NHL Rumors: Pending UFA Forwards That Play a Heavy Game Will Be In Demand

Sportsnet: Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek on the 32 Thoughts: The Podcast – Oh My Bob episode, on forward depth market, players who can play a heavy game, and the demand there will be.

** NHLRumors.com transcription

Friedman: “And the other thing too, Jeff, I’m also hearing is that it’s also going to be a very good market for depth forwards who can play multiple places in your lineup and play that kind of heavy hockey playoff game.

Dakota Joshua I think is the poster child for that. But also the likes of Jordan Martinook, Stefan Noesen, William Carrier, those kinds of players, I’ve heard there’s a, there’s a big demand for that type of guy.

So the defenseman and the heavy, portable forward who can go up and down your lineup, sounds like a lot of them are going to do pretty well.

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Marek: “You know, it’s really interesting, Elliotte, you know, we’re in an era right now in hockey where everybody can skate. Like the one thing like doesn’t matter what level you go to, like junior hockey, division one, youth hockey, minor hockey, whatever. One of the things, like at the top level of of all these various levels of hockey, one of the things you notice is the bad skaters are all gone.

You know, like once upon a time, like there are a couple of guys who could really skate on the team and then a couple of good skaters and a few bad ones as well, but they can still mix them with the team. By and large, all the bad skaters are gone.

Like you look in the NHL. Everybody can skate. Everybody can shoot. Everyone can play-make. People can defend. Like all of it. It really does feel and you know, you know, mentioning like the Noesen’s and Joshua’s and Martinook’s, that the pendulum has kind of swung back in a certain way.

Now that there’s a leveling of the playing field to some extent, by way of ability. it’s almost like teams are saying to everybody out there, ‘Okay, now everyone can skate. Now everyone can shoot. Now everyone can play. What else can you give us?’

And it seems as if that intangible that everybody is looking for, and again, I just got back from the Combine yesterday and what does everyone looking for outside of, you know, skill? They’re looking for snarl and they’re looking for some toughness and they’re looking for players that can play that, as you put it, heavy game in the playoffs.

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It does feel very much as if that’s now become this one much desired intangible in the NHL right now, now that everybody can play and everyone the, the playing field is leveled out a little bit more.”