Thursday Thoughts: What’s sillier, draft report cards or NHL discipline?

Welcome to another edition of Thursday Thoughts, and if you’re one of the very few people that cared even the slightest about the college sports updates I was making a part of the column, I’m sorry to say you’re going to be disappointed as I’m going to stop including that section.

A very brief and completely unscientific survey showed that when it was about hockey people read it, but when it was about anything else no one seemed to care. The clicks on the boxscore links showed a similar result. So the section will return in the fall for football, and hockey when that starts, but for the rest, it’s likely gone forever.

Something else that should be gone forever is a former thug and current head of the Department of Player Safety for the NHL George Parros. His complete and total mishandling of the incident caused by repeat offender Tom Wilson shows that Parros is incapable of doing his job. And that’s not just my opinion, that’s the opinion of many fans and the soon to be fined New York Rangers, who tweeted a scathing statement calling for the removal of Parros from the position.

Wilson received a $5,000 from Parros the NHL for punching Pavel Buchnevich in the back of the head while he was facedown on the ice during the second period. But Wilson wasn’t done with his antics as later in the game, in the middle of a scrum between the teams, Wilson threw Rangers star forward Artemi Panarin to the ice by his hair. That action by Wilson, which could have caused a significant injury, earned Wilson a two-minute penalty for roughing and 10-minute misconduct but no supplementary discipline.

According to Emily Kaplan, who covers hockey for ESPN, the reason why Parros and the NHL didn’t punish Wilson for his takedown on Panarin was, in her words, it was just “Two guys wrestling, which happens every night.” Now I’ve watched a lot of hockey over the years, and I can safely say one player pulling another to the ice by his hair doesn’t happen every night. Nor, to my recollection, does it happen every season. This really amplifies the failure of Parros and the Department of Player Safety.

I was going to put together a list of Wilson’s suspensions, but NBC Sports has a nice article on the issue and since there’s no reason to re-invent the wheel we’ll just use theirs. I’m a huge fan of physical hockey and don’t want to see that aspect removed from the game. But it’s not a fine line between playing physically and playing like Wilson does. One is an intregal part of the game of hockey.

The other is borderline criminal.

Boston Teams This Week
Detroit @ RED SOX 1pm
NY Rangers @ BRUINS, 7pm
RED SOX @ Baltimore, 7pm
CELTICS @ Chicago, 7:30pm
Nashville @ REVOLUTION, 1:30pm
NY Rangers @ BRUINS, 3pm
RED SOX @ Baltimore, 7pm
Miami @ CELTICS, 1pm
RED SOX @ Baltimore, 1pm
NY Islanders @ BRUINS, 7pm
RED SOX @ Baltimore, 7pm
BRUINS @ Washington, 7pm
Miami @ CELTICS, 7pm
Oakland @ RED SOX, 7pm
Oakland @ RED SOX, 7pm
Philadelphia @ REVOLUTION, 7:30pm
CELTICS @ Cleveland, 8pm

Worcester Hockey Alumni Highlights
Friday Nick Saracino goal

Friday Spencer Asuchak’s second goal
(no video of first)

Saturday Thomas Greiss shutout highlights

Saturday Nick Saracino goal

Saturday Lane Scheidl

Saturday Logan Couture goal

Saturday Tomas Hertl goal

Sunday Spencer Asuchak two goals (including OT game-winner)

Sunday Frankie DiChiara goal

Sunday Mikeal Tam goal

Monday Joe Pavelski goal

Monday Tomas Hertl goal

Tuesday Justin Braun goal

Wednesday Tomas Hertl two goals

It’s all click bait
I’m going to come right out and say it: the only thing sillier than mock drafts is writers and bloggers making report cards on drafts that took place days before. Draft report cards are nothing but people deciding they’re smarter than team executives and know better who a team should have picked instead of the player the team selected. Or, as in the case of many early-round picks, and just a way to pat themselves on the back for agreeing with the player a team took.

No one has any idea how these players will fit into the system a team uses, all they can do is guess. Are the guesses based on some knowledge of the team? You’d hope so, but there’s no guarantee. It all boils down to an opinion based on guesses. And let’s say the team looks to need a running back but decides to draft a linebacker because the team, using whatever metric they decide to use, thinks the linebacker is a much better choice talent-wise than the available running backs. How do you grade that pick just hours after it’s made?

Let’s look at the Patriots’ first-round pick last week when they took former Alabama quarterback Mac Jones at pick #15. While I wanted the Patriots to draft a quarterback, I didn’t want one from an SEC school. Those schools tend to be loaded with talent at the skill positions, so it’s often hard to tell how much a quarterback is helped by throwing to top-tier college receivers. The player I really wanted the Patriots to take, Trey Lance from North Dakota State, was already gone so obviously he wasn’t an option. Jones was the fifth QB taken in the first round, and the next wasn’t until Tampa selected Florida’s Kyle Trask at pick #64.

So Jones plays a position I wanted New England to draft, but played for a school in a conference I didn’t want that player to come from. Based on 48 picks going by until another quarterback was chosen the talent drop off after Jones was significant, so he was essentially the only choice at quarterback the Patriots had that wasn’t likely going to turn into a project player. So what grade would I have to give the Patriots for Drafting Jones? And how is that grade not anything but a total guess?

Here’s another thing to look at. What was the Patriots’ draft grade in 2000? Lots of places gave them a “B” because they took Adrian Klemm and J.R. Redmond and then possibly got the steal of the late-rounds by selecting…Patrick Pass. Almost none of the report cards I could find gives Tom Brady anything more than a passing mention, including this tidbit from Mel Kiper, billed as a “draft guru” by many but who’s wrong more often than he’s right. “(Tom) Brady’s selection should not affect backup quarterbacks John Friesz or Michael Bishop.” Not exactly a glowing review.

More from Kiper on the Patriots 2000 draft. “Considering that they didn’t have a first-round pick, they accomplished a lot of things and took players who could really emerge as quality NFL players, including (Gregg) Robinson-Randall and Jeff Marriott,” said Kiper. I had to look both of those players up because I didn’t recall either of them. Randall had a couple decent seasons with New England before being traded for a fifth-round pick. It appears Marriott never played an NFL game.

So based on all available evidence, I give draft grades made before any player actually takes the field an “F”.

Stuff you may have missed from 210Sports this week
April in Worcester hockey (210)

Not so big finish
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