Zack Stortini played a lot last season. In fact, his 691 minutes at even strength ranked him 10th overall among Oiler forwards. I suspect his playing time is heading north in 2010-11.
Edmonton has a few gritty forwards on the roster, but Stortini is one of the few who can actually play. JF Jacques looked overmatched until every whistle last season, and we may never see a healthy JFJ again. Steve MacIntyre was hired for a very specific role and Jason Strudwick isn’t likely to spend a lot of time on the wing.
There’s every chance Stortini will receive enough minutes at even strength to qualify for the Oilers top 9 in 10-11.
•Boxcars: 77gp, 4-9-13
•Plus Minus: +3
•Corsi (Rel): -6.7 (10th among F’s)
•GF/GA ON: 27-24
•5×5/60: 1.04 (11th among F’s)
•5×4/60: 3.75 (5th among F’s)
•Quality of Competition: 14th toughest among F’s
•Quality of Teammates: 12th best among F’s
•FO %: 47.5% in 183 FO’s
•Cap Hit: $700,000
- What do these numbers tell us? He was +3 on a team that was minus a zillion. Yes, he was facing the dregs but the entire team was completely addled and it wasn’t like the Oilers were playing him with Dustin Penner all night. His Corsi was very reasonable all things considered and he did contribute a little bit offensively.
- How could these numbers be better? I don’t think you can ask for much more from this player. We used to joke about his unwillingness to fight but the guy took on tall trees all year long and battled. He plays 9 minutes a night (all at EVs) and he earned his pay again this season.
- Can he expand his role? On this team? Probably. One thing is for sure–he’s going to get a chance. Ahead of him on the RW depth chart are people like Hemsky and Brule, maybe someone like Eberle or Cogliano. A lot of youth and some potential injury and we don’t see an obvious penalty killer either.
- Does MacIntyre’s arrival impact Stortini? It shouldn’t. One can play 4line minutes and the other can’t play 4 minutes.
- What about Jacques? Stortini has been eating his lunch since they were kids. JFJ got the first NHL job out of training camp one fall but the team called up #46 soonafter and he’s been an Oiler since. That question has long ago been asked and answered, the only reason it came up last year is that the new coaching staff saw Jacques skating fast (with all that size) and thought they saw a player.
- How important is Stortini to this team? He’s valuable in that Stortini is one of a very few Oilers who does his job at a decent cap hit. He’s also pretty healthy and seems to be content in his role. The Oilers have fires all over, there doesn’t seem to be a huge need in this area (4line role player, middle heavyweight). Zack Stortini is NOT the problem.
By the Numbers
•07-08 5×5 per 60m: 1.24
•08-09 5×5 per 60m: 1.76
•09-10 5×5 per 60m: 1.04
Predictions Past 2009-10: 70gp, 6-10-16 (.229)
Performance in 2009-10: 77gp, 4-9-13 (.169)
Prediction for 2010-11: 66gp 4-7-11
Fills a role effectively