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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Depth Issue

I was looking at the season preview this week and hockey's sports writers were very high on a specific point: depth. I wonder why. I though that it was evident that, in a cap system depth would be the great equaliser between teams.

When you look closely, the depth issue to justify a ranking is ridiculous. I looked at the eastern conference and almost every team had a depth issue. It's only a question of degree. Think about it; Boston, Montreal, Toronto, Florida, Washington, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Tampa Bay have all depth issues. That's a lots of peeps there. So, is the lack of depth could be a "the factor" to explain the success or the failure of a team? I don't think so. Because, let's face it, when a team loses a key player, they will not be able to replace him with an effective one; not in this cap era, where good players command huge money. Those players sells tickets but will hit you on the cap. So there's a lots of team, right now, who stand between 41 and 43 million. Do you think those teams will be able to bring an impact player to replace an injured star player?.

This cap era force teams to make decisions and lack of depth is the equaliser around the league. Look at Ottawa and Carolina. Two teams who lost good players and, because of injuries, had a poor first week. It doesn't mean that they will collapse all season long. My point here is that when there was no cap, teams could spend whatever they want to fill those depth issues. The time were Detroit had a third line with a guy like Luc Robitaille is over. That lack of depth simply permits to a weaker team to get some points from a stronger one. Those points could be the difference between a playoff spot or an early exit. That's what depth issue is all about.

As far for the ranking; i think that depth could be a factor in the old NHL where teams could spend a ton of money. Now, with the cap limitation, depth could not be retain as " the factor " to evaluate the performance of a team. Everyone, in this league, have depth issues. Talent, good managing and vision will be the important factors to consider when evaluating a team.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

um, i do not think you get it...the teams that did well last year buffalo, carolina, edmonton were not star packed line ups. they were the teams with depth.

the question, is a team better with 20 2 million guys or four six million guys and 16 one million dollar guys...

11:15 PM  
Blogger TreeBob said...

16, 1 million guys are better if they are good, but to be able to do that you have to have good scouting before your drafts each year. Basically just do what Ottawa has always done. Restricted free agents are (usually) cheap and sometimes as good as the high priced unrestricted.

This is going to be harder now though because with the new CBA they are not restricted as long as before.

1:40 PM  
Blogger Latrappe said...

I was refring to Detroit in the old NHL where you can spend the way you want it too. Ottawa and Carolina have trouble because of injuries... Your question is a good one. It only depends on how your 20 2 millions guys can respond to a team with 4 5 millions guys.

6:40 PM  

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