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2018 NHL Playoff Thread

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3 hours ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

On sample sizes: Pacioretty has 19 points in 38 playoff games. Is 38 games a sufficient sample? It's half a season.

 

As for the Leafs, it looked to me like Jake Gardiner was completely lost and contributed directly to a number of those disastrous goals. Maybe we can trade them Weber for Matthews :lol:

If the 38 games are in a row, it would be a descent sample size.  Goal scorers go through streaks. Pacioretty really does. The arguement is that if he catches the streak, going into playoffs, we call it clutch, or changing your performance level because it is the playoffs. But the numbers suggest it is just law of averages and it would eventually even out if you played enough series against enough teams. 

 

I really like the idea. I never considered it, but as soon as I heard it, I agreed. With the exception of a few outliers I'm not a big believer in clutch.

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1 hour ago, xXx..CK..xXx said:

I think you answered your own question there. Half a season isn’t much of a sample size.

 

I'm not so sure about that. If Patches went through 40 games of that sort of production, it would no longer be regarded as a 'slump' and would have graduated to the level of a disastrously lost season requiring a monster second half to salvage. Why can't we apply the same level of eyebrow-furrowing concern to his playoff output?

 

Bc Habsnut makes a good point about 'streaks' creating distortion. I'm not trying to rag on Patches here, but geez - what's the good of him if he can only get hot in February? Surely at some point you DO have to deliver 'in the clutch.' Discounting a significant number of playoff results on the grounds of 'sample size' grows counter-intuitive at a certain point; we see this when we invert the logic. E.g., you might as well say Patrick Roy wasn't 'clutch' even though his career playoff save% was much higher than his regular season totals. The 'real' Roy was the guy who was merely OK during the 1986 and 1993 regular seasons, not the guy who was otherworldly in those playoffs. :wacko:

 

'Clutch' is over-used and it certainly isn't everything...but I do think it's a thing.

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If anyone has ever played sports, there definitely is a clutch mindstate. Whether or not that mindstate can be reproduced statistically is a whole other argument. There are good players who get nervous and there are good players who thrive due to the added pressure. There are certain sports where a really gifted athlete will not want to take a penalty shot in a shootout due nerves. When Jonathan Toews scores 3 times in one shootout, that was also clutch. When Lebron James hit a 3 pointer at the buzzer yesterday, that was clutch. Again, the statistics can be argued but if you have a player who gets mentally foggy in the most important situations, they will never be clutch unless lucky. There are those who elevate their game when it matters most, whether it be because of higher focus, a boost or adrenaline or a passion that is deeper than others. Clutch can be defined a specific way in order to be deemed a myth, but it certainly exists and is extremely apparent in individual sports.

 

As for sample sizes, anything I’ve ever heard would state that you most likely need a few hundred games (300+) if you would like to get a reliable confidence level that your statistics are even meaningful. I don’t know many players that ever play that many in the playoffs. 

 

I’m quoting a situation I severely disliked but when Radulov was on our team, Bergevin stated that it was too early to know if this was the real Radulov when asked whether they would sign an extension with him mid way through the year with us. I disagreed with his take, because I feel and felt as though Radulov is one of the 5-10 truly elite Russian players along with the Kovalchuks, Ovechkins, Datsyuks, etc. but in a sense he was right. Even 40 games in a row isn’t a very large sample size. There are quality players out there like Jerome Iginla and Henrik Zetterberg who are and were notorious for dominating the second half of a calendar year.

 

Pacioretty also has 13 points in 16 international games for the USA and yet everyone thinks he sucks against better competition. That again, is not a large enough sample size to disprove those claims.

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13 minutes ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

 

I'm not so sure about that. If Patches went through 40 games of that sort of production, it would no longer be regarded as a 'slump' and would have graduated to the level of a disastrously lost season requiring a monster second half to salvage. Why can't we apply the same level of eyebrow-furrowing concern to his playoff output?

 

Bc Habsnut makes a good point about 'streaks' creating distortion. I'm not trying to rag on Patches here, but geez - what's the good of him if he can only get hot in February? Surely at some point you DO have to deliver 'in the clutch.' Discounting a significant number of playoff results on the grounds of 'sample size' grows counter-intuitive at a certain point; we see this when we invert the logic. E.g., you might as well say Patrick Roy wasn't 'clutch' even though his career playoff save% was much higher than his regular season totals. The 'real' Roy was the guy who was merely OK during the 1986 and 1993 regular seasons, not the guy who was otherworldly in those playoffs. :wacko:

 

'Clutch' is over-used and it certainly isn't everything...but I do think it's a thing.

 

If he went 38 games consecutively sure. 

 

But the games are not consecutive, which means you could just be counting games at the wrong time. 

Add in that he is the focus of his team's offense (and thus the other team's coverage) and never had a number 1 c to support him, and that's a far better explanation than clutch. 

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Well it's nice to rest easy and not hear about the Leafs in the playoffs for another year, but it'll be a long decade coming up rooting against them.  

 

I'll also have to wash off the stink of cheering for the Bruins ASAP. 

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8 minutes ago, xXx..CK..xXx said:

If anyone has ever played sports, there definitely is a clutch mindstate. Whether or not that mindstate can be reproduced statistically is a whole other argument. There are good players who get nervous and there are good players who thrive due to the added pressure.

 

 

Sure in beer leagues, this is true. 

 

By the time you reach the NHL, you are a one in a million hockey player. 

 

Everyone who reaches that level knows how to deal with pressure. 

 

Everyone who reaches that level, dealt with pressure to make teams, pressure when the scouts were watching, pressure of junior/ncaa playoffs, pressure of performing with your future on the line. They all have already done it. 

When everyone knows how to respond to pressure, no one is clutch. 

 

https://www.sbnation.com/2014/1/8/5287484/clutch-nba-frank-deford-random-chaos

 

You simply can't relate "playing sports" to "playing in the best league in the world".  Playing as a kid, playing beer league as an adult.  Its not the same thing. 

The people who don't respond to pressure? they have been weeded out long before the NHL, just like the people who can't take a slap shot, or can't skate are weeded out long before the NHL. 

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29 minutes ago, Commandant said:

 

If he went 38 games consecutively sure. 

 

But the games are not consecutive, which means you could just be counting games at the wrong time. 

Add in that he is the focus of his team's offense (and thus the other team's coverage) and never had a number 1 c to support him, and that's a far better explanation than clutch. 

 

Well, that's not insignificant. The numbers are suggesting that while Pacioretty can be relied on over 82 games to be productive, a smart team would not expect him to do the same thing when the playoffs start, the refs put the whistles away, and he is keyed upon by the opposition shift-in and shift-out. In other words, he can't be counted on in the playoffs in the way that he is counted on during the season, at least not until that happy day when he finally gets a quality C.

 

But isn't saying that "he is not clutch" a shorthand for communicating precisely this information?

 

As for approaching streaks as a roulette wheel and hoping that the 'hot' number comes up during the playoffs - 'counting games at the wrong time' - that seems a dubious way to build a contender. In other words: the upshot of this analysis seems to be that a smart team would never, ever construct itself so that Max Pacioretty is assumed to be a key offensive cog during the playoffs. Rather, he should be treated as a supporting player who will perhaps get hot at some point over four playoff rounds and will make a big impact if and when that happens, but otherwise won't put up first-line numbers. Arguably, again, "not clutch" is meant to capture this.

 

And wasn't Patrick Roy, in fact, clutch - ? For that matter, wasn't Brian Savage exactly the opposite, i.e., Mr October?

 

Further to this: teams are regularly demanding that rookies deliver within small sample sizes. For instance, if I'm ripping it up in the AHL and get called up, I might get 10 games to show what I can do. If I mess the bed for those 10 games, back down I go. If I get called up 10 more times and the same thing happens each time, well, at some point I'm not getting called up anymore. Should I then argue that the "small sample size" is to blame - that I should get 50 consecutive games of pathetic performance (or however many constitute an adequate sample size) before I'm deemed a bust? Or should I accept that I was given opportunities and just plain failed to seize them?

 

Again, I'm not trying to deny that "clutch" is overused, but I do continue to think it's a reality for some players.  Hell, we all have moments in life where we have to deliver, y'know...no amount of retroactively saying "I coulda been a contendah if only I'd had a larger sample size" will change the result or its implications. A track record of failing to deliver when it counts most is just that, i.e., a track record of failing to deliver in the clutch.

 

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7 minutes ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

 

Well, that's not insignificant. The numbers are suggesting that while Pacioretty can be relied on over 82 games to be productive, a smart team would not expect him to do the same thing when the playoffs start, the refs put the whistles away, and he is keyed upon by the opposition shift-in and shift-out. In other words, he can't be counted on in the playoffs in the way that he is counted on during the season, at least not until that happy day when he finally gets a quality C.

 

But isn't saying that "he is not clutch" a shorthand for communicating precisely this information?

 

As for approaching streaks as a roulette wheel and hoping that the 'hot' number comes up during the playoffs - 'counting games at the wrong time' - that seems a dubious way to build a contender. In other words: the upshot of this analysis seems to be that a smart team would never, ever construct itself so that Max Pacioretty is assumed to be a key offensive cog during the playoffs. Rather, he should be treated as a supporting player who will perhaps get hot at some point over four playoff rounds and will make a big impact if and when that happens, but otherwise won't put up first-line numbers. Arguably, again, "not clutch" is meant to capture this.

 

And wasn't Patrick Roy, in fact, clutch - ? For that matter, wasn't Brian Savage exactly the opposite, i.e., Mr October?

 

Further to this: teams are regularly demanding that rookies deliver within small sample sizes. For instance, if I'm ripping it up in the AHL and get called up, I might get 10 games to show what I can do. If I mess the bed for those 10 games, back down I go. If I get called up 10 more times and the same thing happens each time, well, at some point I'm not getting called up anymore. Should I then argue that the "small sample size" is to blame - that I should get 50 games of pathetic performance (or however many constitute an adequate sample size) before I'm deemed a bust? Or should I accept that I was given opportunities and just plain failed to seize them?

 

Again, I'm not trying to deny that "clutch" is overused, but I do continue to think it's a reality for some players.  Hell, we all have moments in life where we have to deliver, y'know...not amount of retroactively saying "I coulda been a contendah if only I'd had a larger sample size" will change the result or its implications. A track record of failing to deliver when it counts most is just that, a track record of failing to deliver in the clutch.

 

We’re all coming to slightly different conclusions here but the thing with Pacioretty is that he has had two decent playoff seasons and 2 bad ones. In 2015, he had 5 goals in 11 games which is similar to his regular 30-40 goal production over an entire season.

 

I’m willing to be viewed as “not smart” but if I’m a team with Pacioretty on my squad, I’m still relying on him to be productive during my playoff run. Auston Matthews scored 1 goal and 1 assist these playoffs and I would still put smart money on him being productive should the Leafs make the playoffs next year. Although I didn’t have him in my playoff pool!

 

If anything, I think Pacioretty’s two good playoffs and two bad playoffs would statistically go against this clutch premise either way, rather than prove that it exists. 

 

This doesn’t change the fact that I believe a player can be a clutch performer or quite the opposite, statistical evidence or not.

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Doesn't every goal scorer get hot and cold streaks. 

 

The problem is not with Pacioretty, its with the surrounding cast. 

 

"As for approaching streaks as a roulette wheel and hoping that the 'hot' number comes up during the playoffs - 'counting games at the wrong time' - that seems a dubious way to build a contender. In other words: the upshot of this analysis seems to be that a smart team would never, ever construct itself so that Max Pacioretty is assumed to be a key offensive cog during the playoffs. Rather, he should be treated as a supporting player who will perhaps get hot at some point over four playoff rounds and will make a big impact if and when that happens, but otherwise won't put up first-line numbers. Arguably, again, "not clutch" is meant to capture this."

See every goal scorer has those streaks. 

What you need is a team like pittsburgh, where if Kessel doesn't have a great series against the Flyers (and he was merely average), Crosby goes on a run.  Or if Crosby doesn't play well, Malkin picks it up. 


Or Chicago where Toews can go an entire stanley cup final with 0 points, and they win cause Kane picks him up.   Or vice-versa. 

That's the problem in Montreal.  We've known it for years, but management hasn't addressed it.  You can't have 1 game breaker, you need 2 or 3.  Because all goal scorers in the NHL, all of them, go through hot and cold streaks. 

So yes you have to play the roulette wheel... but you play it by betting on both red, and black. and then you bet on green as well. 

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As for Patrick Roy.  he wasn't clutch. 

 

He was great.  The guy won how many vezina trophies?  The guy set the NHL regular season wins mark (which was broken after his retirement).  The guy was always near the top of the league in save percentage. 

 

That's greatness.

 

Was he great in the playoffs? you're damn right he was. 

 

But his game was always great.  Even in the regular season, he could have long stretches of greatness too. 

 

Thats the difference between clutch and greatness.

Lebron James hits that shot last night, cause he is great.  Cause he can drop that shot in the 2nd quarter of game 21 of the regular season; and he can drop that shot in game 5 of the playoffs in April, with 3 seconds left.  That's greatness.  it doesn't show clutch. 

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34 minutes ago, Commandant said:

 

Sure in beer leagues, this is true. 

 

By the time you reach the NHL, you are a one in a million hockey player. 

 

Everyone who reaches that level knows how to deal with pressure. 

 

Everyone who reaches that level, dealt with pressure to make teams, pressure when the scouts were watching, pressure of junior/ncaa playoffs, pressure of performing with your future on the line. They all have already done it. 

When everyone knows how to respond to pressure, no one is clutch. 

 

https://www.sbnation.com/2014/1/8/5287484/clutch-nba-frank-deford-random-chaos

 

You simply can't relate "playing sports" to "playing in the best league in the world".  Playing as a kid, playing beer league as an adult.  Its not the same thing. 

The people who don't respond to pressure? they have been weeded out long before the NHL, just like the people who can't take a slap shot, or can't skate are weeded out long before the NHL. 

 

Just like in minor hockey and beer leagues, the NHL also has separation in mental fortitude. Everyone isn't created equally. Responding to pressure is a perquisite in making the NHL yes, but that doesn't mean that every does so at the same level.  

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48 minutes ago, Commandant said:

 

Sure in beer leagues, this is true. 

 

By the time you reach the NHL, you are a one in a million hockey player. 

 

Everyone who reaches that level knows how to deal with pressure. 

 

Everyone who reaches that level, dealt with pressure to make teams, pressure when the scouts were watching, pressure of junior/ncaa playoffs, pressure of performing with your future on the line. They all have already done it. 

When everyone knows how to respond to pressure, no one is clutch. 

 

https://www.sbnation.com/2014/1/8/5287484/clutch-nba-frank-deford-random-chaos

 

You simply can't relate "playing sports" to "playing in the best league in the world".  Playing as a kid, playing beer league as an adult.  Its not the same thing. 

The people who don't respond to pressure? they have been weeded out long before the NHL, just like the people who can't take a slap shot, or can't skate are weeded out long before the NHL. 

When you play a $10 poker game as a 16 year old, you get nervous. When you play a $100 poker game as an 18 year old, you get nervous. When you play a $1000 poker game as an adult, you get nervous.

 

The stakes get higher.

 

The opportunity Steven Stamkos gets as an 11 year old is not the same opportunity Steven Stamkos gets when he competes for the Stanley Cup at 27. There are players who play in the NHL for 10 years and never get a sniff at playoff action. As a result, they haven’t even faced a pressure situation in a minimum of 10 years.

 

While it’s true that an NHL player will likely not get nervous during a regular season game, it’s a false premise to assume some players may not handle being in a Stanley Cup final for the first time differently than someone else. These are opportunities that do not come around very often. This is even if their skill level remains the same. 

 

You can say that professional players have trained themselves their entire lives to be good at handling pressure but there is no substitute for actually being in the moment. If you were to tell me that there aren’t players who all of a sudden aren’t able to take a pregame nap, for instance, that they take 82 times a year, I wouldn’t be able to agree. Then there are those who as you pointed out will have nothing changed from their routine. This demonstrates that players react differently mentally and this in turn can have an effect on their game.

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9 minutes ago, illWill said:

 

Just like in minor hockey and beer leagues, the NHL also has separation in mental fortitude. Everyone isn't created equally. Responding to pressure is a perquisite in making the NHL yes, but that doesn't mean that every does so at the same level.  

 

If the separations exist, they are so small as to be utterly meaningless from a statistical point of view.  Hence why over long sample sizes, you can't identify clutch players. 

The numbers have been run in baseball, basketball, and hockey.  All three sports, at the highest level, there is no statistical evidence on a meaningful sample, that there are players who can repeatedly perform in clutch situations. 

if you can't identify who a clutch player is through statistics, even 20/20 hindsight stats, then why worry about it when making trades, signings, draft picks etc... the fact is that trying to get clutch players is ultimately meaningless and a waste of organizational resources.  Strive to find great players, let others chase their tails searching for clutch, or character or attitude.  They all mean the same to me. 

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35 minutes ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

Again, I'm not trying to deny that "clutch" is overused, but I do continue to think it's a reality for some players.  Hell, we all have moments in life where we have to deliver, y'know...no amount of retroactively saying "I coulda been a contendah if only I'd had a larger sample size" will change the result or its implications. A track record of failing to deliver when it counts most is just that, i.e., a track record of failing to deliver in the clutch.

 

Personally I think the greater issue is the terms. They are pretty vague and allowed guys like Lars Eller and Andrew Shaw to be proclaimed playoff performers when they really weren't, while a guy like Patrick Marleau can have a choke reputation despite being one of the best game winning goal scorers in NHL history. What's clutch?

 

I think Commandant tries to think of hockey in terms of averages and on a long enough timeline, when you average it out, regular season vs. playoff is relatively the same. The players that get effected tend to be the players who were in regular season getting shut down by 1v1 defence but we didn't see it reflected in 82 games, just the few games where it worked. So once it comes to the playoffs, these guys getting shut down now feels like they go cold in the playoffs when in reality they were always susceptible to elite defence shutting them down, they just don't play elite defence all the time.

 

The issue I tend to have is that these players exist, as do players that work too hard in the regular season and leave nothing in the tank , or are often playing with injury in the playoffs but not disclosing until after (ugh), and these guys often go cold in the playoffs while well rested players, players who properly took care of their injuries, and players who don't have significant statistic changes based on teammates or home/road, those are the guys that end up playoff performers (with exception to the hot streak situations). 

 

So while clutch doesn't exist the way we have fantasized, there are players who just take care of themselves better come spring time, and there's players who know how to overcome 1v1 defence better than others.

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My goodness, what is going on in Las Vegas!

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33 minutes ago, Scott462 said:

My goodness, what is going on in Las Vegas!

Ask Bettman....his plan is working perfectly.

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Man we should of never let GG go. Things fell apart after he left.

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Watching the Knights play the sharks. Reminds me of that scene in Alien after the crew dismantles Ash and then Ripley probes him for information.

 

Ash: You still don't understand what you're dealing with, do you? The perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility.

 

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If an expansion team wins the Stanley Cup, does that make the NHL a bit of a joke? It feels that way to me.

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2 minutes ago, The Chicoutimi Cucumber said:

If an expansion team wins the Stanley Cup, does that make the NHL a bit of a joke? It feels that way to me.

 

I think Vegas deserves all of the accolades they are receiving and are doing a great job coming together and playing well. However I think that the league needs to look at the rules in place for future expansion teams because you can argue that perhaps they were given too much power right off the bat. Not only do they already have a competitive team, but they are stacked with prospects and draft picks. 

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3 minutes ago, illWill said:

 

I think Vegas deserves all of the accolades they are receiving and are doing a great job coming together and playing well. However I think that the league needs to look at the rules in place for future expansion teams because you can argue that perhaps they were given too much power right off the bat. Not only do they already have a competitive team, but they are stacked with prospects and draft picks. 

 

I disagree. The best moves by Vegas were taking Neal from a stacked Nashville and Florida being dumb and giving them Rielly and Marchesseault. Almost everyone else was runt of the litters who were well pro scouted by our former pro scout. Nobody was freaking on Columbus for giving up Karlsson at the time. Vegas had to make several trades to build this team, and it really feels like they got 2-4 years before a rebuild. Which is likely by design.

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2 hours ago, Machine of Loving Grace said:

 

I disagree. The best moves by Vegas were taking Neal from a stacked Nashville and Florida being dumb and giving them Rielly and Marchesseault. Almost everyone else was runt of the litters who were well pro scouted by our former pro scout. Nobody was freaking on Columbus for giving up Karlsson at the time. Vegas had to make several trades to build this team, and it really feels like they got 2-4 years before a rebuild. Which is likely by design.

Gms were happy to release these contacts too. One thing I don't like, is that Vegas will have different rules in the Seattle expansion. I think they are exempt or something.  

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1 hour ago, BCHabnut said:

Gms were happy to release these contacts too. One thing I don't like, is that Vegas will have different rules in the Seattle expansion. I think they are exempt or something.  

 

They also dont get a piece of seattles expansion fee.

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1 hour ago, BCHabnut said:

Gms were happy to release these contacts too. One thing I don't like, is that Vegas will have different rules in the Seattle expansion. I think they are exempt or something.  

 

It depends how soon Seattle happens. There's no guarantee on their first season date. Nashville (98) and Atlanta (99) were protected from the Minnesota/Columbus expansions in 2000 but San Jose (91), Tampa, and Ottawa (92) weren't protected by the Florida/Anaheim expansions in 1993 so I can't say the NHL has been consistent on protection rules. Then again 93 made no sense and they allowed San Jose, TB and Ottawa in 93 to do a second draft to take players from Florida and Anaheim.

 

If Seattle happened say 2020, I would be fine with Vegas being protected. If it didn't happen until 2022? No way, they should not be exempt.

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4 hours ago, Machine of Loving Grace said:

 

I disagree. The best moves by Vegas were taking Neal from a stacked Nashville and Florida being dumb and giving them Rielly and Marchesseault. Almost everyone else was runt of the litters who were well pro scouted by our former pro scout. Nobody was freaking on Columbus for giving up Karlsson at the time. Vegas had to make several trades to build this team, and it really feels like they got 2-4 years before a rebuild. Which is likely by design.

 

 

 

During this expansion, teams were not allowed to protect as many players as they were in previous drafts, and there was only Vegas picking this time. Vegas made 10 deals where they acquired additional picks or players simply in exchange for not selecting certain players. And don't worry about teams being happy to unload certain contracts, they had to pay a premium to do so. 

 

There has never been a more successful expansion team in history. Nor has an expansion team had this much power. You can't tell me the two aren't related

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