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Tag: Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup

Drop The Gloves: Eye Test Can’t Be The Ultimate Decider

Welcome to another version of’ favorite battle ground, “Drop The Gloves.” Where two writers on the site disagree with each other, state their points, and let you decide who’s right.

Last time we argued over the activity, or inactivity, of the Las Vegas organization in the first few weeks. Now, it’s time to Drop The Gloves on analytics. The original article by Dana titled “McPhee/McCrimmon Scheming At The Ivan Hlinka” is being challenged by Jason. Please vote in the poll at the bottom to choose your side.


There’s no guaranteed success when drafting a player. Missing on a draft selection sets a club way back in its progression. The time and money spent on prospects makes it imperative to get it right. That’s why GM George McPhee and Assistant GM Kelly McCrimmon are getting a head start at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup.

But when I think of the Las Vegas franchise, I picture a team that needs to be creative. Being forced a roster of NHL pros doesn’t always work out. Having an outside chance of the number one pick in the amateur draft is another dilemma. McPhee may have to play “Moneypuck” to find other ways to gather talent. That’s why Dana was right about highlighting the Czech tournament. However, I respectfully disagree with my colleague on the scouting strategy Las Vegas should adopt.

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McPhee/McCrimmon Scheming At The Ivan Hlinka

The National Hockey League’s preseason will start on September 25th with the Columbus Blue Jackets and the St.Louis Blues playing a couple of split squad games. To Las Vegas, it’s a schedule highlighted by the Los Angeles Kings taking on the Dallas Stars to officially christen the T-Mobile Arena on October 7th followed by the traditional Kings/Avalanche match-up October 8th.

If you ask General Manager George McPhee or newly named assistant GM Kelly McCrimmon, the preseason started Monday with start of the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup held in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Although not an official tournament recognized by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) it’s certainly the first chance for the Las Vegas brain trust to watch some of the best young talent. Though most are second rounders, that’s what makes the Hlinka Tournament so important. These are the players who will be the core of the Las Vegas franchise the kind of players you build around.

No offense to Misha Donskov the newly named Director of Hockey Operations who is bringing his strong analytics background to the Strip, nothing replaces a gut feeling based on watching a player perform. Numbers are useful, but until there is no way for a number to reflect a player’s state of emotion from day to day. You will always need educated eyes to evaluate talent.

I want to see how willing a player is to go in the corner to battle for a puck. I want to see how accurate a defensemen is with their first pass out of their own end. I want to see if a player make a good choice after they’ve made a bad one. To give proper credit, Donskov created the ‘Program of Excellence’ which is his way of putting proper emphasis on relevant numbers, but our organization will be be built McPhee’s (and McCrimmon’s) gut.

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