Explaining the Grabovski-Bozak "Stats" Debate in Shinny Hockey Terms

Blake Murphy
July 06 2013 09:22AM

First thing’s first: Mikhail Grabovski is an absolute gem. Whether or not you think it’s appropriate, you have to laugh at the crazy rant Grabo went on to Jonas Siegel after he was bought out on Thursday. Can’t say I blame him, or that he was wrong on any of those points.

There has been some discussion on Twitter and via articles as to whether Grabovski was a good player, a victim of circumstance and underappreciated or a guy blown up by #fancystats who just couldn't get the job done. It hasn’t been a back and forth so much as people restating their opinion over and over again, with analytically minded people (or people who watch the games at both ends of the ice) thinking this move is asinine and some main stream media people and Bozak fanboys supporting it. There are people in between those poles but those extremes yell the loudest.

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Toronto Sun compares David Clarkson to player that retired at age 33

Cam Charron
July 05 2013 09:28PM

via Twitter

There's something problematic about the Toronto Sun's Wendel Clark comparison of newest Maple Leaf acquisition David Clarkson. While I don't dispute that Clarkson is a good player that's tough, can score goals, and will be a positive player for the Leafs for two seasons, the Leafs had better hope that Clarkson is much more durable than Wendel.

Clark played his last NHL game when he was 33 years old and 191 days. The Leafs signed Clarkson until he is 36 years old and 92 days. Is three years much of a difference? Well, it depends on how Clarkson performs in the latter part of the contract.

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Leafs sign Jonathan Bernier to two-year deal

Cam Charron
July 05 2013 07:55PM

It wasn't a particularly good afternoon for Dave Nonis, but Nonis finished it off during the evening landing about the right price for goaltender Jonathan Bernier, at a manageable term.

When searching for comparable players after the trade was made, I determined that goaltenders in Bernier's situation landed salary cap hits of about $2.7-million. Bernier lands $100k above that. With the two-year term, there isn't a lot of risk on the deal, although still a lot of questions as to why the Leafs decided that they had to spend to upgrade a goaltender that was named almost unanimously the Maple Leafs' MVP this past season by our readers at TLN.

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Leafs Sign Young Defenceman T.J. Brennan

Blake Murphy
July 05 2013 02:40PM



According to the TSN panel and multiple insiders on Twitter, the Toronto Maple Leafs have signed defenceman T.J. Brennan. 

Bobby Mac gives you the financial details there - it's a fine depth signing at nearly a minimum cost, a necessity for the Leafs given that, prior to this move, they had a hair over $14M in cap space left to sign their six remaining restricted free agents and two more players to fill out the 23-man roster.

A friendly $0.6M cap hit for Brennan, who will slot in as the number seven of eight defenceman (or, as Jeffler points out, on the Marlies' top pair). This is a better low-cost signing than the Orr/McLaren types, simply for the reason that Brennan has more upside and potential than the other two.

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David Clarkson is a good hockey player

Cam Charron
July 05 2013 01:45PM

When looking at the David Clarkson deal, I think it's important to take into consideration the contract length more than the salary cap hit or the quality of the player. The objective fact of the matter is that the Leafs paid too many years for a player past his prime and relatively unproven.

If you just looked at Clarkson's season on statistics website Behind the Net, you'll find a player that led the New Jersey Devils in Corsi, doing it with even competition and zone starts. If you look at the previous season, you'll find a player that was slightly above average in Corsi at +2.7 facing even competition and zone starts.

In both seasons, Clarkson's PDO is below 1000 and this is worth pointing out. Clarkson has scored 45 goals in the last two seasons. He is one of 50 players to score at least 40 goals the last two seasons, and he has done so taking 3.19 shots per game (15th of the 50) and hasn't needed a real huge shooting percentage to get it done. At just 11.0%, Clarkson is 44th in shooting percentage.

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