Intangibles are always touted as part of the reason for a team's success, yet they are invariably awarded in hindsight, after a team has won something significant.
That doesn't stop countless people from e-mailing me to extoll the virtues of heart, chemistry and teamwork. While I'm not going to go so far as to say this is a way to find the players who play that heart-and-soul, body-sacrificing game.
As part of the TSN.ca player ranking formula, there is an attempt to quantify the intangible element by addressing statistical categories like hits, blocked shots, giveaways, takeaways and faceoffs.
At the very least, it helps to identify some of the unsung hero types who contribute in ways that don't typically show up on the scoresheet.
Shotblocking defencemen and grinding forwards, this one's for you!
Here are some of the results to this point in the season:
At the other end of the spectrum, we have the guys who haven't (and don't necessarily have to) sacrifice their bodies by making hits and blocking shots.
- There have been a number of rumblings about the Anaheim Ducks, not satisfied with their current lineup, possibly listening to offers for workhorse D Chris Pronger. The Orange County Register says that it's possible the Ducks move either Pronger or Scott Niedermayer if the Ducks don't improve significantly.
- The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, worrying about Niklas Backstrom's pending free agent status, wonders whether the Wild will at least listen to offers for their All-Star goaltender.
- The Boston Globe reports that, if the Bruins were going to go after Panthers D Jay Bouwmeester, it would likely cost one of the team's young power forwards, Milan Lucic or Blake Wheeler.
- The St. Louis Post-Dispatch still believes that veteran Blues LW Keith Tkachuk will be traded and pegs the price as possibly a second-round pick and the USA Today concurs that Tkachuk, who has a no-trade clause, is likely to be moved.
- According to the Newark Star-Ledger, the Devils are looking for an experienced defenceman.
- The Detroit News notes that, with the Red Wings close to the salary cap, they're more likely to call up the likes of Darren Helm and Ville Leino from Grand Rapids rather than trading at the deadline.
- According to the Boston Globe, the Flyers may move ex-Bruins Glen Metropolit and Andrew Alberts, presumably to get more room under the salary cap.
- The Calgary Sun suggests that red-hot Flame, and pending free agent, Mike Cammalleri will be a Toronto Maple Leaf on July 1.
- Reports out of Ottawa and Calgary have the Flames expressing interest in recently waived Senators G Martin Gerber, if the Senators would take on a salary in return.
- USA Today has the usual names listed as possible trade bait, but some of the lesser known players include Dean McAmmond, Dominic Moore and Greg de Vries.
Marty Turco, G, Dallas (4-1, 1.58 GAA, .932 SVPCT in last 5 GP)
Tom Gilbert, D, Edmonton (1-5-6, plus-2 in last 4 GP)
Zach Bogosian, D, Atlanta (3-2-5, plus-6 in last 5 GP)
Michael Cammalleri, LW, Calgary (10-1-11, plus-2 in last 6 GP)
Tim Connolly, C, Bufalo (6-2-8, plus-4 in last 5 GP)
Dominic Moore, C, Toronto (3-5-8, plus-3 in last 6 GP)
Carey Price, G, Montreal (0-3, 4.17 GAA, .854 SVPCT in last 4 GP)
Pavel Kubina, D, Toronto (0-0-0, minus-3 in last 4 GP)
Roman Hamrlik, D, Montreal (0-0-0, minus-6 in last 6 GP)
Daymond Langkow, C, Calgary (0-0-0, minus-3 in last 4 GP)
Jonathan Cheechoo, RW, San Jose (1-1-2, minus-5 in last 9 GP)
Andrei Kostitsyn, LW, Montreal (0-0-0, minus-5 in last 4 GP)
"For a French-Canadian kid to go back there, imagine his legacy if he would win a Stanley Cup. He would be the next Maurice Richard." - ex-Canadiens LW Steve Shutt, discussing the Vincent Lecavalier trade rumours
"I may be a little biased, but I think he's one of the top five defensemen in the world." - Panthers coach Peter DeBoer, on Jay Bouwmeester.
"The one motto I have with my players is: no complaints, no excuses." - Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke
"Quick saved our bacon a couple of times out there. He's been that way through most every game that he's played." Kings coach Terry Murray, on G Jonathan Quick.
"It's hard to remember who has the lead and what the score is when there's that many goals." - Maple Leafs D Jeff Finger, after a 7-4 win over the Avalanche
"We have the puck a lot, and we like to play in their end as much as possible." - Sharks RW Ryane Clowe.
"We're not so blessed with talent that we can have five or six guys take nights off." - Thrashers coach John Anderson
Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@ctv.ca
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