In the May 27 edition of The Hockey News Adam Proteau expressed his hopes that seeing the likes of Detroit and Pittsburgh doing well in the playoffs would spur NHL GMs to focus more on talent than on goonery when trying to build a Cup contender.
While I hope he is right, I have my doubts.
Adding skillful players is easier said than done. Most of those guys already have gigs, so you either have to overspend on free agents, be really bad for several years (see Penguins, Pittsburgh) or draft well/get lucky. (Would Detroit have drafted Jiri Fischer in the first round if they really knew how Pavel Datsyuk was going to turn out?)
It’s a whole lot easier to point to the Ducks and say “See, we need more ‘toughness’ ” and sign/trade for a few goons.
Bart Wentink, Houston, Texas