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Martin Reway


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The size meme is getting ridiculous. If the organization started completely ignoring all players under 6'4", would anyone be happy? No, because the first smaller skilled player we could've drafted but didn't would produce an impressive cacophony about how "the team refuses to draft skilled players".

Martin has had an impressive tournament and looks to be quite an exciting and promising player. Hopefully the organization remembers scoring goals is slightly important in hockey and doesn't throw him away to increase our position on the NHL average height/weight chart. Which is slightly less relevant in April than the eastern conference standings.

I live pretty close to Chicago (when I'm not at college) and know quite a few Blackhawk fans. Know what they were complaining about until 2009?

That they're rebuild was too focused on small, skilled forwards.

Reway sure looks like the real deal to me, and if I have learned anything about him these WJHC's, its that he sure can produce, has just about every tool in the shed except size that he commands with ease, especially on the powerplay. If we get rid of that on no basis other than some overused narrative that's only used when things go poorly, then I am going to start rooting for the Red Wings because they make decisions based on how good you are, not how big.

Not that it's worked that well for them the past 20 years or so.

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I live pretty close to Chicago (when I'm not at college) and know quite a few Blackhawk fans. Know what they were complaining about until 2009?

That they're rebuild was too focused on small, skilled forwards.

Reway sure looks like the real deal to me, and if I have learned anything about him these WJHC's, its that he sure can produce, has just about every tool in the shed except size that he commands with ease, especially on the powerplay. If we get rid of that on no basis other than some overused narrative that's only used when things go poorly, then I am going to start rooting for the Red Wings because they make decisions based on how good you are, not how big.

Not that it's worked that well for them the past 20 years or so.

What's particularly important IMO when looking at Reway is that he looks so comfortable out there while he's dictating the play. Slovakia is not horribly deep offensively this year, either. Most of their production is coming from Reway and Griger. They've both got 10 points, Dano has 3 with 2 goals, and nobody else has more than 3. Reway, Dano, Kolena, and Griger are the only players with more than one goal. Would it be nice if he was 6'6", 230, and had an offseason hobby of chewing scrap metal? Sure, but then he'd probably not have been a fourth round pick and we probably wouldn't have been able to draft him.

Ever heard of the project management triangle? "Fast, Good, and Cheap: Pick Two." Well, NHL prospects aren't exactly like that, but it's still got some applicability. Big, Skilled, and Likely to succeed: Pick two. You could add a fourth to that, "available at our average draft position", too, if you wanted.

Timmins or not, the NHL draft is a crap shoot. It's hard enough scouting and drafting NHL talent with any degree of success as it is. Using size as a general filter reduces the already slim chances of success even further. That's the kind of stuff that dooms a decade. This is a thirty team league that bends over backwards to make almost every team look like it's "competing" and puts an imagined principle of "parity" at a very high priority. Given these realities, I really fail to see how getting a player like Reway with a later round pick is anything but positive. Particularly when it sure looks to me like an injection of more real skill is something the team desperately needs

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Guest Regis2

Read my original post .

I said " if " he makes the NHL .

I didn't say he wouldn't and I didn't said he would .

The kid's 19 yrs old and some have him pencilled in to make the HABS already .

We do that with every draft pick.

I know it's fun to envision what the team will look like in 3 to 4 years but a lot can happen between today and when the team think's he's ready .

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I guess he can fight for a job with Christian Thomas and one of them can replace Gionta or Briere.

I may be wrong, but it seems to me that both GIonta and Briere had pretty amazing careers despite their size. We may have got them at the twilight of those careers, but if a guy like Reway is even close to their production, I think he'll be fine.

I would agree that we still do seem to draft a lot of small skilled players but that is what happens when you draft skill in later rounds. You hope that one of them can turn into a Gionta or a Fleury or a St. Louis, but of course its less likely than if they were 6' 3" but thats why we got them where we did.

The difference now is that unlike in the recent history, our core includes good sized players like Subban, Pacioretty, Eller, Galchenyuk, Tinordi, Pateryn, etc.

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The size meme is getting ridiculous. If the organization started completely ignoring all players under 6'4", would anyone be happy? No, because the first smaller skilled player we could've drafted but didn't would produce an impressive cacophony about how "the team refuses to draft skilled players".

Martin has had an impressive tournament and looks to be quite an exciting and promising player. Hopefully the organization remembers scoring goals is slightly important in hockey and doesn't throw him away to increase our position on the NHL average height/weight chart. Which is slightly less relevant in April than the eastern conference standings.

To me it is not ridiculous and I understand Regis. Sure small players have their place in the NHL and sure they can be on winning teams. The thing is usually they'll be in the medley of a regular or bigger size team so they can hold their own. The problem with the habs is we have too many of them. In the regular season it's not that big of a deal but in the playoffs, it's another ball game (Briere has good numbers in playoffs but he was also playing with the Flyers, different size team than the habs).

If you look at the Western teams, they're dominating the league since a few years, especially due to their size and way of playing. We won't beat Chicago in a 7 games series with the team we have right now.

Sure it's great to have success in the regular season but for me the only goal is the Stanley Cup and I'd like a team that I know can win the hard games and a tough demanding schedule.

That's why I'm way more interested in a guy like Jacob De La Rose.

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To me it is not ridiculous and I understand Regis. Sure small players have their place in the NHL and sure they can be on winning teams. The thing is usually they'll be in the medley of a regular or bigger size team so they can hold their own. The problem with the habs is we have too many of them. In the regular season it's not that big of a deal but in the playoffs, it's another ball game (Briere has good numbers in playoffs but he was also playing with the Flyers, different size team than the habs).

Here's why I can't take that line of argument entirely seriously. Define "small", "normal", and "big". With names, peak years, and so on. Quoting height/weight ranges won't do it, because I guarantee I'll be able to nitpick and provide corollaries to any player you name.

Suppose I said we might consider trading for a 6'2" winger who's scored almost 30 goals in the past and has had suspension problems for borderline hits. That's what the team needs, right? Congratulations, I present to you Rene Bourque.

That's a little bit unfair, I admit. How about another guy. He hasn't had less than 80 points in the last five full seasons, is over PPG in the playoffs during his career, and played almost 500 straight games at one point. Yep. Martin St-Louis.

I expect that here's where you'll tell me that Bourque may be bigger than normal, but he doesn't "play" big. Or that St-Louis is exceptional. Which are both true. Because... each player is different. Hal Gill was not Zdeno Chara. Our Daniel Briere is not Doug Gilmour. And pretending that you can condense a player's value to a team down with a single (or two) oversimplified statistics is not grounded in reality. It's a mistake, and it's the kind of mistakes that set back teams headed in the right direction. It's a mistake I sincerely hope the organization doesn't make.

As for the Flyers, how many cups did Briere win with them?

If you look at the Western teams, they're dominating the league since a few years, especially due to their size and way of playing. We won't beat Chicago in a 7 games series with the team we have right now.

To begin with, I dispute that it can be stated as simple fact that the west "dominates the league". The western conference has a better record in the regular season against the east than vice versa at the moment. But you talk about the playoffs being more important, and that's all any sports fan really cares about, anyway. Looking at the playoffs, five of the last eight cup winners were from the west (one of those teams is now in the east, and isn't exactly destroying the conference). Looking at those cup winning teams (apart from Detroit), I see one unifying factor in their victories, and it isn't "size", it's high-end talent. Particularly first round draft picks, particularly top-10 draft picks, and particularly multiple ones. Do you think Chicago wins anything without Toews and Kane? Do you think Pittsburgh wins anything without Crosby and Malkin? Do you think Anaheim wins anything without Getzlaf and Perry? Hot goaltending can probably be thanked/blamed for Carolina, Boston, and Los Angeles. But don't forget that those teams had high draft picks as well in Staal, Seguin, and Kopitar.

The West has won more President's trophies since the lockout. I guess San Jose and Vancouver are overjoyed about those.

As for whether or not we'd beat Chicago in a 7-game series right now, chances are quite likely we wouldn't without a hot goaltender stealing it. Chicago has a veritable all-star team with perennial Jack Adams coaching, a well-seasoned mixture of youth, veterans, talent, hard work, and goaltending. It doesn't say anything comparing two teams that are so completely apart in their life cycles. One team has had multiple high draft picks (not to mention a whole lot of luck, by the way) and 5 years of "prime" time since concluding its rebuild, one team has had one top-5 draft pick and has multiple young players who are still yet to reach their primes. There's severe issues with this team (not just the roster), but the fact that it's not the Chicago Blackhawks shouldn't legitimately surprise anyone.

Chicago would almost certainly beat us in a 7-game series at the moment because they have significantly more skill, are deeper at every position (except perhaps goaltending), are consistently better coached by a wide margin, and have much more experience than us. Size is way down on the list of reasons why Chicago is a better team right now.

Sure it's great to have success in the regular season but for me the only goal is the Stanley Cup and I'd like a team that I know can win the hard games and a tough demanding schedule.

One team has repeated in the cap era. Out of a maximum of 16 possible cup finalists, there have been 12. Out of a maximum of 32 possible conference finalists, there have been 19. The team with the most conference finals appearances? Three-way tie. Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Detroit, all with three. Teams with two appearances? Boston, Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose, Carolina, and Philadelphia, and Buffalo.

Is Chris Pronger the kind of guy who helps you have a team you "know" can win the hard games? Apparently not, because he went to three cup finals in the cap era and lost twice. How about Lucic? 1 for 2, a part of two amazing chokes in the "hard games", including the 2010 semis against Philly.

Apart from losing a lot and lucking into generational or near generational talent at the draft, there is no secret sauce to the cup. And even that doesn't always work—Hi, Edmonton! If there was, everyone would do it.

Maybe Reway makes it. Maybe he doesn't. Maybe he becomes a contributor to a championship team here. Maybe he's moved for the same ends. Maybe the hypothetical "big" player we could've drafted in his place becomes a game-changing monster the likes of which the game's never seen. The track record of the NHL draft doesn't paint a pretty picture for the likelihood of that, however. I'm glad we have Reway.

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Here's why I can't take that line of argument entirely seriously. Define "small", "normal", and "big". With names, peak years, and so on. Quoting height/weight ranges won't do it, because I guarantee I'll be able to nitpick and provide corollaries to any player you name.

Small is small, everyone knows it, no need to nitpick on words. We are a small team.

Suppose I said we might consider trading for a 6'2" winger who's scored almost 30 goals in the past and has had suspension problems for borderline hits. That's what the team needs, right? Congratulations, I present to you Rene Bourque.

That's a little bit unfair, I admit. How about another guy. He hasn't had less than 80 points in the last five full seasons, is over PPG in the playoffs during his career, and played almost 500 straight games at one point. Yep. Martin St-Louis.

I expect that here's where you'll tell me that Bourque may be bigger than normal, but he doesn't "play" big. Or that St-Louis is exceptional. Which are both true. Because... each player is different. Hal Gill was not Zdeno Chara. Our Daniel Briere is not Doug Gilmour. And pretending that you can condense a player's value to a team down with a single (or two) oversimplified statistics is not grounded in reality. It's a mistake, and it's the kind of mistakes that set back teams headed in the right direction. It's a mistake I sincerely hope the organization doesn't make.

As you said, St-Louis is an exception and hall of famer, so that doesn't have anything to do with what I'm saying. Size is one thing, but you need more than that, hence why Bourque isn't my favorite player either. We need players that are ready to work every night (who also have skills). Those players are hard to find though.

As for the Flyers, how many cups did Briere win with them?

All I said was several people keep saying Briere will be good in playoffs, which doesn't mean anything. What he's done was with a very different team so.

To begin with, I dispute that it can be stated as simple fact that the west "dominates the league". The western conference has a better record in the regular season against the east than vice versa at the moment. But you talk about the playoffs being more important, and that's all any sports fan really cares about, anyway. Looking at the playoffs, five of the last eight cup winners were from the west (one of those teams is now in the east, and isn't exactly destroying the conference). Looking at those cup winning teams (apart from Detroit), I see one unifying factor in their victories, and it isn't "size", it's high-end talent. Particularly first round draft picks, particularly top-10 draft picks, and particularly multiple ones. Do you think Chicago wins anything without Toews and Kane? Do you think Pittsburgh wins anything without Crosby and Malkin? Do you think Anaheim wins anything without Getzlaf and Perry? Hot goaltending can probably be thanked/blamed for Carolina, Boston, and Los Angeles. But don't forget that those teams had high draft picks as well in Staal, Seguin, and Kopitar.

The West has won more President's trophies since the lockout. I guess San Jose and Vancouver are overjoyed about those.

As for whether or not we'd beat Chicago in a 7-game series right now, chances are quite likely we wouldn't without a hot goaltender stealing it. Chicago has a veritable all-star team with perennial Jack Adams coaching, a well-seasoned mixture of youth, veterans, talent, hard work, and goaltending. It doesn't say anything comparing two teams that are so completely apart in their life cycles. One team has had multiple high draft picks (not to mention a whole lot of luck, by the way) and 5 years of "prime" time since concluding its rebuild, one team has had one top-5 draft pick and has multiple young players who are still yet to reach their primes. There's severe issues with this team (not just the roster), but the fact that it's not the Chicago Blackhawks shouldn't legitimately surprise anyone.

Chicago would almost certainly beat us in a 7-game series at the moment because they have significantly more skill, are deeper at every position (except perhaps goaltending), are consistently better coached by a wide margin, and have much more experience than us. Size is way down on the list of reasons why Chicago is a better team right now.

One team has repeated in the cap era. Out of a maximum of 16 possible cup finalists, there have been 12. Out of a maximum of 32 possible conference finalists, there have been 19. The team with the most conference finals appearances? Three-way tie. Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Detroit, all with three. Teams with two appearances? Boston, Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose, Carolina, and Philadelphia, and Buffalo.

Is Chris Pronger the kind of guy who helps you have a team you "know" can win the hard games? Apparently not, because he went to three cup finals in the cap era and lost twice. How about Lucic? 1 for 2, a part of two amazing chokes in the "hard games", including the 2010 semis against Philly.

I read some of that but that was a lot. Of course you need skill, I never said anything against that. You definitely need more than skills though (i.e.: look at Edmonton). Depth, a mix of young players and veterans, good D, etc.

Again, all I'm saying is we'll never win the cup with several small players in the same team.

Anyways, let's get back to Mr. Reway :)

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Small is small, everyone knows it, no need to nitpick on words. We are a small team.

It really isn't that simple. You're stating something categorically while not providing a definition for it.

Size is one thing, but you need more than that, hence why Bourque isn't my favorite player either. We need players that are ready to work every night (who also have skills). Those players are hard to find though.

Which was kind of my point: I mention a player who has "size", but he's not the kind of player you're talking about. Because quite often, "size" is a concept unique to every observing individual with no external consistency. It also never seems to be wrong. Whenever a draft pick is used or a trade is done to satisfy a "size" need that doesn't work, it's never the attempt to fill this meaningless criteria that fails, it's situational and blamed on either the coach, player, other teammates, or all three.

Ideally every player we draft is Jagr, but that isn't reality. If the mythical big player with skill isn't available, shrugging and picking a big player less likely to be an impact player over a smaller player with more potential is a waste of a draft pick/cap space/assets in a trade, period.

I read some of that but that was a lot. Of course you need skill, I never said anything against that. You definitely need more than skills though (i.e.: look at Edmonton). Depth, a mix of young players and veterans, good D, etc.

This is the crux of my problem with this particular set of hockey truisms. You say a team definitely needs "more" than skill. Is depth about having better third/fourth line forwards and third pair D men, along with having a great number of players close to NHL-level in the minors ready to be called up in the case of injury or scratches? I think it is. And that is a function of distributed skill.

I'd also argue that defence is quite definitely a skill. Which is applicable, since I've heard the size evangelists in the hockey media say that PK "isn't that big" for a defenceman. It's quite clearly not preventing him from being a top-5 defenceman in the NHL right now.

Again, all I'm saying is we'll never win the cup with several small players in the same team.

Given the nature and makeup of the NHL currently, it's likely we won't win the cup in the next decade or two anyway, no matter what we do now. But we'll have the best chance going forward if the team is tangibly better in a measurable and real way, as opposed to using nebulous, unfalsifiable metrics.

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It really isn't that simple. You're stating something categorically while not providing a definition for it.

Which was kind of my point: I mention a player who has "size", but he's not the kind of player you're talking about. Because quite often, "size" is a concept unique to every observing individual with no external consistency. It also never seems to be wrong. Whenever a draft pick is used or a trade is done to satisfy a "size" need that doesn't work, it's never the attempt to fill this meaningless criteria that fails, it's situational and blamed on either the coach, player, other teammates, or all three.

Ideally every player we draft is Jagr, but that isn't reality. If the mythical big player with skill isn't available, shrugging and picking a big player less likely to be an impact player over a smaller player with more potential is a waste of a draft pick/cap space/assets in a trade, period.

This is the crux of my problem with this particular set of hockey truisms. You say a team definitely needs "more" than skill. Is depth about having better third/fourth line forwards and third pair D men, along with having a great number of players close to NHL-level in the minors ready to be called up in the case of injury or scratches? I think it is. And that is a function of distributed skill.

I'd also argue that defence is quite definitely a skill. Which is applicable, since I've heard the size evangelists in the hockey media say that PK "isn't that big" for a defenceman. It's quite clearly not preventing him from being a top-5 defenceman in the NHL right now.

Given the nature and makeup of the NHL currently, it's likely we won't win the cup in the next decade or two anyway, no matter what we do now. But we'll have the best chance going forward if the team is tangibly better in a measurable and real way, as opposed to using nebulous, unfalsifiable metrics.

Isn't that essentially what we did when we drafted McCarron last draft?

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Habs prospect drafted in the 4th round tears up the WJHC and makes Canada's defence look foolish. People complain that he's short.

Never change Habs fans, never change. If a guy this skilled was 6'4" he'd have been a top 10 pick.

NHL is a very different world, we can talk again once he tears it up in the NHL.

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MB was asked today about Jacab De La Rose and Reway, and couldn't go a sentence about JDLR without mentioning how big he is, while he couldn't go a sentence about Reway without mentioning how small he is, FWIW. Reway is talented and off the charts, but..... and JDLR is talented and(!)....

Apparently just talking about a prospect without the second opinion of a height/weight chart is just not allowed. Sigh.....

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NHL is a very different world, we can talk again once he tears it up in the NHL.

Point is that he's a 4th round pick and if he doesn't pan out it is what it is. No sense worrying about how tall your 4th round picks are especially when they've been demonstrating their skill at high levels of play.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I thought I'd update everyone on our "training camp standout" of 2013 (Let's be honest, there's always one surprise at every training camp!).

Reway has undoubtedly been one of our best prospect.

Let's see here... He absolutely tore up the world juniors, if anyone missed it.

He's currently tearing up the QMJHL league with an outstanding 45 points in only 28 games!

They have him playing the point on the Powerplay, and it's paid dividends. The guy has incredible speed.

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