Final thoughts.......no really, I swear this time. New lesson learned - don't try and create a "set in stone" team/franchise identity.
If running or creating a team, don't try and create a pre-determined identity. Simply pick the best players and/or best prospects available at the best cap hit, and then create your strategies/identities, etc. afterwards.
This is one thing that I think absolutely killed a team like Minnesota during the 2000's. They tried to create an identity of being a "trap team", and in effect, scared off a large number of possible free agents. Philadelphia is also falling into the "identity" trap at current IMO. With Philly however, they are forcing a pre-identity of being a "big and tough" team.......which again, can scare off potential "skill" or "finesse" free agents wanting to sign.
Pick the best players available.......identity is created based on that. The Redwings for instance. In 1997, they were considered a good blend of skill and grit. In 2002, they bought a championship. In 2008, they were almost purely a skill team (give or take a few grit guys to keep them balanced).
Chicago in 2010 were a gritty team that was complemented with skill and speed. Chicago in 2013, was a skill team that was completed by grit and speed. Lesson to learn: don't be obsessed in having a team identity. Pick the best players available via free agency, trade, drafting, and be willing to mold the identity into whatever. Coaching strategies then follow suit (and as you can see, you can see why the idea of automatically "trapping" like the Wild did for so many years was ridiculous).Don't try and be a "skill" team or a "physical" team" or a "Fast" team. Pick the best players available (I.e. via draft and/or free agent signings, and let the team strengths/weaknesses show itself later.
On my NHL 14, I split tested 4 different teams: A "skill" team, a "fast " team, a "physical" team, and a balanced team consisting of god variety. Not surprising, the team with variety was far and away the best. My "fast" team could easily be vu led off the puck, my physical team was slow and took bad penalties, while the skill team could often be out skated and outhit. I know this sounds like an obvious thing, but there are teams in today's NHL that seem obsessed with building one of these 3 types of one dimensional teams ( I.e. the Flyers).
Even a team like Boston that is known for it's physicality, has good skill players, finesse players, and fast players. What a Championship team looks like:
So a few weeks ago, I established as to what most championship calibre teams look like.
-A championship calibre team should consist of a core, signed at a reasonable cap hit long term, and consisting of two centers, two defenseman, a goalie, and either an elite winger or 3rd line center (using the Chicago and LA model, I think an elite winger would be more important than a 3rd line center as part of one's "core" to build around). Chicago, LA, Pitsburgh, are building variations of this model, but are pretty doing exactly as I described. A minor change in thought:
-Through experimentation and split testing however, I have also come to the conclusion that you can't take the logic of "reasonable cap hit" to an extreme. In other words, if it means paying guys like Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf, and Ryan Suter 7.5-8.7 million per year, you do it. A few weeks ago, I would have disagreed with this line of thought (I.e. And in effect, would have been very critical of the Pitsburgh Penguins and Anaheim Duck model).
The Minnesota Wild, with their signings of Suter and Parise, are excellent examples.
-Superstar blue liners: A few weeks ago, I was of the opinion that solid depth on defense was an adequate consolation prize/secondary option if a team did not have a superstar blue-liner on defense (I.e. Canuck 2011 model). My opinion on this has now changed. A team should ideally have TWO superstar blue-liners and if that's not possible, should have one (I.e. Doughty with the Kings, Chara with the Bruins, Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk with the Blues). A team can still win without a superstar d-man (I.e. Hurricanes in 06'), but the chances are very slim. If I was running the Canucks.........or any team for that matter:
If I was running the Canucks, I'd move either Hansen or Burrows for a Center.
I would also be on the look-out for potential franchise players and would offer any draft pick and/or prospect for said player. For example, there are conflicting reports that Claude Giroux MIGHT be available for the right price. I would offer ANY of our prospects and/or draft picks for Giroux.
This past Summer, there were rumors that Kris Letang might have been available due to his contract demands. I'm not sure if this was true, but I would have offered Pitsburgh, Alexander Edler and whatever else that they wanted ( within reason) for Letang. Upon acquiring Letang, give him a lifetime long term deal.
Anyway - that should be it for this thread as far as I go.
It was a interesting experience for me and I feel like I learned a lot. Some of my lessons learned were obvious stuff, but a few minor things that many people might not notice, really came to a head for me.
Thank you for your time.