Compete Level: Hockey's "IT" Factor | When in Doubt, Glass and Out
There is something that lives deep within every great hockey player. It's intangible, immeasurable and undeniably necessary. You can't see it in a box score and you can't measure it in a weight room, but at the end of the day, it is the difference between legend and bust. A hockey player's "Compete Level" is often the determining factor of how long and successful a career they will have. The dissection of the meaning of compete level is one of the most debated and misrepresented topics in hockey. Some say that a player who combines skill and toughness has a high compete level. Therefore, you can measure compete level, to an extent, by looking at a combination of scoring stats and penalty minutes (PIMs). The problem with this is that not all penalty minutes are "tough" penalty minutes. Getting a 10-minute misconduct for arguing with the ref isn't tough and doesn't represent a high compete level. Neither is a racking up 35 hooking penalties in a season. There are