Friday, 21 November 2014

Brian Burke and Marc Bergevin riff on player selection and development.

Here's a great passage in a TSN article about Marc Bergevin and Brian Burke speaking at an analytics conference in Toronto, in advance of the Hall of Fame ceremony and GM meetings:
“(Brian Burke) said they start every year’s scouting meetings discussing mistakes that they have made.

The specific example he cited was Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw, who wasn’t drafted until the fifth round of his final draft-eligible season, yet has played an important role for the Blackhawks over the past couple seasons.

Burke said what stood out in their evaluation was that Shaw was too small, with the problem being that, “He doesn’t realize he’s too small.”

Which could apply to Brendan Gallagher as well.

Also, before we get carried away with this quote about Marc Bergevin liking Morgan Rielly but deferring to Trevor Timmins’ judgment, there’s clearer context in this article. It’s more a case that he got to see Morgan Rielly play, but not Alex Galchenyuk, who was injured his draft year. So it’s understandable that he ‘liked’ Morgan Rielly.  It's not a case that he preferred him to Alex, like Brian Burke said he did, that if he'd had the #1 pick, he would have chosen Morgan Rielly first overall.

Another interesting point is made by the Canadiens GM, and aligns perfectly with his oft-stated philosophy about letting young players learn their trade in the minors:
Miller also asked about player development, and whether teams should send teens back to junior for further development.
"I'm convinced some teams keep kids as a marketing tool," Burke said. "I told Sean Monahan he was going back to junior, but he forced us to keep him."
Bergevin added, "The players make the decision, but the road to Montreal goes through Hamilton."
Bergevin comes to this decision with perspective, having played in the NHL as a 19-year-old himself. "I played in the NHL at 19, and what happens is that, because you want to stay in the league, you change your game, and maybe not for the best in terms of overall development."
That last sentence tells us everything we need regarding his hesitation to bring up young defencemen from Hamilton before he feels they're ready, and his recent trades for Sergei Gonchar and now Bryan Allen.

Finally, this is relevant when we make our line combinations, or cobble together trade proposals, or argue about bringing up a certain player from Hamilton and playing him instead of an incumbent:
Burke: “I don’t pay attention to anything anyone says in media. If someone in media makes a suggestion and you haven’t thought of it, then you should resign.”

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