My Quick Rebuttal to the "Expansion Dilutes Talent" Argument >

My Quick Rebuttal to the "Expansion Dilutes Talent" Argument

Created 3 years 50 days ago
by Michael DeNicola

Tags: NHL Expansion
Views: 1207



by Michael DeNicola

4:57 PM EST, Wednesday, August 5th, 2015 --

A follower of mine asked for my opinion on the NHL's decision to inevitably expand once again. This follower's concern is... with another expansion, the League's talent pool will be diluted. 

"Personally I think talent is diluted too much already," they concluded. 

And here was my quick answer...

I don't believe the talent today is diluted. I believe it's deeper than ever before. We're seeing more skill lines and a broader skill set from the defense players. Because the sport has stretched to every corner of the World, we're seeing hockey players from more nations pouring into the amateur and pro leagues; we're also seeing more and more Pro leagues worldwide. And as the game has expanded, its popularity and involvement has become denser; more youth programs, camps, etc. 

The whole "the NHL talent pool will be diluted!" argument is sort of a farce. And to help me explain that, I drill back to a quote from an article from (around) 2000, during the last League expansion:

"The offense in the NHL is down not because of diluted talent caused by expansion but because of excellence in coaching defensive systems. More countries, including the U.S., Russia, Sweden and the Czech Republic are producing more skilled players than ever before. With the influx of good young talent from all over the world, if there is a slightly diluted talent pool, it will only be a couple of seasons before the skill level catches up to expansion."

That quote would still hold true today, tomorrow, or whenever the NHL moves forward with its next expansion.

And think about it this way... without Expansion, some of the NHL's greatest undrafted talents may have never seen their chance at the NHL stage. That very much includes players like Wayne Gretzky, Martin St Louis, Ed Belfour, Dino Ciccarelli, Adam Oates, Peter Stastny, and even Tim Kerr. 

Those are the greats from yesteryear. 

Think about some of the undrafted skaters and goalies today who are making their marks in the League. Would any of them had been given a chance if the NHL was downsized? Probably not. 

To me, Expansion doesn't mean "diluted talent pools". It means more opportunity to discover tremendous hidden talents out there.

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