2014-15 By The Numbers: #21 Mason Raymond

I can understand why Brad Treliving wanted to bring in Mason Raymond over the summer. The Flames wanted to augment their roster with some speed and veteran leadership, in case some of their young players didn’t turn out too well.

Unfortunately for Raymond, Josh Jooris really played well (as did Lance Bouma), who both gradually leaped up the depth charts. And Johnny Gaudreau turned out pretty okay, too. Unfortunately for the Flames, Raymond got hurt early in the season and never really was all that effective afterwards. Only late in the season did he start using his speed to create chances, and by that point he was on the fourth line.

When you factor in that he’s making over $3 million per season, I think everyone’s hoping he rebounds in 2015-16.

The following skaters played 100+ even-strength minutes with Raymond:

Player Together Apart Diff.
Colborne 42.6% 42.5% +0.1%
Russell 42.9% 43.0% -0.1%
Brodie 46.5% 45.1% +1.4%
Wideman 41.1% 43.2% -2.1%
Engelland 39.6% 40.7% -1.1%
Jooris 45.1% 47.9% -2.8%
Diaz 45.7% 46.9% -1.2%
Giordano 48.2% 48.3% -0.1%
Backlund 46.7% 45.3% +1.4%
Monahan 44.7% 45.7% -1.0%
Granlund 38.5% 41.9% -3.4%

So…every single regular player is either the same or worse-off with Mason Raymond than apart from him. The only exceptions are T.J. Brodie and Mikael Backlund, both of whom are considered good possession players and have a history of making their teammates better in that respect.

Here’s how Raymond was used by Hartley this season:

forwards

Raymond was middle of the road in terms of quality of competition, but amongst the most sheltered forwards on the club in terms of zone starts. Only Granlund, Hudler and Gaudreau got more frequent O-zone starts, and at least Hudler and Gaudreau were the major catalysts of Calgary’s offense.

Raymond missed 18 games early in the season with a shoulder injury. He returned from the injury and was inconsistent, to the point where he drifted down the line-up and ended up as a healthy scratch seven times (along with three times in the playoffs). When he did play, sometimes he was on the fourth line and sometimes he was juggled around. He just couldn’t find consistency in any way, shape, or form.

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 10.45.44 AM

As you can see from this rolling 5-game chart of his Corsi, Raymond had a very up and down season. A lot of it has to do with his deployment and his teammates. He’s a skilled player who relies on his speed. It worked well in spurts in the playoffs, but he needs to be with good players to perform well, not dragging around Bollig. (Spoiler: when his numbers dipped, he played with Bollig.)

It’s hard to tell where Mason Raymond fits in. He was on the fourth line late in the season and, to be blunt, Calgary has cheaper players in the system that could fit in that role better than Raymond does. And his performance hasn’t been strong enough offensively to really knock any wingers out of the top three lines, even when he was used in those roles in spurts during this season. Unless he can rebound, the arrival of Sam Bennett on the NHL scene as well as Micheal Ferland and others pushing for full-time gigs may push Raymond to the press box even more often next season than this one.

Raymond’s a superb skater. It’s just a shame that, while wearing a Flames jersey, he hasn’t been able to establish himself as a heck of a lot more than that.

2014-15 BY THE NUMBERS

#1 Jonas Hiller #19 David Jones
#3 David Schlemko #21 Mason Raymond
#4 Kris Russell #23 Sean Monahan
#5 Mark Giordano #24 Jiri Hudler
#6 Dennis Wideman #25 Brandon Bollig
#7 T.J. Brodie #29 Deryk Engelland
#8 Joe Colborne #31 Karri Ramo
#11 Mikael Backlund #32 Paul Byron
#13 Johnny Gaudreau #33 Raphael Diaz
#15 Ladislav Smid #60 Markus Granlund
#17 Lance Bouma #79 Micheal Ferland
#18 Matt Stajan #86 Josh Jooris
Everybody Else
  • OKG

    The problem with Raymond, Bollig and Engs is that there are 2 more years on each of their contracts and there are young guys looking to push them aside. Raymond has the best potential of the 3 to turn it around but will he.

    In an earlier blog Kent was comparing the Flames to teams that have turned around their possession stats in a few years(the Blackhawks article) and I commented on the needs on the defensive core. There are needs upfront as well but I think we are closer here than on the back end.
    Upfront Monahan, Johnny, and Bennett while not Toewes and Kane all are moving in the right direction. Backlund can when played with the right guys also tilt the possession wheel as can Bouma. Colborne and Ferland can also do this but they have not proven that they can do it nightly as can Jones when he is healthy. Hudler helps the offence and is usually defensively responsible while Stajan tends to be the other way around. That is 10 forwards who can help move the dial. Jooris, Shore, Granlund, Poirier all may be more effective than Raymond and Bollig.

  • beloch

    Emile Poirier looked good when he played in the NHL this season and should be ready for more ice time next season. Wolf also looked good, aside from not being adequately conditioned. I expect he’ll fix that this summer and be ready to push for a spot too. Finally, Ferland looked like the real deal in the playoffs. I doubt he’ll go back to the AHL quietly!

    The fourth line left-wing spot is going to be a lot harder to hold onto next season. If Raymond doesn’t rebound in a big way he’s going to wind up in the same boat as Setoguchi. Namely, he’ll be buried in the AHL, his NHL contract will expire, and he won’t have much chance of getting another one. Hopefully he will rebound enough to be worth something at next season’s trade deadline.

    • Howie Meeker

      I think Wolf would be highly suited to one role: Playing the rel-life Rainier Wolfcastle in the upcoming live-action “The Simpsons” movie. As for becoming fit, fast, or skilled enough for the NHL, well I hope so.

    • OKG

      I loved how that Bouma-Backlund-Poirier line looked when we got it out for about two shifts in that one game. Hope Poirier can make the strides needed to win over Hartley ASAP.

  • RKD

    The thing with Raymond is that he doesn’t excel in any particular one thing. I know he missed a chunk of time due to injury but his compete level is on and off. Some games he’s into the game, other times he looks lost or just going through the motions. He’s been a healthy scratch at times. If he can play more consistently and get his compete level up than he can be that effective offensive player. He’s got to work much harder and smarter to keep his job.

  • Howie Meeker

    Next year he will have to prove he belongs and can make a difference due to the younger kids who will be ready to take his spot. Mason has the skill and talent to turn the table on a rather lack luster year 1 with our flames if he is healthy.