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[Signing] Toronto signs Nick Ritchie


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1 hour ago, Jimmy McGill said:

that D+ was handed out by Sport Logiq. So we're not the darlings of the fancy stats kids. I think I'll be OK. 

 

I'm tired of the arrogance of the stats crowd tbh. If any team had it nailed down we would have seen a money puck team win the cup by now. 

 

Seattle was supposed to be the darlings of these guys, but what have they decided to do? value size on defence and cap space.

Yeah, I remember reading an article on analytics and how it is most affective in sports were there is a lot of 1 on 1 match ups: baseball.  Perhaps the variables & formulas has improved; and let's see how successful Seattle can be in creating a contender/championship team through the money puck approach ?

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37 minutes ago, Jimmy McGill said:

that D+ was handed out by Sport Logiq. So we're not the darlings of the fancy stats kids. I think I'll be OK. 

 

I'm tired of the arrogance of the stats crowd tbh. If any team had it nailed down we would have seen a money puck team win the cup by now. 

 

Seattle was supposed to be the darlings of these guys, but what have they decided to do? value size on defence and cap space.

Agreed on the arrogance of some “analytics” types, especially those on social media. Funny thing is, the most vocal of those guys are also the ones who will likely never get a sniff from NHL teams, or have any chance to get recruited for jobs actually inside the sport. They’ll just remain “hot take” dispensers on Twitter, and part of a very small online community that spends much of their time mocking the people who are actually doing the real work inside hockey ops, laughing at how “dumb” NHL GMs and scouts are, while cyber high-fiving each other from within their self-congratulatory bubble.

 

But as far as a “money puck” not winning the Cup, I suppose that’s true if you define “money puck” as a small market team that uses analytics to compete on the cheap. That hasn’t really happened, or at least the teams who’ve tried haven’t managed to win many playoff rounds. But only because there are many teams using analytics and spending to (and above) the cap. For an example, look no further than the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the work of their Director of Analytics, Michael Peterson, and his staff. The Bolts were one of the first NHL teams to build an entire analytics department in-house, and the data generated is now seamlessly incorporated into pretty much every hockey operations decision they make. The Lightning don’t necessarily advertise their reliance on analytics, but they are definitely one of the more forward thinking teams in this area. Yzerman was once asked by a reporter if he could have an interview with analytics director Michael Peterson, and Stevie Y replied: “you could, but then I’d have to kill you.” He was joking, of course, but it gives an idea of how much the team values analytics and how close to the vest they keep their data, especially when it comes to their in-house, proprietary stuff.

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17 minutes ago, Master Mind said:

Smart move on Ritchie's behalf.

 

Inflate numbers for 2 years playing with Matthews or Tavares.

 

Then sign an 8 year deal with Edmonton.

I think they're already inflated.

 

Playing with Krejci - who had 44pt (to Ritchie's 26...)

71.2% offensive zone starts

2:44/game on the powerplay..

2.0 on ice goals for per 60 5on5 - is not very good.

 

The problem as I see it - with this signing - is that you get a player that isn't cut out for bottom six minutes (over 60% ozone starts career) - and on the other hand, underproduces (31 pts career high) to be considered a 'top 6'.

Doesn't mean they can use him as a 'role' secondary scorer situationally - not a terrible signing - but lacks versatility and perhaps most importantly, foot speed - if the Leafs are intending to continue to play an up tempo, score all the goals, transition game....I think Ritchie was actually a better fit in Boston...

 

But this is what happens when you imbalance your cap so dramatically - you wind up searching among the leftovers in the UFA market....I like the Kase and Kampf signings more than this one but regardless, very hard to consider that team improved - they're growing even more shallow - their 3rd pairing is as big a question mark as ever imo (I like Sandin but not paired with Dermott) - and their forward depth is wilting - a huge downgrade on Hyman.

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6 minutes ago, oldnews said:

I think they're already inflated.

 

Playing with Krejci - who had 44pt (to Ritchie's 26...)

71.2% offensive zone starts

2:44/game on the powerplay..

2.0 on ice goals for per 60 5on5 - is not very good.

 

The problem as I see it - with this signing - is that you get a player that isn't cut out for bottom six minutes (over 60% ozone starts career) - and on the other hand, underproduces (31 pts career high) to be considered a 'top 6'.

Doesn't mean they can use him as a 'role' secondary scorer situationally - not a terrible signing - but lacks versatility and perhaps most importantly, foot speed - if the Leafs are intending to continue to play an up tempo, score all the goals, transition game....I think Ritchie was actually a better fit in Boston...

 

But this is what happens when you imbalance your cap so dramatically - you wind up searching among the leftovers in the UFA market....I like the Kase and Kampf signings more than this one but regardless, very hard to consider that team improved - they're growing even more shallow - their 3rd pairing is as big a question mark as ever imo (I like Sandin but not paired with Dermott) - and their forward depth is wilting - a huge downgrade on Hyman.

Ritchie spent time on Boston's top power play unit, so that boosted his numbers.

 

Maybe staying in Boston would have been the best choice (if they were offering him the same deal) but possibly playing in Toronto's top six could help him set a career high.

 

Plus just being in Toronto will likely help him during his next contract, in a similar way that Hyman was able to cash in, to a lesser degree.

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14 minutes ago, oldnews said:

I think they're already inflated.

 

Playing with Krejci - who had 44pt (to Ritchie's 26...)

71.2% offensive zone starts

2:44/game on the powerplay..

2.0 on ice goals for per 60 5on5 - is not very good.

 

The problem as I see it - with this signing - is that you get a player that isn't cut out for bottom six minutes (over 60% ozone starts career) - and on the other hand, underproduces (31 pts career high) to be considered a 'top 6'.

Doesn't mean they can use him as a 'role' secondary scorer situationally - not a terrible signing - but lacks versatility and perhaps most importantly, foot speed - if the Leafs are intending to continue to play an up tempo, score all the goals, transition game....I think Ritchie was actually a better fit in Boston...

 

But this is what happens when you imbalance your cap so dramatically - you wind up searching among the leftovers in the UFA market....I like the Kase and Kampf signings more than this one but regardless, very hard to consider that team improved - they're growing even more shallow - their 3rd pairing is as big a question mark as ever imo (I like Sandin but not paired with Dermott) - and their forward depth is wilting - a huge downgrade on Hyman.

Haven't watched Ritchie enough to have an educated opinion, but from what I've seen seems like a nice top 6 fit in Toronto with two fast skilled wingers where he can be a physical presence and stay a bit higher in the ozone when needed or is he not defensively aware enough for that role?

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4 minutes ago, Master Mind said:

Ritchie spent time on Boston's top power play unit, so that boosted his numbers.

 

Maybe staying in Boston would have been the best choice (if they were offering him the same deal) but possibly playing in Toronto's top six could help him set a career high.

 

Plus just being in Toronto will likely help him during his next contract, in a similar way that Hyman was able to cash in, to a lesser degree.

I  don't disagree - I think he could further inflate his numbers playing with the GQ superstar or Tavares - I'm just pointing out that he already played in heavily tilted situations - not just powerplay but 5on5, with a center who is/was much more productive than him...26 pts in 56 games.

 

Unlike players who can be identified as solid uptick candidates as a result of playing lower on a depth chart than they otherwise likely would, ie bottom six minutes on a contender, or hard minutes, matchup/shutdown minutes whose production might be misleadingly low.

 

That is simply not the case with Ritchie - who was arguably already inflated at that production - which is not to say, as  you point out, that it could uptick further with even more opportune circumstances.

 

But personally - with that lineup and the makeup of that forward group - I personally would have targetted a two way player - of the type I've noted above (with arguably deflated production) - who is more mobile than Ritchie.  My thoughts go to the idea that Lucic would be a good fit playing with McMe1st - and the first thing that came to mind in that context/circumstance was "wait for me at the blueline, Connor".

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6 minutes ago, J-P said:

Haven't watched Ritchie enough to have an educated opinion, but from what I've seen seems like a nice top 6 fit in Toronto with two fast skilled wingers where he can be a physical presence and stay a bit higher in the ozone when needed or is he not defensively aware enough for that role?

I always find it difficult to project what a player will look like with guys he's never played with - sometimes what seems like a great, natural fit doesn't really gel, sometimes what seems like an odd match works....

 

I don't see him as a particularly good defensive forward - nor particularly mobile - so I'm not sure I like that combination with Toronto's top 6 forwards - whereas Hyman was both of those things imo.   What they might gain in net front (although Hyman was a solid hard areas forward imo) or physicality, I would guess they give up in their own zone, in transition, in puck movement....

 

One of my repeated criticisms of the Laffs is their inability to build a 'hard to play against' line - a matchup/shutdown line - and when they appear to obviously need a penalty killing center....they sign guys like Spezza....which might not be such a problem if they had a better blueline.  Aside from the Muzzin Holl pairing, I think they get too exposed when the chips are down against good teams.   Credit to them this summer - at least they signed Kampf - but beyond that - they have downgraded depth on their blueline, they have what is in my opinion downgraded goaltending, they have a downgraded top 6 in the absence of Hyman, and I think they needed to add more versatility with the few signings they did have to work with. 

 

I'm not going to assume that Ritchie won't produce or be a good enough situational fit - I just think they need/needed more if they have any hope of improving / 'contending'.  I don't see them doing that without some shocking breakouts from youth/ a prospect pool I find unimpressive.

I also don't like the idea of breaking Sandin into the league alongside another young defenseman who was himself overexposed too early (Dermott) - I think they effects of painting themselves into corners is becoming as evident as ever.  Which is why this will probably be their best season ever lol - because crap can be unpredictable regardless of what it looks like on paper.

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not hindsighting here - not critical of this signing simply because it's the Laffs - said the same things when some folks proposed for us to sign him - imo was not a good fit for our top 6 (and really, no room for him) and nowhere to play him in our bottom six (where I prefer speed, puck hounds, hard to play against two way forwards).

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Steve Dangle just creamed in his blue and white undies.

 

Ritchie ain't gonna put them over the top. They need 2 top 4 D and a goalie.

 

But most of all they need that killer instinct, but the pretty, rich boys don't have that and it cannot be bought.

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2 hours ago, Jimmy McGill said:

that D+ was handed out by Sport Logiq. So we're not the darlings of the fancy stats kids. I think I'll be OK. 

 

I'm tired of the arrogance of the stats crowd tbh. If any team had it nailed down we would have seen a money puck team win the cup by now. 

 

Seattle was supposed to be the darlings of these guys, but what have they decided to do? value size on defence and cap space.

It’s a shame that the slide rule kids get as much coverage as they do. 

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4 hours ago, Jimmy McGill said:

 

 

I would have liked him here at about 1.5 for the 4th line. 

I was thinking/hoping along those lines too.  My only concern would be with his skating.  I'm not familiar enough with him to know if his skating would be up to Green's standards for a 4th line energy player.  Being listed at 230 lbs. makes me wonder if he has a bit of a weight problem, and if so, how slow he is?

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1 hour ago, oldnews said:

I always find it difficult to project what a player will look like with guys he's never played with - sometimes what seems like a great, natural fit doesn't really gel, sometimes what seems like an odd match works....

 

I don't see him as a particularly good defensive forward - nor particularly mobile - so I'm not sure I like that combination with Toronto's top 6 forwards - whereas Hyman was both of those things imo.   What they might gain in net front (although Hyman was a solid hard areas forward imo) or physicality, I would guess they give up in their own zone, in transition, in puck movement....

 

One of my repeated criticisms of the Laffs is their inability to build a 'hard to play against' line - a matchup/shutdown line - and when they appear to obviously need a penalty killing center....they sign guys like Spezza....which might not be such a problem if they had a better blueline.  Aside from the Muzzin Holl pairing, I think they get too exposed when the chips are down against good teams.   Credit to them this summer - at least they signed Kampf - but beyond that - they have downgraded depth on their blueline, they have what is in my opinion downgraded goaltending, they have a downgraded top 6 in the absence of Hyman, and I think they needed to add more versatility with the few signings they did have to work with. 

 

I'm not going to assume that Ritchie won't produce or be a good enough situational fit - I just think they need/needed more if they have any hope of improving / 'contending'.  I don't see them doing that without some shocking breakouts from youth/ a prospect pool I find unimpressive.

I also don't like the idea of breaking Sandin into the league alongside another young defenseman who was himself overexposed too early (Dermott) - I think they effects of painting themselves into corners is becoming as evident as ever.  Which is why this will probably be their best season ever lol - because crap can be unpredictable regardless of what it looks like on paper.

Totally close to being off-topic but when someone says that I always think of Bure-Odjick. Mismatch in every way possible but closer than any of us can imagine.

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2 hours ago, SID.IS.SID.ME.IS.ME said:

Agreed on the arrogance of some “analytics” types, especially those on social media. Funny thing is, the most vocal of those guys are also the ones who will likely never get a sniff from NHL teams, or have any chance to get recruited for jobs actually inside the sport. They’ll just remain “hot take” dispensers on Twitter, and part of a very small online community that spends much of their time mocking the people who are actually doing the real work inside hockey ops, laughing at how “dumb” NHL GMs and scouts are, while cyber high-fiving each other from within their self-congratulatory bubble.

 

But as far as a “money puck” not winning the Cup, I suppose that’s true if you define “money puck” as a small market team that uses analytics to compete on the cheap. That hasn’t really happened, or at least the teams who’ve tried haven’t managed to win many playoff rounds. But only because there are many teams using analytics and spending to (and above) the cap. For an example, look no further than the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the work of their Director of Analytics, Michael Peterson, and his staff. The Bolts were one of the first NHL teams to build an entire analytics department in-house, and the data generated is now seamlessly incorporated into pretty much every hockey operations decision they make. The Lightning don’t necessarily advertise their reliance on analytics, but they are definitely one of the more forward thinking teams in this area. Yzerman was once asked by a reporter if he could have an interview with analytics director Michael Peterson, and Stevie Y replied: “you could, but then I’d have to kill you.” He was joking, of course, but it gives an idea of how much the team values analytics and how close to the vest they keep their data, especially when it comes to their in-house, proprietary stuff.

its really the arrogant media types and their disciples that are annoying. I'd expect teams to internally use anything they can to try to improve. 

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1 hour ago, PhillipBlunt said:

It’s a shame that the slide rule kids get as much coverage as they do. 

I'm not a luddite, I get the value of it internally. But to use it to predictively slam teams and feed the trolling hordes is too much. D+ my hiney. If Dubas had pulled off what Jim did they would pull out a different stat argument to fluff that fan base. 

 

Edited by Jimmy McGill
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1 hour ago, Captain Canuck #12 said:

I was thinking/hoping along those lines too.  My only concern would be with his skating.  I'm not familiar enough with him to know if his skating would be up to Green's standards for a 4th line energy player.  Being listed at 230 lbs. makes me wonder if he has a bit of a weight problem, and if so, how slow he is?

I just assumed he was going to be the slowest guy on the team. 

 

I guess there's the question of fit. Green is going to be able to roll 4 lines that have at least one guy with pretty decent speed, so maybe not the best fit? 

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6 hours ago, iinatcc said:

Canucks should have picked him over Virtanen if Benning wanted size. 

Jake had a lot more going for himself though by comparison. Blazing speed, big frame, wicked shot. Wasted all the gifts he had.

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