RE 14-15 STU MACGREGOR: URGE FOR GOING

Stu MacGregor and his scouting staff have added several elite prospects since 2008. Some of those prospects are now NHL players and entering their prime, while others are trying to matriculate to role players at the NHL level. This blog helped coin MacGregor’s nickname and probably didn’t help MBS and his staff during the period of time the lower picks incubate and ready themselves for NHL arrival.

  1. What was his best pick? Taylor Hall. Really the only player I see who could eventually take the title away is RNH, and that’s not going to happen for some time. Wonderful selection, Hall is among the NHL’s best players at a young age. He’s a terrific Oiler, top drawer.
  2. He blew the Yakupov pick. Nope. I’m not sure he MADE the Yakupov pick, but they made the right selection. No one can blame the scouts for getting the No. 1 pick in 2012 wrong, because they nailed it. Now it’s all on Dallas Eakins, but that was the correct pick.
  3. Let’s talk about the most recent draft. Okay.
  4. Do you like it? I quite like the first three picks (Draisaitl, Lagesson, Nagelvoort) and that’s really the big part of the draft. The last three picks are open to discussion, specifically Coughlin and Vesel. Bouchard is a long shot, but expecting more at his draft number is crazy.
  5. So you’re thrilled? No, those two picks (Coughlin, Vesel) are low percentage. I’m pretty sure we can make an argument there were better players available at each position.
  6. Like who? Like the Russian Tkachev they’ve invited to training camp.
  7. Like the Oil Kings—Kulda, Mayo, Irving—two of those? I’m not going to argue specific players beyond the Russian, who clearly spikes the analytics department meter. That kid (Tkachev) had an incredible run in the Q. I don’t really know if Mayo or Irving have NHL speed or would ever be a candidate for an NHL power play. So that’s not really the issue (Oilers drafting famous prospects). The issue with Coughlin and Vesel is this: They are not obvious analytics picks, and the Oilers were headed that way in 2013. What happened? It’s a concern.
  8. The Oilers don’t use any kind of analytics at the draft. Not true. Michael Parkatti has been on the Lowdown talking about the drafting model he created after winning the Hackathon. He’s never revealed the model or any details (nor have I asked), but there’s no damn way “20-year old in a tier 2 league scoring less than a point-per-game” is in the model as a winning formula. None. I’m the least mathy guy you’ll talk to today, and even I know that.
  9. What players did the analytics uncover? Marco Roy, we have confirmation from the organization.
  10. Marco Roy was a disaster. The analytics guys chose the wrong guy! Marco Roy began his post-draft season like a house on fire (8GP, 2-11-13), but injuries before and after that run saw his final numbers (39GP, 14-21-35) sag. He went 31GP, 12-10-22 to close the season, but got a little run in the postseason (20GP, 4-8-12). I think we’re miles from knowing about Marco Roy. I’d also be less than honest if I didn’t allow that his lack of progress could have impacted the Oilers’ actions at the draft table this year.
  11. So you think the Oilers went away from the analytics because of Roy. There’s no evidence, we have to remember the team had only one pick inside the top 90. That pick—Leon Draisaitl—is an advanced stats dream, I honestly doubt the scouts loved him any more than the math people. Maybe it was a tie, but that’s a dead solid lock of a pick. If it goes sideways, we can be sad but there’s no evidence he’s going to be anything less than outstanding.
  12. How many of this year’s picks would you bet money on? I’d go all-in on Draisaitl, hang around for the flop on Lagesson and Nagelvoort. I’d have to get some nice cards to bet real money on the other three. That said, the history suggests that would be the way to play each bet based on draft number.
  13. If you have to pick one player from that group to join Draisaitl in the NHL, who would it be? Nagelvoort.
  14. What’s the best thing about the MacGregor era? Risk averse. Here’s 2013′s top 100:
    • Darnell Nurse at #7–Bob McKenzie #9
    • Marc-Olivier Roy at #56–Bob McKenzie #59
    • Bogdan Yakimov at #83–Pronman #73
    • Anton Slepyshev at #88–Pronman #45
    • Jackson Houck at #94–Pronman #91
    • Kyle Platzer at #96–Pronman #151 (reach)
  15. You like that? I’ll tell you what: You try cheering for a team that takes Jesse Niimimaki in the first round and then come back and talk to me about the charm of reach picks.
  16. What do you like about the MacGregor era? I like the risk averse nature of the group and really believe it’s going to pay off in a big way.
  17. What don’t you like about the MacGregor era? There’s a wonky pick or two every year. Evan Campbell, Liam Coughlin, they’re the Troy Hesketh picks but 60 spots later. I like the risk averse, but think the analytics department can and should help the Oilers more. They need to have a sheet with NHLE next to them when that BCJHL scout brings up Campbell or Coughlin. “Well you know Lars, you saw him good but the math drools over Tkachev.” That kind of thing.
  18. Lars? Names have been changed to blah blah blah.
  19. What if the scouts have a very good reason to pass on all of the math darlings? Go back. There MUST be a name in there somewhere more likely to succeed than Evan Campbell.
  20. I’m going to be so happy when Evan Campbell plays his first NHL game. Me too.
  21. You’ll look like a fool! Everyone reading this is so used to that it won’t phase them. I’m saying Campbell is a terrible draft bet based on history and I’m right.
  22. What is your grade on MacGregor as chief scout? I’ll give him a “B” so far, with the understanding that it could improve or decline as we move along.
  23. You did some work on the Oilers drafts by round? Yes. Second round, Third Round, Fourth Round. The percentages show MacGregor is on track to cover the bets, but unlikely to blow them away. I like his work very much in rounds five+ and will look at that later in the summer.
  24. And MacGregor versus McKenzie was interesting, too. That is here. I was hesitant to do it, but it was insightful. Our minds play tricks on us, but the McKenzie comparison has us comparing Macgregor to consensus, and he shines in my opinion.
  25. Why this song? I’ve always thought being a scout would be a cool thing to do. Baseball or hockey, wouldn’t have mattered. I’m an old fellow now, and am happy with the life I chose, but the idea of being on the road and leading a rambling life has appeal.

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60 Responses to "RE 14-15 STU MACGREGOR: URGE FOR GOING"

  1. Lowetide says:

    Lowdown, 10am TSN 1260

    10am Dennis King, Oilogosphere icon
    10:25 Steve Dangle, Leafs Nation
    11:00 Darcy McLeod, Oilogosphere icon
    11:25 Bo Wulf, Eagles Insider

    10-1260 text, @Lowetide_ on twitter

  2. Jesse says:

    Lowetide:
    I’m an old fellow now, and am happy with the life I chose, but the idea of being on the road and leading a rambling life has appeal.

    Every so often, this blog gives you a real poetic gem.

  3. TheOtherJohn says:

    Less laughing on King segment please

    So far MacGregor has presided over drafts that have produced Marincin outside of the 1st round. Passage of time will tells us what type of a job he has done. A B at this point is not an unreasonable mark.

  4. Woodguy says:

    I think the later round picks like Campbell are bones thrown at a scout for his work.

    The internal dialog probably goes something like: “based on our metrics and history player A has a 15% chance of becoming a NHLer and player B has a 10% chance. We haven’t taken anyone Lars has scouted in two years so lets sacrifice the 5% and keep a good man happy”\

    Now the small Russian kid from Q might be a 20% and Campbell a 5% in reality, but the process is probably the same.

    I’m just glad they aren’t taking Heskeths and Abneys when there are bets that are much, much, much more likely to pan out on the board.

    I blame Tambellini.

  5. Woodguy says:

    Ooooh, I’m an Oilogosphere Icon now?

    I thought I was just a Oilogosphere regular.

    “moving on up….to the top……..to a deeeeluxe apartment in the skyyyyy”

  6. Hammers says:

    The problem I see is that its hard for McGregor due to the #1 picks . Anyone can say well that’s an obvious pick . Eberle ,Marincin & Klefbom all look like winners at the spots chosen . Magnus got us Perron and I still think he will play 500 + games in the NHL .As for last year the big Russian looks the better pick over Nurse but I think McT loved the choice and may have looked at need more than taking another forward . I wouldn’t be surprised if the Nurse pick is more McT than Mcgregor but its something nobody can prove . It may take another 5 years to decide on that pick .The most questionable picks for me are Pitlick & Moroz as Lander will stick ( maybe not with us ) but wasn’t handled correctly so not on McGregor .

  7. speeds says:

    My problem with the sour grapes position that ” everyone’s a long shot late in the draft anyways, so who cares?” is that there is no reason to not maximize your chances at success with every selection. Yes, whoever you pick that late is unlikely to turn out, but that is no reason to make the likelihood of success even lower by picking sub optimally.

  8. Lowetide says:

    speeds:
    My problem with the sour grapes position that ” everyone’s a long shot late in the draft anyways, so who cares?” is that there is no reason to not maximize your chances at success with every selection.Yes, whoever you pick that late is unlikely to turn out, but that is no reason to make the likelihood of success even lower by picking sub optimally.

    Yeah, I agree. The No. 130 overall pick is a long long shot, but let’s roll the math over the remaining players and see who shines.

  9. Aitch says:

    I know you like to use the “wait five years before you judge a draft class” but can you accurately judge the scouts based on how a player turns out? Or does most of the blame/credit go to the organization for developing the player in question? At the top of the draft, teams are generally looking for players who can step in either right away or within a couple of seasons and contribute. For these rounds, your scouts better have it right. And, if the player isn’t ready right away, you better make sure that the development path that is chosen for the player works out. But once you get out of the first few rounds I think it becomes harder to accurately judge your scouting staff, unless they are making obviously good or bad choices (ie. Hesketh – if you’re not good enough to play a full season in any of the first three years after the draft, the team that took you, made a big, big mistake.)

  10. sliderule says:

    In the Stu era are the report card for some western conference teams drafting after first round

    A + Hawks
    Smith 169
    Kruger 149
    Pirri 59
    Saad 43
    Shaw 139

    A Kings
    Voynov 32
    Clifford 35
    Nolan180
    Toffoli 47

    B Colorado
    OReilly 33
    Barrie 64
    Bournival 71

    C sharks
    Nietto
    Wingels
    Deters

    D oilers
    Marincin

    The grade could change if some of the recent later picks like Yakimov and Chase turn out but at the moment they are just prospects.

  11. Ducey says:

    Tkachev doesn’t excite me much. I wouldn’t have spent a pick on him.

    Little guys (he is 5’8″ and 163 lbs) don’t get drafted, and if they do, they are easily available down the line. It is a waste to spend a pick on them, unless they are all world.

    Tkachev only played 20 regular season games. He played on a line with Barbashev. Its likely some of his offensive production was a function of his center.

    In the playoffs he went 7-2-9 in 6 games. But he shot 46%. He had 15 shots, so if he comes in at a more reasonable rate he comes in at 2-2-4 in 6 games. 2 of his goals were PP.

    Small sample sizes and a small player. Plus a guy who is more suited for a European game (based on size, skills and nationality)

    I like the fact they invited him to camp, and would be fine with them using a contract on him. But the very strong odds are that he will either not play in the AHL or with play a year and then bolt to Europe ala a host of other Oilers marginal prospects.

    As much as it is said the Oilers may have learned from Cam Abney, I think MacT has also learned from Linus Omark and Tony Rajala.

  12. commonfan14 says:

    Woodguy: The internal dialog probably goes something like: “based on our metrics and history player A has a 15% chance of becoming a NHLer and player B has a 10% chance. We haven’t taken anyone Lars has scouted in two years so lets sacrifice the 5% and keep a good man happy”\

    Maybe the internal dialogue should be “We haven’t taken anyone Lars has scouted in two years. Lets fire Lars.”

  13. speeds says:

    Woodguy:
    I think the later round picks like Campbell are bones thrown at a scout for his work.

    The internal dialog probably goes something like:“based on our metrics and history player A has a 15% chance of becoming a NHLer and player B has a 10% chance.We haven’t taken anyone Lars has scouted in two years so lets sacrifice the 5% and keep a good man happy”\

    Now the small Russian kid from Q might be a 20% and Campbell a 5% in reality, but the process is probably the same.

    On one hand, keeping your employees happy and feeling like part of the process is important.

    On the other hand, you have to make the right decisions and I’m sure the scouts know that. You do have to be cognizant that you aren’t just making late round picks based on which area scout hasn’t had one in awhile, or which one might be grumbling that he hasn’t seen one of “his” players picked in awhile.

    I’m not sure this fits entirely perfectly, but it did come to mind:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swPcFyhDMpk

  14. commonfan14 says:

    Pronman’s pipeline rankings: http://insider.espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/11348841/ranking-all-30-prospect-pipelines-nhl?ex_cid=InsiderTwitter_PRONMAN_ORGRANKINGS

    He has the Sabres #1, the Flames and Canucks at 8 and 9, the Oilers at 13 (based almost entirely on our Doctor and Nurse combo, with a brief nod to the solid D prospects), and the Avs at 30.

  15. oilswell says:

    Woodguy:
    Ooooh, I’m an Oilogosphere Icon now?

    I thought I was just a Oilogosphere regular.

    “moving on up….to the top……..to a deeeeluxe apartment in the skyyyyy”

    Did they mention which icon? Maybe they were thinking trash can icon?

    I agree with speeds on maximizing draft success likelihood. If enough teams deviate from good drafting the lower a pick is, it implies that historical pick values are too low in later rounds due this inefficiency. Dammit use that unfounded bias to be more intelligent than the other guys who are the smartest guys in the room.

  16. Woodguy says:

    oilswell,

    Did they mention which icon? Maybe they were thinking trash can icon?

    Excellent.

    Could be some old Catholic icon from central Europe as well.

  17. Woodguy says:

    speeds: On one hand, keeping your employees happy and feeling like part of the process is important.

    On the other hand, you have to make the right decisions and I’m sure the scouts know that.You do have to be cognizant that you aren’t just making late round picks based on which area scout hasn’t had one in awhile, or which one might be grumbling that he hasn’t seen one of “his” players picked in awhile.

    I’m not sure this fits entirely perfectly, but it did come to mind:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swPcFyhDMpk

    I agree with that.

    I’d rather they go with the better bet at every spot.

    I can understand throwing the bones when the downside is pretty minimal though.

  18. Numenius says:

    commonfan14: our Doctor and Nurse combo

    Love this.

  19. Numenius says:

    Woodguy: Could be some old Catholic icon from central Europe as well.

    Hey, don’t knock the old Catholic icons. Have you seen their art lately?

  20. cahill says:

    I like a lot of what the Oiler’s scouts have done since 2009 and I think the B is a fair grade. I have been reviewing their draft patterns since 2009.

    They have an apparent affection for BCHL players in the 3rd round and lower. Currently the Oilers have 6 (K. Jones, Khaira, Campbell, Coughlin, Laleggia & Hunt) of their current prospects drafted after the 3rd round that have spent 17 – 20 year-old development time in the BCHL. Also, note Bigos was drafted out of BCHL. Now, compare that to two that played in the OHL (Platzer & Zharkov) and not one person in the QMJHL after the 2nd round. And in all likelihood Zharkov is not going to be signed.

    They seem to have a philosophy to draft later round players that are going to college. Vesel, Muir , McCarron, Campbell, Coughlin & Nagelvoort. I like this, others might not but it gives buys you some extra years. Other organizations do this as well. This is what the Red Wings did with European players prior to 2005. Prior to 2005, NHL teams retained the rights to a European player until that player turned 31. Drafted Europeans must now be signed within two years, the same as North Americans, or the team loses the rights to the player.

    With college you get up to 4 years development time to make a decision. Since 2005 the Red Wings have changed their philosophy and have now drafted at least one player (16 in total) who has committed to college in each draft. Including Nyquist, Smith & Abdelkader.

    Now, the Wings aren’t drafting off the radar picks and are drafting from several prospect pools, USHL, BCHL, US Development , Europe & Ontario junior.

    Lagesson was the first Finland/Sweden draft pick since 2009 when they picked up Lander, Paajarvi & Rajala. One area that they are drafting and developing very well is the Eastern Europe – Yakimov, Slepy , Marincin, Gernat & Pelss (RIP).

  21. speeds says:

    Woodguy: I agree with that.

    I’d rather they go with the better bet at every spot.

    I can understand throwing the bones when the downside is pretty minimal though.

    The problem is protecting against that downside is the whole purpose for employing those people.

  22. Ducey says:

    Lagesson was the first Finland/Sweden draft pick since 2009 when they picked up Lander, Paajarvi & Rajala.

    2011 Klefbom, Perhonen, Tuohimaa
    2012 Gustafsson

  23. cahill says:

    Ducey,

    Sorry, yes. I’m only going with players still with the organization. I missed Klefbom & Tuohimaa. I was going off memory when I posted this.

  24. Woodguy says:

    speeds: The problem is protecting against that downside is the whole purpose for employing those people.

    Yes, but its a matter of minimizing it.

    Managing people isn’t a cut and dried process.

    Toughest part of running a business in my experience.

  25. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Lars? Names have been changed to blah blah blah.”

    The spelling of “Bob Brown” has changed a lot over the years. You kids and your madlibs!

  26. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: Could be some old Catholic icon from central Europe as well.

    My Orthodox wife would insist I reference the Byzantine Empire here and the Great Schism and the iconoclastic debates of old.

  27. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    On Tkachev… it would be great to know two things:

    1. what involvement there was from the scouts on this. I’m wondering if maybe Bob Green and co. worked this idea up, perhaps in some independence from the amateur scouting staff?

    2. It would be really great if the MSM would break some more stories like this. I’d love a preview of the 30 team’s invite lists right about now. Not like there’s much else to talk about.

  28. Kruegers Ghost says:

    MacGregor’s been OK in the first round and poor afterwards. A lot of the Oiler’s early 2nd round picks are more comparable to recent CHI and LA late first rounders. A better nickname might be:

    Stu MacGregor….the mediocre bastard.

  29. speeds says:

    Woodguy: Yes, but its a matter of minimizing it.

    Managing people isn’t a cut and dried process.

    Toughest part of running a business in my experience.

    It’s not like most normal businesses because a normal business doesn’t have a Bob MacKenzie, or Pronman, etc to fall back on. If keeping your scouts happy results in your drafting performance dropping below the performance had you simply used publicly available information, if the process of employing actual scouts mitigates or eliminates the benefit of their employment, hard questions need to be asked.

  30. Numenius says:

    Re: Tkachev and his small stature

    Johnny Gaudreau is poised to make his NHL debut this year (at 21) after killing it at Boston College. He’s listed as 5’7″ 150lbs.

    Tkachev already has an inch and 13 lbs on him!

  31. Big Dan says:

    Tambo blew the Yakupov pick, not MacGregor.

    If it is true that the Islanders offered ALL their picks so they could get Ryan Murray, Tambo should have made that trade.

    Griffin Reinhart + countless other picks is an upgrade over Yakupov in my opinion. And I like Yakupov.

    If Tambo made that trade, we would have probably picked Nichushkin instead of Nurse the following year. It’s debatable who will be better, Nichushkin vs. Yakupov or Reinhart vs. Nurse. But if you saw off those four, you still have all of the other 2012 Islander picks to tip the balance your way.

    (And if that was a bogus rumor, I also whined at the time that the Oilers should have picked Ryan Murray But no biggy because we picked Nurse the next year. Nurse/Yakupov vs. Murray/Nichushkin isn’t that far off.)

  32. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: My Orthodox wife would insist I reference the Byzantine Empire here and the Great Schism and the iconoclastic debates of old.

    i was baptized in a Greek Orthodox church.

    True story.

  33. Woodguy says:

    speeds: It’s not like most normal businesses because a normal business doesn’t have a Bob MacKenzie, or Pronman, etc to fall back on.If keeping your scouts happy results in your drafting performance dropping below the performance had you simply used publicly available information, if the process of employing actual scouts mitigates or eliminates the benefit of their employment, hard questions need to be asked.

    I get what you are saying Mike but the spot they are doing this at are so low percentage anyhow, that it really doesn’t mean much.

    I prefer to be optimal with every pick because you might get a Pavelski, but maybe they don’t think Pavelski is there so they throw a guy a bone.

  34. Ca$h-Money! says:

    commonfan14: Maybe the internal dialogue should be “We haven’t taken anyone Lars has scouted in two years.Lets fire Lars.”

    It’s more complicated than that.

    “Lars” will derive his sense of employment satisfaction from knowing that the organization is listening to what he is saying, hence taking one of his picks with a late rounder, even if the percentages are 3% instead of 5% (i.e. still probably won’t amount to anything). That’s how Lars measures his own performance; it would be a mistake for the organization to measure his performance that way. The organization instead needs to look at Lars’ recomendations and analyze their performance (which is a difficult thing to do, since the club doesn’t spend all that much time analyzing the performance of other teams distant prospects).

    So we haven’t taken any of Lars’s picks in recent years, he feels like the org. doesn’t value him. Maybe the org liked his recommendation the second most every single time… but never the most. Maybe the other guy got 2 of his picks taken, but his other 5 recomendations were completely awful Also, maybe he recommended the org take a flyer on Joe Pavelski or Jamie Benn, but we didn’t listen… so because we didn’t listen we should fire this guy?

    In short; sometimes it is about people management. The reality here, sitting outside the room, is that we really don’t know. I would prefer that they don’t do it, but I’m prepared to accept that they have a logical reason for doing it. I’m quite happy that it’s August and we’re sitting around gripping about who they took in the 6th round instead of the second.

  35. Mr. Holland’s extension; hockey’s best shark logos; Hey, remember the 80s … – Yahoo Sports (blog) | Quick & Fast Sports News says:

    […] • Reviewing Stu MacGregor’s work as the Edmonton Oilers‘ chief scout. [Lowetide] […]

  36. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: i was baptized in a Greek Orthodox church.

    True story.

    Interesting.

    I was married in one.

  37. vangolf says:

    Big Dan:
    Tambo blew the Yakupov pick, not MacGregor.

    If it is true that the Islanders offered ALL their picks so they could get Ryan Murray, Tambo should have made that trade.

    Griffin Reinhart + countless other picks is an upgrade over Yakupov in my opinion.And I like Yakupov.

    If Tambo made that trade, we would have probably picked Nichushkin instead of Nurse the following year.It’s debatable who will be better, Nichushkin vs. Yakupov or Reinhart vs. Nurse.But if you saw off those four, you still have all of the other 2012 Islander picks to tip the balance your way.

    (And if that was a bogus rumor, I also whined at the time that the Oilers should have picked Ryan MurrayBut no biggy because we picked Nurse the next year.Nurse/Yakupov vs. Murray/Nichushkin isn’t that far off.)

    This is all revisionist history. Yak was being discussed in the stamkos breath and definitely a notch above RNH in terms of strength of a #1 overall. It’s like saying Galchenyuk should have been the pick to give us the 1/2 C punch with RNH, but forgetting that AT THE TIME there were major question marks with the knee injury and his lack of playing time in his draft eligible season.

  38. Yeti says:

    I’m constantly left pondering who they will get to play Stu MacGregor when they make a movie of Tyler Dellow’s life.

  39. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Yeti:
    I’m constantly left pondering who they will get to play Stu MacGregor when they make a movie of Tyler Dellow’s life.

    Sheldon Bergstrom.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/saskatchewan-s-sheldon-bergstrom-to-play-rob-ford-in-musical-1.2728435

  40. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Jim Matheson ‏@NHLbyMatty 4m
    Draisaitl cannot go to Europe to play if doesn’t make oilers. Because drafted out of chl has to play for junior team, so say Oilers.#oilers

  41. cahill says:

    Yeti:
    I’m constantly left pondering who they will get to play Stu MacGregor when they make a movie of Tyler Dellow’s life.

    If I have a vote The movie should be called Wag the Blog. I am going to say either John Goodman or perhaps Christopher Walken if he can put on a couple of pounds for the role of who should play Stu.

  42. commonfan14 says:

    cahill: perhaps Christopher Walken if he can put on a couple of pounds for the role of who should play Stu

    A couple? I thought this was a math-friendly blog.

  43. Yeti says:

    cahill,

    John Goodman – love it! (although I do like the idea of Rob Ford, who would bring something ‘special’ to the role). I had Walken for Kevin Lowe.

    Who’s the best pick for Eakins?

  44. freedomisamyth says:

    I tend to think there are some wonky ideas here for why they make the picks that they do just because you guys have such skewed perspectives compared to a scout. You look at the math and how much other people talk up the prospect, and that’s pretty much it, and that gives a skewed perspective towards any pick. It seems pretty obvious who seems like a better pick when one guy has good numbers and has a scouting service say ‘super skilled’ when the other pick didn’t have anyone saying anything about him, and didn’t score that great in a different league. But reality isn’t quite so black and white.

    I think when you are a scout, and you are getting to the later rounds, there isn’t a huge amount separating players in your ranking – there just isn’t enough info for there to be. Then, when you combine scouts rankings, it gets even worse. You have huge groups of players that each scout has arbitrarily ranked, even though they are essentially equal in their eyes, and you have to build a combined ranking on that (complicated even more by the fact that only a few of the scouts would have seen this player or that player, so how do you weight them when only 2 of 8 scouts had seen the player?). So what do you do as a head scout? You look for something to distinguish the player from the others. You’re looking at the next 10 players on your combined ranking, do you pick #1 because it averaged out that he was first in your lists, even though no one was really excited about him? or do you pick #8 who has one scout who saw him a bunch and got really excited about him for whatever reason?

    Don’t give me this “we haven’t picked this scout’s guy in a long time so lets throw him a bone even though everyone think another player is better” crap. Maybe that might happen if there is really nothing distinguishing the group of players available, but that’s about the only reason I could see that ever happening unless you assume total incompetence.

    This whole situation though is a good reason to use math actually since that at least gives something to differentiate players, but then maybe it becomes: “ok well player A had a really good ppg in the QMJHL in a a fairly small sample size and wins in a landslide when it comes to math, and has really good hands, but he’s tiny, does not have super+ speed, and all the scouts don’t like his defence, his ability to do anything in the cycle, or what they’ve seen of his attitude, VS one scout really really likes player B, he’s got good hands and attitude, is 6’4, and can skate half decently, but his numbers in a different league were only so-so for whatever reason and he’s over age. We’ll also get 4 years to decide on him instead of just 2, and we have a lot of small guys. Well, then you weigh the pros and cons and make a decision.

    I’m a scientist sort, and I love numbers, but there’s tons of things that can impact numbers in a 1-2 year sample size and it seems to me to be folly to focus on the numbers to exclusion of all else and deride picks solely on that.

  45. cahill says:

    Yeti:
    cahill,

    John Goodman – love it! (although I do like the idea of Rob Ford, who would bring something ‘special’ to the role). I had Walken for Kevin Lowe.

    Who’s the best pick for Eakins?

    I have narrowed it down to three people for Eakins. i. Paul Reuben’s aka Pee Wee Hermans with the same hairstyle he had in Mystery Men ii. Donald Trump other than they both come across as dicks and have ridiculous hair it doesn’t make sense iii. Adrien Brody

  46. Lowetide says:

    freedomisamyth:
    I tend to think there are some wonky ideas here for why they make the picks that they do just because you guys have such skewed perspectives compared to a scout. You look at the math and how much other people talk up the prospect, and that’s pretty much it, and that gives a skewed perspective towards any pick. It seems pretty obvious who seems like a better pick when one guy has good numbers and has a scouting service say ‘super skilled’ when the other pick didn’t have anyone saying anything about him, and didn’t score that great in a different league. But reality isn’t quite so black and white.

    I think when you are a scout, and you are getting to the later rounds, there isn’t a huge amount separating players in your ranking – there just isn’t enough info for there to be. Then, when you combine scouts rankings, it gets even worse. You have huge groups of players that each scout has arbitrarily ranked, even though they are essentially equal in their eyes, and you have to build a combined ranking on that (complicated even more by the fact that only a few of the scouts would have seen this player or that player, so how do you weight them when only 2 of 8 scouts had seen the player?). So what do you do as a head scout? You look for something to distinguish the player from the others. You’re looking at the next 10 players on your combined ranking, do you pick #1 because it averaged out that he was first in your lists, even though no one was really excited about him? or do you pick #8 who has one scout who saw him a bunch and got really excited about him for whatever reason?

    Don’t give me this “we haven’t picked this scout’s guy in a long time so lets throw him a bone even though everyone think another player is better” crap. Maybe that might happen if there is really nothing distinguishing the group of players available, but that’s about the only reason I could see that ever happening unless you assume total incompetence.

    This whole situation though is a good reason to use math actually since that at least gives something to differentiate players, but then maybe it becomes: “ok well player A had a really good ppg in the QMJHL in a a fairly small sample size and wins in a landslide when it comes to math, and has really good hands, but he’s tiny, does not have super+ speed, and all the scouts don’t like his defence, his ability to do anything in the cycle, or what they’ve seen of his attitude, VS one scout really really likes player B, he’s got good hands and attitude, is 6’4, and can skate half decently, but his numbers in a different league were only so-so for whatever reason and he’s over age. We’ll also get 4 years to decide on him instead of just 2, and we have a lot of small guys. Well, then you weigh the pros and cons and make a decision.

    I’m a scientist sort, and I love numbers, but there’s tons of things that can impact numbers in a 1-2 year sample size and it seems to me to be folly to focus on the numbers to exclusion of all else and deride picks solely on that.

    I think it comes down to the most convincing personality in the room. And Lars kills.

  47. Yeti says:

    Great. Now we have De Niro playing Lars.

  48. freedomisamyth says:

    Lowetide,

    Agreed, I think it does. When there’s not much between the prospects in the eyes of the scouts, I think it just comes down to one or two having some strong feelings for whatever reason.

  49. cahill says:

    http://nypost.com/2014/06/02/the-incredible-saga-of-how-rangers-lucked-upon-lundqvist/

    While we are talking about drafting. I thought I would mention a NY Post article by Brooksie detailing how the Rangers drafted Lundqvist. It’s a good read and there’s a quote from, then Rangers assistant GM, that details how the later rounds of the draft work.

    “When you get to the late rounds in the draft, most of it is determined by which [scout] at the table has the strongest voice pushing the hardest for his guy,” Maloney said.

  50. Ducey says:

    Interesting article. Each team is getting $5 million, the cap could go to $75 M next year and Rogers is regretting the TV deal.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/outdoor-games-rogers-deal-fuel-surge-in-revenue-for-nhl-clubs/article20054741/?cmpid=rss1&click=dlvr.it#dashboard/follows/

  51. Lowetide says:

    Ducey:
    Interesting article.Each team is getting $5 million, the cap could go to $75 M next year and Rogers is regretting the TV deal.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/outdoor-games-rogers-deal-fuel-surge-in-revenue-for-nhl-clubs/article20054741/?cmpid=rss1&click=dlvr.it#dashboard/follows/

    Damn shame. Damn shame.

  52. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Ducey:
    Interesting article.Each team is getting $5 million, the cap could go to $75 M next year and Rogers is regretting the TV deal.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/outdoor-games-rogers-deal-fuel-surge-in-revenue-for-nhl-clubs/article20054741/?cmpid=rss1&click=dlvr.it#dashboard/follows/

    So Sportsnet has a serious case of Buyer’s Remorse? Gotta win the bid at all costs NO NOT THAT MUCH COST TOO LATE ARRRGGGHHHHH11111

    Ever since Sportsnet won the bid I’ve had a serious case of Consumer’s Remorse.

  53. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide: Damn shame. Damn shame.

    Three guesses who’ll be paying out the ass for Rogers’ fiscal foolhardiness.

  54. Lois Lowe says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Please let it be the on-air ‘talent’, board of directors, and the CEO.

  55. VanOil says:

    Sportsnet is already laying off Vancouver based staff. http://goo.gl/rbyGNz

    It is also rumored they are moving out all BC production except for Canucks games. Apparently the morning show they produce here is moving out. Why you would produce a morning show on the left coast seems to be crazy but TV production is a big industry in Rain City.

    I know there will be little sympathy amongst Oilers fans for production of crappy TV shows moving out of Vancouver. But, if the result is an even more Toronto centric televised hockey media it can’t be a good thing.

    Good thing Rogers gutted a Canadian institution like Hockey Night in Canada on a whimsy they now regret.

  56. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    cahill:
    http://nypost.com/2014/06/02/the-incredible-saga-of-how-rangers-lucked-upon-lundqvist/

    While we are talking about drafting.I thought I would mention a NY Post article by Brooksie detailing how the Rangers drafted Lundqvist. It’s a good read and there’s a quote from, then Rangers assistant GM,that details how the later rounds of the draft work.

    “When you get to the late rounds in the draft, most of it is determined by which [scout] at the table has the strongest voice pushing the hardest for his guy,” Maloney said.

    Oddly enough, I was thinking of that article also today. That post makes a nice bookend with that Flyers video from 2013 draft where they are gaga over Morin.

    decision making in hockey is a lot of random fighting against the smart folks.

  57. Kruegers Ghost says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Jim Matheson ‏@NHLbyMatty4m
    Draisaitl cannot go to Europe to play if doesn’t make oilers. Because drafted out of chl has to play for junior team, so say Oilers.#oilers

    Such arrogance. If Drai wanted to play pro in Germany for real money instead of the sweatshop CHL, do you honestly think a German court would enforce a foreign contract on one of their citizen that was signed while he was a minor and which pays almost nothing? Crosby’s team threatened that and they got laughed out of the room. If Drai wants to return home to play for real cash there is not one damn thing his junior team can do about it.

  58. Lois Lowe says:

    Kruegers Ghost,

    Pronman just tweeted something to the effect that the Oilers can choose to loan Leon to a European club team, but it’s the Oilers’ choice, not the player’s.

  59. Kruegers Ghost says:

    Drai is signed to a standard 3 year contract which commits him to play pro hockey in either the NHL or the Oiler’s AHL affiliate. The Oilers cannot force Drai to play for anyone else if they choose not to use up a contract year. Either you are using up a contract year and are being paid by the organization, or you are not using up a contract year and forgo control. You are either being paid (and bound by contract conditions) or not being paid and not bound. The fact that most canadians choose to abide by their team’s wishes and play for nothing in the CHL does not mean it’s legally enforceable for teams to force an employee to work for another company for free. If people freely submit that’s their business but it’s not legally enforceable.

    A little analogy. You have signed an exclusive three year contract with me to build widgets with my company or an affiliate. I may choose to begin the contract at my discretion at the beginning of the year, and it becomes fully enforceable if I work more than 30 days at the start of any year. But do you seriously expect a court to uphold a claim that I can force you to work for an unaffiliated company for free if I choose to delay starting the contract and not pay you?

    The fact that the slaves (players) have not rebelled against their masters (teams) or that the masters (various pro leagues) collude to limit slave movement does not make any of it legal. But being the guy to challenge illegal practices pretty much means that you forgo a career so few have the balls to rebel.

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