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TSN Said What?

Soft with a capital E U R O (Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)
Soft with a capital E U R O (Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)
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There are about 4 times a year where TSN just goes completely insane and way overboard with their coverage. You have the NHL entry draft, The July 1st free agency bonanza, the WJHC and trade deadline day.

For this glorious day, TSN typically fills in the internet with all kinds of content like individual team needs, trade trackers, pages to promote their regular apps, pages to promote their deadline specific apps, pages that contain all the previous information in a condensed form, etc… Not to be out done, there is the marquee players (or as TSN likes to call it, Trade Bait). These are the guys who are most rumoured to be on the move and it contains a quick little summary of the player as well as cap hit and contract years remaining.

In viewing that page, you’ll also notice that someone at TSN was kind enough to also put the position of the player down… and not just the position (i.e. C, LW), but also what line that player should play on. I first noticed this on That’s Hockey a couple of hours before the OilersFlames game and a few names and positions jumped out as rather strange.

Without names, these are the GP and point totals since the lockout, as well as their TSN position of 5 different forwards:

477 148 248 396 0.83 #1 C
497 220 212 432 0.87 #1 RW
191 47 51 98 0.51 #2 LW
405 100 256 356 0.88 #2 RW
499 193 172 365 0.73 #1 C

Over at Tyler Dellow’s site, a commenter named Roke has a pretty interesting view:

Blue-collar grinder types get a huge leash despite generally being mediocre to abysmal at hockey at the NHL level. Players putting up gaudy goal totals or huge point numbers generally aren’t criticised too much. Be neither of those things and everyone expects you to play like Ethan Moreau and/or put up points like Wayne Gretzky. For all the complaints about specific plays during the game I believe most complaints stem from people being disappointed by a player’s goal or points totals (or God help us, the pox that is regular +/-).

It would amaze me if this line of thinking wasn’t applied to these rankings. Three of the players listed are viewed as rugged power forwards who hit and occasionally fight. You know, good stand up kids! The other North American player isn’t a power forward, but he’s still seen as a gritty guy who can play in traffic and kill penalties. The 2nd line RW who leads all these guys in PPG? He’s just a euro who doesn’t hit, doesn’t kill penalties and apparently doesn’t score enough to make up for that.

Or someone at TSN has lost their mind.