UFA Profiles: Tom Kostopolous

The Greek

Image from Wikimedia Commons, taken by Resolute


Is there a more quintessential fourth liner than Tom Kostopoulos?

Tim Jackman is something of a fan favorite, Matt Stajan earns far more than a fourth liner should, but Kostopoulos is forgettable, average, yet not a team liability.

In fact, the only interesting things I can think of about Kostopoulos are that his name is Greek, he has zero understanding of what’s suspendable in the NHL, and his Wikipedia page has a creepy amount of irrelevant personal information.

It’s fascinating, then, that such a non-presence of a player’s presence as a Flame is an indirect result of the Phaneuf trade- one of the most interesting things to happen in Calgary in the last five years. Carolina traded the winger to Calgary alongside Anton Babchuk for Ian White and Brett Sutter. I’m not sure either team came out ahead in that trade.

The Numbers 

Season Team GP G A P
2005-2006 Kings 76 8 14 22
2006-2007 Kings 76 7 15 22
2007-2008 Canadiens 67 7 6 13
2008-2009 Canadiens 78 8 14 22
2009-2010 Hurricanes 82 8 13 21
2010-2011 Hurricanes 17 1 3 4
2010-2011 Flames 59 7 7 14
2011-2012 Flames 81 4 8 12


There’s not really much of note here. If I went back one more season, you’d see he’s actually scored 22 points four times in his career, but that’s more of “mildy amusing” than anything of real interest.  As I mentioned, he’s a 4th liner through and through.

The Math

GP Corsi Rel QoC QualComp Rank Corsi Relative Corsi On On-Ice Sh% On-Ice Sv% PDO Off Zone Start % Off Zone Finish %
81 -1.173 19/24 2 -4.61 5.36 916 969 44.6 50.2

Here things are a bit more telling. His Corsi numbers are middling – nothing wonderful or terrible there, but he had the third lowest PDO on the team (ahead of only Jackman and Backlund) at 969, meaning he ran into some awful luck. He also played against other 4th liners almost exclusively – only Tim Jackman had an easier quality of competition number amongst regular forwards last year.

Kostopoulos also has a surprisingly high Ozone Start to Ozone Finish ratio (also called “zone shift”). Given the Corsi numbers, I expected to see something closer to 44.6->46.8, rather than the 5.6 positive differential we see here, although this is a measure that tends to trend towards average for most guys regardless.

There’s no revelatory information in the fancy stats, but it’s a nice look under the hood.

As a UFA

The Flames don’t really have a need or place for Kostopoulos next season, particularly at 33-years old.

It wouldn’t terribly shock me if he was resigned, but it seems unlikely.  If anything, he’ll probably be offered a sub $1M contract by a team looking to add bodies – somewhere in the $800k-$900k range. Hopefully Feaster will realize he can fill the fourth line spot with someone from Abbotsford who could bring as much as Kostopoulos as well as gain quality experience from the NHL minutes.

  • MC Hockey

    “Hopefully Feaster will realize he can fill the fourth line spot with someone from Abbotsford who could bring as much as Kostopoulos as well as gain quality experience from the NHL minutes.”

    Lance Bouma. Another mystery solved.

  • MC Hockey

    Not only should we replace him with Bouma, but as “Tom Non-Stopolous” was once the Grand Marshal of the Hellenic Community of Montreal’s Greek Independence Day parade, he could very easily jump ship and join the OHL (Ottoman Hockey League) in the heart of his forefather’s conquering empire in neighboring Turkey.

  • everton fc

    I liked Kosto. He played hard every night. And even though he’s no Derek Dorsett, he’d drop those gloves against anyone his size, and a few bigger. He was also good on the PK. If Bouma can duplicate what Kosto brought to the rink every evening, we have a good 4th line mucker.

    At 33 – yes, he’s though here. But if he were 27, Bouma might have a problem making this team next season.

    All the best to Kosto. You served well here.

  • Kosto’s hit on Brad Stuart was amazing. Not in an “awesome, you broke his jaw, stuart had it coming” way, but in a “holy hell, why did you just do that you idiot?” way. Then there were people defending him when he got suspended.

    Other than that blindingly obvious point of deficiency for Kosto, he fulfilled the role he was brought in to play for the Flames. Now it’s time to let him move on and have one of the kids / Jackman take up the slack.

  • RKD

    No offence to Tom, but I don’t think he should be back.

    He was -15, his point totals have been declining.
    I would rather Lance Bouma or a Greg Neimsz on the fourth line.

  • MC Hockey

    Agree with all comments above but not sure his Wikepedia page is that bad, it did not say he likes to troll on goth websites In his free time and dig for clams on a freshwater beach is anything…

  • I like Tom Kostopoulos as a player. Due to injuries, Brent Sutter used Kostopoulos in all kinds of different positions and situations last season.

    In a word, he was “fine” at them, but “fine” usually doesn’t get you re-signed. Especially as a 30+ year-old guy on a team that has a younger/cheaper guy (Lance Bouma) waiting in the wings for your job.

    He’ll find a home fairly quickly as a UFA, though.