Flames Comparables: Secondary Defensemen

Robert Vollman
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

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.

Chris Butler

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.

Scott Hannan

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.

Brett Carson

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

Coming Up

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.

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Rob Vollman of www.HockeyAbstract.com is a regular feature writer on ESPN Insider, co-author of Hockey Prospectus 2010-11 and 2011-12, and regular contributor to NHL Numbers, Flames Nation and Arctic Ice Hockey. Innovator of Player Usage Charts, Quality Starts, GVS (Goals Versus Salary), the Snepsts Projection System, and known for work in League Equivalencies (NHLE). Twitter: @robvollmanNHL
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#1 mendicant
October 19 2011, 04:38PM
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I see VUKOTA has Sarich at 3 goals. What you never made clear in the post is whether this is 3 goals into his own net or the opposition's.

:)

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#2 doubledown
October 19 2011, 05:42PM
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mendicant wrote:

I see VUKOTA has Sarich at 3 goals. What you never made clear in the post is whether this is 3 goals into his own net or the opposition's.

:)

Combined

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#3 ChinookArch
October 19 2011, 08:27PM
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Robert it's pretty clear none of the players you featured today are expected to put points up. Obviously, defensive dmen are the guys preventing goals or at least theIr role is to limit the opposition chances at scoring.

That brings me to another thought, I wonder if the reason defensive defense men are less respected and valued is be because their intrinsic value is harder to quantify?

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#5 ChinookArch
October 20 2011, 05:11PM
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@Robert Vollman

Has anyone developed a point prevention stat based on TOI? In other words, who are the least likely defensemen to be scored on while on the ice, and at EV.

I wonder if it could be done for defense pairings, since these are reasonably consistent during each season?

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#7 ChinookArch
October 21 2011, 07:33AM
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I knew it was to easy, and the result are counter-intuitive. Thanks for the explanation.

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