David Schlemko had a wacky year.
Originally beginning the campaign with the re-christened Arizona Coyotes, he was eventually claimed off waivers by the Dallas Stars in January, then claimed off waivers by the Calgary Flames in March.
Despite being deployed primarily in a depth role in his short tenure as a Flame, the pending unrestricted free agent turned out to be pretty darn useful.
Between the regular and post-season, Schlemko played 30 games wearing the Flaming C. In terms of his possession numbers, even when you consider that he didn’t play a heck of a lot, or a heck of a lot versus strong competition, Schlemko performed rather well in terms of his numbers. His 53.4% Corsi For was among the best on the team, even factoring in his role and opposition.
In terms of counting stats, he had 0 points (and a plus-6 rating) in 19 regular season games and an assist (and plus-1) in 11 playoff games.
I usually restrict WOWY comparisons to 100 even-strength minutes, but if you expand it a bit, you can get a good idea of how effective Schlemko actually was.
I used 60 minutes as the cut-off to get a decent sample together. (Regular season data only available for this, so no playoffs included here.)
So, in closing, the five players that play with Schlemko the most are all significantly better with him than without him. Granted, again: (1) sample size and (b) he was primarily playing on the third pairing against lesser lights. But that’s a good start.
For some context:
He faced about the same level of opposition as Diaz, over a smaller sample, and did a fair bit better than him. At worse, Schlemko could be a perfectly acceptable substitute for Ladislav Smid, if one is needed.
In closing, Schlemko came in off waivers – for the cost of a waiver fee – and really helped out the Flames when they needed a body that wasn’t Corey Potter to jump in and play. He was steady and occasionally quite good in a depth role. His performance has probably earned him a contract somewhere. My gut says the team gives him strong consideration for a depth role for next season.