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Development (was: "Pro" status of leagues)

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  • Marc Foster
    ... Deceased Kansas City Royals owner Ewing Kaufmann did something like this in the early 1970 s. Using his rookie league team in the Gulf Coast League as his
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 1, 2000
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      Bob McDonald wrote:

      > Imagine if minor leagues were truly used for
      > development, rather than a place to house draft
      > "mistakes"? If the coaches teams employed were
      > teachers rather than co-ordinators? If skill
      > development was a primary consideration of a minor
      > league stint and the coaches and players were "graded"
      > accordingly?

      Deceased Kansas City Royals owner Ewing Kaufmann did something like this
      in the early 1970's. Using his rookie league team in the Gulf Coast
      League as his lab, we went out and drafted not ballplayers per se, but
      solid athletes who were then taught the ballplaying skills they lacked.
      The team representing the "Royals Academy" went out in their first
      season and won at a .750 clip, blowing the short season league apart by
      something like 10.5 games. Off the top of my head, Frank White was a
      shortstop for that 1971 team (later converted to 2B), and in the next
      couple of years some others came through that route as well (I want to
      say Willie Wilson and U.L. Washington).

      At the time, considering there was no free agency, it was an expensive
      proposition, as I think Mr. K blew a few million dollars on it over the
      term of the experiment. I often wonder how successful this would be
      today (in all sports), considering the advancement of training and
      teaching methods and evaluation.

      I'm not sure exactly how well this would translate to hockey. My first
      thought is that it would help develop the depth of your bench. If a
      team can turn their 3rd/4th liners into the equivalent of 2nd/3rd liners
      on other teams, that's worth maybe something on the order of 7-10 wins
      a season. If those 3rd/4th liners develop as roleplayers, like we've
      seen with the Red Wings during the last 5-6 years, then you've got the
      kind of talent needed to get you to the Cup Finals.

      The cost? I don't know... maybe $5-$6M a year to start. That probably
      doubles the total salaries of your combined 3rd/4th liners, but if they
      develop into the equivalent of 2nd/3rd liners, you've recouped a fair
      chunk of your investment - especially in trade value for the players.

      Just a thought.

      Marc
    • William Underwood
      Problem is that hockey is an aqquired skill game. If you don t have it by your mid teens you never will in most cases. We draft at 18 and sign every free
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 1, 2000
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        Problem is that hockey is an aqquired skill game. If you don't have it by
        your mid teens you never will in most cases. We draft at 18 and sign every
        free agent that is not tied down after that so there is just not much left
        out there...And, in fact, is anything, you are seeing a lot of players
        drafted more on potential than skill already.

        Also, in hockey, there is the matter of roles. You just can't teach
        scoring...which is a BIG part of being a 1st/2nd liner and not. A guy has it
        or he doesn't. You could create better 4th liners, sure, and maybe even make
        the odd 3rd liner but nor giher grade stuff! Then you come to the different
        systems involved. A lot of the more interesting guys are Europeans, but they
        can make more money playing back home to develop a few more years and don't
        like to go to our minors. And it often makes sense, they don't blend well
        sometimes with lesser skill guys.

        The only rouogh equvalent in hockey is actually already done by a few teams
        like New Jersey. Don't sign the minor league vet, stock the farm teams with
        drafts and see what happens. But the operative here is to , like New Jersey,
        be adept at the draft! Otherwise, you have a losing farm team that doesn't
        draw, creates a lousy atmosphere and inhibits development in the long run by
        the inherent lack of strability of these situations!

        The thing about hockey is that how great an athetlete you are just can do so
        much for you! In football, you can take a kid like Christian Okoye who never
        saw a football until age 20 and have him lead the NFL in rushing 5 years
        later! In hockey stories like that just can't happen! A player has to be
        well on his way in terms of basic skills by the time he is a pro and once he
        gets to his early 20's, radical improvement is limited. It becomes more a
        case of fine tuning and the tactical game! But there HAS to be the basic
        almost finished product there to start with...the great athelete theory just
        doesn't work here.

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Marc Foster [mailto:mfoster@...]
        Sent: Wednesday, November 01, 2000 9:31 AM
        To: hockhist@egroups.com
        Subject: [hockhist] Development (was: "Pro" status of leagues)


        Bob McDonald wrote:

        > Imagine if minor leagues were truly used for
        > development, rather than a place to house draft
        > "mistakes"? If the coaches teams employed were
        > teachers rather than co-ordinators? If skill
        > development was a primary consideration of a minor
        > league stint and the coaches and players were "graded"
        > accordingly?

        Deceased Kansas City Royals owner Ewing Kaufmann did something like this
        in the early 1970's. Using his rookie league team in the Gulf Coast
        League as his lab, we went out and drafted not ballplayers per se, but
        solid athletes who were then taught the ballplaying skills they lacked.
        The team representing the "Royals Academy" went out in their first
        season and won at a .750 clip, blowing the short season league apart by
        something like 10.5 games. Off the top of my head, Frank White was a
        shortstop for that 1971 team (later converted to 2B), and in the next
        couple of years some others came through that route as well (I want to
        say Willie Wilson and U.L. Washington).

        At the time, considering there was no free agency, it was an expensive
        proposition, as I think Mr. K blew a few million dollars on it over the
        term of the experiment. I often wonder how successful this would be
        today (in all sports), considering the advancement of training and
        teaching methods and evaluation.

        I'm not sure exactly how well this would translate to hockey. My first
        thought is that it would help develop the depth of your bench. If a
        team can turn their 3rd/4th liners into the equivalent of 2nd/3rd liners
        on other teams, that's worth maybe something on the order of 7-10 wins
        a season. If those 3rd/4th liners develop as roleplayers, like we've
        seen with the Red Wings during the last 5-6 years, then you've got the
        kind of talent needed to get you to the Cup Finals.

        The cost? I don't know... maybe $5-$6M a year to start. That probably
        doubles the total salaries of your combined 3rd/4th liners, but if they
        develop into the equivalent of 2nd/3rd liners, you've recouped a fair
        chunk of your investment - especially in trade value for the players.

        Just a thought.

        Marc


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