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TSN’s Yost looks at the positive or negative impacts of the ‘$6 million AAV club’

TSN's Travis Yost examines the "$6 million AAV club" of defensemen's respective impacts upon their employers, and he comes to the following conclusion(s):

1. It’s difficult to really find a beef with Erik Karlsson winning last season’s Norris Trophy. His team was significantly better by all three metrics with him on the ice (each comfortably clearing our above-referenced averages for the $6-million AAV Club). What’s interesting, though, is just how similar two defencemen – Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang, and Florida’s Brian Campbell – look here. Letang was having an absolutely monstrous season for the Penguins and had the raw point totals that voters love before his season was cut short due to injury. Say what you will about his sometimes-wild, sometimes over-tempo style of play – it clearly has a beneficial impact on Pittsburgh, much like Karlsson has for Ottawa. As for Brian Campbell, I recall a time when the general consensus about his contract was “it’s a disaster, and he’s borderline untradeable”. He’s been a machine for a few years now, though it's fair to wonder if his age – he turned 36 last May – is going to start having a depreciable impact.

2. Zdeno Chara’s one of the three or four guys that really brought new age statistical analysis into the mainstream (also famously in this group: teammate Patrice Bergeron). Their punishing, relentless style of play has always been observable to the eye, but the underlying numbers – like scoring chances and Corsi measurements – really emphasized the kind of control exerted on the game. But last year, albeit a semi-injury-riddled one, was a slip from his usual dominance. Boston only scored 48% of goals with him on the ice (they actually broke-even with him off of the ice), a very un-Chara-like development. For my money he’s still one of the league’s better first-pairing guys, but it's possible he’s been officially eclipsed by guys like the aforementioned Karlsson and P.K. Subban.

3. Mike Green’s goal percentages don’t seem to jive with his scoring chance and possession percentages, but he was still a positive contributor across the board in his final year with Washington. And while he is still part of the $6-million AAV club, it’s important to note that Detroit hedged the risk on his contract by getting him on just a three-year deal. For a guy who led this entire group in per-60 scoring (by both goals and points), that’s a very rational bet.

4. Lastly, If there’s single player who stands out here, it’s Alex Pietrangelo. I’m more than willing to entertain the argument that last year was a total one-off or aberration, but it doesn’t absolve him of the 2014-2015 performance.

Yost continues...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+pietrangelo, brian+campbell, erik+karlsson, kris+letang, mike+green, pk+subban, pk+subban, statistics, zdeno+chara


nEgativezEro's avatar

Given the way the salary cap fluctuates every year, I think “Percentage of Cap Hit When Signed” is a much better method of comparison for this kind of list.

Mike Green’s 6 million today is much different than Chara’s 6.9 million from 2011, or Brian Campbell’s from 7.1 from 2008.

Looking at it in a vacuum, yes the comment makes sense today. But as a percentage:

Mike Green makes 8.4% of the Wings cap hit at the beginning of his contract.
Zdeno Chara made 10.7% against the cap at the beginning of his contract.
Brian Campbell made 12.5% against the cap at the beginning of his contract.

The Campbell contract WAS a disaster, and he was only tradeable because Dale Tallon needed to reach the cap floor and loved taking on former Hawks. His cap number NOW doesn’t look too bad, with the salary cap up $15 million from when he signed.

Adjusted for today, based on the percentage when they signed:

Mike Green: $6 million
Zdeno Chara: $7.63 million
Brian Campbell: 8.925 million

Mike Green’s value is fairly accurate. An “in-his-prime” Chara would easily command that AAV if signed today. Brian Campbell would never be worth nearly 9 million, even after a career year.

Posted by nEgativezEro on 08/13/15 at 12:30 PM ET

DocF's avatar

This column does make a bit of sense, doesn’t it?  I do have a major complaint though.  He uses the word jive when he actually means jibe (English spelling gybe).  The literal meaning is to change the course of a sailboat when the wind is coming from behind the beam.  Since this is a very dangerous maneuver, all of the crew must jibe together, which explains its use in this case.

Grumpy English major here.

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 08/13/15 at 12:49 PM ET


Stop being such a jibe turkey, Doc.

Posted by Garth on 08/13/15 at 02:57 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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