2011-12 Most Overpaid Defensemen

This year’s list of most overpaid defensement based on the True Value they provided to their teams had two things in common. All had injuries during the season which kept them out of a significant number of games. Also, on top of not playing many games, they also did not perform at a level commiserate with their contract, so that even if their stats were extrapolated to a full season they would still have grossly underperformed relative to their cap hit. A third coincindence is that all three were named Michael.

Team GP Goals Assists Points TOI True Value ($M) Cap Hit ($M) Difference ($M)
1. Mike Green WSH 32 3 4 7 21.03 1.11 5.11 -3.99
2. Mike Komisarek TOR 45 1 4 5 16.65 1.10 4.50 -3.40
3. Michal Rozsival PHX 54 1 12 13 19.32 1.83 5.00 -3.17

Chris Pronger and Andrei Markov are not on this list since both players played less than 15 games in 2011-12, otherwise they would be nat or near the top of this list.

2011-12 Most Valuable Defensemen

Well, the top three most valuable defensement are not really that difficult to explain other than Shea Webber not appearing on the list.

Team GP Goals Assists Points TOI True Value ($M) Cap Hit ($M) Difference ($M)
1. Erik Karlsson OTT 81 19 59 78 25.32 6.24 1.30 4.94
2. Brian Campbell FLA 82 4 49 53 26.88 5.16 7.14 -1.98
3. Zdeno Chara BOS 79 12 40 52 25.00 4.85 6.92 -2.07

Once again it is important to keep in mind a couple of things, this analysis looks at who added the most value over 82 games, not the ‘best’ player.  Shea Webber was just marginally left out of the top 3, but it is likely if he played the 82 games instead of 79 he would be on this list.  Net-net, given the profilic offensive performance of Erik Karlsson, it would be a surprise if he didn’t win the Norris trophy this year.

2011-12 Top 3 Underpaid Defensemen

Here is the list of most underpaid defensemen fromt he 2011-12 season.  There is no surprise that Erik Karlsson is at the top of the list given his Norris Trophy nomination.  What is consistant among all three of them is that they are still on their entry-level contracts and are playing at a very high level with less than three years of NHL experience.

Team Goals Assists Points TOI Cap Hit ($M) True Value ($M) Amt Underpaid   ($M)
1. Erik Karlsson OTT 19 59 78 25.32 1.30 6.24 4.94
2. P.K. Subban MTL 7 29 36 24.30 0.88 4.04 3.16
3. Ryan McDonagh NYR 7 25 32 24.73 0.85 3.90 3.05

Both Karlson and Subban and RFAs this summer, so both should expect big increases in their pay and will certainly not be on this list next year. Unfrotunately,  McDonagh still has one more year on his entry level contract, so his pay day won’t come until next year. The Montreal Canadiens don’t need another reminder that they gave up McDonagh in the Gomez deal, but this is yet another piece of data reinforcing how one-sided that trade was.

Shaone Morrisonn – Should be playing in the NHL

Shaone Morrisonn was signed to a two-year contract with the Buffalo Sabres for the 2011-12 season after spending several years with the Washington Capitals.  Unfortunately, Morrisonn spent the 2011-12 season playing for the Buffalo Sabres AHL affiliate Rochester Americans.  At the end of training camp the Sabres put Morrisonn on waivers with the explanation that he was being sent down for salary cap reasons. The Sabres were right up against the salary cap and the team could use the space to bring in a lower cost stay-at-home defenseman.  However, when you look a little deeper at the Morrisonn’s True Value there seems to be a disconnect.

Shaone Morrisonn
GP G A Pts TOI Cap Hit ($M) True Value ($M)
2008 76 1 9 10 20.3 0.90 1.74
2009 72 3 10 13 18.0 1.98 1.95
2010 68 1 11 12 17.6 1.98 1.86
2011 62 1 4 5 16.2 2.08 1.33
2012 AHL 2.08

Shaone Morrisonn’s numbers are remarkably consistent (especially when adjusting for injuries). He is essentially about a $2M per year player, and that is without factoring in his playoff experience with the Capitals.  Given his predictable output and value, one wonders if there is more to the story than the salary cap excuse for sending Morrisonn to the minors. On July 1 Morrisonn is once again a UFA, hopefully another team will recognize his past contributions and give him another shot in the NHL as a reliable, tough, stay-at-home defenseman.


Brad Stuart – What’s he worth?

Brad Stuart was traded from Detroit Red Wings to the San Jose Sharks this past weekend. Given the Sharks need for help on the penalty kill and a reliable, mobile defensemen it seems like he would be a good fit for a second tour with the Sharks. Since Brad Stuart makes his offseason home near San Jose and his family remains in the area during the season, it is nice to see that this could be a good match for both parties (I have seen his kids skating at Sharks Ice with their Stuart Red Wings jerseys on several occasions).

The Sharks have until July 1st to negotiate exclusively with Stuart. So the big question is how much is the 32 year old worth?

Looking at his performance the last five years shows the consitency of his game year in and year out. While he puts up a reasonable number of points he isn’t known for his offensive ability, but he does log over 20 minutes per game.

As you can see from the table below, Brad Stuart consistently rates at about a $3M value each year (when you adjust for injuries) but has been paid at $3.75 per year in this last contract with the Red Wings.

Brad Stuart
GP G A Pts TOI Cap Hit True Value
2008 72 6 17 23 21.2  $            3.50  $            2.31
2009 67 2 13 15 20.2  $            3.75  $             2.11
2010 82 4 16 20 23.2  $            3.75  $             3.00
2011 67 3 17 20 21.5  $            3.75  $             2.53
2012 81 6 15 21 21.1  $            3.75  $             3.00

In our analysis UFAs clearly receive contracts above their true value due to supply and demand issues and restrictions on entry level contracts.  Given Brad Stuart’s pending UFA status, his consistency year in and year out and tremendous experience of being in the Red Wings organization it would not be surprising if he once again signs for somewhere between $3.5M and $4M, with the amount varying on the term of the contract.  The Sharks probably want to sign Stuart for 2 years, and he would probably be asking for 3 or 4 years.  We shall see where the two sides net out.

Next up:  Zach Parise