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dropkickshanahans

Does Size Matter in the NHL?

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In certain aspects of the game yes, but in the end the evidence is obvious. How can players like St Louis and Cammalleri play in the NHL if it mattered THAT much?

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To certain degrees. If you are looking to be one that drops the gloves on a somewhat consistent basis, then yes, size matters a good bit.

If you're going to get a role on 3rd/4th line or be a shut-down defenseman, yes size matters.

Work ethic though, regardless of how big or small you are, is most important.

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size matter just as much as most other hockey attributes, and less than a couple others. Drafting or trading/signing based on size alone would be dumb. Doing the same thing on skill alone would be less dumb, but still dumb. Like all other things in life, there really isn't an exact equation.

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I think its less important on a nightly basis through the season, you can get away with beating less skilled teams like the isles, blue jackets while being undersized but when the playoffs role around and games become more physical it definitely becomes more important.

The point about Cammaleri and St Louis kinda actually shows how important size is. To be small you have to be a 90 point or 40 goal scorer to be relevant. Hudler put up 25 last year and no one wants to see him back because deficiencies in his game caused mostly by a lack of size.

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This is one of those wonderfull debates that comes up every year. Do you want a big team? A small team? A fast team? A Slow team? In trueth you want some of all, except slow. This article does point out that the NHL is slowly getting bigger every year. The average for every player was 6-0/200. But is size alone enough of a factor? No. But is sure helps. Using the NHL.com site, and the listed size for each player, how many of the top scorers were above avergae in size and how many below? There were 101 players that scored at least 20 goals this past season. Using 6-1/201 as the above average size, here is the breakdown:

20 goals scored to 29 goals: 35 players were 6-1/201 or bigger and 36 were 6-0/200 or smaller. Of the elite players, those that scored 30+ goals, there is a gap. 30 guys scored at least 30 goals. Of this group, 20 were 6-1/201 or bigger, and 10 were 6-0/200 or smaller. Now yes you have some guys that are 6-0 or 5-11 and over 200 pounds, and you have some guys that are 6-1 or taller and less than 200. So of course no split is ever 100% true.

If you look at the Wings roster from this past year, we have 7 guys coming back that are 6-1/200 or bigger. Abby, Franzen, Burt, Kindl, Eric, Quincey, and Smith. Then there are guys like Cleary, over 200 pounds but only 6-0 tall or Miller who is 6-2, but is under 200 pounds. The dangerous part is, of the 3 forwards we have that are above average in size, 2 are well over 30 years old with no replacements close to being ready.

But you have to have balance. The Flyers under Clark went out and picked up every big slow moving player they could find. Of course it didn't work. When we have won our Cups we had smaller fast guys and big power forwards at the same time.

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I think this is one of those things where size doesn't matter as much as how you use it. I could watch Datsyuk check Chara all day long.

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I think this is one of those things where size doesn't matter as much as how you use it. I could watch Datsyuk check Chara all day long.

Or you can watch Doan check our whole team into the boards with no reaction like he did a couple years back in the playoffs. Or like the Preds did this playoffs......

newfy likes this

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just one brief looks at this year's SCF removes all the questions.

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One other thing. The author of this little piece makes 1 very big mistake. he assumes that all big guys are slow and lack skill. Which of course is clearly not the case, nor has it been the case for about 25 years now.....

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