by PuckStopsHere on 03/18/12 at 02:12 PM ET
One of the motivations that keeps me blogging about hockey is seeing some of the nonsense that can be produced by the mainstream media. That isn’t to say that everything they produce is nonsense but a regular amount of what comes out of the mainstream media is silliness that any good blogger would never even consider posting. A clear example of this is the Steve Simmons piece up on Slam Sports. He argues that the Columbus Blue Jackets must trade their first pick in the 2012 Entry Draft (which will more than likely be first overall). How does that work? He thinks last place teams can rebuild by trading their top draft picks?
He argues that the number one pick in the draft will be a Russian. Nail Yakupov is top rated by Central Scouting and Mikhail Grigorenko and Alex Galchenyuk come next. He argues that Columbus (and only Columbus?) cannot draft Russians.
Columbus has used two high draft picks to select Russians in Nikita Filatov and Nikolai Zherdev and since neither of them worked out for the Blue Jackets they must be incapable of drafting a Russian ever again. Two data points are used to prove that Columbus cannot possibly draft any Russian and succeed with it. Does anyone really believe that claim? Had Columbus drafted Alexander Ovechkin or Evgeni Malkin, does anyone believe they would have failed?
It is true that Columbus has drafted poorly in their history. That is a big reason they have not been a successful franchise. They haven’t done well developing their draft picks. Is the solution to that to stop drafting? Drafting is the most likely method that Columbus will acquire a good enough core to be a competitive team. I don’t care what happened when they drafted Russians in the past. Nail Yakupov is not Nikita Filatov. Mikhail Grigorenko is not Nikolai Zherdev. In all likelihood the 2012 players are better. They will be drafted earlier in their respective entry drafts.
In the case of both of the Columbus drafted Russians there were problems with how the organization treated the developing player. In both cases that led to the player wanting out of the organization. That is the big problem that Columbus must fix. They have to set themselves up as a place that players want to play.
Steve Simmons is using a fallacy called special pleading. He claims that Columbus and only Columbus cannot draft Russians. Other teams can. If Columbus trades the rights to Yakupov, he can succeed in the different organization, he just cannot in Columbus. That doesn’t make sense.
The Columbus Blue Jackets need to rebuild. Their best chance is to rebuild through the draft. Steve Simmons may have a poorly thought out logically flawed theory that says otherwise, but the Blue Jackets will ignore him and they are intelligent to do so. My big concern is that stories that are as poorly thought out as this one get regularly published in the mainstream media. Shouldn’t we expect better?
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