Discover more from Shap Shots
Scouts are scouting, it doesn't really mean anything
They are simply doing their jobs.
It’s less than a month to the NHL Trade Deadline, which means hockey fans and media members will be reacting — and over-reacting — to scouts scouting.
I wanted to address that here.
Scouts attending an NHL or AHL game at this time of year has little to no impact on the trade deadline.
Scouts scout. Assignments aren’t based on a team’s trade board or targets, and frankly at this point in the season, team’s already have all the intel they need on whether they’d acquire a certain player or not.
For most teams, the scouting setup has scouts divvied up by either teams or regions and it’s up to the scout themselves in many cases to book and plan how they best cover that region.
Tweeting scouting assignments, and I’ve been guilt of this in the past as a media member, can also lead to some other misleading intel, things like, “Team X has been scouting Team Y a lot…” are often more reflective of where one team has a regional scout.
For example, the Seattle Kraken have a scout based in Dallas. Seattle’s assistant GM actually lives in the Detroit area. So any report of “Seattle is scouting Dallas/Detroit” is nothing more than someone going to work in their general area.
Shap Shots is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Just figured I’d address that here. Happy Sunday.
Plus, some quick odds and ends from All-Star Weekend that I didn’t have anywhere else to put/publish…
— I brought up my idea to NHL Director of Content Steve Mayer for the NHL using puck-and-player tracking to bring invites for a true fastest skater and hardest shot competition.
He liked the idea, he told me I should write about it more to get people talking about it. So consider this writing about it again, Steve.
— To be clear, Stars coach Pete DeBoer didn’t challenge for offsides in the All-Star game. Every goal was reviewed by the league and, in fact, at the All-Star game there wasn’t even any backend support where a coach could even go to the monitor.
It didn’t stop DeBoer from having some fun when a goal by the Pacific Division was reviewed and overturned, who was almost clapping maniacally when the goal was reversed.
I checked in with Stars goalie coach Kelly Forbes after that moment, who jokingly told me that he was happy for Pete, who “clearly didn’t need him.”
I’ll have more on DeBoer in a story later this week for D Magazine.
— I caught up with the Robertson family, Jason’s parents Hugh and Mercedes, while they were watching the skills competition. Robertson’s individual skills coach, who he and his brother Nick have worked with since they were kids, was also in attendance.
Robertson, as I’ve written about before, is a new face of the league, but needs to be marketed even more. He has actual personality that he’s not afraid to share, and I’m not sure how well it was delivered to the TV audience.
— Couldn’t help but think about Marty Turco while watching the goalie portion of the skills competition where goalies shot for empty nets before their partner goaltender faced breakaways.
Vegas goalie Logan Thompson told me that when he was growing up one of his prized possession was a signed card by Turco. He didn’t meet Turco, but his dad had gotten it from a friend who drove the bus for visiting NHL teams in Calgary.
— Turco’s old teammate Jere Lehtinen was in attendance, it was the second All-Star game he ever attended, the first being the one he played in 1998 for Team Europe.
Lehtinen in his role as the GM of Team Finland, is currently building a roster for a games upcoming in Sweden, and then will start to turn his focus to the 2023 IIHF World Championships.
In the past that focus has often included a trip to Dallas, typically in March, but Lehtinen said with the Stars current pace it might not make sense to spend time on a scouting trip to Dallas — it doesn’t look like any of the Stars Finnish Mafia will be available at that point.
— As I wrote for EP Rinkside, Dylan Larkin actually back-checked and probably would have won the MVP award if it wasn’t for the performance by Matthew Tkachuk.
There were reportedly more conversations this week between Larkin and his agency regarding his future in Detroit.
Not reporting this, but from a gut feel, and looking at the situation, it seems like something gets done before the trade deadline in my opinion.