Take Town: A flood of information
I'm not going to get into the whole Jake Virtanen thing too much because everyone has already weighed in on how stupid it is.
But one thing I did want to say here is that I saw some people saying, "Let's not bring his hockey stats into this," which I understand. But it's important to note that the Edmonton Oilers — and specifically general manager Ken Holland — are willing to face this kind of criticism for a guy who stinks. You could almost understand the mindset when it's Evander Kane, because no matter what you might think of him as a person, he's a 40-goal scorer.
NHL teams will always look past a lot of bad stuff if you can put the puck in the net every other game. Especially if you're found not guilty in a court of law.
Virtanen is much, much worse than Kane. There's a chance he's a fourth-line guy worth a league-minimum deal, in a vacuum. But even then, wouldn't you rather just give a kid a roster spot and see what happens?
Obviously, this scans to me like a team trying to pad out its roster for the preseason with a guy who meets the "NHL veteran" requirements so they don't have to use someone who's actually in their long-term plans. But how on earth is any of this worth that?
And so for a team to be willing to walk into a firestorm for a guy like that, it just makes me wonder about what their real motivations are with it. Much like the Hockey Canada thing, where it seems like it's a lot of people in power thumbing their nose at anyone who might feel the desire to criticize them over something like this.
Pure spite from some of the most insulated people in the sport.
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