October 19 2011 04:10PM
Every Thursday we're using the Snepsts system to project how many points each of the Flames may score this year. The Snepsts system, explained over at Hockey Prospectus, searches history for players with similar statistics (adjusted for era scoring levels) and uses their future performance as yardsticks for today's.
We've already looked at most of the Flames key forwards and key defensemen, and this week we'll look at some of their secondary defensemen: Cory Sarich, Chris Butler, Scott Hannan and Brett Carson.
Cory Sarich's 17 points were actually his 3rd highest ever, only three back of the career high he set with the Flames back in 2008-09. Unfortunately he's 33 and struggling with serious health issues, and unlikely to continue.
Historical matches: None
VUKOTA: 62 GP, 3 G, 11 A, 14 PTS
SNEPSTS: 70 GP, 4 G, 10 A, 14 PTS
Closest matches: Tim Bothwell, Rick Zombo, Gary Doak
Both the VUKOTA and Snepsts systems agree that Sarich is looking at roughly a 14-point season, much like many veteran depth two-way defensemen of the past. That assumes he can play a full season, otherwise he's more likely to finish with 6 points, like in 2009-10.
Acquired in the off-season in the Regehr/Kotalik salary dump, Chris Butler dropped from 21 points in 59 games in 2009-10 to just 9 points in 49 games last season for the Buffalo Sabres, yielding him just a single close historical match (Ville Siren).
Historical matches: 1
VUKOTA: 53 GP, 3 G, 11 A, 14 PTS
SNEPSTS: 53 GP, 2 G, 9 A, 11 PTS
Closest matches: Ville Siren, Geoff Smith, Tim Watters
Butler's historical matches are predominantly third-line depth options, that together could scratch 11-14 points in 53 games. Don't put him in Regehr's skates because he can't fill them.
A great off-season value acquisition, Scott Hannan was brought in for his ability to shut down opponents, not to score. He's managed just 10-16 points per season over the past three years, down from the 21-24 in the preceding 5. History predicts another tumble.
Historical matches: 4
VUKOTA: 62 GP, 1 G, 9 A, 10 PTS
SNEPSTS: 80 GP, 1 G, 5 A, 6 PTS
Closest matches: Tim Watters, Jay Wells, Jason Smith, Curtis Leschyshyn
Scott Hannan will very likely be a tough defensive blue-liner for the remainder of his years, unlikely to get the opportunity to even hit double-digit scoring.
Barring lots of injuries, Brett Carson is likely to be plying his trade in the same place he has for years – in the AHL. Using league equivalencies to translate his AHL data to NHL data, and adding in his occasional NHL stints, here's what the 26-year-old's career would look like had he been up in the big leagues.
Season GP G A PTS 2006-07 63 1 10 11 2007-08 77 1 13 14 2008-09 74 3 15 18 2009-10 68 3 13 16 2010-11 57 2 8 10
Had he been fortunate enough to play in the NHL, he would have established a consistent track record of 10-18 points a season by now. As such, his projections are to score 7-8 points in a half season, much like someone like Darryl Shannon has in the past.
Historical matches: None
VUKOTA: 43 GP, 2 G, 6 A, 8 PTS
SNEPSTS: 43 GP, 0 G, 7 A, 7 PTS
Closest matches: Darryl Shannon
Derek Smith, Clay Wilson, T.J. Brodie and Brendan Mikkelson
Lance Bouma, Stefan Meyer, Paul Byron, Greg Nemisz
Raitis Ivanans, Guillaume Desbiens and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond.