|OSU taking on Northern Michigan|
With all that said, this game left a little room for hockey related discussion, and our topics ranged far and wide. One observation my buddy Bill made was that it looks like the time for meeting in the middle on the NHL collective bargaining agreement is rapidly drawing to a close. Should that window close, then the outcome of the negotiations will end up being cast in terms of 'winners' and 'losers'. Frankly, I don't see either side getting to that point without jettisoning the 2012-13 season. And, I submit to you, that the players didn't hire Don Fehr to 'meet in the middle' or to 'lose'. Part of the question I have in my mind involves whether the 2013-14 season would also need to be sacrificed to determine 'winners' or 'losers'. If the owners cave to Fehr, he is going to own them like he has baseball owners for years to come. But right now if Fehr is telling the players that the longer you wait, the better the deal, he is right so far, with the owners softening their stance on many issues. I don't really care who 'wins' or who 'loses', but if we go back to a Don Fehr utopia where Detroit and New York have 90 million dollar payrolls, and the CBJ have a $28 million dollar payroll, I have to wonder how long I would remain engaged in the sport. If Don Fehr is the 'winner' he needs to make it his business to take care of the small market teams.
|Its cool having a pep band at the hockey game|
So you get back to the Moneyball question, and are you looking at the right things. I think one thing that the hiring of Craig Patrick has instigated is a closer look at the character of the players, which I think is important due to the intensely long, mentally challenging aspects of the NHL season, not to mention the playoffs. Patrick and Davidson go way back, to the point where they played together in St. Louis, and Patrick coached Davidson on the Rangers. I think this is a big advantage for our franchise, and the one huge benefit of the lockout for the CBJ is the time for these guys to mold our talent assessment program, which has seen a lot of turn over in the last year. In Moneyball, the point was that you are monetarily challenged compared to your opponents, so you have to spend your money on the things that really count in terms of wins and losses. I think measuring hockey is a lot harder than measuring baseball that way because baseball has incremental stops and starts of each pitch, at bat, and inning. Hockey has more flow to it. How do you measure change of possession? One would think that measuring stupid turnovers at the blue line would be an important statistic. Who cares if your face off percentage is great at center ice? What about in your own end with less than 2 minutes to play, when the importance of possession is magnified? I think most hockey talent assessors have some level of intuitive assessment of this kind of thing. What about some hard numbers? I think that defensive performance is especially difficult to measure. It is more of a gestalt kind of assessment, with shiny things like goals and assists tacked on to make you overpay for defensemen. Ryan Murray is a defenseman you have to assess in that fashion. He doesn't necessarily have the big booming shot, but he is pretty smooth defensively. How do you measure that?
But I digress. The bottom line is that the Buckeyes take on Northern Michigan tonight at the Schott. It will be a good time to survey the junkies, because the puck should drop late in the fourth quarter of the football game.
GO BUCKEYE HOCKEY!! GO JACKETS!!