Plenty of press focusing on the Flyers' shootout woes lately, a pretty full spectrum of opinions. Here's one we hadn't really considered before though—Rick Tocchet on the idea of rostering a shootout specialist rather than a goon. Per Frank Seravalli:
"Shootouts killed me with Tampa Bay. We were terrible at it. I was just talking to Brett Hull about this the other day, and if I ever were to get into coaching again, I think I'd rather have a specialty shooter on my team - someone that you can bring off the bench - rather than a fourth liner that might fight. Few players can have as much of an impact on your overall standing as a shootout specialist."
Where have you gone, hockey of my youth…
It seems a little crazy, but at the same time, how many of us really see the goon slot continuing to be filled? It's already tapered off, with more emphasis on guys who can fight, but must do much more.
I'd be interested in what kind of player exactly fits the shootout specialist mold though, if it exists. A lower-priced Nik Zherdev? If a trio of Claude Giroux, Jaromir Jagr, and Danny Briere can't excel at it, the proposed position seems hard to pinpoint. Unless we're talking about the hockey version of the And 1 guys?