Donald Brashear: Worst value of the 2009-10 season?

2 Comments

brashearbadcontract.jpgIn the previous post, I took a look at the players who were the best bargains during the 2009-10 season. It’s important to note that the study only took into account points per dollar earned, so subjective factors like “hustle” as well as other important numbers (like time on ice) weren’t part of the experiment.

Of course, we can’t just be super-positive, right? To look at the other side of the equation, I decided to see which players were the worst values in the league. To try to limit the impact of injuries, I decided to make the minimum amount of games played 30. Here’s the bottom 10 values in the NHL according to those standards. (Source: Capgeek.com)

Again, I know that points aren’t everything, but it’s still an interesting exercise.

1. Donald Brashear – Rangers – $1.4 million per point (1 in 36 GP)
2. Mike Komisarek – Toronto – $1.125 million per point (4 in 34 GP)
3. Brendan Witt – NYI – $600k per point (5 in 42 GP)
4. Cory Sarich – Calgary – $600 K (6 in 57 GP)
5. David Koci – Colorado – $575 K (1 in 43 GP)
6. Brad May – Detroit – $500k (1 in 40 GP)
7. Wade Redden – Rangers – $464,286 (14 in 75 GP)
8. Sheldon Souray – Edmonton – $415,385 (13 in 37 GP)
9. Darcy Hordichuk – Vancouver – $387,500 (2 in 56 GP)
10. Jeff Finger – Toronto – $350k (10 in 39 GP)

Now, this list is flooded by defensemen (who naturally score less often than forwards) as well as goons/tough guys (who are their to throw knuckles, not pucks on the net). Still, it’s kind of funny that the Maple Leafs and Rangers feature two entries in the bottom 10.

To be fair to the blueliners, here’s a list of the bottom 5 forwards. I’m going to start the list after Brashear, Koci, May and Hordichuk, so maybe it’s more like the bottom 5-9.

5. Wade Belak – Nashville – $325K per point (2 in 39 GP)
6. Scott Walker – Washington – $312,500 (8 in 42 GP)
7. Fernando Pisani – Edmonton – $312,500 (8 in 40 GP)
8. Fredrik Modin – LA – $295,455 (11 in 44 GP)
9. Jay Pandolfo – NJ – $277,778 (9 in 52 GP)

The names that stand out the most are Pisani and Modin. Those two players don’t – or at least aren’t intended to – play as much of a checking role as the other forwards in the lower levels of value.

Other players who stand out as bad values include Chris Drury ($220,313 per point) and Jonathan Cheechoo ($214,286). When you consider expectations and overall salary, those two players are probably the worst values in the NHL. My vote goes to Drury, even if he seems like a solid human being and all.

Pens coach praises Murray: ‘He doesn’t get rattled’

3 Comments

Hot take: the Pittsburgh Penguins probably won’t deal with a goalie controversy going into Game 7.

(Ugh, that’s a failed hot take … you can’t use “probably” in those things, right?)

Matt Murray was fantastic at times during Game 6, much like his counterpart in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s net in a 5-2 win. Granted, there were some tense moments during the Bolts’ late-game push:

Much has been made about experience, especially from those calling for Marc-Andre Fleury earlier in this series. It’s telling that the praise Murray draws sure sounds like what you’d expect from a “veteran.”

“He has a calming influence,” Sullivan said. “He doesn’t get rattled. If he lets a goal in, he just continues to compete. That’s usually an attribute that usually takes years to acquire that, and to have it at such a young age is impressive.”

Thanks in part to Murray’s efforts in Game 6, he’ll get a chance to prove his resolve in something new: a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final.

Once again, his teammates seem pretty confident in this elimination situation.

Lightning lament Game 6 effort, Cooper doesn’t blame disallowed goal

8 Comments

The Tampa Bay Lightning seemed to sleepwalk through the first two periods of Game 6, and waking up in the final frame wasn’t enough to edge the Pittsburgh Penguins.

On the bright side, at least the Lightning aren’t in denial about that weak first 40 minutes.

It seemed like everyone on the team more or less admitted as much in unison.

Brian Boyle added that he felt like the Lightning tiptoed around this game. Jon Cooper often provides great quips, yet he was pretty matter-of-fact in this case.

Many will linger on this disallowed goal for Jonathan Drouin, which would have provided a 1-0 lead for Tampa Bay in the first period.

Let’s face it; that moment came pretty early in the game. To Tampa Bay’s credit, they’re not pinning the loss on that setback.

Now they must set their sights on competing throughout Game 7 … and maybe earning some bounces of their own in the process.

Read more about Game 6 here.

Penguins force Game 7 after holding off Lightning rally

24 Comments

The Pittsburgh Penguins played with fire late in Game 6, but they also showed plenty of fire in beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2.

With that, this thrilling Eastern Conference Final will go the distance with Game 7 on Thursday.

There are at least a few “What if?” scenarios to consider, especially for the Lightning.

What if that offside goal counted?

Jonathan Drouin played some fantastic hockey on Tuesday, yet his most memorable moment came via something that ultimately “didn’t happen.” An offside call on a goal review kept a 1-0 lead from happening for Tampa Bay:

Instead, the Penguins poured it on during the first period and eventually went up 1-0. They then carried that momentum over through the second period, adding two more goals to go up 3-0 heading into the final frame.

What if Tampa Bay played more like they did in the third period?

The difference between the level of play in the first 40 minutes and the final frame were night-and-day.

Now, you can make a chicken-and-the-egg argument here. Did the Penguins take their feet off the gas with that lead? Maybe Jon Cooper finally unleashed the hounds when the Lightning were facing a big deficit?

Maybe it’s a combination of those factors; either way, the Bolts couldn’t come all the way back even after making it interesting. At one point the game was 3-2 before a Bryan Rust breakaway goal and an empty-netter put things out of reach.

Both Matt Murray and Andrei Vasilevskiy faced plenty of tough chances and came through more often than not. We’ll see if there are any goal controversy rumblings, but each netminder came through at times tonight.

***

Now the series shifts back to Pittsburgh for Game 7 with a Stanley Cup Final on the line. Excited and/or nervous yet?

More: Great goals by Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel.

Sidney Crosby scores a superstar goal

13 Comments

With the Pittsburgh Penguins’ season on the line in Game 6, plenty of eyes are on big guns Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Phil Kessel.

Those marquee names are really coming through so far as they’ve now built a 3-0 lead through two periods against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

You likely already saw Kessel’s display of high-end hand-eye coordination (if not, check it here). Kris Letang scored his first goal of the series to make it 2-0 on a very tricky, well-placed shot.

The highlight really might be Crosby’s tally, though. He left multiple Lightning players baffled and beat a very-much-game Andrei Vasilevskiy to beef that lead up 3-0.