UFA Options: Anaheim Ducks

Jonathan Willis
April 16 2009 02:35PM

Niedermayers

UFA Options is a continuing series that gives a brief run-down of the unrestricted free agent market this summer, team-by-team. It starts with a look at the Anaheim Ducks.

The Anaheim Ducks have five unrestricted free agents of note (this of course assumes that former NHL journeymen Josh Green and Eric Boguniecki are no longer on teams’ respective radar screens). We’ll review them first by position, and then by 2008-09 cap hit.

Notes

  • Age is calculated based on how old the player will be during the 2009-10 season.
  • QualComp/QualTeam are the Quality of Competition/Teammates rankings from Behind the Net; the number appearing is each player’s ranking by position (forward/defense) on his own team.
  • Def/Off Faceoffs is a comparison of the total number of shifts starting in the defensive and offensive zones, courtesy of Vic Ferrari’s Time On Ice. A positive number indicates starting more in the defensive zone, a negative number the opposite.
  • All advanced statistics are courtesy of Behind the Net.

Todd Marchant

Vital Stats: 36 years old, 5’10”, 180lbs 2008-09 Cap Hit: 2,517,500 US$ 2008-09 Basic Stats: 72GP – 5G – 13A – 18PTS, -2 2008-09 Contextual: 8th QualComp, 11th QualTeam, +38 Def/Off Faceoffs 2008-09 Advanced Stats: -7.4 Corsi/60, 0.92 EVPTS/60, 1.51 GFON/60, 2.02 GAON/60

Todd Marchant is in the final season of the incredibly bad five-year contract that Doug MacLean signed him to after his last season in Edmonton (it’s even worse when you consider that Marchant also got a no-trade clause in the deal). At this point he’s a fourth line forward and penalty-killer, and he’ll probably end up somewhere in a supporting role for far less money.

Rob Niedermayer

Vital Stats: 35 years old, 6’2”, 200lbs 2008-09 Cap Hit: 2,000,000 US$ 2008-09 Basic Stats: 79GP – 14G – 7A – 21PTS, -17 2008-09 Contextual: 1st QualComp, 13th QualTeam, -57 Def/Off Faceoffs 2008-09 Advanced Stats: -13.0 Corsi/60, 1.23 EVPTS/60, 1.55 GFON/60, 2.65 GAON/60

It’s hard to avoid thinking that Rob Niedermayer’s decision on where to play next season will be at least partially effected by whatever his brother ends up doing (see below). Despite being started in the offensive zone more often than not (57 more faceoffs in the right end of the rink) he was put through the ringer in terms of his teammates and the quality of his competition. He’s a depth guy at this point, a 3rd or 4th liner who will almost certainly take a cut in pay next season.

Scott Niedermayer

Vital Stats: 36 years old, 6’1”, 198lbs 2008-09 Cap Hit: 6,750,000 US$ 2008-09 Basic Stats: 82GP – 14G – 45A – 59PTS, -8 2008-09 Contextual: 2nd QualComp, 8th QualTeam, +37 Def/Off Faceoffs 2008-09 Advanced Stats:+1.8 Corsi/60, 0.84 EVPTS/60, 2.27 GFON/60, 2.52 GAON/60

Nobody seems sure what Scott Niedermayer’s intentions are for next season, but after waffling over retirement last season he has yet to make a decision this year (h/t Battle of California). If he decides to come back for another year, it would almost certainly seem to be with the Ducks. Regardless, he is one of the top defensemen in the game.

Francois Beauchemin

Vital Stats: 29 years old, 6’0”, 213lbs 2008-09 Cap Hit: 1,650,000 US$ 2008-09 Basic Stats: 20GP – 4G – 1A - 5PTS, -3 2008-09 Contextual: 1st QualComp, 10th QualTeam, -1 Def/Off Faceoffs 2008-09 Advanced Stats: +0.0 Corsi/60, 0.54 EVPTS/60, 2.85 GFON/60, 3.03 GAON/60

Francois Beauchemin missed much of the season after suffering a torn ACL a quarter of the way through, but his track record as two-way defenseman is fairly good. Of some concern is the fact that his point totals have declined every year since his rookie season, but defenseman with offensive acumen are hard to find and Beauchemin is a good one. Of particular interest are the high level of opposition he played, and the low level of his own teammates.

Bret Hedican

Vital Stats: 39 years old, 6’2”, 210lbs 2008-09 Cap Hit: 870,500 US$ 2008-09 Basic Stats: 51GP – 1G – 5A – 6PTS, -7 2008-09 Contextual: 8th QualComp, 1st QualTeam, -68 Def/Off Faceoffs 2008-09 Advanced Stats: +12.7 Corsi/60, 0.34 EVPTS/60, 2.52 GFON/60, 2.86 GAON/60

Bret Hedican has not had a good season, and considering his age and career I think it’s probably safe to say that he’s done. I can’t imagine any team looking at him as a solution on the back end.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Ogden Brother
April 16 2009, 02:39PM
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Beauch would be a perfect pick up for the Oil, if Nieds retires or Pronger is traded though, I can't see the Ducks letting him go.

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#2 Jon K
April 16 2009, 02:49PM
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I'd be hesitant to categorize Francois Beauchemin as a two-way defenseman. He's more of a complementary defenseman with a booming shot. His defensive work, at least when paired with Niedermayer, is quite solid. Sami Salo is perhaps a comparable player we see more often in the NW.

It would be interesting to do a league-wide analysis on the correlation between Def/Off Faceoff positioning and corsi. If I had the will and remembered even remotely how to use SPSS I'd give it a whirl. A break down by forwards and defensemen would probably also be prudent.

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#3 sittingatmydesk
April 16 2009, 02:59PM
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@ Ogden Brother: I hope you're joking... we dont need him at all, plus he'll end up in montreal.

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#4 Jonathan Willis
April 16 2009, 03:08PM
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I don't think any of these players end up as Oilers (the closest to need would be Rob Niedermayer).

Jon K wrote:

It would be interesting to do a league-wide analysis on the correlation between Def/Off Faceoff positioning and corsi.

The number I've seen tossed out is that an offensive zone faceoff is worth +.6 Corsi and a defensive zone faceoff worth -.6 Corsi. I haven't run the math myself, though.

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#5 Ogden Brother
April 16 2009, 03:38PM
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sittingatmydesk wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: I hope you’re joking… we dont need him at all, plus he’ll end up in montreal.

Right, we couldn't use a tough Dman right in the sweet spot age wise....

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#6 Archaeologuy
April 16 2009, 03:43PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Beauch would be a perfect pick up for the Oil, if Nieds retires or Pronger is traded though, I can’t see the Ducks letting him go.

Jon K wrote:

He’s more of a complementary defenseman with a booming shot. His defensive work, at least when paired with Niedermayer, is quite solid

sittingatmydesk wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: I hope you’re joking… we dont need him at all, plus he’ll end up in montreal.

I tend to agree with Ogden. The Oilers have plenty of puck movers in their top 4 and no one that would be considered a defensive specialist. He logs a ton of minutes a night and did that over an important playoff push. As long as he doesnt get Commodore money he would be a nice addition to complement softer guys like Grebs or Gilbert.

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#7 ryan
April 16 2009, 03:45PM
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Let him go to Montreal no way we need him in a Oiler jersey. The Oilers are looking at two key guys and them only. first - JBo Second - K-chuck

The rest will be done thru trades and salary dumping.

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#8 Antony Ta
April 16 2009, 03:47PM
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I can see Marchant and R Neidermeyer being of great use to some teams ... *cough but since Neidermeyer is probably going to wait on his brother's decision.

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#9 Ogden Brother
April 16 2009, 04:05PM
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ryan wrote:

Let him go to Montreal no way we need him in a Oiler jersey. The Oilers are looking at two key guys and them only. first - JBo Second - K-chuck The rest will be done thru trades and salary dumping.

Well at least you dream big.

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#10 Cory Dakin
April 16 2009, 04:24PM
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This is completely unrelated... But someone please tell me they just watche Roger Millions on Sportsnet?

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#11 Chris
April 16 2009, 04:34PM
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Not interested in any of these UFA's. The only players Anaheim have that interset me are guys like Erik Christensen or Mike Brown. Good young players with some size... Theses guys are inexpensive, young, and may be looking for a bigger role... Could benefit from a change in scenery.

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#12 Cory Dakin
April 16 2009, 04:40PM
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@ ryan:

Maybe I'm wrong on this but I can't see why the Oilers would be interested in Bouwmeester. It's not like they have a problem with scoring on the back end, and that seems like a lot of salary to take on when they're lacking so much up front. I think the only way they look at him is if they want to trade Souray.. And i'd rather not watch them trade away their leading goal scorer AGAIN.

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#13 Emu
April 16 2009, 04:48PM
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ryan wrote:

Let him go to Montreal no way we need him in a Oiler jersey. The Oilers are looking at two key guys and them only. first - JBo Second - K-chuck The rest will be done thru trades and salary dumping.

I think at this point, assuming we don't unload one of Souray and Lubo, signing JBo would make our blueline unforgivably expensive. As it is we might need to trim a few million before we can address more pressing issues up front.

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#14 misfit
April 16 2009, 05:00PM
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When you look at the potential free agents coming out of Anaheim this year, I think the plan of action is as follows:

To Scott Niedermayer's agent: "what are the chances your player wants to come play with us? None? OK, thanks."

"Next."

Nobody on that list is a player of interest to me if I'm (re)building this team. I think you can excuse a negative Corsi if it's not way off for his team, and the player is used in a primarily defensive role. But when you look at R.Niedermayer and see how badly the Ducks have been outshot with him on the ice, and then look at the fact that he's been starting out more often than not in the offensive zone, that's a bad combination.

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#15 Jonathan Willis
April 16 2009, 05:11PM
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We will be reviewing all of the UFA's in time, folks.

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#16 Chris
April 16 2009, 05:19PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

We will be reviewing all of the UFA’s in time, folks.

...and losers like me can pitch ridiculous trade proposals for various players under contract every step of the way. Seriously, Willis... how about Chritensen as a third line center? He won nearly 55% of his faceoffs with Atlanta, and his pedigree suggests he should outgrow fourth line duty. More of a youth movement/rebuild solution... at worst Christensen is an upgrade on Brodziak.

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#17 ryan
April 16 2009, 05:35PM
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Every team is looking at JBo it would be crazy to believe it the oilers are too! Also he has a house in Edmonton. Yes I do dream big, but trading souray to get cap space for a goal scorer like K-Chuck sound like a no brainer. JBo will be in E Town next year. Here is a list of players I think have played there last games as oilers. Captian Ethan Staios Nilson Penner Souray ( only if they can sign Jbo) Huddy Bucky Moores all gone!!!!!!!!!!!!!

New coach Marc Crawford due to his ties with Tambo

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#18 Colin
April 16 2009, 05:38PM
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the only way the Oilers go for JBo is if Souray or Vishnovsky gets unloaded in a trade for a top 3 forward.

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#19 ryan
April 16 2009, 06:06PM
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Thanks Colin I forgot Vishnovsky to the list ( if souray stays). Souray for JBo is a steal, souray has the shot but Jbo is probably the best d man in the leauge, with a new coach I don't think the PP will be pass to souray every time, JBo would make a difference.

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#20 RossCreek
April 16 2009, 07:00PM
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Francois "Frankie Boychamen" Beauchemin COULD be a consideration for the Oil, especially if Souray were indeed to leave.

OR

If you can sign him for "free" you could perhaps move 2 of your top 4 d-men to acquire other needs/assets.

@ Chris: Christensen could be a guy to "take a look at"

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#21 Jonathan Willis
April 16 2009, 07:44PM
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I don't really see why the Ducks would want to move Christensen. I'm also not sure that he'd be a player of interest if Tambellini is serious about "bigger, grittier" as his mantra for next season.

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#22 Librarian Mike
April 16 2009, 09:02PM
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I think I'm developing a man-crush on Jonathan Toews.

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#23 Rob
April 17 2009, 07:39AM
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ryan wrote:

Every team is looking at JBo it would be crazy to believe it the oilers are too! Also he has a house in Edmonton. Yes I do dream big, but trading souray to get cap space for a goal scorer like K-Chuck sound like a no brainer. JBo will be in E Town next year. Here is a list of players I think have played there last games as oilers. Captian Ethan Staios Nilson Penner Souray ( only if they can sign Jbo) Huddy Bucky Moores all gone!!!!!!!!!!!!! New coach Marc Crawford due to his ties with Tambo

If Moreau gets traded, who are you making captain of this team, IF your also trading Souray. In my mind Souray IS the next captain of this team. The "kids" seem to love him and it looks like the feeling is mutual.

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#24 Matt N
April 17 2009, 08:07AM
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@JW :

Thanks for doing this. Are you going to be doing RFA's as well?

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#25 dragon
April 17 2009, 11:13AM
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Locker room leadership obvious problem, so Souray should stay. Can anyone explain how come Penner is a 7.0 Corsi? He's number don't look so bad, and there is significant room for improvement with the guy. Maybe take him off the trade list?

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#26 Gord
April 17 2009, 11:15AM
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ryan wrote:

Every team is looking at JBo it would be crazy to believe it the oilers are too! Also he has a house in Edmonton. Yes I do dream big, but trading souray to get cap space for a goal scorer like K-Chuck sound like a no brainer. JBo will be in E Town next year. Here is a list of players I think have played there last games as oilers. Captian Ethan Staios Nilson Penner Souray ( only if they can sign Jbo) Huddy Bucky Moores all gone!!!!!!!!!!!!! New coach Marc Crawford due to his ties with Tambo

The only player anyone is interested in is Souray. All the rest you noted are over paid and underachievers. You can't just deal crap and get gold back.

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#27 Jonathan Willis
April 17 2009, 02:51PM
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Matt N wrote:

@JW : Thanks for doing this. Are you going to be doing RFA’s as well?

Probably not.

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#28 voxel
April 17 2009, 04:29PM
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Beauchemin was brutal last season without his best friend forever Scotty.

Scotty just makes his partners look good. Heck, Pronger made MAB tolerable.

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#29 RossCreek
April 17 2009, 09:39PM
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@ voxel: Not suggesting that Beachemin is a number 1 or anything. I don't think its as though he'd be a spare part without Scotty. If you were "forced" to move Souray, Beauchemin would be a suitable RFA option to fill a similar roll at a cheaper rate. The guy isn't even 30 yet. He plays with a physicality too. I'd CONSIDER him, Travis Moen & Sami Pahlsson as UFA options (all from that Cup winning Ducks team).

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#30 misfit
April 18 2009, 11:49AM
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dragon wrote:

Locker room leadership obvious problem, so Souray should stay. Can anyone explain how come Penner is a 7.0 Corsi? He’s number don’t look so bad, and there is significant room for improvement with the guy. Maybe take him off the trade list?

Probably the biggest reason IMO, is the fact that only Nilsson had started off more times in the offensive zone in relation to the defensive zone this past year.

In terms of being sheltered in this way, Penner was on par with Cogliano, Nilsson, and Gagner. For all the negative comments from MacT in the media, he sure did his best to make him look good on the ice.

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#31 Chris
April 18 2009, 04:05PM
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Why can't the Oilers just tuck poor contracts into the minors... Who cares if someone claims Penner off of waivers if his 4.25 million helps us land a Hossa? He can play out his days in Springfield and the only victim is a player who hasn't been committed enough to even maintain an acceptable level of conditioning, and of course, Katz's bank account.... Since I'm spending Katz's millions: Why can't the Oilers take on ridiculous contacts from some of the hard hit US franchises in exchange for future considerations/ picks etc... Bury these losers. Are there rules in place to protect against this sleazy hardball tactic?

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#32 voxel
April 18 2009, 08:36PM
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@ RossCreek:

From watching Beauchemin without Scotty and looking at his stats without Scotty... FB is no better than Staios except with slightly better offensive skill. Seriously, the guy is brutal on the PK without Scotty and is very slow to react. His playoff performance during the Cup run was incredible, but since then he's been average.

Beauchemin is going to ask for Staios-like money and frankly I'd say no thanks to that.

Yes to Sami Pahlsson + Travis Moen, but not anything over what Pisani is making... They could replace Moreau too.

I'd make an offersheet for James Wisniewski tho'

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#33 RossCreek
April 18 2009, 09:54PM
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voxel wrote:

Beauchemin is going to ask for Staios-like money and frankly I’d say no thanks to that.

Well I think he'll ask for more. But if all he wanted was 2.7, I'd take him over Staios in a heartbeat. At least he can grow with the team. Staios is on his last legs. And as you stated, he's better offensively than Stevie. Plus the Cup ring.

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#34 Mike
April 19 2009, 08:32PM
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One point of note is that because of the way QualTeam is calculated, all of the Moen-Neids-Pahlsson line ended up with stupidly poor QualTeam rating.

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