I totally get your point of view. I don't think it should be "easy" for managers to build a perfect team either, and feel that managers should have to do some work before finding a perfect player. I think there has to be a happy medium.
A few things just to preface:
1. I'm not trying to be argumentative - just wanted to add some additional thoughts/perspective below.
2. I have only played in a BHL league, so most of my thoughts are formulated based on that. If things are different once you get to SHL/GHL, then maybe it's not a good idea to make things "easier" as you have suggested. I truly don't know.
skills/stats are well documented and every team should easily be able to quickly find a player that fits their skill requirements. But personality traits are different; you don't know what a guy is like until you meet him, and the current method of having to click on players to see their traits is a decent alternative to interviewing a guy as I doubt most people would like to actually converse with every player to find out what they are like.
Is that really true for free agents, though? Once a player is in the league (and I'm referencing the NHL here), you have a good idea if they are cocky or arrogant (Ego), how they play (Dirty), if they are a Leader or not - and later in their career if they are a Big Games player. Even to a certain extent their Ambition. If an NHL GM is looking for a Tough player, he already knows which players are tough and which are not. A good example is the Penguins signing Hornqvist a few years ago. Why would you interview the Sedin twins if you're looking for a tough grinder?
As rookies, sure, you don't know much about players... but as the game is set up now, you can't filter prospects, you have to click through each one individually for the draft. This makes sense to me. Having to do this with free agents does not.
Plus with all the media attention these days, there's so much information on every single player it's insane. And as managers, we are only one person. Professional teams have assistant coaches, other assistants, multiple scouts, etc. The information is readily available.
Another argument is the fact that everybody would try and pick up role-model-type players.
Yes, but that is probably what most managers try to do now. Having a search filter to help you out doesn't change this tactic, it only makes it less time consuming. Sometimes you need to make a judgement call between a better player skill-wise, or a less skilled player with better traits. Personally, I'd take the skill.
You mentioned earlier in another comment that there would be a bunch of good players excluded simple due to having a bad trait, but does that really matter?
Yes, because filtering out a certain trait could potentially filter out a player that could fit your team perfectly, all because he has 1 bad trait. In a way, it would make the manager have to perform multiple searches, rather than one, and be just as time consuming. You have to be smart about it. I see the trait filter working when you know EXACTLY what kind of player you want, otherwise, you wouldn't be maximizing your results.
Also, what would be the point of even having traits in this game if every manager just signed perfect players? Mentalities would just become a moot feature of this game.
Again, I don't think building the perfect team is as easy as it sounds (maybe it's easier in GHL?). I only have 2 players on my team that have ALL blue/green traits. 3 if you count a prospect that hasn't played a game yet. Often times, when you are deciding between a few players, you have to make judgement calls over which red/orange traits you can accept and which blue/green traits are more important for your team. And sometimes even when you find that perfect player, there's a chance that things won't work with salary... cap management still comes into play. There's still a lot of moving parts.
Next year I am going to be looking for a grinder who plays tough to fill out a 4th line, and assuming I don't promote, I'll be up against the cap. I spent a good 1/2 hour today looking at free agents alone (had a break in between meetings at work ). Filtered based on a certain Spirit rating and made sure a few other ratings didn't go below a certain amount, click on player 1, he's not tough PASS, click on player 2, he's tough but nervous PASS, click on player 3, he's tough and has good other traits, but his endurance is a 47 PASS, click on player 4, he's perfect in every way, click on contract, he wants 100K more than I can spend PASS, repeat x30...
I don't think adding an extra search filter for traits will change anyone's strategy, it would just save time. Everyone already tries to acquire players with good traits. It would just be an option for managers who know exactly what type of player they want and don't want to click through 20-30 players to find it. I would assume most of us have jobs and some of us families. Saving a few minutes here and there isn't a bad thing.