I say of course there is not! Yet that's what I have heard from management, coaches, players, fans, and media. I mentioned this in another thread, but I think it is worth bringing up on it's own.
How many of you remember rookie camp and training camp for the arrival of Tyler Seguin? Now how many of you think that he outperformed Ryan Spooner during that camp? I am one that thinks that Ryan was better than Tyler, but had zero chance of making the team in front of the #2 player taken in the entry draft. IF camp were truly an open competition, it would have been Tyler going back to Juniors and not Ryan.
What factors play into decisions being made for "open" competitions?
1. Draft Position - Does Zack Trotman, have a chance to take Dougie's spot if he clearly outperforms him in this camp? Not a snowballs chance in hell.
2. Cap Hit
3. How player was obtained? Is the larger version of Chris Bourque getting a free pass because it took a lot of effort to obtain him from Sweden? Do one of the throw in's to the Seguin trade have to play so that the trade looks better?
4. NHL games played - Veteran like Chris Kelly gets the benefit of the doubt, even though he had a down year last year and could be considered overpaid. Is spooner better than him right now at the pivot?
5. Age - Are they too old, or too young?
6. Waiver eligible? Juniors/AHL?ECHL?
7. Fighting Ability/Toughness
8. Ice Time - Does Malcolm really have a shot at the back up position, even if he clearly outshines Svedberg and Ocho Cinco GAA?
I am sure you have some more factors, and these also overlap each other, but my point is, that as much as they want everyone to believe their is an open competition, there really isn't. I understand that their have to be factors regarding these decisions, but some of them just don't seem fair. Tough Job putting together the right mix, but it seems that Claude & PC get it right based on their success.