-20-2012, 01:22 AM
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so then, as usual, the last draft of the year gets brushed aside as everyone gets excited for the shiny new ATD?

I want to finish off the A draft properly but I bet no one, not even VI, who's not participating in the ATD, is with me there.
My understanding was that the A was going to use the "Challenger" rules format. Could be mistaken there. If you and VI want to challenge each other if that's the format, I don't see why you shouldn't do that. But I think, yet again, that if it's going to happen it should at least be announced by the 23rd that it will happen. The A draft has suffered more from inactivity in my opinion than by "being brushed aside."

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01-20-2012, 01:24 AM
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I want to finish off the A draft properly but I bet no one, not even VI, who's not participating in the ATD, is with me there.
I'm not sure we should do a playoffs (the "arguments" are difficult enough in the AA draft), but I'd love to do some sort of all-star vote.

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01-20-2012, 01:43 AM
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I don't think there was anyone in the 1936 Olympics other than Rudi Ball and Gustave Jaenecke who was selected, so the level of the competition wasn't particularly great. It's also difficult finding rosters for the 1930s era Allan Cup, but I'm not finding many recognizable names. I find it interesting Foster is not in the IIHF Hall of Fame, although I guess it could be due to him being a Canadian playing for Britain. I'm interested in who the most note-worthy players Foster played against were (I easily could have missed some).
I thought I could help with this, but I guess not. Even at SIHR I was unable to find anything. Usually the allan cup tournaments are linked to a list of all players who participated, but not these early ones that Foster played in. It was his play in the Manitoba senior leagues that got him into the Allan Cup, though, so I checked those out and I don't see anyone whose name I recognize.

Here's where I see Foster:

PROS:
- He played forever
- It seems everywhere he went he was a wins/GAA/shutout leader
- Incredible international record
- In 1930-1934, when the NHL had all the best players and was a quite small league, and Europe was not established, it could be argued that the best goalie outside of the NHL was the one who won the Allan Cup. In 1933 and 1934, that was Foster.

CONS:
- no idea who he played against to win those allan cups and to earn that strong international record
- the majority of his club games played in his career were in Manitoba and Maritime senior leagues, and in the English league, against virtual nobodies
- it requires a bit of a leap of faith to project his excellent low-level accomplishments to success against the best

OF NOTE:
- when judging players in times and leagues like this, we must remember not to get too caught up in "level of competition" or "degree of dominance". it is really a combination of both, weighed against eachother. Foster's degree of dominance was great. Was his level of competition so low that it offsets it completely? I can't say for sure. I can say that if he had a resume like this in the 70s and 80s instead of the 20s and 30s, it would be worthless on an all-time level, but in Foster's time the NHL was very small and exclusive and the firmness of the line between players in the NHL and players elsewhere was just starting to get more defined.

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01-20-2012, 01:44 AM
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My understanding was that the A was going to use the "Challenger" rules format. Could be mistaken there. If you and VI want to challenge each other if that's the format, I don't see why you shouldn't do that. But I think, yet again, that if it's going to happen it should at least be announced by the 23rd that it will happen. The A draft has suffered more from inactivity in my opinion than by "being brushed aside."
and the only reason for that "inactivity" is that it was given a very rushed start just as the drafting for the AA was wrapping up.

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01-20-2012, 01:50 AM
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and the only reason for that "inactivity" is that it was given a very rushed start just as the drafting for the AA was wrapping up.
See but my opinion is that if you're going to rush the start of that draft, then why not also rush the start of the playoffs or the postseason or whatever it is you're going to do with it, even if it interferes with the AA playoffs? If you don't you're just going to risk having a massive amount of inactivity, like what has ended up happening.

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01-20-2012, 01:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Hedberg View Post
From seventies last year (the stats may be from the Society for Hockey Research) - Klapac was 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 6th in Czech league scoring and had 405 points in 355 games from 1962-1977 that we know about. Cerny's still better, but he may not be on another tier
See I had no idea his scoring finishes were that good so I agree it's definitely not fair to call him a tier below Cerny.


Quote:
I don't think there was anyone in the 1936 Olympics other than Rudi Ball and Gustave Jaenecke who was selected, so the level of the competition wasn't particularly great. It's also difficult finding rosters for the 1930s era Allan Cup, but I'm not finding many recognizable names. I find it interesting Foster is not in the IIHF Hall of Fame, although I guess it could be due to him being a Canadian playing for Britain. I'm interested in who the most note-worthy players Foster played against were (I easily could have missed some).


Perhaps, although I think Grahame at least has experience against this level of players. Modry was as strong (probably stronger) at the level of competition than Foster or Vlach. He would probably get in if Grahame falters early.
Yeah that's the problem there's nobody on the Canadian or American rosters who received medals after Great Britain. Wikipedia has the rosters for those three teams.

It's a good point about Modry too. He's the stronger backup here over Stephenson which doesn't help me case goalie-wise in the series.

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01-20-2012, 01:58 AM
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See but my opinion is that if you're going to rush the start of that draft, then why not also rush the start of the playoffs or the postseason or whatever it is you're going to do with it, even if it interferes with the AA playoffs? If you don't you're just going to risk having a massive amount of inactivity, like what has ended up happening.
all I can say to this is, this is not how I wanted this to go, at all. It was someone else's doing.

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01-20-2012, 11:27 AM
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I guess the reason we want the lower drafts over sooner rather than later is because of the references to players who are undrafted in the main draft?

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Old
01-21-2012, 09:22 AM
  #20
DaveG
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How's the thesis?
 
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I'll be taking votes on this series through Monday morning. Remember to PM me the winning team, number of games (in case of tiebreaker), and 3 stars of the series

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Old
01-25-2012, 10:50 AM
  #21
DaveG
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How's the thesis?
 
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Looks like I have all the votes I'm going to get on this series. Your final result:

In 6 games, your AA draft champions are, The Pittsburgh Pirates

3 stars:
1 - Josef Cerny
2 - Jimmy Foster
3 - Jan Klapac

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Old
01-25-2012, 10:54 AM
  #22
seventieslord
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Good work BBS

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Old
01-25-2012, 11:38 AM
  #23
Velociraptor
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BBS is 2/2 in draft championships so far,

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Old
01-25-2012, 11:53 AM
  #24
Hedberg
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Congratulations BBS, a well-deserved championship

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Old
01-25-2012, 02:38 PM
  #25
Rob Scuderi
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Thanks to everyone and great work by Hedberg and VI

I really appreciated the debate with Hedberg as well. Another well-fought series to cap off another great draft.

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