The Smartest Guy in the Room


There’s a caution to “Smartest Guy in the Room”

One wag says ‘If you’re the smartest guy in the room…you’re in the wrong room”

But I think most of us can agree that Dean Lombardi is the smartest guy in the NHL room.

He built the San Jose Sharks into a perennial contender and then, when things went south briefly, he found himself in charge of building the LA Kings into a winner.

His record there is beyond reproach so perhaps we should listen when he talks about “analytics”.

Yesterday, Lombardi said this:

“If you have two teams like this, this one’s clearly better than this one,” Lombardi said, placing his hands at two different levels two feet above his desk. “But if [the lower] team is emotionally charged, I think in hockey they can close this gap more than any other sport. So unlike baseball, where if I’m the Yankees, and [there’s a lesser team], [the lesser team] can be emotionally charged, but how much can you really close that gap? I’d say the same thing in basketball to a certain degree. I think, yeah, rebounding, there’s some of those types of things. But I think in hockey, it’s huge. So if you get a little too wrapped up [in analytics], be careful.”

Some guy named Albert Einstein said this:

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”

Sounds like Dean and Albert are on the same page here.

But that leaves us with who, exactly, is the smartest guy in the Oilers room.

The scary thing is it might be Tyler Dellow.

MacT has recently dismissed the use of analytics saying, in effect, his watching his players for 60-65 games has more value than assessing their performance through analytics.

He also used this opportunity to tout Justin Schultz as a potential Norris Trophy winner.

There is an issue  here.

MacT has decided, based on his viewing of Justin Schultz, that he has a potential Norris Trophy winner on his hands.

I’m not making this shit up…he said it.

MacT has obviously not taken a close look at how dreadful an NHL defenseman Justin Schultz really is.

More than a year ago, I identified  Justin Schultz as Jack Johnson V 2.0 and NOTHING has occurred for me to change my opinion.

So, what would Dean do?

Lombardi signed Johnson to a multi year deal  and then traded him to Columbus for Jeff Carter.

He did the same with Patrick O’Sullivan and Lubomir Visnovsky.

Of course, using the Oilers as a feeder team, he has produced 2 Stanley Cups and a perennial contender.

MacT and his “brain trust” should spend most of their time watching what Dean does.

The man knows what he is doing.

But I expect their arrogance will prevent that from happening.







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