What is the best way to predict if a forward will decline rapidly or slowly?

Discussion in 'National Hockey League Talk' started by Snippit, Oct 22, 2018.

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  1. Snippit

    Snippit Registered User

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    The 2016 free agency was a blood bath of bad contracts. Several guys that were seen as good top 6 forwards like Ladd, Okposo, Lucic and Backes can now be looked at as bad contracts and regrettable decisions.

    It’s important to be able to predict who’s going to decline fast, and who is going to continue to play at a high level into their thirties.

    What’s a good indicator of this? What do a lot of the steep declining forwards have in common?
     
  2. MordredGK

    MordredGK it is a silly place

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    Sign fast players without significant injury history to these long term deals. Worst case scenario a fast player becomes an average player at 32, and you end up overpaying for a 2nd liner.
     
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  3. easton117

    easton117 Registered User

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    If they are 225 pounds and throw 200 hits per year in their 20s, don’t sign them to 6 year deals when they turn 30.

    If they are a little on the lighter side but play heavy (think Mike Richards) in their 20s, don’t sign them to 6 year deals when they turn 30.

    If they have good size, skate well and are adept at avoiding sizeable contact (think Marleau) you can probably give him a 6 year deal when he turns 30. Probably. But no promises.
     
  4. StoneHands

    StoneHands Registered User

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    Determine if the player has been a driver or a passenger on the line he had success on. If he's a driver he should continue being good. If he's a passenger and you don't have the players to surround him, he's going to fail.

    Also injury history and style of play. Injuries take their toll an often lead to shorter careers. Big power forward types tend to decline quicker because that style of play is hard to maintain as the body starts to break down physically.
     
  5. EdmFlyersfan

    EdmFlyersfan Registered User

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    • Number of injuries
    • Style of Play
    • Losing speed
     
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  6. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    There’s a pattern here.
     
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  7. Frank the Tank

    Frank the Tank Blue, you're my boy!

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    Then throw in fellow 2016 UFA signing Loui Eriksson, who has struggled arguably the most of that bunch.
     
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  8. BonMorrison

    BonMorrison Your resident SJW

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  9. Mean Gene

    Mean Gene Haters gonna hate

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    Power Forwards tend to decline quicker than other types of players.

    Usually, a player with a good hockey IQ will remain productive until his mid thirties. Of course there are some exceptions like Thornton and Jagr who were still doing well in their late 30s, but those guys didn't really rely on speed for the most part of their career so the adaptation was easier.
     
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  10. Silky mitts

    Silky mitts It’s yours boys and girls and babes let’s go!

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    Cannot predict. Neil Greenberg is a respected statistical features writer and he wrote this long explanation about how Ovechkin's decline was inevitable, all the great goal scorers were past their prime at 27, and he was still on pace for 27 goals in 82 games which was very good without meaningful even strength contributions. Since he wrote it Ovy has 5 Richards, a Hart, and Conn Smythe in 6 seasons. No one would have predicted a career year for Giroux last year based on the data. Guys reinvent themselves in hockey, I like that aspect of it.
     
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  11. Howboutthempanthers

    Howboutthempanthers Thread killer. Sponsor

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  12. M.C.G. 31

    M.C.G. 31 Bury me softly, brother

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    Style of play and hockey IQ are the big ones imo, but it's really, really hard to predict.

    Style of play can break a body down quicker if they play a more physical style, and hockey IQ can cause the decline to be much slower. Andrei Markov, for example, was being written off after his second knee surgery, but his hockey IQ made up for any speed he may have lost and kept him as a top-4 defenseman in the NHL into his late-30s.
     
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  13. Butch 19

    Butch 19 Go cart Mozart

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    define rapidly.

    now define slowly.
     
  14. BigBadBruins7708

    BigBadBruins7708 Registered User

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    how much of their game is mental vs physical ability.

    Someone like a Bergeron who is great because of his hockey IQ and ability to out think will decline more gradually because he doesnt rely on being a better athlete to be a better player.

    Whereas someone who is great because they can out skate everyone else is more likely to have a sharp decline.

    an exception to that would be someone who's physical gift is an elite shot. That usually doesnt decline sharply, see Hull and Ovechkin
     
  15. KingsFan7824

    KingsFan7824 Registered User

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    You might get Mega Millions level money if you could answer that question.
     
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  16. iSophagus

    iSophagus Registered User

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    Speed is the first thing to go for a lot of players. They could lose their shot pretty quick, especially if there's a wrist injury or something. But getting slow seems to be the death knell I see most often.

    So, if they're still as fast as they've ever been then they should decline slower. If they're already starting to lose a step, they could decline quickly.
     
  17. DRW204

    DRW204 Registered User

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    Severe hernia injuries and surgeries seem to be a common denominator to a player having a down year.
     
  18. Hockey Tears

    Hockey Tears Wipe up those opinions, kiddo

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    If last name starts with "Luc" you are flagged as being at-risk with your signing.
     
  19. llamateizer

    llamateizer Registered User

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  20. Captain Mountain

    Captain Mountain Formerly Captain Wolverine

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    If we're using the 2016 example, then don't sign players to big money and term that are already showing clear signs through data and observation of decline.

    A similar warning was in the tracking for the 2017 run on bad defencemen (Alzner, Smith, Kulikov).
     
  21. Monsieur Gustave H

    Monsieur Gustave H Coming Home

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    You determine how long they'll play by how good they are at hockey.
     
  22. TheBradyBunch

    TheBradyBunch Registered User

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    Footspeed, health, and, most importantly, work ethic.

    Heatley didn't fall off because he was an average skater who suffered from some chronic injuries, he fell off because he was an average skater who suffered from some chronic injuries while being a total lazy bum.

     
  23. LetsGoBLUES91

    LetsGoBLUES91 Registered User

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    Is the strength to their game more about their hockey IQ/vision/passing/shooting? They'll probably be solid for a while.

    But players who rely on their speed as their main asset are in trouble.
     
  24. DJJones

    DJJones Registered User

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    Can they play effectively if they lose some speed?
     
  25. Bounces R Way

    Bounces R Way Feaster's Beasters

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    If you're signing a UFA it's pretty likely they're already in decline. How sharp that decline is really doesn't too much rhyme or reason other than the obvious factors like injury history, speed, production, and what a lot of people overlook with UFAs: hockey IQ.
     

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