UFA Options: Atlanta Thrashers


UFA Options is a continuing series that gives a brief run-down of the unrestricted free agent market this summer, team-by-team. Our next team for consideration is the Atlanta Thrashers.

Ignoring a trio of minor-league journeymen, the Atlanta Thrashers have two unrestricted free agents that should be of interest to NHL teams: Marty Reasoner and Eric Perrin.


  • Age is calculated based on how old the player will be during the 2009-10 season.
  • QualComp/QualTeam are the Quality of Competition/Teammates rankings from Behind the Net; the number appearing is each player’s ranking by position (forward/defense) on his own team.
  • Def/Off Faceoffs is a comparison of the total number of shifts starting in the defensive and offensive zones, courtesy of Vic Ferrari’s Time On Ice. A positive number indicates starting more in the defensive zone, a negative number the opposite.
  • All advanced statistics are courtesy of Behind the Net.

Marty Reasoner

Vital Stats: 33 years old, 6’1”, 205lbs
2008-09 Cap Hit: 1,000,000 US$
2008-09 Basic Stats: 79GP – 14G – 16A – 30PTS, +11
2008-09 Contextual: 5th QualComp, 7th QualTeam, +94 Def/Off Faceoffs
2008-09 Advanced Stats: -5.9 Corsi/60, 1.52 EVPTS/60, 2.17 GFON/60, 1.84 GAON/60

Marty Reasoner’s season has been something of an eye-opener. In 2007-08 he was one of a trio of forwards (Jarret Stoll and Raffi Torres being the others) who were tossed out against first-rate opposition with very little support, and were consistently sent out for defensive zone faceoffs while very rarely seeing time in the offensive zone. Oilers fans were often overly critical of Reasoner, percieving him as a coach’s favourite; often failing to recognize that MacTavish was playing him a lot but in the worst possible situations. When the defensive forward was not re-signed this summer, many were pleased.

Reasoner went on to have an incredible season in Atlanta, and was one of only three regulars to finish above the even mark in plus/minus. He is an elite penalty-killer with a solid reputation as a character guy, and he’s also one of the better faceoff men in the league (52.8% this past season). Edmonton missed him this past season and there are any number of teams who could use him as a depth player and to shore up their penalty-kill.  Don Waddell stated that he did not trade Reasoner at the deadline because he hoped to re-sign him in the summer.

Eric Perrin

Vital Stats: 34 years old, 5’9”, 180lbs
2008-09 Cap Hit: 750,000 US$
2008-09 Basic Stats: 78GP – 7G – 16A – 23PTS, -2
2008-09 Contextual: 9th QualComp, 5th QualTeam, +50 Def/Off Faceoffs
2008-09 Advanced Stats: -6.5 Corsi/60, 1.23 EVPTS/60, 2.08 GFON/60, 2.69 GAON/60

Eric Perrin’s scoring disappeared this past season; in the two seasons previous he’d managed 12 and 13 goals and 45 and 36 points. His shooting percentage, which usually hovered just below the 10% mark, dropped to 6.4%, but he also took fewer shots (from 151 and 121 down to 109 this past season). He doesn’t play particularly difficult minutes and he doesn’t add size, so he may be hard-pressed to find another NHL job this season. Some team may roll the dice on him given his undoubtedly low contract demands, but it probably won’t be a particularly good team.

  • ugh. The Oilers need an identity as a whole and each individual line needs one as well. If Reasoner can help define the 3rd line's role then it's a step in the right direction. Try to trade for a guy who can do it better than Reasoner, if not, get him for fairly cheap and start filling the next hole. No more spending 2+ Million on the bottom 6 though.
    Who knows, maybe after the draft day (with trades and such) our 3rd line Centre will be Horcoff. I can always dream.

  • @ Mark:

    But can the Oilers find one who can hold his own against, say, Ryan Getzlaf? There's one or two out there, but that kind of player doesn't exactly grow on trees.

    Reasoner's one of the best positional players in the game; that's not something that a lot of people appreciate because he isn't throwing big hits, but we sure noticed his absence on the penalty kill this year, didn't we?

  • I can say that I wasn't really a Reasoner fan when he was with the Oil, he never hits, avoids traffic, stays away from the boards, and really just seems to float around. I'm hoping we can find a harder working more aggressive player than Reasoner that can win draws to play 3rd line center.