Brian Campbell has played 766 minutes and 53 seconds this season, the most among all NHL skaters.
And because he’s played those minutes for the Florida Panthers, his plus-minus rating has taken a beating.
Heading into Monday night’s action, Campbell ranks dead last among the league’s 765 skaters with a minus-20 rating, a startling number from a guy that’s plus-24 for his career (and went +51 over three years with Chicago.)
Of course, plus-minus has always been a contentious metric. It’s a team dependent statistic, so players on bad teams are going to have bad ratings, suggesting the plus-minus number isn’t truly indicative of an individual’s performance.
That’s part of the reason why Panthers GM Dale Tallon isn’t concerned about it.
“He plays 30 minutes a game on a team that has a hard time keeping the puck out of the net,” Tallon told the Florida Sun-Sentinel. “I’m not worried about Brian Campbell.”
To wit, Campbell’s not alone in the NHL’s basement for plus-minus.
Panthers teammate Erik Gudbranson has the league’s second-worst mark (minus-17) and forward Tomas Fleischmann has the third-worst (minus-14).
Other Florida skaters in the bottom-15 include Stephen Weiss (-13) and Filip Kuba (-11).
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After a one-year hiatus, Alexei Kovalev is back in the NHL.
That’s the story out of Sunrise on Thursday as the Florida Panthers announced they’ve signed the soon-to-be-40-year-old to a one-year deal.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports the contract is for $1 million and includes some games-played bonuses.
Kovalev — who’ll turn 40 on Feb. 24 — hasn’t played in North America since skating with Pittsburgh during the 2010-11 season.
He returned to his native Russia for the 2011-12 season, playing 22 games with Atlant Moscow Oblast before suffering a knee injury that derailed his campaign.
Kovalev spent the summer and lockout without a team, focusing on rehab and getting healthy, though he did practice with Swiss second division team Martigny for a spell.
The former Ranger, Penguin, Canadien and Senator has some ties to the Panthers organization. He played with goalie Jose Theodore in Montreal and spent a season with Filip Kuba in Ottawa.
According to Harvey Fialkov of the Florida Sun-Sentinel, Kovalev has been skating on the Panthers’ second line along with Peter Mueller, and is working on the Panthers’ second power-play unit with Tomas Kopecky and Jonathan Huberdeau.
Marc Methot is a happy guy.
On Tuesday, Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean confirmed Methot — acquired from Columbus in exchange for Nick Foligno in July — would pair up with reigning Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson when the Senators begin the regular season.
“It’s awesome,” Methot told the Ottawa Sun. “I had a talk with [MacLean] right after I was traded. He sat me down, told me what was expected and there was a little bit of a layoff since then.
“I’m looking forward to that challenge.”
Methot will replace Filip Kuba, Karlsson’s defensive partner from a year ago (Kuba signed with Florida this summer.)
Those are some big shoes to fill — the veteran Czech blueliner was a steadying influence, playing the kind of complimentary, defensive game that proved vital to Karlsson’s 78-point explosion.
Methot said he knows what he’ll need to do to keep Karlsson producing offensively.
“You could compare to the way the Kings played when they had [Drew] Doughty paired with [Rob] Scuderi or [Matt] Greene or whoever [Doughty’s] partner was,” he explained. “You make sure you watch his back in terms of jumping up into the play.
“Really, I’ve just got to keep my game pretty simple and let him take care of the rest.”
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