Beranek Depression

I’m not exactly Tyler Dellow— I’m not even Canadian, despite the fact I can name all five members of the Tragically Hip and know what Timbits are– but I do enjoy reading hockey-related decisions on the Canadian Legal Institute’s website, CanLII.

Josef Beranek’s 1995 salary arbitration case with the Canucks is a real winner, seemingly translated from if not by the French and managing to misspell the names of Brian Benning, Greg Hawgood, Shawn Antoski, and even Pavel Bure. A few highlights:

Under the “Euphemisms 101” category:

During the 1994-1995 shortened season, Beranek played 14 games for Philadelphia before being traded to Vancouver on February 15, 1995 for Shawn Antusky. Antusky is described as a fourth line role player (enforcer).

Under the “Misspelled Understatement of the Year” category:

Beranek’s numbers in relation to the +/- statistics also tend to indicate that he is not a defensive player. On the other hand, the +/- statistics are very tricky in that they must be compared to the team’s overall performance and one must also take into account the role the player is asked to play within the team and whether the team plays an offensive or defensive game. For example, Pavel Burr who was the Club’s best scorer in the 1994-1995 season, was -8 while Beranek was -7. I am not saying that Beranek is a better player than Pavel Burr but illustrating the fact that the +/- statistics in themselves can be deceptive.

Under the “If Josef Beranek Were Cam Neely, He Would Be a Better Player” category:

I may add that if Beranek was scoring on a consistent basis and possessed all the qualities that the team is saying he is lacking, he would fall in another class of players and the salary range we are presently discussing would be quite different.

Overall, it’s either a depressing flashback to a nonstatistical world pre-Corsi, QualComp, and even TOI, or it’s exactly the same as an NHL arbitration case c. 2012– I’m not quite sure which. I do know the arbitrator, one Claude H. Foisy, was willing to split the difference, though per the Canucks’ request Beranek’s salary award was in Canadian dollars. As time would tell, it was an overpay. As a Canucks and Flyers fan: man do I miss Antoski.


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