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18-Year-Olds, Defensemen, Value & The CBA

One of the biggest surprises on day one of the 2011 NHL Draft was Winnipeg's selection of Mark Scheifele. In an even bigger surprise, he's made the opening day roster. But should he be there? We've discussed various aspects of control and the CBA since the day Sam Gagner was drafted, but some people, including NHL GMs ignore it at their peril, says Arctic Ice Hockey

Mark Scheifele, or why an 18-year-old kid should be in junior - Arctic Ice Hockey
This matters because teams don't have a big window before their young stars get expensive. Burning a year of an entry-level contract so that an 18-year-old can play on a bad team is not a good idea if your strategy is to have that 18-year-old still be on your team when he's 24 and putting the puck in the net.

Because of their longer development cycles, it's even more difficult to justify bringing an 18-year-old defenseman into the NHL, even if he is a lottery pick. But the Devils don't have any such concerns, as Adam Larsson made their opening day lineup.

New Jersey Devils Cut 12 From Roster - In Lou We Trust
Let's end this on a happy note: Welcome to the NHL, Adam Larsson.

Larsson's value was hotly contested in the Oilogosphere last summer, and the prevailing wisdom was that the forwards delivered better value. One man who might disagree is Sharks GM Doug Wilson.

Interview with Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson - Fear The Fin
You spoke about how centers and defenseman are commodities that everyone in the NHL is looking to acquire. What do you think is more important from a general philosophy, a number one center or a number one defenseman?

Supply and demand will tell you there are very few defenseman, and maybe I’m biased because I’m an old defenseman [laughs], but the amount of ice time, how they can impact a game, that is key. Supply and demand just illustrates to you that they’re not out there.

Check out the rest of your news after the jump.

FTF Interviews Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson: Part Three - Fear The Fin
Fear The Fin wraps up this amazing interview with a conversation about allocation. The interview was outstanding throughout and Wilson comes off as one of the sharpest GMs in the league. Well, emotions—what you try to do is dedicate your dollars. So when you dedicate the dollars and terms to people that you know, where they are it in their careers, that is a big part of free agency. When we make trades, whether it be Danny Boyle, Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley when we acquired him, Brent Burns, there is a definite UFA component to them. So you’re always looking at what could be out there, what are the odds and all those things, but sometimes with your own players you have to decide in the macro [UFA] pool where they fit, where they are in their careers.

Training Camp Heroes - Fantasy Hockey Scouts
Yessir, that's right - Lennart Petrell is a training camp hero.

We're already tracking the experts' Top 30 Prospects for the 2012 NHL draft and SumOil is tracking their numbers. But the always-insightful Triumph has developed his own methodology for prospect evaluation.

Triumph's Principles For Evaluating Prospects - Driving Play
Whatever the case, I find myself shaking my fist and gnashing my teeth at the way prospects tend to be evaluated, especially the evaluation on a site that rhymes with Rockey's Suture. I've thought about it a bit and have come up with some rules that I use when I look at a prospect's stats. I don't know that my way is any better than their way, but I do think mine is at least more logical.

Coming Down the Pipe!: 2012 Draft Watch: Jacob Trouba
If Edmonton is going to veer towards defense next summer, this is a guy they should be tracking. Jacob Trouba has been on the 2012 radar for a couple of years already. The OHL's Kitchener Rangers hold his CHL playing rights and until this week, the defenceman had not confirmed which developmental path to the NHL he had decided to take. That changed on Monday when he announced on Twitter that he had verbally committed to the Michigan Wolverines for next season.

Diametrically opposed media groups are funny, to wit:

Sheldon Souray getting another chance at NHL with Dallas Stars - Montreal Gazette
The Edmonton Media has trashed Souray and defended management since he first exposed the organization. "I had played in two organizations before Edmonton that were top shelf," Souray said. "First New Jersey, then Montreal. They were kind of the standard. Then you go somewhere that’s less than that and it’s: ‘Wow, this is interesting.’ "

Stupid Things About The Leafs In The MSM - Pension Plan Puppets
The Toronto media on the other hand, just attacks the team, even the good players. Yes, I can see how 98 goals "is not bad". In fact it's SO "not bad" that only fifteen players have managed to produce that many goals in the past 3 seasons. Only eight NHL players have managed to produce over 105 goals, and NONE of the guys ahead of Kessel (the other fourteen skaters) managed to produce over 98 goals in fewer games.

Swedish Oil by dohfOs — In defense of Cam Barker
I challenged dohfOs because he thinks Barker is a diamond in the rough. His response: Apart from a great 2008/09-season Barker haven’t done much good at the highest level so I don’t have any figures to point at. But Eminem sung something about this.. one chance, one opportunity.. and if there is one team Barker actually can do well on, it should be the Oilers.

Is the Health and Well-being of a Hockey Player too costly for the Game? - Artfulpuck
Fast forward through a series of stiff suspensions and unbelievably there are now rumblings among some players, media, bloggers and fans, along with an unnamed NHL executive that Shanahan’s suspensions are going too far. Let’s be very clear on this – just how far is too far? Shanahan, it looks like this is a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. Is the health and well-being of a hockey player too costly for the game of hockey? Does the game suffer without dangerous head-shots and boarding?

Not in Brendan Shanahan's mind:

Shanahan's Implicit Message: Become a Better Hitter - Arctic Ice Hockey
At some step of the way, that approach lost its appeal; it wasn't as flashy as the guys who punched forward, trying to launch with their elbows and shoulders, looking to knock their man out.

Tallon, Inc. wasn't kidding about that summer overhaul thing - Litter Box Cats
For better or worse, Tallon is doing crazy stuff in Florida. Of the 19 players on Florida's season finale roster, a wild and wacky ten have moved on; several within the organization:

Facing Off: Can the Florida Panthers make the postseason in 2011-12? - Litter Box Cats
And he's got some backers. I may be going against the popular opinion, but yes, the Panthers will make the playoffs this year. Crazy to think, isn't it?

Finally, presented without comment:

Hockey without apology or knowledge - Game Theorist
"What's not right?"

"She shouldn't be playing. They haven't got what it takes."

"You mean girls?"

"Yes, they should be in their own team. Too timid. Won't stick their nose in."

"She can take care of herself I think."

"Is she a fast skater?"

"I don't know about that but she does have a black belt in Taekwondo."