Tuesday, January 13, 2009


MONTREAL - Most fans don't appreciate that subtleties of acquiring a superstar - or any player for that matter - and the business impact it has on your team. Thus, for those of you new to the process, allow me to fill you in.

Some teams are really big (Detroit, Toronto, Montreal, etc.). Others are not so big (Carolina, Phoenix, Tampa Bay, etc.). Some are kind of medium sized (Calgary, Boston, Vancouver, etc.). In fact, you could probably even make a graph of the sizes of different teams if you wanted to. But all teams have a few things in common: a rapidly changing financial market, a high degree of roster turn-over, and a guy in marketing named Bob who has huge sweat-stains under his armpits (even in December).

Often these teams find themselves in an awkward position. A player has decided to leave the team for one reason or another (usually for something very self-centered like having a baby or being severely mauled in a tiger attack) and they (the team) need to fill the position quickly and at low expense. This is an arduous process full of twists and turns. I mean, you can't just pick someone up off the street! Plus who wants street people in their lineup? Street people are stinky.

Luckily, a team always has other teams it can to turn to. The "other" team will take on the task taking the first team's mega-superstar off its hands and provide them with good, capable people that can be inserted into the lineup with minimal training and expense.

I mean, sure, the first team might will give the "other" team a description of the position they need filled and the skills required to perform it, but they take what they can get and ask for another when the time comes (see "Josef Balej for Alex Kovalev").

So in the end, the message is that the original team may not exactly be getting the best person(s) for the job. Whereas yesterday they had a talented, resourceful, veteran player, today they have some dipshits, fresh out of junior, one of which was only drafted because he promised the scout he would work on his drooling problem.

This is where teams face a creative challenge, namely, putting these troglodytes where they can do the least amount of harm.

So Tampa, if the Canadiens offer you Higgins, Plekanec, Subban, and some draft picks for your man Lecavalier... Well, you better damn well take them.

More updates as events warrant.


Chris said...

Actually, I did just recently run the numbers on player size and team success, based on data from last year. There was absolutely no link between average player size (BMI) and total points or conference standings:



One day I'll run the numbers on team salary too.

Dennis said...

I think a lot of us appreciate the subtleties of aquiring a superstar. You should give us more credit than that. You're not "up here' and we're "down there." Lots us of know our hockey.