Who are the Softest Players in the NHL?

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Look at these weaklings, no one wants them.

If you've noticed C&B regular's curcro dedication to finding a mathematical definition for "tough" or "gritty" lately, you're not alone.  It's not that he's single-minded, it's a simple response to the sports writers in Edmonton and their incredibly strange, almost lavicious obsession for players who fight and hit.  While the work curcro is doing is extremely interesting, it's got to be disappointing for those sports writers.  None of their desirables are in the running when any sort of useful stat is added to the mix.

Even more interesting is just how useless Functionally Weak players are.  Regular commenter George Roop asked for the exact opposite of functional toughness, the weak and soft players that do not help teams win games:

...a list for players with over 15 minutes of ice time, least penalty minutes, least blocked shots, less than 2 fights...

The top 12 forwards filtered by George's measures form the following team:

Tomas Hertl Logan Couture Patrick Marleau
Ryan O'Reilly Matt Duchene Teemu Selanne
Marcus Johansson Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Vladimir Tarasenko
Jiri Hudler Sean Monahan Brandon Pirri

Look at those weaklings.  They don't fight, they don't block shots and they don't take penalties.  There's no energy here and no one would be afraid to play this team.  Imagine what a team full of Steve Otts, Chris Neils and Jordin Tootoos would do to these guys.

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