Flames Re-sign McGrattan

Kent Wilson
July 04 2013 05:36PM

 

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For two years apparently. Because GRITCHART.

 

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Former Nations Overlord. Current FN contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#101 clyde
July 04 2013, 08:46PM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

Lucic isn't gonna fight McGrattan, he'll skate a circle around him and score a couple goals.

Whats so Nuclear about that?

Lucic was a pussycat versus Buffalo this year with only a goal and an assist in 4 games with a -2 rating. Before John Scott, he ran that team out of the rink.

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#102 jeremywilhelm
July 04 2013, 08:46PM
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@clyde

See above.

He was a useless passenger on that team and did nothing to help them win. In fact, I believe he lost the first or second game for them on a terrible give away by him.

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#103 jeremywilhelm
July 04 2013, 08:48PM
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@clyde

You are hilarious. I would like you to find out how many shifts Scott played against Lucic, I am gonna guess almost none. some deterant.

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#104 clyde
July 04 2013, 08:48PM
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Veggie Dog wrote:

Bollig hadn't been listed at that point. He fits the bill certainly though.

I listed him and Carcillo in my first post.

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#105 jeremywilhelm
July 04 2013, 08:50PM
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@clyde

Carcillo played, I think, 1 game in the entire playoffs. Useless.

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#106 clyde
July 04 2013, 08:50PM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

You are hilarious. I would like you to find out how many shifts Scott played against Lucic, I am gonna guess almost none. some deterant.

Sometimes just being there is deterrant enough. Perhaps out of respect for Thornton he dialed it down to help avoid Thornton having to take another beating like the first one.

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#107 clyde
July 04 2013, 08:51PM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

Carcillo played, I think, 1 game in the entire playoffs. Useless.

If every guy I list on the Stanley Cup champions is so useless then why are they on the team? Why do they play at all?

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#108 jeremywilhelm
July 04 2013, 08:52PM
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Goons do not help you win games. It is as simple as that. But they definitely help you lose games.

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#109 Justin Azevedo
July 04 2013, 08:52PM
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@clyde

lucic played 5:30 against scott the entire year.

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#110 Veggie Dog
July 04 2013, 08:53PM
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@clyde

I see it now. They are still mostly reaching. MacIntyre 1 game all season!

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#111 jeremywilhelm
July 04 2013, 08:53PM
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@clyde

Not every guy, but Bollig and Carcillo are useless. They have absolutely no worth on the ice, and in Bollig's case, the Hawks were a better team without him dressed.

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#112 Uppies
July 04 2013, 08:55PM
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TheoForever wrote:

@ Uppies

Good post and 100% accurate. Pencil pushers that don't play sports where intimidation is a factor cannot understand the role of a fighter.

I like what Feaster is doing. A team without a heartbeat cannot bring fans into the building. This new version may loose but one can get behind a team of local guys that are hard working and not afraid to hit. You have to sell something during the rebuild.

BTW. Poirier over Shinkaruk - great move!

Thanks. these guys just rattle me. How do you prove something to someone when having been there done that, lived it isn't good enough for them? They need everything put on paper to be proven. Obviously they don't know a damn thing about what really goes on. Stats are fun but how often does a team look good on paper and fall short of expectations? Clearly there are some pretty important aspects of a team that can't be punched into a spreadsheet

And Poirier is a great pick!!

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#113 clyde
July 04 2013, 08:57PM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

since there seems to be some dissension between the "you never played teh gamez!!!1!1!!" crowd and the blogging crowd, let me break it down:

at every level of hockey in which I played at, there was no one on the team who's purpose was only to goon it up. everyone i ever played with was at least good enough to play at the level they did - otherwise, it would've been snip snip.

maybe it's just me, but I never changed my style of game because of who was on the other team. sure, there might've been some 6'6 hulk on the other team but that didn't stop me from trying to level the other team's best player or what have you.

guys are going to do what they're going to do on the ice, regardless of who's on the other team. it doesn't matter if he's a "deterrent" (he isn't) if he's hurting the team in every other way.

Good Justin. There are guys who are like you. Were you a clean player or did you go running around? I never backed down either but I had a lot of teammates who would and played against many more as well. A deterrant does change the way some players play. Witnessed it in Phoenix this year when Bissonette politely let TooToo know he was not going to run around. Pretty tame game by TooToo after that.

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#114 Veggie Dog
July 04 2013, 08:57PM
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clyde wrote:

If every guy I list on the Stanley Cup champions is so useless then why are they on the team? Why do they play at all?

Dude, you are being glib. I listed points and ice time of most of your list to demonstrate that they mostly actually play and produce. I didn't say everyone you list is useless, I said they didn't fit the dedicated goon role.

Frankly I would rather have a Carcillo type who is more of an agitator than a flat out goon. Some one to throw the other team off with chippy borderline play rather than a fight every few games.

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#115 Veggie Dog
July 04 2013, 09:02PM
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@clyde

This is a waste of breath. I said nothing of the sort. I'm done now.

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#116 clyde
July 04 2013, 09:04PM
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Veggie Dog wrote:

Who are the goons on Pitt, Chicago, LA? Boston has one maybe.

Here is your first post.

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#117 sincity1976
July 04 2013, 09:05PM
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Kent and other are asking for proof. It goes the other way as well. Give me a quote of a player that plays the game at a high level that says having these players on the ice doesn't help.

You can't quantify everything. But just because you can't quantify it doesn't make it invalid.

If Baertschi feels more confident going out on the ice because McGrattan is on the bench then it is a good thing IMO. If having someone out there that says I got your back no matter what contributes to a team environment then that is a good thing IMO.

It hurts the credibility of advanced statistics when the stats guys are arguing against the people that play the game saying that because we can't quantify the benefit it doesn't exist.

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#118 suba steve
July 04 2013, 09:09PM
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So if goons help you lose games and provide some excitement for us troglodyte fans, what's the harm here? We would have been well served by a few more losses this past season, no? Seth Jones may have looked pretty good on our blueline or Barkov at centre ice?

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#119 chillout
July 04 2013, 09:11PM
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teams like vancouver fold because they have no nasty gritty players like boston and chicago who have several. their stars get manhandled and dissapear because they are not physical players and don't like that. you have a player out there who will knock someone silly (not just fighting but crushing hits too) it knocks them off their game and they won't mess with your stars the way they normally would. Vancouver only has players that will cheap shot someone or flop around on the ice like they've been shot.

Sometimes you just need a goonish player out there to keep the other team honest. sometimes they also have the exact attitude that helps fire up your team. if that player can pretty much only drop the gloves but gets everybody in the room fired up, I would say that is a good player to have.

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#120 Baalzamon
July 04 2013, 09:14PM
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@sincity1976

That's the thing though. You actually expect a player to identify a teammate as being useless? Players generally don't even say that about opposing players!!! Even Avery never had that kind of dumbassery.

The only player I can recall who said anything like that at all about anyone was Mike Peca re: Bouwmeester. After he retired. And Peca never once scored a single point while Bouwmeester was on the ice. Ever.

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#121 BurningSensation
July 04 2013, 09:20PM
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I wonder if there is way to make this conversation more productive.

As a fan of advanced stats I have to believe that if there is a benefit to a goon that benefit would show up somewhere.

So...what would that benefit look like? Where would we look for it? I assume that WOWY isn't going to do the job, but perhaps that is a false assumption.

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#122 cunning_linguist
July 04 2013, 09:25PM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

since there seems to be some dissension between the "you never played teh gamez!!!1!1!!" crowd and the blogging crowd, let me break it down:

at every level of hockey in which I played at, there was no one on the team who's purpose was only to goon it up. everyone i ever played with was at least good enough to play at the level they did - otherwise, it would've been snip snip.

maybe it's just me, but I never changed my style of game because of who was on the other team. sure, there might've been some 6'6 hulk on the other team but that didn't stop me from trying to level the other team's best player or what have you.

guys are going to do what they're going to do on the ice, regardless of who's on the other team. it doesn't matter if he's a "deterrent" (he isn't) if he's hurting the team in every other way.

Don't buy it. If there was a 6'6 hulk on the other team and you knew he had a target on your back, you might have the focus and the professionalism to remember to go out and still fill your role, but the fact that you even have to think about it proves you aren't 100% focused on your own game.

Even if you could totally forget about the behemoth and the target on your back, the minute you did succeed in leveling the other team's top player, your subsequent butt whooping would serve as a reminder/deterrent in future such circumstances. Play the same team 6 times per year and pretty soon your game will change, even if you're trying your bestest to keep it the same.

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#123 AlbertaPride
July 04 2013, 09:30PM
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Wilson, why don't you go cover soccer.

Should hockey take out the boards too, lose hitting?

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#124 Flames Nation Who?
July 04 2013, 09:33PM
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@Kent Wilson

Kent just because you're more "professional" than most of us and have all different kinds of stats to prove your words, sometimes a player's influence and impact on a team is beyond just numbers. If the team feels that having a guy like Bigern in the locker room helps develop a winning or more competitive spirit. By all means I'll jump on signing this guy. Thought you would know better but ...

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#125 Brent G.
July 04 2013, 09:34PM
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I think this is a pretty stupid signing to debate over but I do have an opinion on the matter.

I never played hockey of any consequence but ultimately like the signing. Does MacGratton help or hurt the teams ability to win game? Obviously this is very debate able but I will say he does improve the entertainment of the game. I find a lot of people on here are all about the W's. watching a team win is awesome but really I want to watch an exciting game where the team is engaged and emotional. They are going to be bidding for a top pick this year anyways so let them go beat the hell out of the other teams.

Look at the recent additions to the battle of Alberta. They are emotionless and boring. Neither team gets fired up for it; there's no passion or interesting sub-plots anymore. To say these players have no impact is simply wrong. Does anyone else remember when Steve Macintyre (a significantly worse player than MacGratton) absolutely ran Gio (I think) through the end boards? Prust jumped in, got his ass kicked but it completely changed that games outcome. To that point calgary had complete control, then the hit, boom, edmonton takes over and wins a game they were flat in. Enforcers still have a role. Staged fights are stupid but real, in the moment, fights are great.

Remember when MacDonald got ran last year and everyone just stood there and watched and the "pencil pushers" on here said scoring on the pp is the best revenge? The worst pp I might have ever seen followed that. What a lesson! Then the goalie got hit again the very next game. Yep, no impact at all.

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#126 sincity1976
July 04 2013, 09:35PM
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@Baalzamon

Come now. Most go out of there way to highlight how important it is to have these guys on the team. Clearly the coaches feel it is important to. It is one of those times that in absence of anything to quantify you have to take the word of the people in the trenches.

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#127 AlbertaPride
July 04 2013, 09:36PM
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Liars make stats and stats make liars.

Go back to the books and let the real hockey people discuss realty.

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#128 Brent G.
July 04 2013, 09:40PM
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AlbertaPride wrote:

Liars make stats and stats make liars.

Go back to the books and let the real hockey people discuss realty.

Lol I appreciate stats really don't capture everything but in all fairness your sort of on the wrong site preaching this. This site is about taking the stats we have and coming to conclusions. Looking at things from a different perspective than MSM

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#129 Sincity1976
July 04 2013, 09:44PM
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I feel the debate almost comes off like this:

Hockey Player "I feel much better knowing I have that guy to back me up."

Stat's Guy "No you don't, look at these numbers."

Having the big guy there may not have a meaningful impact on wins. But if the young guys feel more confident having him there then that is good for development. If that guy brings the team together then that is good for development.

When this team is ready to challenge for a cup we can debate the merits of a goon on wins/loses. But right now who really cares about the marginal (if any) impact a 4 liner making 750K is going to have on the total points column? Silliness IMO.

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#130 BurningSensation
July 04 2013, 09:45PM
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AlbertaPride wrote:

Liars make stats and stats make liars.

Go back to the books and let the real hockey people discuss realty.

Not to single you out for abuse, but this attitude drives me nuts.

The advanced stats guys (who I typically side with) have a point, there is zero evidence that a goon statistically benefits your team.

On the flip side we have miles of anecdotal evidence that players feel safer/emboldened by having a nuclear deterrent on the roster.

So how to split this Gordian knot? If there is a benefit (and from my experiences I personally think there is) I think there should be a way to tease out what it is from the advanced stats - but I also think there may not be.

So my question to both sides is, how do we gauge the psychological effects of 'security' that a player like McGrattan provides to someone like Baertschi, or that Semenko gave to Gretzky? I had mentioned WOWY might tell us a story, but it also might not (or it might show that weapons like McGrattan give away as much as they bring).

Ideas?

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#131 25cent
July 04 2013, 09:47PM
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Flames Nation obviously now should make #GRITCHART MCGRATTAN shirts. Sales would be off the charts.

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#132 RexLibris
July 04 2013, 09:47PM
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BurningSensation wrote:

I wonder if there is way to make this conversation more productive.

As a fan of advanced stats I have to believe that if there is a benefit to a goon that benefit would show up somewhere.

So...what would that benefit look like? Where would we look for it? I assume that WOWY isn't going to do the job, but perhaps that is a false assumption.

I applaud the effort, so lets try to think of some possibilities.

Without using McGrattan as a specific example or reaching for examples from a bygone era (ie: McSorley).

Having a player who can enforce a certain level of behaviour from the competition would appear to be valuable in theory. However, with the current cap constraints of the NHL, limited roster space, and parity, that player needs to have an impact on the productive end of on-ice play.

What metrics would one look to? WOWY is a good start, but even that reflects only the linemates, and is not constructed in a such a way as to reflect the impact of that player on teammates and opponents.

Perhaps the best place to start would be to look back at video of games where the momentum of a game was altered following a retaliatory engagement (be it fight, wrestling match, scrum, etc) involving a player one could identify as a "tough guy".

There are obviously plenty of anecdotal accounts (Weber turnbuckling Zetterberg into the boards, Marchand rapid-punching the Sedins after the whistle, Chara getting Crosby to lose his cool), but a full review would have to be done to really gather enough information.

I would argue that there is greater value in employing an agitator type of player, like the above mentioned Marchand or a Clutterbuck even, than in using a roster spot on a player of McGrattan's description.

Flames have 41 contracts on the books right now. Tomorrow is going to be very entertaining. Suspect the regular writers will be well on their way to needing carpal tunnel surgery by day's end.

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#133 RexLibris
July 04 2013, 09:50PM
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@BurningSensation

Shhh, they're discussing realty.

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#134 AlbertaPride
July 04 2013, 09:50PM
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Brent and Burning. Would it make you feel better if I told you I played over 400 NHL games and 300 AHL games? You guys are right thought, you prob know more then someone who won a cup.

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#135 Brent G.
July 04 2013, 09:55PM
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AlbertaPride wrote:

Brent and Burning. Would it make you feel better if I told you I played over 400 NHL games and 300 AHL games? You guys are right thought, you prob know more then someone who won a cup.

I didn't say I disagreed with you, I just said you are preaching to the wrong crowd of people with your message.

Who did you win the cup with?

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#136 sincity1976
July 04 2013, 10:00PM
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@RexLibris

The stats can show you that McGrattan is a marginal 4-line player playing a small number of minutes and a routine healthy scratch. We know that there are a limited number of contracts, active roster spots, and cap.

Thus it is a natural extension to say that it doesn't make sense to waste a contract/roster spot/cap on a marginal 4-line player. Especially when there are kids looking for development time that would be at least as effective in the role.

But (and I know the stats community hates this term) there are intangibles. The advanced stat community mocks the hockey community that disregards advanced stats. I think it is equally as limiting for the advanced stats community to disregard the opinion of seasoned coaches and players.

Frankly that short sighted perspective damages the credibility of the stats community and makes this more of a hobby then a legitimate tool. Which is too bad.

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#137 Avalain
July 04 2013, 10:02PM
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AlbertaPride wrote:

Liars make stats and stats make liars.

Go back to the books and let the real hockey people discuss realty.

I have to admit, the only time I can remember discussing realty on this site was when Iginla sold his house.

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#138 TheoForever
July 04 2013, 10:03PM
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Allow me to explain in terms that everyone can understand.

Ken, you go to a bar and McGratten says to you ‘If you talk to her again I will rip your head off and wear you like a hand puppet’. You know he can do this to you since just a moment ago you witness McG performing this procedure on Lambert, who as we know can’t shut up.

The question is do you retreat? I think we all know the answer to that one.

Suddenly and magically Sandy McCarthy shows up and says ‘I got your back’. The answer becomes more complicated, doesn’t it? You run some statistical analysis of fights and knockouts of each goon and proceed accordingly. And deep down in your heart you are thankful that there is someone in your corner, who is not going to turn the other chick.

Now, substitute the girl for a puck and bar for a ring.

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#139 clyde
July 04 2013, 10:10PM
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BurningSensation wrote:

I wonder if there is way to make this conversation more productive.

As a fan of advanced stats I have to believe that if there is a benefit to a goon that benefit would show up somewhere.

So...what would that benefit look like? Where would we look for it? I assume that WOWY isn't going to do the job, but perhaps that is a false assumption.

The 2 articles I put in talked about the importance from a psychological standpoint. I don't know if you can measure the value, you just need to take the word of the players and coaches. I look at what Thornton in Boston allows his teammates to do. A lot of Boston's success has to do with their toughness. Many of their tough players have skill but Mcquaid and Thornton are not highly skilled. They are integral to that team's success though. All of the best teams carry at least one if not more of those types of players save for maybe Detroit. Perhaps it isn't the way of the future but I sure don't mind the Flames having some toughness.

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#140 Uppies
July 04 2013, 10:31PM
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Colin.S wrote:

I think a great statistical analysis would be to look at a TEAMs corsi on nights that the "goon" plays(or does something goony) vs when he doesn't. The theory being that with the goon in the lineup that players like Baertschi will be more embolden to make moves and drive the play, which should result in more shots. If that is true, our Corsi should be up on nights that these goons play, on the lines other than the goons anyways, cause he's not there for shooting pucks, only shooting his fists, into people faces.

I think that's an advanced stat start into seeing if they add anything meaningful to the team.

I agree that the "agitator" role is better suited than the old school goon type.

I like agitators as well, but he needs to be able to back up his actions. Guys like Burrows and Cooke in past years that would agitate (play dirty) and leave his teammates to constantly fight his battles is a absolute cancer on a team. Guys get sick of that act in a hurry. I think the young guys on this roster need a guy who doesn't run his mouth just has their back and takes care of business when he needs to

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#141 Veggie Dog
July 04 2013, 10:37PM
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I hope to Christ there are signings of more consequence to talk about tomorrow.

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#142 BurningSensation
July 04 2013, 10:50PM
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Colin.S wrote:

I think a great statistical analysis would be to look at a TEAMs corsi on nights that the "goon" plays(or does something goony) vs when he doesn't. The theory being that with the goon in the lineup that players like Baertschi will be more embolden to make moves and drive the play, which should result in more shots. If that is true, our Corsi should be up on nights that these goons play, on the lines other than the goons anyways, cause he's not there for shooting pucks, only shooting his fists, into people faces.

I think that's an advanced stat start into seeing if they add anything meaningful to the team.

I agree that the "agitator" role is better suited than the old school goon type.

That sounds right to me.

Here's what I worry about, let's say that McGrattan in the lineup means that 50% of the players on the team see a 1% benefit in terms of their performance that night. It may not be every guy, and it may not be every shift, but assume the numbers I give are correct.

It would be a benefit tangible enough for the players to notice it psychologically (as Cherry would say, 'they play 2 ft taller with X in the lineup), but the actual contribution to the club's sucess is so statistically small and 'noisy' as to not register one way or another to any statistical degree of certainty.

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#143 alex
July 04 2013, 10:51PM
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Uppies wrote:

Sorry guys but anyone that hates this signing should quit covering hockey. Anyone who has played the game knows having a guy like Big Ern on the team allows everyone else to play their game. And with the youth we are going to ice this season, there has never been a more important time for a guy like him. Quit thinking that everything in sports can be determined by advanced stats and realize that intangibles and team chemistry are a huge part of it.

Agree 100%. Having protection for the young players can only help their confidence. Gretzky did ok with Cement head around. Nothing wrong with a guy around to keep other teams accountable.

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#144 BurningSensation
July 04 2013, 10:53PM
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in the case of the 'agitator'. you'd have penalties drawn vs taken to examine.

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#145 jeremywilhelm
July 04 2013, 10:53PM
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@BurningSensation

So then it's negligible. Thus making them useless compared to a player that can actually put the puck in the net or keep they puck out of theirs.

Games are not won by who is the toughest and who can punch the hardest and hit the most. Hockey games are won by putting pucks in the net. That's the entirety of the game. You can't scare a puck into the net. You can't punch a puck into the net.

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#146 Parallex
July 04 2013, 10:54PM
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@Colin.S

Leaf Nation sister site to this one looked into points and injury rates (for the detterence) argument over a season and found a negatine corralation between teams with a goon and teams without. Effectively teams with goons on average won less and got injured more. Similerly Pension Plan Puppets during the height of Burke's "truculance" era looked into the concept of "momentum" changes by looking at scoring rates immediately after a fight vs. any other ev situation... they concluded that there was no difference.

Goons do nothing. If Goons helped in any way it would show up somewhere concretely but thus far no one can demonstate quantitatively that they're any sort of positive.

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#147 BurningSensation
July 04 2013, 10:54PM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

Bahaha. BS.

unfortunately games in NHL13 don't qualify as real life experience.

This is not in any way helpful.

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#148 RexLibris
July 04 2013, 10:54PM
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@AlbertaPride

I don't doubt that having a player on the team who is willing and able to fight (and perhaps win) has a psychological effect on teammates.

Horcoff once said about MacIntyre that he felt more comfortable going to play with him on his team. This was a nine-year veteran at the time, and not a small player saying this.

I think the debate here is whirling around another point, namely that having a tough guy is fine so long as he is a functional hockey player. If McGrattan could score 30 points a year and play at least eight to ten minutes a night, then his addition would be fine.

You'll pardon me if I rely on some stats here, but looking over his seasons, he's never averaged more than 7 minutes a night (last year) and his best year came when he played with Ottawa in '05-'06 playing 60 games scoring 7 points and logging 141 penalty minutes with an even +/-.

I suppose if I had to raise a red flag over this signing it would probably be in the timing and the term. The money is right, at least to my eye, and I would never begrudge any player from getting paid to play the game we love, but there doesn't appear to have been any pressing need for Feaster to attend to this right now.

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#149 jeremywilhelm
July 04 2013, 10:59PM
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@BurningSensation

The guy is qualifying his argument by telling us he is an NHL player. I call BS. If he is? Fantastic, doesn't really help his argument to say something like that without backing it up. Just makes his opinion contrived and laughable.

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#150 Parallex
July 04 2013, 11:00PM
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@jeremywilhelm

I saw Bouma punch a puck into the net once... Refs ruled it a no goal (serious, when he was with the giants to be fair he was trying to hit it with his stick but missed and sent it in with his hands).

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