The Irrelevance of John Tavares and the Red Line Report

Miikeee D.Correspondent IApril 23, 2009

OSHAWA, ON - JANUARY 14:  John Tavares #91 of Team Orr skates in the 2009 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game against Team Cherry on Wednesday January 14, 2009 at the General Motors Centre in Oshawa, Ontario. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 6-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

You want a good way of getting your independent scouting service its 15 minutes?

Simply make a ridiculous NHL prospect ranking list. This is what the Red Line Report recently has done by rating John Tavares as the third best prospect in this upcoming NHL draft.

In their recent report, they have ranked Swedish defenseman, Victor Hedman as the best prospect, followed by Brampton Battalion forward, Matt Duchene.

Gullable Avalanche optimists celebrate, which is quickly subdued when rumors of Pierre McGuire becoming their new General Manager swirl.

Kyle Woodlief of the Redline Report justifies his latest update by claiming that Tavares is “one dimensional. If he’s not scoring, he’s not helping.” He also believes that his effort in the first two rounds of the OHL playoffs has been “underwhelming.”

Tavares’ London Knights were booted from the OHL playoffs  Wednesday night against a much stronger Windsor Spitfire team. However, Tavares scored 21 points in 14 games.

On the other hand, Duchene, who leap-frogged Tavares, only scored 20 points in the same number of games.

I am not saying that Duchene is a bad player. On the contrary, I think he is a great player. He is the type of player that the Leafs should target, since Tavares is likely unattainable. I am simply reiterating that it is ridiculous to believe that Tavares should fall out of the top two positions.

I am not going to post a link to the Web site. This is what Woodlief wants. He wants to create a stir for his company by making absurd ratings in order to draw the masses to his service.

Trust me, you are not missing much. If I wanted to see a pixelated header with an incompatible red background, I would have asked for a University of Western Ontario computer science class final assignment.

Wouldn’t you think that if your company is ready to make some noise, you would upgrade your image a little? Based on what I have seen, the Red Line Report is nothing but a two-bit operation that runs out of Woodlief’s grandparents’ garage.

With that said, why is this news? Why are we taking the Red Line Report so seriously?

It is simple. The Toronto media has made it news. Why? Because Toronto is so committed in their quest of acquiring John Tavares. For some reason, Leaf Nation believes Tavares’ destiny lies in a Maple Leaf jersey.

When reporting about the latest Red Line Report, TSN called the service a “well-known scouting report.” I have followed hockey for a long time, and I have never heard of “The Red Line Report.”

As far as I am concerned, the governing bodies for NHL scouting are the Central Scouting Bureau and International Scouting Services.

Referring to an unknown scouting report as “well-known” or even publicizing this report is merely a weak attempt to manipulate the public’s view of Tavares through the media.

It is not only TSN who is part of this conspiracy. The Globe and Mail, the National Post, Newsday, and of course, the Toronto Star, has pooled their power to try and decrease the draft value of Tavares, which will give Toronto a better chance at acquiring him.

I am not saying that Tavares' draft value will slip all the way down to Toronto’s seventh spot, but I am suggesting that the Toronto media is conspiring to decrease Tavares’ draft value to make him more attainable via trade.

General Manager Garth Snow of the New York Islanders is not stupid. He knows what he possesses with the first pick in the draft, and he knows what kind of player John Tavares is. He is unlikely to subscribe to a rag-tag scouting service or listen to the pompous Toronto media.

Face the facts, Leaf Nation: John Tavares is likely to become an Islander. You can try and manipulate the media, but this isn’t the hockey episode of Gossip Girl; people are not as naive as you may think, especially professional General Managers.

Leaf Nation should be more focused on scouting for their own pick or going out to the SkyDome and watching a Blue Jay game.

Rest easy, Islander Army.


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