Hockey teams would not be the same without the young players. These young man sign entry-level contracts that keep them tied to the teams for at least 3 years. In this time they are supposed to develop their talent and then they will be ready to be promoted. Ideally, this cycle would be constant but this is not how it happens.
Some organizations are stuck, as simple as that. They simply stay with what they consider familiar and do not move into new territories. This idea that the traditions should be kept are hurting the teams.
It is common to see the teams paying millionaire contracts for players that are not performing. They give them the franchise tag but the results do not match the team’s investment. Even if the fans express their concerns, the organizations are too stubborn to make the changes. This stubbornness will translate into poor results which is something you are trying to avoid by paying all those millions in the first place.
At some point the organizations must ask themselves if the franchise tag is truly helping their case. The Montreal Canadiens put the tag on Carey Price. They signed the goaltender for more years but in the current season he took time off. The 14 games he missed hurt the standings of the Canadiens, although when he was defending, his record was poor.
By committing to these players only because they were stars at some point, the teams reduce the resources they could put somewhere else. The Canadiens need a change on their draft and yet the team keep on making the same mistakes.
Teams like the Vancouver Canucks have amazing scouting teams. It is a known fact on the hockey community. They have a sharp eye for the outstanding players. Other organization also put some effort into finding the next stars.
The question is how to turn that great scouting into good results. Some players enter the organizations when they are barely 18. It is not until they are at least 22 that they reach their prime. Perhaps the team should start replacing players for rookies and try new strategies.
At 22 the players reach their prime. They are experienced enough to perform on a big stage but still have room for improvement. Some team owners see this group as the optimal draft and take advantage of the scouting. Other teams refuse to let the younger players take the ice. Eventually they must let those players since they are wasting that talent.
There are some clear advantages about younger players. They are healthier and less prone to injuries. On the financial aspect, it is cheaper to sign a younger player that a more experienced one. The lack of experience should not be a concern, these young men are more than willing to earn their places on the draft.
2019 could be the year when the NHL finally has some fresh faces on the ice.