A Note About Reasonable Expectations

I think about writing this every year and rarely do but it’s important so here goes.

When I post “reasonable expectations” I’m taking a guess at what said player will do next season. Basically it’s a matter of slotting a player on the depth chart, guessing at how strong his hold is on that spot, doing a three year average of his numbers and then tweaking the math until it boils.

It is not my own personal preference or stubborn belief (Hemsky aside) it’s a guideline based on current wisdom re: roster makeup, guesses as to who might emerge, and a steady climb in the right direction until age 28 which is following by the downslope.

So, when we’re talking about reasonable expectations and we see this:

  • Harping on Schremp is just fine and dandy but seeing the same people list Pouliot as the 3rd line C and Gagner as our savior is just fucking ridiculous

we can know with confidence that some among us are missing the point. The idea of “reasonable expectations” is to put a line in the sand, a marker in the water, to have something to go by during the regular season.

Should Marc Pouliot be put and waivers and sent down without being claimed it doesn’t change his “reasonable expectation” for this season but is rather a tell about player and season. On the other hand, should Rob Schremp make the team and score 20 goals well that’s a tell too.

It’s my experience over the years that without “reasonable expectations” or “lines in the sand” true steps forward have a short shelf life followed quickly by expectations. That’s maybe a little of what happened to Robert Nilsson along the way. It means this is a guess at the middle of expectations, nothing more. The key comes during the season when the report card comes in every few nights in 82 equal pieces.

So, we list Pouliot at 3C because it’s the most reasonable conclusion. Putting Brule there would be unfair to him, especially if he earns it during the season by passing Pouliot on the depth chart.

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