Hockey Blog Beat – September 23, 2011.

In today’s roundup of interesting hockey blog posts: how Predators management follow the “Moneyball” principles…”Anze Kopitar and dud logic”…What Alexander Semin is, and isn’t…Rediscovering the Habs-Leafs rivalry…Trying to understand why Blues ownership rejected a $167 million purchase bid…A look at some “next ones” who didn’t pan out.

ON THE FORECHECK: Dirk Hoag on how Nashville Predators GM David Poile applies some of the principles of “Moneyball” in building and maintaining his team, including drafting and development of talent, emphasis on defense,  and acquiring castoffs to fill specific roles.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Poile has done a masterful job with the Predators, but there’s a fatal flaw in his style, and that of Billy Beane’s “Moneyball” system: lack of cash, which prevents them from retaining their best players or bidding competitively on a regular basis for the best free agent talent. The results, for the Nashville Predators and Oakland A’s, are teams which are competitive and can make the playoffs, but lack the necessary depth in star talent to carry them to championships.

ARM CHAIR HOCKEY: Jason Chen spanks Jason Botchford of TSN’s That’s Hockey for his comments criticizing Kings GM Dean Lombardi for investing big bucks in the wrong player (Anze Kopitar) when he should’ve invested in Doughty.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I usually find Botchford to be among the better hockey reporters, but as Chen notes, his logic in this instance doesn’t make sense, especially as Doughty was just entering his first season of his entry level contract when Kopitar signed his seven-year, $6.8 million per season deal.

JAPER’S RINK: “J.P” goes into great detail to prove Alexander Semin is a great regular season player, who has yet to duplicate that success in the post-season.

THE GOOD POINT: Matt Homer on the sagging Canadiens-Maple Leafs rivalry and his hopes it’ll intensify again one day.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: What’s taken the heat out of that rivalry is they haven’t faced each other in the post-season since 1979. Moving the Leafs back to the Eastern Conference was supposed to rectify that issue, but when the Leafs were hot, the Habs were not, and vice-versa. If these two teams can finally make the playoffs together and face each other, watch the intensity and passion erupt! 

ST. LOUIS GAME TIME: Brad Lee tries to make sense of Blues owner Dave Checketts rejecting a purchase bid of $167 million for his club, seeking instead $190 million.

BLEACHER REPORT: Matthew Fairburn lists Eric Lindros and 13 “next ones” who didn’t pan out.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: His list starts off fine, with the usual suspects well-deserving to be on this list (Alexandre Daigle, Patrik Stefan, Brian Lawton), but swiftly goes off the rails by including Pat Lafontaine (Hall of Famer), Mike Bossy (Hall of Famer), Pavel Bure (future Hall of Famer) and Lindros (again, future Hall of Famer). By using the logic that injuries meant they never “panned out”, one could therefore conclude the same thing of Bobby Orr, whose career was cut short by knee injuries despite being arguably the greatest player of all time, certainly the greatest defenseman.









  1. Lindros was one of Hockey’s best players for many years. I’ll call that panning out.

  2. Fairburn doesn’t know what he is talking about.

    I’d rather have Kopitar than Doughty at this point. Not a lot of centreman come along with his skillset and size… (Joe Thornton and Vinny Lecavalier are the only others that come to mind).

    Doughty will be gret too, but I agree with Lambo that you cannot justify paying him more $ at this point. My feeling is that he doesnt want to play there and is looking for a way-out.

  3. I would rather have kopitar over doughty too. He’s a game changer. Impact player if you will. Point per game. Not saying doughty isn’t a impact player but kopitar is superstar

  4. Fairburn is really reaching for a topic here. If the Next One is supposed to be the next Great One, then how could Mike Bossy even be eligible? He was a contemporary of Gretzky’s.

    I am in the East and know nothing of Kopitar but I think it is low hanging fruit that the prevailing hockey intelligentsia put more stock in an elite defenceman than a forward ergo a low profile hockey writer is more likely to parrot that ideology than not. That being said, I loved Drew in the Olympics. He was a beast.

  5. Doughty is in the same position Kopi was a few years back. Difference is, Kopi took in the BIG picture and Doughty is refusing to.

    At that time, Kopi wasn’t worth the $6.8M but has developed into the key player the Kings were hoping for when they signed him to that contract. By the end of the contract, he’ll be a bargain for that money.

    Doughty wants to be overpaid for what he is currently worth but doesn’t want to be around for the years where he MAY be a bargain (if he fulfills his potential). He might be a 6-7 million dollar player in 4 or 5 years but to inconsistent for that money now.

    I love watching Doughty play and all but his ego may be a little bigger than his game. If he is set on a 5 year contract, Kings shouldn’t pay more than $5.5 maybe 6 Million/yr