Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Grading the free agents
Quality of competition

The pool of NHL free agents this summer will be wide if not deep — including restricted free agents (and I think you have to), there are 165 "availables" out there among players who played at least 20 games last season and more than 10 minutes a game at even strength.

Of that group, here are the top 20+ defencemen and forwards in Behind The Net's quality of competition measure. By this metric, these are the free agents who lined up against the opposition's top lines in 2007-08 (RFAs in red):


NAME TEAM GP TOI/60 QUAL COMP
1 ADAM FOOTE COL 75 17.3 0.15
2 KURT SAUER COL 54 15.0 0.12
3 JAY BOUWMEESTER FLA 82 19.0 0.12
4 BRYCE SALVADOR N.J 64 15.6 0.09
5 ROB BLAKE L.A 71 14.8 0.09
6 MAREK MALIK NYR 42 15.8 0.06
7 CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF S.J 77 15.9 0.05
8 MICHAL ROZSIVAL NYR 80 16.9 0.05
9 DENNIS WIDEMAN BOS 81 17.6 0.04
10 BRET HEDICAN CAR 66 15.8 0.03
11 JONI PITKANEN EDM 63 16.9 0.03
12 SHAONE MORRISONN WSH 76 16.1 0.03
13 MARK EATON PIT 36 14.6 0.02
14 BRUNO GERVAIS NYI 60 14.4 0.02
15 MIKE GREEN WSH 82 17.8 0.02
16 DENNIS SEIDENBERG CAR 47 14.1 0.01
17 MIKE COMMODORE OTT 67 14.3 0.01
18 JAROSLAV MODRY PHI 80 15.2 0.01
19 JORDAN HENDRY CHI 40 14.3 0.01
20 PAUL MARA NYR 61 13.5 0.00
21 ANDREJ MESZAROS OTT 82 15.5 0.00
22 RON HAINSEY CBJ 78 15.5 0.00


NAME TEAM GP TOI/60 QUAL COMP
1 JAY PANDOLFO N.J 54 13.4 0.16
2 STEPHANE VEILLEUX MIN 77 12.1 0.10
3 CLARKE MACARTHUR BUF 37 12.5 0.09
4 JARRET STOLL EDM 81 10.8 0.09
5 BRAD RICHARDSON LA 22 11.6 0.09
6 MATS SUNDIN TOR 74 13.9 0.08
7 CRAIG CONROY CGY 79 12.3 0.07
8 JAN HLAVAC NSH 80 13.2 0.07
9 JOE SAKIC COL 44 13.7 0.07
10 MICHAEL PECA CBJ 65 12.4 0.07
11 BRYAN SMOLINSKI MTL 64 10.4 0.07
12 DAVID CLARKSON N.J 81 11.5 0.06
13 SEAN AVERY NYR 57 13.1 0.06
14 MARTY REASONER EDM 82 11.0 0.06
15 RUSLAN FEDOTENKO NYI 67 13.2 0.06
16 MICHAEL RYDER MTL 70 10.8 0.06
17 CORY STILLMAN OTT 79 13.4 0.05
18 MATT STAJAN TOR 82 13.7 0.05
19 DAVID BACKES STL 72 11.9 0.05
20 JAY MCCLEMENT STL 81 11.2 0.05
21 BRAD ISBISTER VAN 55 10.1 0.05

If I've got someone there who's re-signed, let me know (and keep in mind that this changes by the day).

I've included everyone on this list, even the likes of Foote and Sakic, who are all but certain to sign with Colorado. If Foote was available, somehow, however, I imagine he could command one of the biggest deals for a blueliner out there.

He had a very strong year defensively.

What I don't have here is performance in those difficult minutes, and some of these players struggled mightily. I'm planning on having a series of similar posts, identifying the leaders in various attributes, so if there's one you're a fan of, let me know.
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6 Comments:

At 11:33 PM, June 25, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coming from Pittsburgh I'm well aware of the team and it's RFAs and so maybe I have favoritism towards them but why isn't Malone ranked in the top forward because he played in the top-line a huge chunk of the season and was therefore against heavy competition?

 
At 12:06 AM, June 26, 2008, Blogger Rand said...

BTN's QOO ratings tends to scale very poorly when looked at league wide, so in this context I'm not sure it's very useful.

It's terrific for looking at how a player faired relative to his teammates but comparing cross team it's valuable is dubious.

You'll find some teams have all but 5-6 players playing tougher minutes then everyone on another team and various anomalies like that. For example, Pitsburgh has pretty much the entire team being shelered

BTN has Malone as having played the 3rd toughest minutes on Pittsburgh, so he was definitely out there against the big guys fairly often (And looking at the NHL's game sheets seems to back that up, though he wasn't an exclusive tough minute shut down guy from a quick look).

Taking the direct numbers and comparing across teams doesn't really work out well IMO.

 
At 12:33 AM, June 26, 2008, Blogger brndlynn said...

Brooks Orpik of the Pens was part of the top pairing and played alot of mins against the oppositions top lines as well so I believe he should also be on this list.

 
At 1:09 AM, June 26, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conner re-upped last March.

http://tinyurl.com/5lk329

 
At 1:26 AM, June 26, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Everything Rand says is absolutely applicable, although I don't think that means these numbers are useless. Foote and Bouwmeester, for example, are still getting all of the ugly minutes even if someone like Ryan Malone just misses the list.

 
At 1:47 AM, June 26, 2008, OpenID tersa said...

Interesting that Brian Campbell is viewed as the premier UFA defensemen, and he doesn't even show up in the top 20 list here.

 

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