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 Blogging – Hope 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 All – Conversely…

 

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.
498 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.

Mind Bomb
Mind Bomb

Evening Folks, what did I miss today :)


KurtWhite
KurtWhite

so if say this trade happened we then buy vinny out. does tampa then resign him to a cap friendly contract and vinny makes out like a bandit? 

Black_Hawk
Black_Hawk

I hope Nonis re-signs kessel quick like pitt did Malkin

Black_Hawk
Black_Hawk

Malkin got 9.5M a year, thats almost a M over crosby.

Black_Hawk
Black_Hawk

man malkin got renewed quick, whats nonis waiting for with kessel?

Burtonboy
Burtonboy

Keeping Orr around just to hit Chara is worth a 2 yr deal IMO LOL

mcloki
mcloki

Well whatever happens the next 2 weeks look very interesting indeed. 

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

Lecavalier has a no trade contract. Tampa would have to buy him out.

Zep2
Zep2

@MaxwellHowe Just read that. Makes sense to me .This is an unprecedented opportunity for the Leafs to use their wallets to improve the team .  You could even play Vinny for a year and buy him out next season if you could fit him under the cap.

Great Dane
Great Dane

If the Vinny rumours is true I can only conclude that Thommie Bergström is extremely high on Barkov.

That is why they would move all the way to 3rd.

 

rustynail
rustynail

Dan Rosen ‏@drosennhl

Boston did a 28.1 rating and Chicago did a 25.1 rating. NBC was the No. 1-rated network overall in both markets

Betsy must be happy.

MaxwellHowe
MaxwellHowe

Rumour from John Jaeckel, Chicago BlackHawk blogger:

"First, I heard a rumor out of Canada on Monday (very good source) that the Leafs have offered two mid-level roster players and a package of draft picks for Tampa Bay’s 3rd selection overall and Vincent LeCavalier, who would then be bought out.

Not making it up—I wouldn’t pretend to know enough about either team to do so. Good source, take it for what it is."

I guess whether it is a good deal depends on the picks and prospects involved.

mur11
mur11

Rumor making the rounds.  Did not know if it has been posted


More Game 1 Thoughts/Toronto-TB Rumor

June 13, 2013, 1:18 PM ET [1 Comments]

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John Jaeckel

  Chicago Blackhawks Blogger • RSS • Archive • CONTACT

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5 hours of sleep, coffee IV inserted, here’s what I have today in the aftermath of an epic Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals.


First, I heard a rumor out of Canada on Monday (very good source) that the Leafs have offered two mid-level roster players and a package of draft picks for Tampa Bay’s 3rd selection overall and Vincent LeCavalier, who would then be bought out.


Not making it up—I wouldn’t pretend to know enough about either team to do so. Good source, take it for what it is.

Great Dane
Great Dane

Here we go: John Jaeckel

First, I heard a rumor out of Canada on Monday (very good source) that the Leafs have offered two mid-level roster players and a package of draft picks for Tampa Bay’s 3rd selection overall and Vincent LeCavalier, who would then be bought out.

Not making it up—I wouldn’t pretend to know enough about either team to do so. Good source, take it for what it is.



Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

So, ban Canadian hockey players/athletes from US universities and colleges next?

leafmealone
leafmealone

Not sure I understand the big kerfuffle over this move by the CHL. Back when Team Canada got hammered in Torino, the national program decided that Canadian hockey needed a massive overhaul from the ground up. They started with addressing the teaching and development of beginning players, and put in place a plan that followed those kids up through the system. The focus was to increase the skill and scoring aspects of the game and to take the focus away from the physical "clutch and grab" style that was dominant at the time. They recognized that Europeans and Russians were dominating us on a general level with puck skills that, at the time, we couldn't even hope to emulate. And I would posit that the recent ban on body checking that has come down for the younger kids should have a side benefit of a similar nature.

The end result was that we developed some young offensive stars and increased the overall level of offensive production across all ages and levels of competition. Now, they've realized that in doing this, they have failed to adequately compensate for the effect this has had on goaltending across Canadian hockey. I'm not sure that the move they've taken is the best one to address this issue, but it is an issue that they've correctly identified as being detrimental to the overall system and competitiveness of the national program going forward.

However, I do find the large portion of the criticism on this issue to be not much more than politically correct posturing. This issue isn't about closing our borders to immigrants. It's not about judging these young men on their foreign passports. It's about doing what we can to use our own junior hockey leagues to develop our own junior talent. And no one has ever gone a self-righteous rant on the development and nature of the USNTDP, and that's a far, far more xenophobic mandate than anything that exists here in Canada. 

mcloki
mcloki

Oh i've got a good question. Can anyone tell me the NBC ratings in the Southern Ontario market.

How many popel switch to watching NBC foe their hockey as opposed to watching the CBC. 

i know I did.  Switched back to watch Cherry in the intermission though. And I know a lot of guys that could did as well.

Burtonboy
Burtonboy

Damien Cox ‏@DamoSpin

Malkin gets $76m over 8. Kessel won't command that from TOR, but look at his numbers vs Malkin and you get where this is going.

wendelsfist
wendelsfist

So far under the new cap agreement we have 

Malkin - Top 3 1C = 9.5M (15% of cap)

Getzlaf Top 10 1C = 8.3M (13% of cap)

Perry - Top 10 Winger (50 goal scorer) = 8.6 (13.5% of cap)

What does this mean for Kessel ?

Biltmore
Biltmore

While there have been 18 year olds make the NHL, name the last 18 year old goaltender you saw do well in the league.  Goaltenders take the longest to mature positionally. The issue with goalies is that their parameters change every year while maturing, as players become bigger, stronger and faster each season while teenagers. The shooting angles change, the velocity changes, the development of plays accelerate. All that muscle and mind memory the goalie has acquired from last season has to be altered next year as the forwards develop. They can't anticipate these changes, they have to react to it as it happens, which puts them a step behind in development until the forwards/defense mature and stop growing. Then there's another few years as goalies need to adjust to players peaking in physical strength. 

The NHL is a business for the players and owners. The CHL is a business for the owners only. These kids are still kids, still maturing and trying to master a craft. Goaltenders are the most vulnerable of these players and I don't mind the move to protect the rosters for Canadian goalies to give them the chance to maintain pace with the changes to the game as they age. 

unclejakescards
unclejakescards

maybe people dont see the trickle down effect bringing a foreign goalie in has . he takes a spot on a junior a team , forcing a junior a goalie , usually a younger rookie needing the experience down to junior b , then another goalie down to junior c , and so on . its a kids development league ,not a pro league , leave it that way .  gotta remember there is only 2 goalie spots on each team , goalies fight for games enough without adding foreign goalies in .....

wendelsfist
wendelsfist

That PPP article has some faulty logic.  The way I read it is that because the leafs were so badly outplayed by the Bruins, the leafs won't make the playoffs.   Now some intrepid Penguins and NYR blogger can write a similar post and say that the  Penguins and Rangers were outplayed by Boston and so similarly conclude that they will miss the playoffs next year.   And by faulty logical extension, every team except the Hawks will fail to make the playoff next year.  Hmmm.

.Kong.
.Kong.

As much as I like this decision, banning Euro-goalies is only the first step in this process.  I like the idea suggested below where, like in Germany, Canadian Hockey (NHL teams, the NHL itself, etc.) teams must help finance, develop, and coach young players.  Let's put some of the onus back on these greedy NHL teams.  Also, OHL teams need to start developing goalie coaches (assuming they haven't already).  This would create the next generation of goalie coaches, and the next generation of great Canadian goalies.  A win-win.

unclejakescards
unclejakescards

i said this last year when repoerts of new cba came out , there gonna be a huge difference in salaries between stars and rest of league , stars will always get raises , big bucks , rest of players will be pushed to take paycuts ....... this cba still has 7 years left plus options for 2 more .... there will be players getting over 10 mil per .......