Patrick O’Sullivan: Let it Bleed

The Edmonton Oilers have employed a few wingers over the last decade who could be described as “less than spongeworthy” without the puck. Anson Carter, Joffrey Lupul, and now Patrick O’Sullivan. These players can have success in the NHL, you just have to play them with the Sedins.

  • Boxcars: 73gp, 11-23-34
  • Shots: 191
  • Plus Minus: -35
  • Corsi (Rel): -3.9 (9th among F’s)
  • GF/GA ON: 28-58
  • 5×5/60: 1.29 (9th among F’s)
  • 5×4/60: 3.36 (5th among F’s)
  • Quality of Competition: 4th toughest among F’s
  • Quality of Teammates: 9th best among F’s
  • FO %: 36.4% in 195 FO’s
  • Offensive Zone Start FO %: 49.9% (2nd easiest among F’s)
  • Cap Hit: $2,925,000
  1. What do these numbers tell us? Some feel he was unlucky, others question his compete level and still others believe he’s been worthless all down the line ala Lupul. The fact is that O’Sullivan had a full season worth of at-bats and didn’t deliver close to enough for a player with his skills, experience and cap hit.In fact, the Oilers probably would have used another option if they had one, because the guy looked indifferent for much of the season. His frustration level when missing glorious chances and his “finally!” expression when scoring brought back memories of Lupul and Hecht, two former “first shot scorers” who didn’t deliver in this area.
  2. How Could these numbers be better? I don’t think they could be any worse. My own feeling is that there’s a player here, but he lost confidence (his own and then that of the coaching staff) and eventually he just went through the motions. He may never be a good NHL player, but he’ll have better seasons in the show. This season will have a major impact on his career in that it was so bad the next opportunity could be his last one.
  3. Should the buy him out? Hell no. O’Sullivan has some things on his resume (prior to this season) that imply he might be in the wrong place (with all of these other small skill F’s). I’d try to deal him over the summer and if no one wants him, do the Sam Pollock “hey, Chuck Arnason just scored 20″ trick and pump and dump. If not, play the man and hope someone comes calling.
  4. Is this a one off, a one-time crappy season? No, he’s regressing and it has been going on for awhile. Before he was dealt to EDM, Rudy Kelly at the Battle of California wrote “Patrick O’Sullivan had regressed this season. I don’t think anyone will argue that point. Despite the fact that O’Sullivan had played mostly with Anze Kopitar and Jarret Stoll this season, he still couldn’t outscore himself from last year when he played with Michal Handzus. I don’t know what it was, maybe he didn’t like playing for Terry Murray as much as he liked playing under Marc Crawford, maybe the time off at the beginning of the season was bad for him, or maybe he just got unlucky. He wasn’t as dynamic offensively, wasn’t as efficient defensively, and looked somewhat disinterested all year. Whatever the reason, he was not the player we expected him to be.”
  5. And you expect someone to trade for that? Well, we did. The NHL is full of General Managers who’ll take a chance on skill over and over again. O’Sullivan isn’t going to get drummed out of the league yet, and although the return might be a mid-round pick that’s better than giving him money to go away.
  6. How Important is he to the organization? He’s a negative now, and I do think they’ll buy him out (Stauffer was on this with Patty O and Nilsson months ago) but at this point one hopes Tambellini can get something in return for him. He won’t be back.
By The Numbers

  • 07-08 5×5 per 60m: 2.05
  • 08-09 5×5 per 60m: 1.69
  • 09-10 5×5 per 60m: 1.29
By The Numbers

  • 07-08 5×4 per 60m: 3.07
  • 08-09 5×4 per 60m: 2.05
  • 09-10 5×4 per 60m: 3.36

Predictions Past 2009-10: 78gp, 28-28-56 (.717)
Performance in 2009-10: 73gp, 11-23-34 (.466)

Projected Role in 2010-11: Skill winger for a bottom feeder NHL team

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