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super_dave_1

The great size debate

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Beige brings nothing to get excited about, it's time to bring the colors of force and grit. Time to hand out some black and blue.

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Quote from Ron Wilson after being named coach of the US World Juniors for 2016:

"The biggest changes I've seen in the game is it doesn't matter how big you are now, it's how fast you are. That's what the teams are playing for the Stanley Cup this year, they're two of the least physical teams in the NHL."

I'm not trying to start up this debate again, nor do I completely agree with the quote. Again, I differentiate between size and physicality to a certain degree. I also feel like an element of effective physicality is still an essential part of the game. I say "effective" physicality because you have to have some degree of size to be effective.

If Tampa and Chicago are two of the least physical teams, then we are the least (I've said this before) and I still think it is something that needs to be addressed. How it should be addressed is open for debate, but I still think you take the best player at #5 overall and address it in other ways. We have the size up front, but we have too many soft players both at the forward position and on defense.

We need to be harder to play against.

Anyway, I just threw this out there because it is a quote that, to some extent, directly relates to what is/was being discussed here

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I have never advocated anything other than take the best player available.  That being said, size is part of the equation.  There is a misconception that players are getting smaller and faster.  They are getting faster, but not smaller.

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Along the lines of SD, I vote for all of the above.  The most popular attribute depends on who won the Cup.  Last year, size mattered, this year, less so, and so we go....(insert sarcasm thingy).

 

Neither are issues for the Canes, in general.  When they play fast, and back it with 60 minutes of effort the full length of the rink, they're very good.  Unfortunately the effort and execution are missing too often.  We've heard from BP too many times about there being too many passengers or the effort not being good enough.  The problems are beyond speed and size, so pick the best player.

 

wrt/speed and size management has said the team needs to get bigger, not so much about faster. I think that may play into later round picks, but not #5.

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Unless Marner goes 3 or 4, the size vs speed/skill will be the exact decision that has to be made.

 

Do you take speed/skill/best player? Marner

Do you take size and physical beastliness with moderate offensive upside? Crouse.

Do you try to take both, but probably compramise both? Rantanen.

 

If Hanifin or Strome fall to us, then nevermind.

 

I can almost gaurantee that our #35 pick will be a decent sized individual, probably the opposite of whatever position we pick at #5. So if we do go w/ Marner, I would expect us to really try to pick a big defenseman, but then predicting second round picks is crazy, so nevermind.

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I really don't see any choice here with the 5th overall.

 

Pick the best player, regardless of anything else, and address other areas with the other 9 picks we have.

 

And there is always the 2016 first.

 

For once, we have enough chips to play from a position of strength.

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And there is always the 2016 first.

 

 

Two of them! That is a ways off, but will be nice. Here's to LA taking a big step back this year.

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I was thinking more of using it in this years draft, if it made sense to do it.

 

We have chips and salsa instead of saltine crackers and Beach Cliff sardines to bring to the table.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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I think Skinner could bring us back the solid D-man we need in a trade. He has a better chance of flourishing on a team already loaded with gritty tough players who might protect him. No one here has done it, so a trade could be a win-win for team and player. We get the D-man we need and Skinner might fulfill his offensive potential again, AND get to play after he is 25 years old.

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I haven't directly weighed in on this, but with our signing of Derek Ryan, now seems like a good time . For the sake of discussion I'm going to ignore "physicality" for now in spite of it being recognized here as another important dimension.

 

Of course size matters.  So does skill. It's obvious that if 2 players are equally skilled you take the bigger one. Or if 2 players are the same size you take the more skilled one. The question arises when you're comparing a bigger, less skilled player against a smaller, more skilled one. Everyone is going to weight those two aspects differently, and I don't know how you'd even begin to quantify it in general terms. Seems like in order to discuss you almost have to look at individual examples (e.g., Marner vs. Crouse/ Rantanen).

 

What I think what you might have a chance of quantifying is how NHL teams have actually weighted the 2 aspects by looking at size at draft vs.subsequent production. When I searched the internet for "size vs. skilll" I found several analyses that attempted to investigate the "size vs. skill" question.  They seemed to arrive at a similar conclusion; that the NHL seems to have overvalued size as compared to skill in recent drafts. Granted, almost by definition, analyses such as these are going to be a bit fuzzy. And it's possible that an analyst could have "rigged" his analysis to support a preconceived position. But looking at each analysis I didn't get the feeling that was the case.

 

The success of diminutive players like Tyler Johnson (undrafted) and Johnny Gaudreau (#104oa) seem to provide anecdotal evidence along those lines. For whatever that's worth, which may not be much.  I'd have mentioned Teuvo Teravainen (listed at 5'9", 169lbs) but the Hawks picked him at #18oa.

 

Bottom line: my opinion is that in the NHL, size has recently generally been a bit overvalued when compared to skill.  Which is different from saying it doesn't matter. 

 

The reason I'm weighing in here (see what I did there? :P ) is because of Ryan. IF it's true that size has been a bit overvalued by NHL teams then it's possible that Ryan may turn out to be a player able to contribute at the NHL level who slipped through the cracks solely because he's small.  No, I'm not arguing that he'll be another Tyler Johnson. But I'm hoping that "size bias" might have contributed to us getting a free, contributing asset. Similar to my hopes for Tolchinsky. 

 

 

Having said all that, I'm in total agreement that we'd benefit from adding some bigger, more physical kids to the team via our later picks in this year's draft.   

 

edit: like most pro sports, NHL teams seem to mimic whatever latest trend seems to be working. With the success of Johnson. Gaudreau, Tervainen, etc. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a reduction in the NHLs bias of "size over skill" (if such a bias does exist). 

Edited by LakeLivin

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I have read a lot of the articles about size vs skill and have seen the bits about the league over valuing  size.  I don't know that I totally agree with that.  I think it's awfully easy to throw out the "small successes" as justification for this view point.  In recent history, the Canes wasted a pick on Paradis (big boy), but it was no more wasted than a pick on Boychuk (not so big boy).  No matter what the size of a player, the scouts have to do their job and evaluate and project a player to the next level.

 

Team Marner vs Team Crouse seems to sum up the size issue quite well.  I can see how both players could succeed or fail at the NHL level.  I can see how both could greatly impact the team going forward.  Neither player may be the selection, but either could be. 

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Team Marner vs Team Crouse seems to sum up the size issue quite well.  I can see how both players could succeed or fail at the NHL level.  I can see how both could greatly impact the team going forward.

 

At least for me, this was my basis for getting into this debate in the first place. If Hanifin and Strome go ahead of us, the size issue will be front and center. Since the only knock I have ever seen on Marner is size, it would be the only reason not to draft him. If we are in that position we will have to pick between size and skill (unless we go off the board for Provorov) because none of the big boys have Marner's skill level.

Edited by remkin

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I think I remember Francis saying speed was the important factor and adding size is always good. So if you have players of equal skill I wonder if speed becomes the tipping point, not size.

 

Of course skill, size and speed would be just the right ticket :-)

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IMHO, and believe me, it is humble, what is generally being ignored in many of these size vs skill discussions, and what I keep trying to interject, is the basic concept about this sport, and that is TEAM.

Lest I am explaining my thoughts poorly, to me one cannot take the isolated player and project how valuable he is, re: size vs skill, ignoring the team composition. Ergo, in my concept, player A with undeniable SKILL may, in fact, not perform well in the team makeup of team A.

Thus, a player such as Marner may be a "misfit" in a team such as the Canes who are heretofore a perennially "soft" team.

The corollary to thus is throwing a single drop of substance into 17 different drops is not going to significantly change the basic composition?

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At least for me, this was my basis for getting into this debate in the first place. If Hanifin and Strome go ahead of us, the size issue will be front and center. Since the only knock I have ever seen on Marner is size, it would be the only reason not to draft him. If we are in that position we will have to pick between size and skill (unless we go off the board for Provorov) because none of the big boys have Marner's skill level.

So you are so sure of Marner's skill level that you are willing to overlook the size concern? It is a valid concern when you consider (as Kjun stated) the overall makeup of the Canes. I'm not saying it is the deciding factor, but in my mind, it is worthy of consideration.

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Kjun,

 

That then transitions into the team needs vs best player available debate. Do you pass on the best player available to fit team need? And does it matter that you are picking at #5 and potentially getting the kind of player only available there?

 

OBxer,

 

My recollection of that very first press conference when Francis was asked what quailties he was looking for in players, the first thing I recall him mentioning was speed. When asked about size, he said something to the effect of "if all else is equal you take the bigger player." If we are to go by his own words, one would think speed trumps size.

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So you are so sure of Marner's skill level that you are willing to overlook the size concern? It is a valid concern when you consider (as Kjun stated) the overall makeup of the Canes. I'm not saying it is the deciding factor, but in my mind, it is worthy of consideration.

 

I'm really just saying that this may end up being the choice. I am sure that Marner's skill set is greater than the size guys, most notably Crouse. This is not a knock on Crouse, but Marner's skill set is off the charts.

 

Personally, yes, if it comes down to Marner vs. Crouse or Rantanen, I go Marner everyday and twice on Sunday. But you asked what I would do. Of course that is with the full disclaimer that I trust our scouts and braintrust more than my take.  Barzal isn't really much bigger than Marner.

 

I do think the size debate is worth having, and that the points in favor of Crouse or Rantanen are valid. I just think that Marner, who by all accounts is tough and gritty and plays both ends of the ice and put up ppg numbers not seen since Kane and before McDavid has the skill to overcome the size issue. That's just my opinion.

 

I do agree that we need to add some size and physicality to go with him though. And I would consider moving Skinner as part of that if we get Marner.

Edited by remkin

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An assortment of players with varying degrees of size and skill who play soft as a whole does not equal success.

 

Literature Cited:

 

See Carolina Hurricanes.

 

Lets go get more Skinner, Murphy, Tolchinsky, Ryan, or Marner, or what have you to go along with our soft Staals. Gerbe, Dwyer, and Terry can coach them.

 

Malone can do all the cleanup duties by himself when other teams get sassy. 

Edited by coastal_caniac

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Boychuk, Dalpe, and Bowman also understand the concern.

 

Or all the college players we have signed over the years as free agents.  Which one of those has even made the lineup based on size or skill?

 

We need good hockey players with a set of cods.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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We need good hockey players with a set of cods.

 

...and tangibles.  Don't forget the tangibles. 

 

I'm tired of all the players with "intangibles".

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So, Coastal and SD:

 

Since I have yet to see a post by anyone wanting to prefer small size and softness, there seems to be little debate in terms of trades and late round picks that size and grit should be weighed heavily.

 

In this moment it really comes down to that #5 pick.

 

If Hanifin and Strome are gone, who would you pick with #5? Theory and generalizations aside:  Who do you actually pick if you are GM and for the sake of argument have to make the pick now from home w/ no team scouts around. Do you pick Marner? Or someone else.

Edited by remkin

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I really don't see any choice here with the 5th overall.

 

Pick the best player, regardless of anything else, and address other areas with the other 9 picks we have.

 

And there is always the 2016 first.

 

For once, we have enough chips to play from a position of strength.

 

I've made the statement twice now, nothing has changed.  If you want to make this size debate just about the 5th pick that's up to you.

 

Mitch Marner won't fix the issue that is currently being discussed.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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I'm with coastal.  Best player available with the 5 pick, but I sure want to see the Canes address the size/grit issue.  This team is so squeezably soft, their irresistible.

 

I just disagree with the idea that Marner (or any player) will be successful based on the fact that there is a comparable guy in the league that has had success.  All the "wouldn't you hate to pass on him and he turn out to be the next Patrick Kane" crap kills me.  You can say that about any player in any draft.  There is always somebody that a player "could be".

 

That being said, as much as I'd love to see a guy like Crouse on the ice with the Canes, he's probably a reach at 5 with the players available.   I just don't have enough scouting expertise to say I'd definitely pick any particular player beyond the 2nd pick.  Too bad that LA didn't make the cut this year and GMRF would have their pick to maybe bargain his way back into 10th-12th and pick up another difference maker this year. 

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