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before and this year
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We all have some opinions on the players that come up in daily trade rumours as the NHL trade deadline approaches. Connor McDavid Jersey . This player is a sniper, that ones over-the-hill; this one can still dominate the game, that one is riding the coattails of superior linemates. Then, the deals will start coming and well have to see how those players fit in their new locations. Before the trade flurry beings, though, what do some of the advanced stats say about the players considered in play leading up to the NHL trade deadline? For some, there will be no surprises -- they are who we thought they were! -- but, for others, maybe there are some reasons to have second thoughts. After some digging on http://www.behindthenet.ca, http://www.extraskater.com and stats.hockeyanalysis.com, heres a fancy stats look at some of the more notable trade candidates: Thomas Vanek, LW, N.Y. Islanders - There arent any grand surprises in Vaneks profile. Hes a top-line scoring winger, so he tends to face high quality competition (ie. other teams best defencemen), but those matchups have tended to get the better of Vanek in terms of possession stats, leaving him with a negative relative Corsi even though the ice should be tilted in his favour due to starting 59.7% of his shifts in the offensive zone. Of course, the line of Vanek, John Tavares and Kyle Okposo is skilled enough that they can be sub-50% in possession terms and still score more goals and, in Vaneks case, hes on for 40 goals for and 26 against during 5-on-5 play this season. Ryan Callahan, RW, N.Y. Rangers - While the Rangers captain has seen his ice-time reduced under new head coach Alain Vigneault, he still has okay possession stats while facing quality opposition. What is somewhat surprising about Callahan is that hes starting a disproportionate percentage (61.3%) of his shifts in the offensive zone. Considering his reduced power play role, those offensive zone starts are likely due to his spot on Brad Richards wing. Andrew MacDonald, D, N.Y. Islanders - For years, MacDonald has been a favourite on the underrated, or at least underpaid, lists because hes playing big minutes while making $550,000 per season. Now that hes approaching unrestricted free agency, and his stats come under more scrutiny, its clear that MacDonald is getting destroyed in puck possession terms and when one compares his with-or-without-you stats, its plain to see that MacDonald is being asked to do too much for the Islanders. The hope for an acquiring team would be that MacDonald could fit maybe as a No. 4 or No. 5 on a contender and, of course, his contract would be easy to accomodate for teams that are close to the cap. Steve Ott, C, Buffalo - Playing for the Sabres has forced Ott to play more than he should, because Buffalo doesnt have enough quality options, so he gets chewed up in terms of puck possession, but its not out of the realm of possibility that, in a third-line role on a contender, Ott would have a better chance to succeed. Marian Gaborik, RW, Columbus - Theres not much of a sample to work with, considering Gaborik has been injured for much of the season, but in the 18 games that he has played, Gaborik hasnt been particularly effective though he has started an abnormal percentage (47.9%) of his shifts in the defensive zone after three straight seasons with more than 60% offensive zone starts. To be fair, any team that is trying to acquire Gaborik (or any player, really) is going to be looking at more than what hes done this season, so subpar possesion numbers this year cant be considered the whole picture of his contribution. Like Vanek, for instance, Gaborik tends to have a higher on-ice shooting percentage than most, so his goal results tend to be better than the shot data indicates. Sam Gagner, C, Edmonton - This has been a season to forget for Gagner, starting with the broken jaw he suffered in the preseason, thanks to Zack Kassian. Gagner has generally been getting thumped when it comes to puck possession and, while he has plenty of work to do in his own right in the defensive zone, Gagner has been relatively unlucky, compared to previous years, in terms of on-ice save percentage (.891). If a team thinks that they can get quality production out of Gagner for the years ahead, his production this year ought to at least lower the asking price. Matt Moulson, LW, Buffalo - In what was completely expected when his first trade occurred early in the season, Moulson is heading towards his second deal of the year. Its tough sledding in Buffalo so Moulston has been getting beaten up in raw possession stats, yet still positive in relative terms, though being better than the average Sabres skater this season is a decidedly low bar. On a better team, with better linemates and more offensive zone starts, there is still a decent opportunity for Moulson to be a finisher on a contenders scoring line. Mike Cammalleri, LW, Calgary - Injuries have been a standard part of Cammalleris resume, so thats part of the package, but when he has played this year, he has played tough minutes and been relatively effective. Hes undermined by a horrible on-ice save percentage (.867), but the underlying possession stats are pretty favourable for Cammalleri. In a better environment, with better linemates, he should be a productive addition. Ryan Miller, G, Buffalo - While goaltending has its share of mysteries, given our current measurement, its pretty easy to see that Miller has been enjoying a strong season, with a .923 save percentage that is the second-best of his career but, looking over a longer time period, there are some trends to note. Over the past five seasons, his 5-on-5 save percentage is .927, which is good, ranking 11th among goaltenders with at least 2000 5-on-5 minutes played in that span. Where Miller has distinguished himself, somewhat, is in terms of shorthanded play, posting an .897 save percentage in 4-on-5 situations, which is second-best among goalies with at least 500 4-on-5 minutes played. No matter where Miller goes, it will be a better situation in terms of his opportunity to win and, really, his opportunity to be rewarded for strong individual play. David Legwand, C, Nashville - It comes as no secret, after nearly 1000 games, that Legwand plays against tough opponents and, generally, holds his own in the possession game. Like others in Nashville, hes been a victim of a relatively low on-ice save percentage, but that doesnt diminish the fact that Legwand can easily slide into a second or third-line centre role for many teams. Jaromir Jagr, RW, New Jersey - Sure, the ice is tilted in an offensive direction for Jagr, who naturally starts more of his shifts in the offensive zone, but he remains a dominant puck possession player, as he has been forever. He says he wants to stay in New Jersey, but Jagr has been an NHL nomad, playing in Philadelphia, Dallas, Boston and New Jersey since returning from his stint in the KHL. Marek Zidlicky, D, New Jersey - While his name isnt being liberally thrown out like some others, Zidlicky is an aging pending unrestricted free agent who can man the point on the power play. Trouble is, he hasnt been very effective as a possession player even while starting 58.2% of his shifts in the offensive zone. Hes pretty much a specialist, who has 12 of his 29 points on the power play. Tom Gilbert, D, Florida - After he was bought out of his contract by the Minnesota Wild, Gilbert was an inexpensive pick-up for the Panthers, signing a one-year, $900,000 deal. Turns out to have been a bargain as Gilbert is having a very strong season playing alongside Brian Campbell. Naturally, some of his success is due to playing with Campbell, but Gilbert has handled tough minutes and, thoughout his career, has consistently been a solid performer though, admittedly, on mostly bad teams. On a thin defence market, he could help, though the Panthers might want to see about keeping him around a bit longer. Ales Hemsky, RW, Edmonton - Hemskys offensive production is a far cry from his point-per-game days, yet hes delivering solid possession numbers while facing high-quality opposition and starting 43.2% of his shifts in the offensive zone. On a good team, in an offensive role, its easy enough to see that performance translating into Hemsky making a more significant scoring contribution. Nick Schultz, D, Edmonton - The totality of Nick Schultzs NHL existence has involved him playing tough defensive matchups, with lots of defensive zone starts. At his best, he played that shutdown role. Where Schultz is now, however, is getting crushed in terms of puck possession and while he still starts more in the D-zone (he plays for the Oilers, remember), its not nearly enough to justify the shooting tilt when hes on the ice. Some team will hope that Schultz will fit in a defensive role with more structure than surrounds him in Edmonton, but there is definitely risk involved in that projection when the trend has been going downhill for some time. Brad Boyes, RW, Florida - Another of the Panthers bargain free agents from the offseason, Boyes has still managed to put up decent possession numbers. Not outstanding, but good enough to think that he could offer a bit of an offensive boost for a team seeking a top-nine forward. Ray Whitney, LW, Dallas - Though hes 41-years-old, Whitney is coming off a 2013 season in which he tallied 29 points in 32 games, so he was expected to fill an offensive role for the Stars this year. It hasnt really happened for him as hes played a reduced role and is among the glut of indistinguishable supporting forwards in Dallas. Whitneys puck possession numbers have dipped dramatically from the past couple seasons, but hes also been a little unlucky at the offensive end (with a 7.34% on-ice shooting percentage). A team that chooses to acquire Whitney, would do so on the basis that he could add some juice to the power play, a pretty standard expectation for a player who has 409 career points with the man advantage. Tuomo Ruutu, LW, Carolina - After an injury-marred 2013 season, Ruutu has stayed relatively healthy this year, but has some bad numbers to show for it. He has mediocre possession stats, despite starting 63.6% of his shifts in the offensive zone (the first question: why?!?!), but Ruutu has also been seriously unlucky in terms of percentages at both ends of the rink. Its one thing to pick up Ruutu, expecting the percentages to fall in line with career norms, but his performance to this point likely makes for a very low asking price in trade talks. Chris Stewart, RW, St. Louis - The Blues leading scorer last season, Stewart is averaging under 15 minutes per game for the first time since his rookie season and that decreased ice time is justified. Hes getting destroyed in terms of puck possession while not facing tough competition and starting 60.1% of his shifts in offensive zone, failing despite many situational advantages in his favour. Stewart is a big-bodied forward who can score, which might attract some interest, but his underlying numbers -- if anyones looking at them -- dont help the sales pitch. Lee Stempniak, RW, Calgary - A generally unheralded veteran winger, Stempniak has to take on tough minutes for the Flames, facing quality competition and starting more shifts in the defensive zone. Even so, Stempniaks relative possession numbers are strong, which is a reflection of his teams struggles, but hes also been relatively unlucky offensively, with a 6.33 on-ice shooting percentage, the lowest rate of his career. These are the kind of numbers that might suggest Stempniak is due for some bounces if he fits into a top-nine role with a contending team. Ryan Kesler, C, Vancouver - A late addition to the list of players under consideration for trade, Kesler (who may have a broken hand/finger at the moment) has been healthy this year. He still faces the toughest opposition and still wins possession battles, but not nearly like he did during his peak years from 2009 through 2012. In any case, teams that are looking for a two-way centre that can handle tough matchups defensively and score will naturally be drawn to Kesler and will likely have to pay a hefty price to pry him out of Vancouver. Martin St. Louis, RW, Tampa Bay - There was apparently some behind-the-scenes drama when St. Louis was left off the initial roster for the Canadian Olympic team. If the Lightning are inclined to acquiesce to that wish, teams will be looking at a forward who has never been great in terms of possession. Hes been okay, factoring in more offensive zone starts, but St. Louis has consistently had a high on-ice shooting percentage and has maintained it this year, even with Steven Stamkos out since November 11. The gist of it is that St. Louis will still be productive offensively, so long as hes left in that role, though its fair to wonder whether his best interests will be served by playing with someone other than Stamkos (who is targeting a March 6 return to the lineup). Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. Boyd Gordon Jersey . The Eastern Conference-leading Celtics finished their recent trek at 3-1 on Monday in Salt Lake City when Rajon Rondo made a key jumper with 24.1 seconds remaining, as Boston held off the Utah Jazz, 107-102, at EnergySolutions Arena. Leon Draisaitl Jersey .Johnny there, who knew he had that speed? teammate Tommy Wingels said.Scott and Matt Irwin were unlikely goal-scorers Tuesday night as the previously stingy San Jose Sharks finally sprung a leak or two, blowing a pair of three-goal leads before coming away with a 6-5 shootout victory over the Washington Capitals. http://www.hockeyoilersshop.com/benoit-pouliot-jersey/ .ca presents a week long look at some of the teams and stories that will shape the up coming campaign.MONTREAL - There were no flashy new signings on the field as the Montreal Impact opened camp Monday. But there was a new head coach in Frank Klopas, the former Chicago Fire boss who hopes to take the Impact further this season with mostly the same personnel. "I know the team from playing against them," said Klopas, who was hired Dec. 18 to replace Marco Schallibaum. "I knew I was coming to a team with a good foundation to build on." Missing from his first 90-minute workout on the indoor pitch at Marie Victorin College were Italian defender Alessandro Nesta, who has retired, and former captain Davy Arnaud, now with D.C. United. Midfielder Andres Romero was also absent, but only temporarily due to a visa problem. Reserve midfielder Andrea Pisanu was let go. What was really missing was the presence of any new talent to make up for the loss of two key veterans and to raise hopes the club may go farther than in 2013 when they squeaked into the playoffs in only their second Major League Soccer season. It was main rival, Toronto FC, that stole the off-season spotlight with big money signings — Tottenham forward Jermain Defoe and U.S. international midfielder Michael Bradley. In Montreal, management was quiet, although they hope to bring in two or three new faces before the season opens in March. "Great for Toronto and great for the league," said Impact midfielder Patrice Bernier. "They were talking about the league in a lot of places. "Its their eighth season so I guess for their ticket holders, they had to bring something. But now theres added-on pressure because theyre going to have eyes like L.A. and New York on them for pretty much the whole season. "But I concentrate on our team. Weve got pretty much the same team and I think the organization will be looking at bringing in that extra two or three players that can bring us across the edge so we have more depth and are strong all year long." For now, the Impact has only 22 roster players and one of them, Spanish defender Adrian Lopez, wont be ready until April after knee surgery. Returning starters include goalkeeper Troy Perkins, central defenders Matteo Ferrari and Nelson Rivas, fullbacks Jeb Brovsky and Hassoun Camara, midfielders Bernier, Hernan Bernardello, Justin Mapp, and Felipe Martins and striker Marco Di Vaio, a 20-goal scorer. Veteran goalie Evan Bush, midfielders Sanna Nyassi, Collen Warner and Blake Smith and forward Andrew Wenger are also back. Klopas said hell likely wait until after the first phase of camp to name a captain but is leaning toward assistants Bernier and Di Vaio. The 34-year-old Bernier, of Brossard, Que., would welcome wearing the armband. "It would be a logical next step, having been the assistant behindd Davy," he said. Ryan Smyth Jersey. "It would be great, coming from here, to have the captaincy and hopefully hold it for the rest of my career. "That would be a great ending." Its Berniers third season with the Impact and hes on his third head coach after Jesse Marsch led the way in the teams 2012 MLS expansion season before Schallibaum arrived last year. Camara goes one farther as he has been with the Impact five years, since before they were in MLS, and has had five different coaches. "Its part of the game," said Bernier, who spent most of his career in Europe. "This is may be my 15th coach in 13 years. Its something that happens. "The office realizes we needed someone to bring us to another level. The decisions been made and Im looking at 2014. I thank Marco for 2013. We had a good year." The Impact was the talk of MLS through the first half of 2013, and not just because Schallibaum got suspended four times for sideline tantrums. They were first in the league at mid-season and had won the Amway Canadian championship, although they crashed out in the first round of CONCACAF Champions League play. They faltered down the stretch and just made it into the fifth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot. They were dominated 3-0 by Houston in their only post-season game, which saw Di Vaio and Romero ejected for initiating a skirmish. Both will be suspended for the first three games of this season. Bernier liked what he saw of Klopas when he coached Chicago, particularly his ability to make in-game adjustments when his team was behind. The 47-year-old Klopas hopes to get Montreal to play sounder team defence and figures the Impact has enough up front to provide goals. Hes already had dinner and a chat with Di Vaio, who will turn 38 on July 15. "I hope to do well like I did last year," said Di Vaio. "I want to score goals. I dont know how many, but to score goals to help the team. "Last year we did better than the year before and this year we have to try to be better. Last year we did well up to the last 10 matches, so we have to find a way to keep it going and do well through the entire season." One newcomer was former OFI Crete defender Nikos Kounenakis, who has not officially signed as an assistant coach but is likely to do so soon. Klopas wants him to handle the defence. "Nick played at a high level, he has a UEFA Pro license, hes played in the back line and I think he can complement the coaches we have," said Klopas, also a former Greek league player. Also in camp are four players taken in the MLS SuperDraft, including first pick Eric Miller and forward and Edmonton native Jordan Ongaro. Three players from the Impacts under-23 squad were also invited. 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