Blues Questioning Goaltending? NHL Decreasing Salaries by Terminating Stats?

Brent Johnson has not seen the ice since September 9th.

What’s the real reason why the NHL wants to stop keeping hits and blocked shots as stats? Denis Gauthier has his opinion…ST. LOUIS (CP) – Blues No. 1 goalie Brent Johnson hasn’t been on the ice since Sept. 9, suffering from a high ankle sprain.

“He’ll tell us if he’s ready to go,” head coach Quenneville told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Hopefully, he’s able to get some games in, but he doesn’t have to. … We want to make sure this (ankle injury) isn’t even an issue, not ever going to be an annoyance.”

NHL axes subjective stats but Gauthier says it’s salary related

CALGARY (CP) – Four years after it introduced an expanded statistical package, the NHL is axing six individual categories – hits, blocked shots, giveaways, takeaways, missed shots and zone time – for the 2002-03 season.

Officially, the NHL is doing away with at least two of those categories – hits and blocked shots – because they are too subjective to be tallied accurately.

But Calgary Flames defenceman Denis Gauthier suspects there’s also a financial factor involved for the NHL’s contingent of rugged rearguards – one that will almost certainly come into play during arbitration season next August.

“What the league doesn’t like right now is having those middle-tier guys making $1 million to $3 million,” Gauthier told the Calgary Herald. “Maybe that’s a way to keep those guys from going to arbitration, from getting up into that (salary) range. Maybe that’s part of their solution.

“Those are the stats I rely on to make a living, and to base my salary on. Those are crucial. They’re key. Blocked shots and hits, the intangible stats, give you an idea of how good a defensive defenceman is,” added Gauthier, who was credited with 194 hits last season, second on the club to Bob Boughner’s 239.

“It’s a little disappointing. Now, I’m going to have to fall back on points, plus-minus and ice time.”

According to NHL spokesman Frank Brown, varying notions of just what constitutes a bodycheck or a blocked shot among the 30 crews of off-ice officials convinced the league to make this move.

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I think it is pathetic for the league to cut the blocked shots. Hits I could accept, since sometimes it’s hard to judge if it was a real hit or not. But, blocked shots? Is it hard to judge blocked shots? That is one category that makes defensemen really valuable. There is no reason for the NHL to cut that statistic, and they simple just want to cut down on player salaries. This is their only way of doing so?

I think every team should have its own off-ice official to keep those kind of stats. It’s none of the NHL’s business to say something about it.

As for the Blues, I think they are fine with goaltending, but if things go the wrong way…they might want to get Hackett in there just in case.


5 Responses to Blues Questioning Goaltending? NHL Decreasing Salaries by Terminating Stats?

  1. ProngerBlues44 says:

    Well, the Blues have been rumored as talking to the Sens about Hurme… lets hope…

    I hope Johnson does not be the starter. He has done this the past 2 of 3 years. All of a sudden, the same day training camp starts, he comes down with an injury. First it was a hand, now its the leg.

    I really do think its because he knows his ‘friend’ Quenneville will give him the job no matter what. Maybe if he were a good goalie, I wouldnt care so much…..

    ~Jeff P.

    JFB DK57

  2. freshprince says:

    Oh just bring the stats back. It was always interesting to see who was leading in the hits department or block shots department.

    I agree with Denis on this point.

    How can players like Gauthier, Vishnevski and or even players like Kasparitis and Shvela earn their due when people aren’t looking (on paper) at what they do best anymore.

    Not a god decision by Bettman and his small fan club of officials that are stuck up up his butt.

  3. Glen says:

    Unfortunately this only takes money away from the scrappy defensemen who make the game fun to watch. Shot by each individual player could go. Who cares how many shots you have, fans and coaches want results.

  4. TheDevil says:

    Shots blocked and hits are both stats that can deceive someone when analyzing a good defenceman.

    Take Nick Lidstrom: the best D in the league, playing almost every game of every season, never getting injured, and being the most effective player on the ice. He rarely hits, and is not really known for his shot blocking capability. But still, nobody denies his status as the best D in the NHL.

    Shots blocked and hits only show that you are a player willing to take punishment to stay in the NHL, shows heart and courage, but not skills. Let’s remember that usually, big hitters are often caught out of position, and that shot blockers usually do it to compensate their lack of quality in other aspects of the game.

    My point: shots are supposed to be blocked by the GOALIES. A player getting a high salary just because he is not afraid of the puck hitting his ass is something I just can’t understand…

  5. aaron says:

    That’s BS. NHL needs more defensive stats, not less.

    BTW, shot blocking is a tremendous defensive strategy. Goalies can see like 20 less shots a game b/c of shot blockers. There’s no way that one should be taken away.

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