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Old 07-18-2017, 09:02 PM   #82
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Vancouver

Originally Posted by CliffFletcher View Post
Players spend half the game without the puck. It's as influential on the game's outcome as offence. It's why teams led by one-dimensional players like Ovechkin rarely win the Cup, while almost every winner leans heavily on a stud two-way center (Toews, Bergeron, Kopitar, Crosby).

If you're putting out your 3rd line center whenever your opposition has it's number one on the ice, you're dancing to their tune. Conversely, if your number one can also shut down the other team's scoring lines, you have a tremendous advantage in matchups.
Yeah I don't think it's as much of an "overvaluing" as much as a combination of teams (and fans) realizing that these players are necessities, and these players using that to their advantage to leverage good contracts (which they should). There's also the fact that strong defence is just difficult to recognize. Advance stats try, but even when accurate, the layperson has a difficult time (or doesn't care) to decipher what they really mean.

Defence is largely noticed in an eye test, and even then many fans have a tough time seeing it. Especially when you don't watch a team very much.

Backlund's contract will probably have some Eastern people going "WHO?!?", but I'd rather the situation be star players making 6-8, key role players (Backlund, Frolik) making 4-6 and the rest under 2 or on ELCs, than star players making 10-13 and decent secondary players getting squeezed out.

This is also predicated on controlling your cap home growing players rather than having to overpay for guys like Brouwer in free agency. The crop of players available as FAs seems to be dwindling as teams lock up star players earlier and for longer, so the ones that are available end up making way too much money due to teams needing to add someone somehow. The effects of the 8 year max contracts might change this soon though.

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