by PuckStopsHere on 08/10/12 at 01:25 AM ET
Yesterday I listed the worst 20 players in 2011/12 by team and zone adjusted Corsi ratings. The worst player on the list is Cory Emmerton of the Detroit Red Wings. Emmerton was a rookie with the team who failed to adjust to a regular NHL role. He scored six goals and ten points in his 71 games played. This made him the lowest scoring regular on the Red Wings. Emmerton was given limited ice time playing slightly over eight minutes a game against limited competition and with limited defensive responsibility. Emmerton provided little to the Red Wings. He didn’t score. He didn’t do much to keep his opponents from scoring. He was basically a waste of a roster spot. It is very possible that he won’t get an NHL roster spot next season.
Emmerton was seen as a prospect despite spending three years playing at the AHL level and scoring a maximum of 38 points in an AHL season. He would have to clear waivers to be sent to the minors last season and hence he was kept in the NHL. It didn’t help his development to fail playing a limited role. At age 24 it looks like he isn’t going to be much of an NHL player at all.
There is no reason to believe that Emmerton was the worst player in the league last season despite his league worst adjusted Corsi. There is certainly more to hockey than puck possession (though it is an important part of the game). There isn’t much to suggest Emmerton excelled in any of the other facets of the game but he likely wasn’t the league worst in them either. It is probable that the team adjustment in this process hurts Emmerton more than it should because he plays on a strong team and he rarely plays with its better players. He is compared to those better players and he fails in comparison. There may be a player on a weaker team who is not compared to as strong a group of players who is actually a worse puck possession player. There may be a player who plays with better linemates who isn’t singled out as well as Emmerton who usually played fourth line role. Nevertheless it is clear that Cory Emmerton added very little to his team last year. Detroit would likely have been better off with another player filling his role. Likely next season Emmerton will lose his regular NHL job.
Team and zone adjusted Corsi ratings are a valuable tool to rank players puck possession ability in a largely team independent manner. Cory Emmerton of the Detroit Red Wings is the worst in the league by that metric. He clearly had a poor season. I see little to suggest he has the ability to have a successful NHL career.
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