RE 13-14 BOYD GORDON: HARD NOSE THE HIGHWAY

Boyd Gordon’s signing sounded like a good idea at the time, and he delivered as advertised. Facing some of the toughest situational hurdles in the game, he crawled through a river of (bleep) and came out clean on the other side.

BOYD GORDON 13-14

  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.93 (10th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 6.85 (1st among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 6th toughest among regular forwards (2nd-3rd line opp)
  • Qual Team: 8th best teammates among regular forwards (3rd line teammates)
  • Corsi Rel: -4.1 (11th best among regular forwards)
  • Corsi for % 5×5: -42.1
  • Corsi for % Rel 5×5: -2.4
  • Zone Start: 20% (toughest among regular forwards, 2nd toughest in NHL)
  • Zone Finish: 39.5% (worst among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage:  80/10% (5th among F’s w/ 80 or more shots)
  • Boxcars: 74, 8-13-21
  • Plus Minus: -15 on a team that was -51

 RE 13-14: 78, 5-15-20 .256

Actual: 74, 8-13-21 .284

  1. RE is good. Yes. He stopped scoring later on and they had to shut him down at the end but lordy he was a man for this hockey team.
  2. The ZS was severe. Oh my GOD yes. Second toughest among forwards in the entire NHL.
  3. Will the Oilers run their 3rd line the same way next season? There’s some verbal running around that Gordon’s line will be the 4line next season, but I don’t see it happening.
  4. Chicago’s fourth line runs with the severe zone starts. It’s a tremendous advantage. Chicago’s fourth line (Marcus Kruger, Brandan Bollig and Ben Smith) have very severe zone starts. Two differences: they also enjoy solid to incredible Corsi for 5×5 %’s and the trio costs about $2.5 million toward the cap. That’s insane value, I don’t think the Oilers will get the same results and they’ll certainly spend more doing it.
  5. Who did Gordon run with most this season? Ryan Smyth and Matt Hendricks were the most common linemates. That’s $7.1 million in cap money.
  6. Couldn’t the Oilers run Gordon-Hendricks and say Anton Lander on a 4line? I don’t think so. The Oilers seem devoted to having Luke Gazdic as an every day player, so the fourth line will be used as an energy-enforcer line.
  7. Do smart teams use enforcers? John Scott played most of two seasons with Chicago, Colorado has Cody McLeod, Anaheim Patrick Maroon, San Jose Mike Brown and Dallas has Antoine Roussel. Some good teams have enforcers.
  8. Back to Gordon. Any negatives? Not from here. I think you could make a very good argument for Gordon as MVP. He took the dirty end of the stick and survived it, throwing 8 goals onto the pile for good measure.
  9. What’s the ideal situation for him? I’d like to see the Oilers acquire Moss and Winnik and put the band back together. Although that third line would cost you over $7 million dollars, it’s a proven piss-cutter trio and would do wonders for the skill lines.
  10. Would you use that line the same way, severe zone starts? You could do either. Run them with heavy ZS’s or have them handle the tough opposition. Ideally, you could find an inexpensive fourth line similar to Chicago’s—say Lander, Horak, Pinizzotto or Pitlick—and run the Gordon line against the best qual comp’s.
  11. Why can’t they do that? I love that idea! Because Gazdic. You need three guys who can contest every pass or loose puck for that inexpensive line, and Gazdic’s skills don’t lend themselves to that style of play.
  12. I thought you liked Gazdic? For his player type, Gazdic is perfect. Didn’t cost anything to acquire, won’t cost a lot of money, a great teammate based on what we know, and there won’t be any third round picks used or sent away in the name of acquiring one while he’s here and productive.
  13. But it impacts the roster. Oh yeah, in a big way. Your fourth line becomes a survival line and their time on ice opens a window for fighting. If hockey were a musical, the song would be “The Rumble!” before getting back to the plot.
  14. So, the Oilers could have a good bottom six but their bias toward old time hockey prevents it? That’s one way of looking at it. I would frame it this way: Dallas Eakins and Craig MacTavish were days away from beginning the season with 12 forwards who could take and make a pass, think the game in real time, execute coverage and display enough hockey acumen to either fill a role or project themselves into filling a role by season’s end.
  15. And now? They added Gazdic and others and now we’re left with badly needing an effective third line because the four line is spent a different way.
  16. Are you so sure that Gazdic has no actual value? I’m sure he is unable to play the type of fourth line minutes Chicago asks of their 4line, if that’s what you mean. I can’t answer the larger question (do NHL teams need enforcers?) because math says no and NHL players say yes. Whatever Luke Gazdic does for an NHL team can’t be measured from here. Does that mean it has no value?
  17. Well? Does it? The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010. In the fall of 2010 and 2011 John Scott was on their club. Scott is replaced in 2012-13 by Brandon Bollig, and bam! Stanley Cup.
  18. That’s very simplistic. Sure.
  19. This became a fourth line discussion more than a Gordon RE. It’s central to the bottom 6F and the Oilers success next season. What kind of team do they want to run? Do they want an enforcer? Can they find one who can play those tough DZ minutes?
  20. I have one: Can Gordon and Gazdic play together effectively? Dallas Eakins had them both for the entire season, they were on the ice together 5×5 for 14 minutes.
  21. Oh. Yes. Oh.

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92 Responses to "RE 13-14 BOYD GORDON: HARD NOSE THE HIGHWAY"

  1. Lowetide says:

    Lowdown at 10:

    10:05 Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey
    10:25 Jeff Hauser, Radio Hauser (NFL)
    11:00 McKey Sullivan America’s Next Top Model
    11:25 Patricia Teter Artful Puck

  2. icecastles says:

    I don’t pump your tires (shout out to Tim Thomas on reintroducing the excellent turn of phrase) all that often LT, but gawd, I forgot how much I enjoy these RE series you do. There are only a handful of writers anywhere who can simultaneously be this informative AND this entertaining.

    It’s funny how the saw-him-bad crowd works. I’m loving Gordon and it seems the fanbase is too. But I think of what Horc brought and the point totals he managed, and then think of the hatred he endured for no other reason than the fact that the Oilers offered him a massive contract and he accepted. Fantastic deal to replace Horcoff with a younger, cheaper equivalent, but it saddens me to no end thinking of how he was rejected by the fans here. Best fans in the NHL indeed. Sigh.

    Anyway, that was a tangent. Great post.

  3. frjohnk says:

    20% Zone Start for Gordon? Too much of the time the 4th line was hemmed in our zone and the resulting faceoff was in our zone. We don’t have anybody in the top 6 forwards or top 4 D men who will drop the gloves and throw em when something drastic happens and that is why they place an emphasis of size and toughness (gazdic) over skill ( Arco) on the fourth line, but it is just another one of the reasons why we suck.

    This is why I’d like to see a 4th line that can outplay most other teams 4th lines. That way there is less pressure on the Gordon line and the two scoring lines have a better chance to score. But unless there is change in the top 6 forwards and/or top 4 Dmen, I doubt this is gonna happen.

  4. J-Bo says:

    Two words: Mitch Moroz

  5. BrazilianOil says:

    Could Hendrics fill the Gazdic spot as enforcer?

  6. frjohnk says:

    Maybe in two years we can ice a fourth line of Moroz, Khaira and Chase that provides, size, toughness, agitation, speed, youthful exurberance and play that does not die on their stick

  7. icecastles says:

    frjohnk: This is why I’d like to see a 4th line that can outplay most other teams 4th lines.

    I am going to go out on a limb and say everyone everywhere wants this.

  8. 8p0intgame says:

    What if the Oilers…

    1.) Traded C Sam Gagner to the Maple Leafs for RW David Clarkson.
    2.) Drafted Leon Draisaitl 3rd overall.
    3.) Signed Paul Stastny.
    4.) And followed LT’s advice and signed Moss and Winnik.

    Nugent-Hopkins (6) – Hall (6) – Eberle (6) (18)
    Stastny (7) – Perron (3.812) – Clarkson (5.25) (16.062)
    Draisaitl (3.775) – Winnik (3) – Yakupov (3.775) (10.55)
    Gordon (3) – Hendricks (1.5) – Moss (2.5) (7)

    51,612,000 million (73% cap).

    I’m not saying that’s what to happen, I just expect to watch something along those lines unfold this summer.

  9. G Money says:

    Side line comment: I’m doing an analysis of contracts across the NHL to come to a reasonable definition of ‘fair value’. (Almost done, and full analysis to be posted at C&B in a week or so I would say).

    Interesting result for Boyd Gordon: given his historical point production rate, his underlying numbers as a forward plug him in as about a $1M guy, give or take. The numbers overall work pretty well, by the way, so that $1M I have a measure of confidence in as ‘fair contract value for points produced’.

    Now of course, there’s more to a contract than just points, and in Gordon’s case you pay a premium for faceoffs, defensive awareness and hard starts, and the PK. And Oilers of course.

    But a $2M premium? More than I thought.

    Worth it?

  10. mumbai max says:

    8p0intgame:
    What if the Oilers…

    1.) Traded C Sam Gagner to the Maple Leafs for RW David Clarkson.
    2.) Drafted Leon Draisaitl 3rd overall.
    3.) Signed Paul Stastny.
    4.) And followed LT’s advice and signed Moss and Winnik.

    Nugent-Hopkins (6) – Hall (6) – Eberle (6) (18)
    Stastny (7) – Perron (3.812) – Clarkson (5.25) (16.062)
    Draisaitl (3.775) – Winnik (3) – Yakupov (3.775) (10.55)
    Gordon (3) – Hendricks (1.5) – Moss (2.5) (7)

    51,612,000 million (73% cap).

    I’m not saying that’s what to happen, I just expect to watch something along those lines unfold this summer.

    Do you really want Clarkson on the second line (no offence)

    and Yak on the third line (no defence)

    You also have less that 15 M for the entire defence which has to include big raises to Petry and Shultz, and signing the mythical 1D UFA

  11. G Money says:

    BrazilianOil,

    Seems to me Hendrick’s the designated middleweight, while Gazdic is the heavy. Do you need a heavy if you have a good middleweight? Separate discussion I guess…

    8p0intgame: 1.) Traded C Sam Gagner to the Maple Leafs for RW David Clarkson.

    Also following up on my previous comment regarding contract values – Clarkson comes up as one of the most overpaid players in the NHL, by far far far. I was shocked at how much he underperforms his contract. Man did we dodge a bullet there. Trading Gagner the player for Clarkson the player might be a good move from a fit/needs point of view, but from a contract and value point of view it’s a bad move.

  12. franksterra says:

    Not a knock on LT or FRJOHNK but I don’t think either 3rd line option (expensive veteran plowhorse line or cheap unbroken bronco line) is the way to go. Maybe one of Winnik or Moss (or Winnik’s 2014 equivalent), but not both. Well, maybe one year of both…but it’s unlikely you’ll get a guy like that to sign for one year unless you literally pay them double their worth.

  13. mumbai max says:

    G Money:
    BrazilianOil,

    Seems to me Hendrick’s the designated middleweight, while Gazdic is the heavy.Do you need a heavy if you have a good middleweight?Separate discussion I guess…

    Also following up on my previous comment regarding contract values – Clarkson comes up as one of the most overpaid players in the NHL, by far far far.I was shocked at how much he underperforms his contract.Man did we dodge a bullet there.Trading Gagner the player for Clarkson the player might be a good move from a fit/needs point of view, but from a contract and value point of view it’s a bad move.

    Unless they throw in a tasty sweetener to take the contract. Gardiner? Holland?

  14. HiddenDarts says:

    mumbai max,

    Kadri? Seriously. That contract is complete death.

    I think it pretty much goes without saying that Boyd Gordon is a fantastic player. But we’ve all got to understand that the Oilers don’t even sniff the playoffs until he’s a fourth line center.

    Right?

  15. cahill says:

    G Money,

    Are you doing a historical look at the points or is this just the last season? Is there emphasis on zone starts, quality of comp? From what I recall about Gordon, priori to this year his Pts/60 is around 1.2 which puts him in the range with Bolland, Kelly & Gaustad.

    It would be interesting if the Oilers signed another Gordon to play the 4th line tough zone start (Fiddler, Boyle, Lewis, ect) and then move Gordon into a tough matchup/secondary scoring role. With player like Perron.

  16. Karsa Orlong says:

    I would rather they try and sign someone else like Hendricks, and keep Gazdic as the extra forward for certain teams only. I think my favorite would be Chris Thorburn currently with the Jets, and he will be a UFA. 6’3, 230 although he is still more of a middleweight, and is kind of a right wing clone to Hendricks. He is a vet at 30, and makes under 900k right now, so i can’t see this player breaking the bank to bring in on the 4th line.

    I do like most of the other player suggestions being thrown around in this blog too. Not sure what Gags would return so just dumping him for now.

    Hall – Nuge – Eberle
    Perron – Stastny – Yakupov
    Winnik – Bennett – Moss
    Hendricks – Gordon – Thorburn
    Gazdic – Arcobello

    I would still like to see them add a bigger player to the top 6, but that’s tough to blue sky about. Man do we ever need Stastny badly though lol.

  17. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    There was some twitter chatter the other day between myself, WG, MC79, Fifth and others I’m sure about whether Gazdic could be Bollig…

    I’m not sure people realize how bad Bollig is up until Frolik and then Kruger started carrying his lunch for him.

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=93902

    Bollig, like Gazdic, has long record of not doing anything interesting in the AHL. With Frolik helping he played moderately well.

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1631&withagainst=true&season=2011-13&sit=5v5

    Then, BAM! this year, he’s shining.

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1631&withagainst=true&season=2013-14&sit=5v5

    The situation is weird. Either he’s turned from garbage into a player overnight, or Kruger is some kind of wonderful and probably the most underrated player in the game.

  18. G Money says:

    cahill,

    I played around with a bunch of different possibilities and settled on career PPG vs cap hit as the basis for calculating a league-wide relationship and measure of ‘fair contract value’.

    Career PPG is a reasonably unvolatile number and strongly correlates with contract value across the league (which is part of what gives me confidence that there is some reasonable validity there).

    I did not use ZS, Corsi, QoC, etc. as I wanted to try and calculate a ‘pure’ relationship, after which premiums for things like tough ZS or PK or whatever could be figured on a per-player basis.

    For that reason, my first analysis sticks to forwards. I need a different measure for defensemen, which will become part 2 of the analysis.

  19. icecastles says:

    G Money: I played around with a bunch of different possibilities and settled on career PPG vs cap hit as the basis for calculating a league-wide relationship and measure of ‘fair contract value’.
    Career PPG is a reasonably unvolatile number and strongly correlates with contract value across the league (which is part of what gives me confidence that there is some reasonable validity there).

    This seems to give a pretty one-dimensional view of a player’s value, though, no? Any defensive forward (I assume you’re not using this metric for defensemen) is automatically going to have less value than a high-scoring forward who, for example, pots 50 goals and sees 80 go in while he’s on the ice.

    Crappy a statistic as +/- is, even adding that to the mix would give your analysis more value.

    What other possibilities did you try, and why did you reject them?

  20. G Money says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I’m not sure people realize how bad Bollig is up until Frolik and then Kruger started carrying his lunch for him.
    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=93902
    Bollig, like Gazdic, has long record of not doing anything interesting in the AHL. With Frolik helping he played moderately well.

    Again, since I’m perseverating on the theme of my ‘fair contract value’ calculations: one of the more amusing (yet I feel still valid) results that came across the analysis as I compared actual cap hit with ‘this is the cap hit that this player *should* be at’ is that a number of players came up negative – that is to say, according to the the value for points relationship of contracts across the league, these players should actually be *paying* their teams for the privilege of playing!

    There was a preponderance of 4th line face punchers on that list, notables including Bollig, Mike Brown, Colton Orr, John Scott, etc.

  21. frjohnk says:

    icecastles: I am going to go out on a limb and say everyone everywhere wants this.

    The thing is, I believe we have some pieces to actually do it. Horak, Lander, Arco. But none of them have the size or toughness they oilers want or believe they need for the 4th line.

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    There was some twitter chatter the other day between myself, WG, MC79, Fifth and others I’m sure about whether Gazdic could be Bollig…

    I’m not sure people realize how bad Bollig is up until Frolik and then Kruger started carrying his lunch for him.

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=93902

    Bollig, like Gazdic, has long record of not doing anything interesting in the AHL. With Frolik helping he played moderately well.

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1631&withagainst=true&season=2011-13&sit=5v5

    Then, BAM! this year, he’s shining.

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1631&withagainst=true&season=2013-14&sit=5v5

    The situation is weird. Either he’s turned from garbage into a player overnight, or Kruger is some kind of wonderful and probably the most underrated player in the game.

    That is very interesting. I also looked at his Offensive zone starts. 18.2%! Last year it was 61%
    Something happened. Are we sure somebody didn’t take his identity?

    http://somekindofninja.com/nhl/usage.php?f1=2013_s%2B2012_s%2B2012_p%2B2011_s%2B2011_p%2B2010_s%2B2010_p%2B2009_s%2B2009_p%2B2008_s%2B2008_p%2B2007_s%2B2007_p&f2=5v5&f3=Brandon+Bollig&f5=CHI&f4=&f7=&bubbleType=corsiOn&yAxis=qoc&update-filters=Update+Results

  22. G Money says:

    icecastles,

    When you’re trying to determine a relationship between contract value and “some objective and easily calculable individual player statistic”, points are a logical starting value (I assume that’s a reasonable point of agreement) and are the primary but not exclusive driver of contract value.

    After that, there are of course a near infinite number of values and combinations of values you can use to try and improve that relationship. My baseline database for the analysis (courtesy Rob Vollman) has the following values:
    GP G A PTS +- PIM ESG PPG SHG Shots TOI
    on a season by season basis for every player from 1967.

    From that of course programmatically I can combine any of those together, sum them, average them, etc. My eventual choice of career points per game is of course a calculated number.

    I played (visually) with quite a few of the above in various combinations.

    Surprisingly (or not), most of the additional choices actually made the underlying point to contract value correlation worse, not better. The cloud got fuzzier, as it were.

    I read from this that points are very much the primary driver of contract value for forwards in the NHL, and other considerations, while they of course factor into the decision, vary widely across teams in the league (presumably based on individual needs) and so cannot very easily be plugged into a league wide relationship.

    Sometimes simpler is better, I guess.

  23. jfry says:

    agreed completely with ROM, Bollig until this year has been nothing. i have a tough time putting him in the same conversation as the other shut down guys we’re considering. he’s no moss, that’s for sure. he is cheap.

    the question is, can gazdic learn to be bollig, can ewanyk in two years?

  24. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    jfry:
    agreed completely with ROM, Bollig until this year has been nothing.i have a tough time putting him in the same conversation as the other shut down guys we’re considering. he’s no moss, that’s for sure. he is cheap.

    the question is, can gazdic learn to be bollig, can ewanyk in two years?

    Ewanyk has a much better shot of being an effective 4th liner I’d guess. He’s a C and he can PK. Those are already 2 things we can’t say about Gazdic.

    I’d still much rather a better player on the 4th line than Ewanyk. But, I have no problem considering him an upgrade on Gazdic in 2 years.

  25. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    G Money: Again, since I’m perseverating on the theme of my ‘fair contract value’ calculations: one of the more amusing (yet I feel still valid) results that came across the analysis as I compared actual cap hit with ‘this is the cap hit that this player *should* be at’is that a number of players came up negative – that is to say, according to the the value for points relationship of contracts across the league, these players should actually be *paying* their teams for the privilege of playing!

    There was a preponderance of 4th line face punchers on that list, notables including Bollig, Mike Brown, Colton Orr, John Scott, etc.

    I think us as fans need to think increasingly in cynical terms about these player types.

    More than likely they serve non-hockey interests from the team’s perspective.

    That is, I’m sure they are consciously employed (esp. by terrible tanking teams) to give fans something to thrill about. It’s like a satyr play before a tragedy.

    One day we might just see fights happen during the intermission or between whistles with fighters taking up no actual TOI.

  26. mumbai max says:

    HiddenDarts:
    mumbai max,

    Kadri? Seriously. That contract is complete death.

    I think it pretty much goes without saying that Boyd Gordon is a fantastic player. But we’ve all got to understand that the Oilers don’t even sniff the playoffs until he’s a fourth line center.

    Right?

    Kadri? I think maybe you meant Clarkson. Hey, it was not my idea, I was just responding to another poster who suggested a Clarkson trade. I just said thatt if we got Gardner and Clarkson for Gagner, it might be more palatable.

  27. icecastles says:

    G Money,

    Right on, thanks for the clarification. I’ll be curious to see your results.

  28. Zangetsu says:

    I don’t know what would happen if we offered stastny 7million considering he’s worse than hall or ebs. It might make a rift in the room. I would love to have him, but I don’t know if that’s reasonable.

  29. Hammers says:

    Seems to me that everyone wants more than we need unless we blow it up & start over . I don’t see McT going after as many players as are being mentioned . Basically 1 “D” , 1″C” & 1 winger for the 3rd line . Difference is it needs to be quality not quantity . Gordon stays on the 3rd line . Hell I would consider our pick plus Gags for Spezza if he resigned with us . That takes $3 mill more than Gags gets now and gives McT the money to get A UFA “D” plus that other winger . If guys like Arco , Lander , Horak , Pitlick & Gazdic can’t fill a 4th line role something is wrong. All 5 of them should cost $4 mill .

  30. G Money says:

    Zangetsu:
    I don’t know what would happen if we offered stastny 7million considering he’s worse than hall or ebs. It might make a rift in the room. I would love to have him, butI don’t know if that’s reasonable.

    My good man (or lady), thank you for the setup.

    Your question is EXACTLY why I’m working on the ‘fair value’ contract analysis that I am!

    Here is my data-driven answer:

    Last,First,Team,Career ppg,cap hit, project cap hit,performance
    Stastny,Paul,COL,0.851,6.600,6.694,1.40%

    Read that as follows:
    Stastny’s career ppg is 0.851. Based on my league wide correlation of cap hit to career ppg, Stastny – on ppg alone, not other considerations which of course also matter – is deserving of a $6.7M salary. Or to put it another way – based on his current cap hit of $6.6M and in comparison to every other UFA/near UFA forward in the league, he’s outperforming his current contract by 1.4%.

    So – is $7M for Stastny worth it? Yes. I am firmly of the belief that the Oilers, until the suckage ends and the climate warms enough, will always overpay UFA contracts. $7M for a 27 y.o. who can reasonably be expected to continue to perform at his career ppg for quite some time is ‘merely’ a 400K overpay. Easily worth it. Easily.

    My worry is not that e.g. $7M x 5 yrs is an overpay – it’s whether or not that’s enough to get him here…

  31. HiddenDarts says:

    mumbai max,

    Heh heh. No, I meant ADD Kadri.

    I feel like this Clarkson miss was a serious hand of Gord type of miracle. You don’t go back to that well. Ever.

  32. rickithebear says:

    Mitc

    8p0intgame:
    What if the Oilers…

    1.) Traded C Sam Gagner to the Maple Leafs for RW David Clarkson.
    2.) Drafted Leon Draisaitl 3rd overall.
    3.) Signed Paul Stastny.
    4.) And followed LT’s advice and signed Moss and Winnik.

    Nugent-Hopkins (6) – Hall (6) – Eberle (6) (18)
    Stastny (7) – Perron (3.812) – Clarkson (5.25) (16.062)
    Draisaitl (3.775) – Winnik (3) – Yakupov (3.775) (10.55)
    Gordon (3) – Hendricks (1.5) – Moss (2.5) (7)

    51,612,000 million (73% cap).

    I’m not saying that’s what to happen, I just expect to watch something along those lines unfold this summer.

    we were short 36 EVG from lines 2 and 3

    Gagner age 20-22 averged 12 EVG/season
    last 2 season when healthy he has been .20 EVG/gm
    a potential 14-16EVG player.

    Stastny averaged 16 EVG/season last 4 years.

    R. Smyth was 4 evg/season last 2 years

    Winnick averaged 7 EVG/season 5.4% shooting

    David clarkson has averaged 14 EVG last 5 years. 8.8% shooting

    D. Moss averaged 8 EVG/season 6.9%

    Marcel Goc averaged 11 EVG/ 73 Gm season 10.5% shooting

    Jones was 4 evg in same # of games

    Penner with
    Anaheim 17 EVG/season
    Edmonton 16 Evg/season
    Kings and Caps 6 EVG/season

  33. Wolfpack says:

    Are Maroon and Roussel considered enforcers? I have to admit that I didn’t watch those teams play much in the regular season but watching the playoff hockey, those guys are playing a regular shift and are actually pretty good hockey players. Roussel is being matched against Getzlaf and Perry and really had them off their game last night.

    I just think those players are significantly better hockey players than Gazdic. Don’t get me wrong, he did the job he was asked to do and I respect that a lot, but if there are Gazdic’s playing a regular shift on your 4th line you are probably taking too many own-zone face-offs as a result, and not getting much offence from that line.

    We could use another Boyd Gordon to share some of those zone starts and allow our third line centreman to see what the other half of the ice looks like. 8 goals with those zone starts is actually pretty impressive.

  34. Bag of Pucks says:

    This “Gazdic is the reason the Oilers can’t win” meme is really reaching epic proportions.

    Thanks to you LT, I’m rooting for SJ in the playoffs now purely so that a team that employs Mike Brown can hoist the Cup and bury this myth once and for all.

    Shawn Thornton, Jordan Nolan, Brad May, etc.

    Btw, I’m all for punting Gazdic to the press box, assuming of course Eberle, RNH, Schultz, Petry, Arco and Marincin all gain 20lbs each this offseason. Cos that’s what it will take to eliminate the need for this role on the roster.

  35. Bag of Pucks says:

    The most interesting thing about this meme is to try to visualize it in the context of the player simply being crappy and not being a fighter.

    If the player simply sucked, there’s no way we’d be postulating the argument that a player that plays such a minimal amount of mins can have such a drastic impact on the lineup, roster composition and ultimately the final results.

    But the player in question is a fighter, and thus human bias takes over to an incredible degree in the consideration of this player. Quite astounding really for a site that strives to place so much emphasis on unbiased analytics.

    The good news for the Oilers I guess is we’ve now crystalized the ‘Chicago’ model down to its most basic and crucial fundamental. Play Brandon Bollig on your 4th line instead of Luke Gazdic and you’ll win Lord Stanley’s cherished mug. We’re only one player away now! Can we trade the 3rd overall for Bollig?

  36. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    When bemoaning Landers early NHL offensive stats, look up Boyd Gordon’s career stats and reset on what Lander can be. Get him on the NHL roster next season, make him a specific project for Gordon to mentor over the next two years. He will shape Lander to be a tremendous 3rd line center that will provide more offensive pop than Gordon did and will give the Oilers the smart two way, defensive first center they will need in 3 yrs to compete for championships. Its an unbelievable opportunity to educate Lander from one of the best and switch them up when Gordon is fading and Lander is hitting his prime. Lander does not lack character or hockey IQ or 3rd line offense skills for that matter. He now needs to hone is NHL game with time in the trenches and Gordon is the ideal mentor. Lander is ready. He may challenge one day for 2C, but if he settled in at 3C (which I think he does) and hit his prime in 3 yrs, we have fully cultivated one of those truly essential players to round out a roster.

  37. VanOil says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic:
    When bemoaning Landers early NHL offensive stats, look up Boyd Gordon’s career stats and reset on whatLander can be. Get him on the NHL roster next season, make him a specific project for Gordon to mentor over the next two years. He will shape Lander to be a tremendous 3rd line center that will provide more offensive pop than Gordon did and will give the Oilers the smart two way, defensive first center they will need in 3 yrs to compete for championships. Its an unbelievable opportunity to educate Lander from one of the best and switch them up when Gordon is fading and Lander is hitting his prime. Lander does not lack character or hockey IQ or 3rd line offense skills for that matter. He now needs to hone is NHL game with time in the trenches and Gordon is the ideal mentor. Lander is ready. He may challenge one day for 2C, but if he settled in at 3C (which I think he does) and hit his prime in 3 yrs, we have fully cultivated one of those truly essential players to round out a roster.

    Agreed

  38. dawgtoy says:

    VanOil: Agreed

    YES! YES, yes this, A 1000 times yes.

  39. spoiler says:

    G Money: My good man (or lady), thank you for the setup.Your question is EXACTLY why I’m working on the ‘fair value’ contract analysis that I am!Here is my data-driven answer:Last,First,Team,Career ppg,cap hit, project cap hit,performanceStastny,Paul,COL,0.851,6.600,6.694,1.40%Read that as follows:Stastny’s career ppg is 0.851. Based on my league wide correlation of cap hit to career ppg, Stastny – on ppg alone, not other considerations which of course also matter – is deserving of a $6.7M salary. Or to put it another way – based on his current cap hit of $6.6M and in comparison to every other UFA/near UFA forward in the league, he’s outperforming his current contract by 1.4%.So – is $7M for Stastny worth it? Yes. I am firmly of the belief that the Oilers, until the suckage ends and the climate warms enough, will always overpay UFA contracts. $7M for a 27 y.o. who can reasonably be expected to continue to perform at his career ppg for quite some time is ‘merely’ a 400K overpay. Easily worth it. Easily.My worry is not that e.g. $7M x 5 yrs is an overpay – it’s whether or not that’s enough to get him here…

    I get the impression that this assessment is based on prior cap ceilings. Would more than $7M be reasonable under an increased ceiling?

  40. icecastles says:

    VanOil: Agreed

    dawgtoy: YES! YES, yes this, A 1000 times yes.

    Me too (just wanted to contribute).

  41. Caramel Obvious says:

    G Money,

    Do you break this down by contract status (entry level, RFA, UFA, etc.)? The correlation between pts/game and salary is going to be different for each type of contract.

    If you are using real contracts as a barometer for market value then you have to acknowledge that there are, at least, two different markets.

  42. cahill says:

    icecastles: VanOil: Agreed
    dawgtoy: YES! YES, yes this, A 1000 times yes.
    Me too (just wanted to contribute).

    I don’t agree! What are we talking about?

  43. Pouzar says:

    dawgtoy: YES! YES, yes this, A 1000 times yes.

    + 1 million more.

  44. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic:
    When bemoaning Landers early NHL offensive stats, look up Boyd Gordon’s career stats and reset on whatLander can be. Get him on the NHL roster next season, make him a specific project for Gordon to mentor over the next two years. He will shape Lander to be a tremendous 3rd line center that will provide more offensive pop than Gordon did and will give the Oilers the smart two way, defensive first center they will need in 3 yrs to compete for championships. Its an unbelievable opportunity to educate Lander from one of the best and switch them up when Gordon is fading and Lander is hitting his prime. Lander does not lack character or hockey IQ or 3rd line offense skills for that matter. He now needs to hone is NHL game with time in the trenches and Gordon is the ideal mentor. Lander is ready. He may challenge one day for 2C, but if he settled in at 3C (which I think he does) and hit his prime in 3 yrs, we have fully cultivated one of those truly essential players to round out a roster.

    Now THAT is something worthy of an article.

    Calling Bruce McCurdy or Lowetide. We can be reasonably sure that your writings are capable of catching attention at Oilers HQ.

  45. delooper says:

    Has there been a thread recently where the comments address the Bill Scott Assistant GM hire?

  46. Numenius says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic:
    When bemoaning Landers early NHL offensive stats, look up Boyd Gordon’s career stats and reset on whatLander can be. Get him on the NHL roster next season, make him a specific project for Gordon to mentor over the next two years. He will shape Lander to be a tremendous 3rd line center that will provide more offensive pop than Gordon did and will give the Oilers the smart two way, defensive first center they will need in 3 yrs to compete for championships. Its an unbelievable opportunity to educate Lander from one of the best and switch them up when Gordon is fading and Lander is hitting his prime. Lander does not lack character or hockey IQ or 3rd line offense skills for that matter. He now needs to hone is NHL game with time in the trenches and Gordon is the ideal mentor. Lander is ready. He may challenge one day for 2C, but if he settled in at 3C (which I think he does) and hit his prime in 3 yrs, we have fully cultivated one of those truly essential players to round out a roster.

    Wow. Gordon played his first full NHL season at 23 scoring 29 points after a year very much like Lander’s this year (good success in AHL, didn’t piss a drop in the NHL).

    Lander will be 23 next year.

  47. slopitch says:

    LT, Scarlett’s new movie ‘under the skin’ is gonna provide you with a ton more ammo for the blog. Most of it you wont be able to use.

  48. Bag of Pucks says:

    Btw, on the off chance that suggestions of bias seem harsh, I think it’s illustrative to reference some of the language oft used in these parts to describe the player type in question: face puncher, knuckle dragger, coke machine, etc. If this choice of language doesn’t indicate some inherent bias…?

  49. icecastles says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Btw, on the off chance that suggestions of bias seem harsh, I think it’s illustrative to reference some of the language oft used in these parts to describe the player type in question: face puncher, knuckle dragger, coke machine, etc. If this choice of language doesn’t indicate some inherent bias…?

    I’m gonna bias your face.

    There is of course loads of bias: merely cheering for one team over another is “bias”. Being interested in the sport at all is bias. Preferring winning to losing is bias. But is it bias based on reasonable conclusions and supported by evidence?

    The reason we use these mocking nicknames for players of their type is that they demonstrably do not impact a team’s ability to win hockey games, and their effectiveness as “deterrents” is marginal at best, as they are rarely on the ice at the same time as the guys they are ostensibly protecting.

    So yes, we tend to be biased around the knuckle-draggers around here, but only insofar as the term implies someone who can fight, but can’t play hockey. If they’re a good hockey player and fisticuffs are simply an added dimension rather than the only dimension, it’s a different conversation and I think you’d find the term is rarely applied to those types.

    In short, yo’ mamma’s a knuckle dragger. Face.

  50. Lowetide says:

    Bitches! Word to your Car! No?

  51. icecastles says:

    Lowetide:
    Bitches! Word to your Car! No?

    Get jiggy with it.

  52. G Money says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic: When bemoaning Landers early NHL offensive stats, look up Boyd Gordon’s career stats and reset on what Lander can be.

    I also recommend looking at Gustav Nyquist as an example of an outstanding AHL scorer who was unable to translate that to the NHL until the age of 24. There is a reason why the Red Wings development system is so admired.

    spoiler: I get the impression that this assessment is based on prior cap ceilings.Would more than $7M be reasonable under an increased ceiling?

    Correct. Career ppg (to 2013-14) vs cap hit for 2013-14. So it is very much a snapshot in time, value for scoring as of now, with a rearward bias as many of the contracts will have been signed under previous lower cap regimes.

    In terms of using the information to assess value for contracts going forward, there are two major dynamic effects.

    First is, as you note, cap changes. A fair contract now becomes a value contract if the cap goes up.

    Second is the age dynamic. A young player likely to exceed career ppg a la Hall can be paid higher without breaking the bank. Similarly, an older player likely to be on the decline could be cap danger for even a fairly valued contract.

    Caramel Obvious: Do you break this down by contract status (entry level, RFA, UFA, etc.)? The correlation between pts/game and salary is going to be different for each type of contract.
    If you are using real contracts as a barometer for market value then you have to acknowledge that there are, at least, two different markets.

    Absolutely. For the correlation, I removed all entry level contracts. I then additionally filtered out all contracts that end with the player still in RFA status. If the contract ends with the player as UFA (even if it was signed as RFA, and whether or not it includes any UFA years), I did include it, as recent history (my impression anyway) suggests that those type of RFA contracts are starting to become relatively close to full valued in comparison to UFA contracts, so I felt the analysis was more valuable including them rather than excluding them.

    I didn’t bother to do the analysis with EL contracts or full RFA contracts – given the constraints on those, not sure it would be a worthwhile endeavour.

  53. Bag of Pucks says:

    Yep, and I don’t have a problem with the ‘they’re lousy at hockey’ bias – even despite exceptions to the rule such as Probert, Lucic, Neely, Messier, Howe, etc.

    The issue now is we’ve moved from that, to suggesting the existence of one such ‘fighter’ on the roster is A) detrimental to the performance and output of the ENTIRE Bottom 6 & B) The Chicago Blackhawks couldn’t win a Cup with one of these player types on the roster. Ipso facto, they’re a key determinant in a team’s ability to win the Cup.This presented with anecdotal support and virtually no numbers to support the assertion? Honestly, where’s the proof that the 4th line would even function notably better with Lander on it instead of Gazdic?

    And this is entirely tenuous hypothesis is floated, despite the fact that 3 players of this type (Thornton, Nolan, May) have all recently played on Cup winners.

    Goons, don’t like ‘em. I get it, but when you let your obsession with this player type lead to fanciful conclusions like this? I’m sorry, you’re letting obsessive bias overcome rational analysis.

  54. LoDog says:

    icecastles,

    Bias doesn’t mean what you think it means.

  55. Lowetide says:

    I’ve yet to read anyone who can come up with an answer to this:

    Can an NHL team have an effective fourth line, one capable of (as an example) of severe zone starts or playing tough opps, with an enforcer type?

    Gazdic is 431st out of 435 this season
    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f4=C+LW+RW&f7=20-&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67#snip=f

    btw, I LOVED the Dowd-Devereaux-Laraque line, so believe the answer is “yes, if your enforcer is good at puck possession to the point of ridiculousness.”

  56. G Money says:

    Lowetide: btw, I LOVED the Dowd-Devereaux-Laraque line, so believe the answer is “yes, if your enforcer is good at puck possession to the point of ridiculousness.”

    Indeed. I believe the situation you describe occurs when you have an actual player who can also fight, rather than “a fighter”.

  57. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lowetide:
    Bitches! Word to your Car! No?

    I’m young enough to know that this needs calibrating, but not young enough to actually calibrate it for you.

  58. Wolfpack says:

    Bag of Packs,

    You make a great point about the overall impact of a player who is playing limited minutes on the fourth line. Hard to point the finger at the player in that situation. But perhaps it is a chicken or the egg thing – if there was a better player in that spot, would that player get more minutes?

    Also, I detest Brad May but he was a better hockey player than Luke Gazdic. May scored 18 goals and 45 points one year. If I thought Gazdic was capable of 18 goals I would welcome him on almost ANY line. Ryan Jones scored 18 goals for us and most people here don’t think he is good enough for our bottom six either, so I think the bias is less against fighters and more against bad hockey players.

    I don’t think Nolan or Thornton are good players either, and don’t think they would add anything to the Oilers other than more own-zone face-offs.

  59. Lowetide says:

    G Money: Indeed.I believe the situation you describe occurs when you have an actual player who can also fight, rather than “a fighter”.

    Can we get one of those? Because the shift after the Gordon-Hendricks-Winnik line came off is own zone, and if we can use the fourth line for that faceoff my 1-2 lines (who just came off the PP) will be ready to roll.

  60. Bag of Pucks says:

    Wolfpack:
    Bag of Packs,

    You make a great point about the overall impact of a player who is playing limited minutes on the fourth line. Hard to point the finger at the player in that situation. But perhaps it is a chicken or the egg thing – if there was a better player in that spot, would that player get more minutes?

    Also, I detest Brad May but he was a better hockey player than Luke Gazdic. May scored 18 goals and 45 points one year. If I thought Gazdic was capable of 18 goals I would welcome him on almost ANY line. Ryan Jones scored 18 goals for us and most people here don’t think he is good enough for our bottom six either, so I think the bias is less against fighters and more against bad hockey players.

    I don’t think Nolan or Thornton are good players either, and don’t think they would add anything to the Oilers other than more own-zone face-offs.

    And that’s the crux of it. No one’s saying Luke Gazdic is not a bad hockey player (though I think his impact in providing some protection for a smallish fairly timid roster is highly underrated), but to now start building this case that a single player such as this playing extremely limited mins can be the difference between winning or losing the Cup?

    That’s losing the plot imo

    Chicago didn’t lose the Cup because John Scott was on their roster. Their roster was gutted after their first win and it took them a couple seasons to refill the pipeline and mature those prospects.

    I too LOVE the idea of a functionally tough bottom 6 that can play the opposition hard.

    But the mistake in calling for Gazdic’s head at this point in the club’s history, is it completely ignores the lack of functional toughness in the Top 6 and basically leaves those players hung out to dry next season with the hopes they can protect themselves. Might as well just roll out the red carpet for the Zach Kassian’s of this league with that kind of thought process.

  61. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    I’ve yet to read anyone who can come up with an answer to this:

    Can an NHL team have an effective fourth line, one capable of (as an example) of severe zone starts or playing tough opps, with an enforcer type?

    Gazdic is 431st out of 435 this season
    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f4=C+LW+RW&f7=20-&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67#snip=f

    btw, I LOVED the Dowd-Devereaux-Laraque line, so believe the answer is “yes, if your enforcer is good at puck possession to the point of ridiculousness.”

    You don’t seem to be giving much credence to the Bollig comp.

    Are you convinced he’s a player?

    FWIW, I think he’s a freak occurrence benefitting wildly from Kruger’s play.

  62. prairieschooner says:

    The fourth line will play less minutes than the other lines.
    Trying to fix it is a bit like the football coach who spends the bulk of his practices working on how to block point after attempts.
    I wonder if Detroit would look at Lander as a player who is 2 years away but coming along nicely?
    Do the Oilers have an emphasis on specialty players Gazdic Gordon Gagner for example rather than more rounded players or is it players whose name starts with G?

  63. prairieschooner says:

    David Moyes sacked after one season at Man U
    Moyes was hand picked by Fergie, he was unable to transition from working with a shoestring budget and lesser players (which he did quite well with) to working with a team of star players
    I believe there is a parallel maybe even a parable here

  64. theres oil in virginia says:

    I think it’s important to remember that Gazdic’s just a yungin’ too. Presumably, he’s being developed in the same fashion as the young guns. I wonder if a Hendricks-Lander/Arco-Gazdic line will be able to hold their own within the next couple of years. Looks to me like Gazdic is still a bit lost in the d-zone, and has trouble generating shots in the o-zone, but is competent at protecting the puck in the o-zone. Zone transitions are still strange voodoo for most of the team, so Gazdic’s in good company there. I like him, and I think he’s got some room to grow. Patience for Lander…patience for Gazdic. I also think it’s worth noting that Gazdic took the air out of Kassian’s parade balloon earlier this year and that’s useful.

  65. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    I think it’s important to remember that Gazdic’s just a yungin’ too.Presumably, he’s being developed in the same fashion as the young guns.I wonder if a Hendricks-Lander/Arco-Gazdic line will be able to hold their own within the next couple of years.Looks to me like Gazdic is still a bit lost in the d-zone, and has trouble generating shots in the o-zone, but is competent at protecting the puck in the o-zone.Zone transitions are still strange voodoo for most of the team, so Gazdic’s in good company there.I like him, and I think he’s got some room to grow.Patience for Lander…patience for Gazdic.I also think it’s worth noting that Gazdic took the air out of Kassian’s parade balloon earlier this year and that’s useful.

    Gazdic is 25 this summer. This was his 5th year in Pro hockey. I don’t think we should expect much more development out of him.

    I also highly doubt he did anything to change Kassian’s behavior, or that it was changed.

  66. Bag of Pucks says:

    To be fair, it’s entirely possible that LT doesn’t arrive at these mistaken conclusions if his ‘alter ego’ isn’t asking such leading questions. Just saying….

  67. Bag of Pucks says:

    Romulus Apotheosis

    I also highly doubt he did anything to change Kassian’s behavior, or that it was changed.

    There’s as much or as little evidence to support this as there is to support the conclusion the Hawks didn’t win two Cups because of John Scott.

  68. G Money says:

    On the topic, a good read from Rob Vollman on the summary of the studied (non)effect of the enforcer on the game:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1935940-are-enforcers-still-valuable-to-nhl-teams

    Amusingly, every one of the UFA contract players mentioned by name (Bissonette, T Jackman, Sestito, Westgarth …) came up as ‘he should be paying the team’ (i.e. negative projected cap hit) in my cap study.

  69. icecastles says:

    LoDog: Bias doesn’t mean what you think it means.

    My philosophy degree and I are fairly certain we can safely define bias. Thanks for coming out, though.

  70. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bag of Pucks: There’s as much or as little evidence to support this as there is to support the conclusion the Hawks didn’t win two Cups because of John Scott.

    I encourage you to make the case for John Scott’s importance to the Hawks.

    Then, we’ll watch Kassian taunt Gagner with Gazdic on the ice and see if his behavior suggests anything like a change.

  71. DBO says:

    Lowetide: Can we get one of those? Because the shift after the Gordon-Hendricks-Winnik line came off is own zone, and if we can use the fourth line for that faceoff my 1-2 lines (who just came off the PP) will be ready to roll.

    I had a thought (a dangerous thing I know). But maybe in the new NHL the best idea may be to run 7 D, and 11 forwards. here is my reasoning.

    - Face punchers at forward are often useless. But some face punchers at D are solid at the PK, and OK as long as they start in their own zone and dump it out! And with a team like the Oil, with a lot of run and gun types up front, and a possible lack of ice time (or simply a desire to get some kids more time), would it make sense to run a solid 4th line with 2 decent, but maybe younger two way players with the addition of a Hall or Eberle, or Perron (depending on who’s rolling) and have your 7th dman play the 5 minutes on the PK and the occasional d zone shift (ala Fraser) instead of the waste of skin that is often the face punching forward? It also allows you to run a player like Larsen who can play the PP, but also occasionally run a shift at forward and be better and more effective then the knuckle dragger.

  72. Ducey says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Gazdic is 25 this summer. This was his 5th year in Pro hockey. I don’t think we should expect much more development out of him.P>

    I wonder if you would say the same thing about Arcobello?

  73. Bag of Pucks says:

    LoDog: Bias doesn’t mean what you think it means.

    icecastles: My philosophy degree and I are fairly certain we can safely define bias. Thanks for coming out, though.

    Think he was just joking about the “I’ll bias your face” quip.

  74. Lowetide says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    To be fair, it’s entirely possible that LT doesn’t arrive at these mistaken conclusions if his ‘alter ego’ isn’t asking such leading questions. Just saying….

    The conclusions are fair. Any suggestion that Luke Gazdic is productive at NHL hockey is myth, it just is.

    I have said this one thousand times and will say it again. I have no quarrel with size and toughness and even enforcers, but they have to be actual NHL players.

    Now, excuse me as I ready myself to watch the Boston Fucking Bruins.

  75. LoDog says:

    icecastles,

    ” But is it bias based on reasonable conclusions and supported by evidence?”

    No such thing or it wouldn’t be a bias. Maybe should have taken something a little more practical than philosophy.

  76. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ducey: I wonder if you would say the same thing about Arcobello?

    yes.

    expecting prospects of that age to keep developing is a bad bet. Doesn’t mean the odd late bloomer won’t emerge on occasion. just that you should bet on it.

  77. vangolf says:

    icecastles: My philosophy degree and I are fairly certain we can safely define bias. Thanks for coming out, though.

    There he is…Socrates. The unintentional comedy of this blog is too much sometimes.

  78. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    LoDog: No such thing or it wouldn’t be a bias. Maybe should have taken something a little more practical than philosophy.

    whoa there… whoa. calm down frank.

    philosophy is just fine thanks.

  79. icecastles says:

    LoDog:
    icecastles,

    ” But is it bias based on reasonable conclusions and supported by evidence?”

    No such thing or it wouldn’t be a bias. Maybe should have taken something a little more practical than philosophy.

    I don’t usually feed trolls, but you asked for it.

    Bias means having a predetermined opinion and implies an unwillingness to consider alternate viewpoints once the conclusion has been reached. How the bias was arrived at is completely irrelevant to determining whether bias is present.

    Come back when you’ve got something more than one-liners to offer.

  80. Bag of Pucks says:

    Lowetide: The conclusion are fair. Any suggestion that Luke Gazdic is productive at NHL hockey is myth, it just is.

    That’s not the only thing you concluded unfortunately. You also concluded the third line can’t be effective cos of Gazdic, and the Hawks likely didn’t win two Cup cos of John Scott.

    Clearly, despite the fact these players aren’t productive at NHL hockey, their impact is MASSIVE!

    John Scott singlehandedly impacted the destiny of a nascent dynasty and Luke Gazdic impacts not one but TWO lines every time he steps on the ice – while having NO demonstrable impact on Zach Kassian. Magic.

    The reality is this. We have 1 legitimate 1st liner – Hall.

    We have 3 legitimate 2nd liners – Nuge, Eberle, Perron

    We have 2 legitimate 4th liners – Gordon, Hendricks

    And after that we have a bunch of a question marks, players drowning above their head on the depth chart and a raft of not ready for primetime players.

    We need a legitimate 1C, 1RW (c’mon Yak!), an entire 3rd line and then finally, yes, someone better than Gazdic for the 4th.

    So forgive me, if I just can’t wrap my head around why LG is the lynchpin issue with this roster.

  81. Ducey says:

    G Money: On the topic, a good read from Rob Vollman on the summary of the studied (non)effect of the enforcer on the game:http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1935940-are-enforcers-still-valuable-to-nhl-teamsAmusingly, every one of the UFA contract players mentioned by name (Bissonette, T Jackman, Sestito, Westgarth …) came up as ‘he should be paying the team’ (i.e. negative projected cap hit) in my cap study.

    The conlusion wasn’t that fighters provide no value. It was that fighters provide no value that analytics can measure.

    Does Taylor Hall play better in certain situations knowing he has Gazdic on the bench? There seems to be some word of mouth evidence in that regard, but I don’t know how you would measure it statistically.

    My own guess is that the more veteran your team, the less you need a fighter. With a very young team, you are going to want to have a designated fighter so your young non fighting players don’t get intimidated/ embarassed/ feel like they have to fight.

  82. Ducey says:

    icecastles: I Come back when you’ve got something more than one-liners to offer.

    What? Is that a rule now? Thats all I can offer most times!

  83. theres oil in virginia says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Gazdic is 25 this summer. This was his 5th year in Pro hockey. I don’t think we should expect much more development out of him.

    I also highly doubt he did anything to change Kassian’s behavior, or that it was changed.

    I hate getting into the middle of this (too late to back up), it’s so fucking polarized. 25 is hardly the end of the road. There’s plenty of time left for development. This was his first year in the bigs. I pointed out above the areas that I think he’s lacking in, and he’s not alone. He’ll develop along with the rest of them, or he’ll find himself DTR (down the road).

    If you don’t think that he ended the Kassian foolishness, then I’m thinking you didn’t watch the VCR@EDM game on 1/27/14. Gazdic started on Kassian in the pre-game and followed him around all game long trying to get him to fight. You might think that since they didn’t fight, the strategy failed. No way. He had Kassian off-kilter and thinking about how to avoid the fight the whole game. Basically, he bullied him. Kassian hasn’t been a threat to the Oilers since.

    I’ve been bullied before. I always stand up to it, but it always gets into my head. Gazdic won by bullying the bully. Did you see Chara bullying Brendan Smith on Sunday? Chara didn’t want Smith to fight him; his strategy worked better when Smith declined the fight. The Bruins were all over that guy all game long. It has an effect.

  84. Lowetide says:

    Bag of Pucks: That’s not the only thing you concluded unfortunately. You also concluded the third line can’t be effective cos of Gazdic, and the Hawks likely didn’t win two Cup cos of John Scott.

    Clearly, despite the fact these players aren’t productive at NHL hockey, their impact is MASSIVE!

    If the Oilers were winning, then the idea of an enforcer might be met with all kinds of smiles and laughter.

    Me, I’d like that fourth line to look like the third line in training.

  85. icecastles says:

    Ducey: What? Is that a rule now? Thats all I can offer most times!

    Me too, actually. But ours aren’t simultaneously unoriginal AND wrong (we’re usually just wrong).

  86. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    theres oil in virginia: I hate getting into the middle of this (too late to back up), it’s so fucking polarized.25 is hardly the end of the road.There’s plenty of time left for development.This was his first year in the bigs.I pointed out above the areas that I think he’s lacking in, and he’s not alone.He’ll develop along with the rest of them, or he’ll find himself DTR (down the road).

    If you don’t think that he ended the Kassian foolishness, then I’m thinking you didn’t watch the VCR@EDM game on 1/27/14.Gazdic started on Kassian in the pre-game and followed him around all game long trying to get him to fight.You might think that since they didn’t fight, the strategy failed.No way.He had Kassian off-kilter and thinking about how to avoid the fight the whole game.Basically, he bullied him.Kassian hasn’t been a threat to the Oilers since.

    I’ve been bullied before.I always stand up to it, but it always gets into my head.Gazdic won by bullying the bully.Did you see Chara bullying Brendan Smith on Sunday?Chara didn’t want Smith to fight him; his strategy worked better when Smith declined the fight.The Bruins were all over that guy all game long.It has an effect.

    re-read what I wrote.

    It isn’t reasonable to expect much development out of a 25 year old with no discernible history of upside, growth, development, etc.

    It isn’t reasonable to expect much development out of a 25 year old forward period. Most are basically fully-formed and you should be making decisions at that point based on what they are now, not on the marginal chance that they defy the odds and suddenly get much better than they’ve ever been.

    I watched the game. Kassian didn’t fight. taunted Gagner and played a middling game of hockey. Gazdic had nothing to do with it..

  87. freedomisamyth says:

    theres oil in virginia,

    I hate all the rhetoric about fighters from both sides of the argument, because I tend to think that the arguments on both sides are specious at best, and seem to me to miss the point.

    I lean to agreeing that enforcers are not going to have a measurable positive analytical value. I also tend to agree that staged fights don’t have much of an effect on the outcome of a game most of the time. I also tend to agree that having an enforcer isn’t going to cut down injuries or decrease the likelyhood of excessively dirty hits due to deterrence.

    That being said, few seem to pay attention to the psychology side, which is especially surprising considering how often players and coaches explicitly mention it, when it comes to this type of player. Players generally play best when they are comfortable – it’s the same in every sport, if you can’t get comfortable, you can’t get in the zone. Taking the opposition out of their comfort zone is a great tactic in any sport. Having a big guy that ‘has your back’ can have a powerful psychological effect, even if they are not generally on the ice with you . It can also have an effect on those on the other team who can be intimidated – if they have no one who intimidates them, they might be more apt to get more aggressive physically (I’m not talking big cheap shots like that study only looked at, but just general cheapness which can get people off their games), but if they have a large angry man verbally intimidating them, they might not bother.

    Personally, the ‘bullying’ aspect that you mention and the opposite (protecting your team from bullies) is the most powerful aspect of having an enforcer. Whether that is enough of a plus to overcome how bad of a player they generally are though is going to be tough to prove though.

  88. theres oil in virginia says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: re-read what I wrote.

    It isn’t reasonable to expect much development out of a 25 year old with no discernible history of upside, growth, development, etc.

    It isn’t reasonable to expect much development out of a 25 year old forward period. Most are basically fully-formed and you should be making decisions at that point based on what they are now, not on the marginal chance that they defy the odds and suddenly get much better than they’ve ever been.

    I watched the game. Kassian didn’t fight. taunted Gagner and played a middling game of hockey. Gazdic had nothing to do with it..

    I’m not sure what a “history of upside” looks like. I’m also not sure what Gazdic’s devel. history looks like, as I didn’t pay him much mind prior to his arrival in E-town. What I’m suggesting is that if he can clean up some of the rough edges of his game and get closer to a saw-off possession-wise, then he’s an asset, otherwise he’s a liability. I think he can do it, but if he doesn’t, then DTR.

    I’m reasonably sure you’re wrong about that game. Kassian had taunted Gagner in an earlier game (or he was taunting Gazdic, I never was sure). Kassian played skittish in the game I’m referring to, and, as I said, he hasn’t been a threat since – even in the last game of the season, without Gazdic in the lineup. The table has tilted, and Gazdic did it.

  89. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    theres oil in virginia: I’m not sure what a “history of upside” looks like.I’m also not sure what Gazdic’s devel. history looks like, as I didn’t pay him much mind prior to his arrival in E-town.What I’m suggesting is that if he can clean up some of the rough edges of his game and get closer to a saw-off possession-wise, then he’s an asset, otherwise he’s a liability.I think he can do it, but if he doesn’t, then DTR.

    I’m reasonably sure you’re wrong about that game.Kassian had taunted Gagner in an earlier game (or he was taunting Gazdic, I never was sure).Kassian played skittish in the game I’m referring to, and, as I said, he hasn’t been a threat since – even in the last game of the season, without Gazdic in the lineup.The table has tilted, and Gazdic did it.

    History of upside would simply be a player who has shown some semblance of offense anywhere to suggest he’s going to give you more down the road. Or, some semblance of defensive acumen, or strong 2-way, or 5×5 play, or anything related to hockey that can be built upon.

    There’s no sign in Gazdic’s career that he’s on a path to half-way decent hockey player, even at the AHL level.

    This isn’t some mid-round skill pick that has been blossoming slowly. Gazdic literally is what he is.

    He’s going to need extraordinary help to not kill his linemates, or to experience a miraculous conversion. It’s just not reasonable to expect players his age to markedly improve.

    ———
    Kassian was far superior in his final 3rd of the season than his first 2/3. In his final game against the Oil he was over 70% CF and had 2 points. Gazdic is irrelevant.

    http://www.extraskater.com/player/384/zack-kassian/gamelog/2013

  90. mumbai max says:

    LoDog: No such thing or it wouldn’t be a bias. Maybe should have taken something a little more practical than philosophy.

    Mom? Is that you?

  91. russ99 says:

    MacT, please give Gordon two solid two-way wingers and have Eakins change his mind about using a shutdown line. That could be the key to making the playoffs…

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