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Kessel is a franchise player

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Old
03-23-2012, 11:18 AM
  #1
MattVenca
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Kessel is a franchise player

Hearing a lot of people say Phil Kessel is not a franchise player, he's a one-dimensional support player. A #2 or #3 guy. Here's why I think differently.

Phil Kessel is:

1) Tied for 4th in the entire NHL for points. Think about that.

2) 24 years old. The average age of the top 20 scorers in the NHL is 27.6.

3) Third in the NHL for even strength points. He doesn't just score when he's got space on the powerplay. He obviously makes things happen even when being checked hard.

4) A driven player. If he was as weak/soft/uninterested as people peg him to be, he clearly would have packed it in as well and would not be performing on this horrible team. Looking at the Top 20 scorers, and exclude teammate Joffrey Lupul by default, out of the other 19, 17 of them are on a team that is ahead of Toronto in the standings. The two that aren't are John Tavares and Jordan Eberle.

5) A balanced player. If your goals to assist ratio is 1.00, then a variance of 0 means you score exactly one goal for every one assist. Out of the top 19 scoring wingers in the NHL, only one has variance of exactly 0 and that is Jarome Iginla. The next closest are Phil Kessel 0.10, Patrick Sharp 0.12, Marian Gaborik 0.13, James Neil 0.15 and Jordan Eberle 0.16. Excluding Kessel, the median variance for the top 19 wingers is 0.28.

6) A goal-scoring machine. Third in the NHL in goals. Since the lockout, only four players have scored 30 goals in four consecutive seasons. Ilya Kovalchuk, Jarome Iginla, Alex Ovechkin, and Phil Kessel.

---

The Leafs have two players in the top 10 NHL points-per-game. One is top 5 in goals and points. Both are under 30, one is under 25.

The Leafs problem is not that they don't have a real franchise player. Because they do, it's Phil Kessel. Other non-playoff teams have a franchise player too. Tampa has Stamkos, Islanders have Tavares, Anaheim has Getzlaf and Perry.

The reason the Leafs are losing has nothing to do with Kessel not being the right guy. It's everyone around him.

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03-23-2012, 11:20 AM
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Doesn't a franchise player make every one around him better? Kessel is a talent, but franchise?

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03-23-2012, 11:21 AM
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I agree with your points. I do think he's a major puzzle piece. Franchise? We'll see. This year Kessel has really impressed me with his play. Other than scoring. He make's great plays and beauty passes. Imagine we had another player other than Lupul who can finish?

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03-23-2012, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattVenca View Post
Hearing a lot of people say Phil Kessel is not a franchise player, he's a one-dimensional support player. A #2 or #3 guy. Here's why I think differently.

Phil Kessel is:

1) Tied for 4th in the entire NHL for points. Think about that.

2) 24 years old. The average age of the top 20 scorers in the NHL is 27.6.

3) Third in the NHL for even strength points. He doesn't just score when he's got space on the powerplay. He obviously makes things happen even when being checked hard.

4) A driven player. If he was as weak/soft/uninterested as people peg him to be, he clearly would have packed it in as well and would not be performing on this horrible team. Looking at the Top 20 scorers, and exclude teammate Joffrey Lupul by default, out of the other 19, 17 of them are on a team that is ahead of Toronto in the standings. The two that aren't are John Tavares and Jordan Eberle.

5) A balanced player. If your goals to assist ratio is 1.00, then a variance of 0 means you score exactly one goal for every one assist. Out of the top 19 scoring wingers in the NHL, only one has variance of exactly 0 and that is Jarome Iginla. The next closest are Phil Kessel 0.10, Patrick Sharp 0.12, Marian Gaborik 0.13, James Neil 0.15 and Jordan Eberle 0.16. Excluding Kessel, the median variance for the top 19 wingers is 0.28.

6) A goal-scoring machine. Third in the NHL in goals. Since the lockout, only four players have scored 30 goals in four consecutive seasons. Ilya Kovalchuk, Jarome Iginla, Alex Ovechkin, and Phil Kessel.

---

The Leafs have two players in the top 10 NHL points-per-game. One is top 5 in goals and points. Both are under 30, one is under 25.

The Leafs problem is not that they don't have a real franchise player. Because they do, it's Phil Kessel. Other non-playoff teams have a franchise player too. Tampa has Stamkos, Islanders have Tavares, Anaheim has Getzlaf and Perry.

The reason the Leafs are losing has nothing to do with Kessel not being the right guy. It's everyone around him.
Cant agree more, what we need to become even a playoff team is a number 1 center to pass the puck to kessel, But those are the hardest to get from other teams.

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03-23-2012, 11:21 AM
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Now if only he could play defense..

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03-23-2012, 11:22 AM
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He is but people will only look at the price and say no.

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03-23-2012, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by DirtyDion03 View Post
Now if only he could play defense..
better than two years back for sure.

As one of the ducks mod said, if carlyle can make selanne play defense, then he can definitely make kessel play.

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03-23-2012, 11:23 AM
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MattVenca
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Originally Posted by BLONG7 View Post
Doesn't a franchise player make every one around him better? Kessel is a talent, but franchise?
That kills the definition for a lot of hockey players then.

Is Ovechkin making everyone around him better? Clearly not.
Neither are Getz and Perry.
Stamkos certainly isn't. He's scoring a thousand goals and the team can't make the playoffs.

And I would argue that Kessel is making players like Lupul and Bozak much better.

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03-23-2012, 11:24 AM
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Honestly Kessel is never going to be that good defensively. Obviously its easier said than done, but if the Leafs could ever got big 1 Center, he would not be exposed as much.

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03-23-2012, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Leaf Rocket View Post
better than two years back for sure.

As one of the ducks mod said, if carlyle can make selanne play defense, then he can definitely make kessel play.
I agree. Hopefully it keeps getting better and he has another good off-season of working out. If he continues to get stronger, there's no way he won't play defense.

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03-23-2012, 11:27 AM
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MattVenca
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Originally Posted by Leaf Rocket View Post
better than two years back for sure.

As one of the ducks mod said, if carlyle can make selanne play defense, then he can definitely make kessel play.
Completely agree.

Kovalchuk is a -6. Eric Staal is -13. Parise is -7. Martin St Louis is -9.
Ovechkin, Perry, Iginla, all minus players this year.

Kessel is -8. Big deal. His +/- isn't the lowest out of the top scorers. But he has more GWG than all of the above players. Yes, every single one of them.

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03-23-2012, 11:27 AM
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OP gave all stats.

A franchise player is more then stats. Its character and leadership which someone like Crosby and Toews possessed at a young age but Kessel does not.

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Old
03-23-2012, 11:29 AM
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MattVenca
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Originally Posted by Leaf Rocket View Post
He is but people will only look at the price and say no.
Weird how much people focus on that isn't it?

It makes me wonder. Lets say Burke trades two firsts for Crosby today and they end up being lottery picks. And then Crosby has another concussion and retires. I think the majority of people would actually look at that and forever say it was a stupid trade, Burke should have known better than to trade two firsts for a player with questionable health.

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03-23-2012, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eb View Post
OP gave all stats.

A franchise player is more then stats. Its character and leadership which someone like Crosby and Toews possessed at a young age but Kessel does not.
Kessel isn't a lockerroom leader but he is a leader on the ice, he wants the win a lot more than people give him credit and you can see it when he is damn frustrated at not scoring goals or not making plays for his team mates or when he goes from one end to another to make something happen.

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03-23-2012, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by LAJIMODIERE19 View Post
Cant agree more, what we need to become even a playoff team is a number 1 center to pass the puck to kessel, But those are the hardest to get from other teams.
It took two firsts to get a franchise winger. Cant imagine the price for a franchise center. At least anyone that's under 27. I'm sure you could get a Lecavalier type guy.

We've seen Ovechkin's numbers just topple over this season without Backstrom. I mean, if a perennial Hart candidate's numbers slip that much from losing a great center...How much would Kessel's rise from gaining a great center?

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03-23-2012, 11:35 AM
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Hell no

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03-23-2012, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaf Rocket View Post
Kessel isn't a lockerroom leader but he is a leader on the ice, he wants the win a lot more than people give him credit and you can see it when he is damn frustrated at not scoring goals or not making plays for his team mates or when he goes from one end to another to make something happen.
I can see your point.

First off, a franchise player needs to be a lockerroom guy.

Second off, I see what you mean by him getting frustrating by losing all the time, but wouldn't you think if he was that pissed off, and was that good of a leader on the ice, then he would battle along the boards more and play more physical? Heck, back check more? Yes, he has gotten better as you stated above about his defensive play but he is nowhere near a franchise player.

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03-23-2012, 11:37 AM
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MattVenca
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Originally Posted by Leaf Rocket View Post
Kessel isn't a lockerroom leader but he is a leader on the ice, he wants the win a lot more than people give him credit and you can see it when he is damn frustrated at not scoring goals or not making plays for his team mates or when he goes from one end to another to make something happen.
Bingo.

Nobody is saying he should be our captain. Nobody is saying he should be doing milk commercials in cow tights.

But to say you don't want to build the core of your team around an elite goal scorer who also makes plays, is a top point getter, a top even strength performer, and only 24 years old...I mean. Who do you want to build your team around for the next decade that we actually could have acquired in the last 4 years?

The only other choice we had was Seguin. Seguin might be a great player someday, I bet he will be. But maybe he ends up being a Patrick Sharp type? Show me when he finishes top 5 in the league in any category. Or scores 30 goals four years in a row.

Until then. Since November 2008, Phil Kessel is the best player that has been available in the entire NHL for us to build a franchise around. And regardless of the price, we had to pay it because otherwise we wouldn't have one. And the one we have is rockin.

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03-23-2012, 11:38 AM
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How does anyone know what goes on in the locker room? Its funny when people say people are leaders or not but have no idea on the actual atmosphere in the room. Kessel could surprise everyone and be a bit vocal in the room (not likely but hypothetically)

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03-23-2012, 11:38 AM
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Kessel is an elite goal scorer and not a bad play maker. But it is hard to give a player without any physical element to his game and one who bails on contact the franchise label. If he was a franchise player Boston would have kept him around.

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03-23-2012, 11:38 AM
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MattVenca
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Originally Posted by Eb View Post
I can see your point.

First off, a franchise player needs to be a lockerroom guy.

Second off, I see what you mean by him getting frustrating by losing all the time, but wouldn't you think if he was that pissed off, and was that good of a leader on the ice, then he would battle along the boards more and play more physical? Heck, back check more? Yes, he has gotten better as you stated above about his defensive play but he is nowhere near a franchise player.
Lockerrom comment: So Ovechkin isn't a franchise player?

Physical comment: I'm not comparing Kess to Gretzky here. Just saying. If playing physical is the criteria, then Gretzky wasn't a franchise player either.

Nobody is saying Phil Kessel is a captain. Nobody is saying Phil Kessel is a power forward.

I'm saying, Phil Kessel is a franchise player.

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03-23-2012, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattVenca View Post
Hearing a lot of people say Phil Kessel is not a franchise player, he's a one-dimensional support player. A #2 or #3 guy. Here's why I think differently.

Phil Kessel is:

1) Tied for 4th in the entire NHL for points. Think about that.

2) 24 years old. The average age of the top 20 scorers in the NHL is 27.6.

3) Third in the NHL for even strength points. He doesn't just score when he's got space on the powerplay. He obviously makes things happen even when being checked hard.

4) A driven player. If he was as weak/soft/uninterested as people peg him to be, he clearly would have packed it in as well and would not be performing on this horrible team. Looking at the Top 20 scorers, and exclude teammate Joffrey Lupul by default, out of the other 19, 17 of them are on a team that is ahead of Toronto in the standings. The two that aren't are John Tavares and Jordan Eberle.

5) A balanced player. If your goals to assist ratio is 1.00, then a variance of 0 means you score exactly one goal for every one assist. Out of the top 19 scoring wingers in the NHL, only one has variance of exactly 0 and that is Jarome Iginla. The next closest are Phil Kessel 0.10, Patrick Sharp 0.12, Marian Gaborik 0.13, James Neil 0.15 and Jordan Eberle 0.16. Excluding Kessel, the median variance for the top 19 wingers is 0.28.

6) A goal-scoring machine. Third in the NHL in goals. Since the lockout, only four players have scored 30 goals in four consecutive seasons. Ilya Kovalchuk, Jarome Iginla, Alex Ovechkin, and Phil Kessel.

---

The Leafs have two players in the top 10 NHL points-per-game. One is top 5 in goals and points. Both are under 30, one is under 25.

The Leafs problem is not that they don't have a real franchise player. Because they do, it's Phil Kessel. Other non-playoff teams have a franchise player too. Tampa has Stamkos, Islanders have Tavares, Anaheim has Getzlaf and Perry.

The reason the Leafs are losing has nothing to do with Kessel not being the right guy. It's everyone around him.
I agree, he's right there on the cusp of being a franchise player.

The problem is, IMO everyone around him has to be the perfect fit. Good playmaking defensively conscience centre, opposite winger with size and ability to play the boards. 2nd/3rd line with size and two-way ability.

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03-23-2012, 11:39 AM
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MoreMogilny
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He is not a franchise player.

He's really bad in his own end, can be very lazy, is weak physically, and while this year appears to be his coming out party, he needs to sustain himself as one of the better offensive weapons in the league before we slap the franchise label on him.

Elite talent? Yes. But I don't put him up there with the very best players in the league.

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03-23-2012, 11:39 AM
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Franchise.... no

He's one of the best offensive players in the league, but a franchise player also brings intangibles. A franchise player, plays at both ends of the ice, he's a leader in the dressing room, good with the fans and community and can handle the media.

He is a great player, but is FAR FAR FAR from a franchise player.

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03-23-2012, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattVenca View Post
Lockerrom comment: So Ovechkin isn't a franchise player?

Physical comment: I'm not comparing Kess to Gretzky here. Just saying. If playing physical is the criteria, then Gretzky wasn't a franchise player either.

Nobody is saying Phil Kessel is a captain. Nobody is saying Phil Kessel is a power forward.

I'm saying, Phil Kessel is a franchise player.
Franchise players also represent the club before the fans and media. Kessel will never do that.

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