Thursday Morning Mashup: Canadian Protectionism

Thursday Morning Mashup: Canadian Protectionism

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A couple of days ago, the CHL, in consultation with Hockey Canada, decided to ban goalies from the import draft beginning in 2014.  Due to the lack of Canadian goaltenders succeeding at the pro level, and in junior hockey, banning foreign goaltenders from playing in the CHL would afford more focus to and opportunity for Canadian goaltenders.   Said differently, the CHL believes that by banning foreign goaltenders, Canadian goalies, in turn, will get more playing and development time.

I’m proud of my country and I consider the sport of hockey to be one of Canada’s greatest gifts to the world. Having said that, I am ashamed by this show of protectionism that reeks of a lack of accountability, creativity, and courage.

I would really love to cover, what I consider to be, the most jarring errors in the CHL strategy, but Clare Austin from Raw Charge has got it covered:

“The thought process goes something like this: Canada, which used to produce the best goaltenders in the world, is having a bit of a goaltender crisis at all age levels. Canadians are not being drafted into the NHL in the numbers they once were and goaltending is seen as a weak spot in international competitions.”

The top goaltenders in the NHL are now mostly European or American, rather than Canadian. Thus, Hockey Canada and the developmental levels of Canadian hockey must begin to develop better goaltenders. By not allowing foreign goaltenders, the CHL believes they can develop better Canadian goalies because more Canadian goalies will get playing time.

He’s not finished…

“It’s a #dumb move, designed to look good rather than achieve results.”

Frankly, in the absence of the kind of development that Finnish and Swedish (and to a certain extent Russian) goalies get from the time they’re 11 or 12 (or younger), handing a few goaltenders more ice time is a minor change that has as many drawbacks as positives. The most obvious of those drawbacks is that it decreases competitiveness by artificially removing competition.

The worst drawback to a move like this one, however, is the sense that the problems of Canadian goaltending are being blamed on outside forces like 18-year-old Swedes rather than on systematic deficiencies in goaltender coaching and development throughout Canadian hockey. It gives Hockey Canada the illusion of addressing a problem without doing the hard work of actually fixing things.

What this means, essentially, is that young European goalies looking for North American experience will be going to other leagues, like the NCAA, the USHL, and the ECHL. And that means that those leagues are going to be getting better while the CHL stagnates by not investing in “infrastructure.

- – -

I just want to quickly contrast this decision with something that happened to Canada’s 7th most popular sport, tennis, in 2007.

After decades without having a player in the top-50, Tennis Canada decided to adopt a new developmental strategy. The country’s top players were consolidated into metropolitan training hubs. One million dollars were allocated per year towards top-notch facilities, experienced coaching, and traveling expenses. Most importantly, the top players from across the country were engaging at the highest possible  level of competition available in the nation.  You need to look no further than Milos Ranoic to see what a daring process-redesign, and some ownership, can do for a sport.

I’m not saying Hockey Canada should throw a billion loonies at the problem. However, if you proclaim yourself as the best hockey country in the world, it’s most probably advisable to do the same things that got you to the top of the mountain in the first place. Passion, accountability, and ownership of your sport’s future. A banning against foreign goalies will do nothing to strengthen the competition in the CHL, Canada’s breeding ground of the next generation of NHLers. Given the knowledge of a major gap in the junior developmental process, the CHL has decided to deflect blame and hurt themselves in the process.

- – -

Morning Links:

VLM: The Perils of Maple Leaf BloggingHope you stick around, Mike.

TLN: Network Nation 2013 Mock Draft (Picks 1-10) - Horvat is at 19…

Hope Smoke: The Whole PictureSomething is happening.

David Johnson: Modern Hockey Thought & All-Encompassing Player Evaluation MetricsAn advanced stats article that’s readable.

PPP: Not So Close, After AllConversely…

 

A graduate student at Columbia University, Aaron is defined by a love of nature, an intense interest in finance, and a passion for the Blue & White. Toronto born and raised, earliest Leaf memories include emulating Joe Bowen calls and carpet mini-stick during HNIC. Former D1 NCAA Tennis player. Aaron can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/mapleleafmuse.

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546 comments
dontcallmeshirley
dontcallmeshirley

Some thoughts so far:

Orr signing: 

I'm OK with it, thought it was a slight over-payment (I thought he was worth about $850K). I suspect he provides some leadership and other intangibles that we don't know about! To offer a one year deal would be an insult to man that has to be an enforcer.  He lays his brain on the line every fight and will probably deal with the consequences  for the rest of his life.

Drew MacIntyre

Happy with this signing. Share the net with Sparks, mentor him and provide spot duty in the show! He knows adversity that's for certain.

McLaren

I"m also OK to sign him for 700K tops for spot duty in relief of Orr or if required when playing against certain teams.  Give him a one way contract if he wants it, leafs can afford it. The leafs have their identity now and fighting is a part of it.

Tampa trade

I would like to see it happen but it depends on the pieces going back. As far as I am concerned teams should not get off lightly for signing dumb contracts! I think a first rd pick is a light load to bear, even if it is 3rd overall, to get rid of    crushing contract for a cash strapped team.

This trade does have an odor cap circumvention. Not sure if the league will be happy to see it go down but it if it helps a financially troubled team (to get out from under its own stupidity) then I think it is doable. 

Two things about this trade: firstly, will Lecavalier wave his NMC?   Somehow I doubt it. Secondly, how will the league like it to see him bought out and immediately resign in Tampa? Can he even do that? Does he want to play a year in Toronto? 

What goes back? Salary would have to go back? Kuli (mid roster), liles(low-mid roster), (D prospect), 1st (2013)?

Anyway

mike_84
mike_84

would you prefer the #3 pick or Strome?

Burtonboy
Burtonboy

Bryan Hayes ‏@HayesTSN

Claude Loiselle just told us that the Leafs have the ability to use both buyouts and are looking into acquiring another teams contract.

.JVR.
.JVR.

So, with Orr resigned and McClement already under contract, does Nonis bring back McLaren to play with them or promote somebody like D'Amigo?

mike_84
mike_84

Hmm if we get 3rd overall do we go Drouin, Barkov or Nichushkin?

.JVR.
.JVR.

I, for one, am happy Orr is back!

Jay_Berg
Jay_Berg

If we are able to somehow pull this rumoured deal off then I think we take Barkov not Drouin. Barkov has the potential to be a franchise #1 centre which is exactly what we need obviously.

Great Dane
Great Dane

@Burtonboy Leiweke has given a green light for two buy-out.

I think that will get both DiPietro and Lecavalier plus some very fine assets. 3rd overall pick; 2 of Reinhardt, Stroeme and Isles 1st round pick.

Mind Bomb
Mind Bomb

@.JVR.  Well MClaren is RFA, he almost has to :) Anyways off to Karate Guys, see ya's in a few



Black_Hawk
Black_Hawk

@mike_84 Drouin or Barkov i would think. Drouin b/c he is gonna be a great player and Barkov b/c he is the next best center after makinnon. I would try and move up for Makinnon 

.JVR.
.JVR.

@TheCanucksnaphook 

Yup, says the Leafs may be interested in taking on a player for compliance buyout purposes.

Also, says the Leafs have started negotiations with Kadri.

LeoTheLion
LeoTheLion

@Jay_Berg Hate to be the bearer of bad news but we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves on deals floated out over hockeybuzz.

Black_Hawk
Black_Hawk

@Jay_Berg Really? is he that good? i know drouin is gonna be a great winger but we need a Center

Burtonboy
Burtonboy

@Great Dane @Burtonboy I think the Depietro deal is BS but the tampa deal makes some sense . Big Difference is a top 3 pick in this draft and Strome IMO

.JVR.
.JVR.

@Mind Bomb

I'd like to see McLaren as the 13th forward and have him sub in to give Orr a break or when we need two heavyweights (+Fraser) in the lineup.

leafmealone
leafmealone

@Burtonboy @Great Dane Except that Snow has confirmed it's something the organization is pursuing. It's just a question of whether or not one of the tightest franchises in the league can unpucker their cheeks long enough to actually go through with it. 

leafmealone
leafmealone

@Burtonboy @Black_Hawk This. I'm too skeptical these days of anything until I hear some form of official confirmation. It was good to at least hear that the Isles were officially shopping to see what they would have to pay to get someone to take on DiPietro's contract. And it's nice to hear that the Leafs are actually looking at this as an option. It's not clear however, from this statement if the contract he is referencing is DiPietro's, Lecavalier's or someone else's. Guess we just wait and see.

leafmealone
leafmealone

@TheCanucksnaphook @Black_Hawk Too small a fraternity to not recognize a new face. Next time, create a fake id badge for a radio station, or internet site (just not this one, we don't want to spoil any goodwill) and they'll probably just figure that you got lucky with some actual access.

4evrblue
4evrblue

@TheCanucksnaphook for shits and giggles I think if this deal were to happen we would have to keep going. trade for #1 or 2 to get MacKinnon. Whatever it takes.