HARD TARGET SEARCH: BRIAN CAMPBELL

Lowetide
January 30 2014 08:26AM

 

In our continuing look at possible solutions to the Oilers defensive woes, our attention turns to sunny Florida and the Miami entry, the Panthers. Brian Campbell's career as a journeyman obscures his status as a top flight defenseman who has driven results for a long period of time. Now deep into his career, can Brian Campbell help the Oilers? 

TRADES

Brian Campbell has been around a long damn time. Drafted by Buffalo in 1997, he arrived as a regular in 2002 and began delivering terrific offensive seasons after the first lockout. He was sent to San Jose as a rental at the 2008 deadline and signed in Chicago that summer. Wins Stanley, 'Hawks can't afford him anymore, ship him to Florida 2011 summer. 

Campbell's offense has been fairly consistent over the years (he's had a down year or two, as well) and fans who have seen him know exactly what to expect: a fine puck moving defenseman who can help a power play, a defender who can be exposed and a man who once won the Lady Byng. 

That isn't the ideal resume for an Edmonton Oiler defenseman. Oiler fans like their blue tough and physical, and things like hits and blocked shots are very important to the Rexall fan. However, the math tells us winning games is a lot about possession and Campbell's been a killer in this regard for eons. 

THE VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER

This year's sledgehammer shows Campbell in his natural habitat (as you'll see in a minute). He gets a zone start pus (52%) but he also plays tough opposition—and even at 34, having an average season offensively—he still delivers a fine blue bubble. That's a valuable player. 

This is the shortened season, Campbell had even more of a zone start push but once again faced tough opposition. Blue bubble, just as sure as sunrise.  

Crazy, isn't it? It's like he's born to do this: get the zone start push, play tough opponents and flourish! Campbell's consistency flies in the face of what we think of him as a player, but there he is in all his incredibly consistent glory. Sure as sunrise. 

Here's his numbers on a line, and isn't the consistency of the Corsi For % exceptional? Man, that's the good stuff right there. Three years in a row, just rolling these things out like they're nothing. Lordy. Breathtaking. 

HIS CONTRACT IS STUPID

Yes. Campbell has two more years after this one (at $7,142,875!!!!) and that's a consideration. However, that also knocks some off the asset price to acquire him and Campbell isn't 40 (he's 35 in May). 

He's also averaging 27:51 a game (!!!) this year and could serve as an outstanding mentor to young puck movers like Justin Schultz. 

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

There  are some real concerns with Campbell. He's an older player, the contract number is high and he's bringing many elements the Oilers already have in a guy like Schultz the younger. 

Still, those possession stats don't lie, he could mentor J Schultz and the dollars will be easier to endure with the new cap (and it's only two seasons). I think Campbell is a player worth considering.  

Up next: a brilliant option closer to home. 

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#51 Harry
January 30 2014, 01:22PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Hold it stop everyone.......have we all lost our minds here??

Yes Brian Campbell is the right size for our team and with no real defensive game, he would be a natural fit for this team but even us OIlers fans have some standards.

For anyone to consider this as an option, please check yourself into a mental clinic, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution. We are looking for size, meaness, and the ability to play defence, non of which BC has on his resume.

Please people do NOT give KLowe and more stupid ideas!

LT.......what have you been smoking?

Some people just never learn. 5'10" 190 is just too damn small no matter how you look at it. I could see if we already had big dmen buy we dont.

What is it going to take for people to realize that Edm needs size?

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#52 Rama Lama
January 30 2014, 01:28PM
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Ricky's Jalapeno Chips wrote:

The Oil are (generally) small and easy to play against. Last night's game was a good example. In my opinion (I go to a lot of games) they need to get bigger and harder to play against, i.e. grittier. His cap hit is 7.14 for two more years. It would probably take a lot of good assets (players/picks) to get him.

In my opinion, he is too small, too expensive to acquire, and takes up to much cap space ($2.14 million for two more years). The Oil cannot compete with bigger, "heavier" teams. I would favour one or two cheaper, tougher d-men to be the transition until some of the younger guys in the pipeline are here and settled into important roles. Last night was a good sample of how easy the Oil are to play against. I don't think Brian Campbell will help us compete with L.A., St. Louis, Anaheim, etc. I agree that Campbell is a valuable asset, but, all things considered, he is not what we need.

Thank You........well said.

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#53 @Oilanderp
January 30 2014, 01:35PM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

That has nothing to do with a defender's Corsi, it tells you the Corsi of the players he's playing against.

Corsi Rel QoC tells you how the coach chooses to deploy a player, and who he matches the player up against. And as I said before, I think Corsi is a good way of evaluating forwards, so I think it is a relatvely accurate overall representation of the calibre of a player's opponents.

And by choosing that stat as best representing a defenceman's ability, you are explicitly stating that a coach's subjective judgement is the best metric for evaluating defenceman ability.

Which I agree with.

And reiterate that it has nothing to do with the corsi of the defenceman in question.

Perhaps if we look closely at the Vollman charts above we can get a sense as to what it is telling us and if that is useful at all in judging a defenseman.

As I see it, there are 4 elements of information being provided:
1. The vertical axis is CorsiRelQoC, so the closer to the top of the graph the player's bubble is, the more he is playing against tough competition.
2. The horizontal axis is OffZoneStart%, which is a measure of where the player is being used. The further right on the chart the more that player is being used in offensive situations.
3. The colour of the bubble can be CorsiOn (which is straight up Corsi (shots attempted by his team when that player is on the ice)), or CorsiRel(which is just shot attempt differential). In either case, the bluer the bubble, the more shot attempts his team is getting while he is on the ice.
4. The size of the bubble is TOI, which is just time on ice (per game). The larger the bubble the more time that player is on the ice.

To summarize, looking at the Vollman charts we can instantly tell four things:
1. quality of competition the d-man faces
2. where the coach uses the d-man (OZ or DZ)
3. whether or not the d-man is getting outshot
4. how much the d-man plays (TOI)

Would you agree that these 4 things are good things to look at when judging a defenceman? If not, what would you add or remove from this list?

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#54 Mikey
January 30 2014, 01:42PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

You must be talking about a different Nick Lidstrom.......I remember him being over 6'2" ( 210 lbs) not 5'8' (175 lbs) like BC is.

Why do fans like you believe you cant get size and skill in the same package? I for one do not want anymore small, physically incapable defencemen on our team. We play in a different division where size matters.......unlike the eastern conferences.

Mac T already found the smallest defenceman available in Ference and you want more.........no wonder this team is spinning it's wheels!!

Your memory is shot. Lidstrom is 6'1 190. Campbell is 5'10 190.

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#55 Mikey
January 30 2014, 01:45PM
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Ricky's Jalapeno Chips wrote:

The Oil are (generally) small and easy to play against. Last night's game was a good example. In my opinion (I go to a lot of games) they need to get bigger and harder to play against, i.e. grittier. His cap hit is 7.14 for two more years. It would probably take a lot of good assets (players/picks) to get him.

In my opinion, he is too small, too expensive to acquire, and takes up to much cap space ($2.14 million for two more years). The Oil cannot compete with bigger, "heavier" teams. I would favour one or two cheaper, tougher d-men to be the transition until some of the younger guys in the pipeline are here and settled into important roles. Last night was a good sample of how easy the Oil are to play against. I don't think Brian Campbell will help us compete with L.A., St. Louis, Anaheim, etc. I agree that Campbell is a valuable asset, but, all things considered, he is not what we need.

How do you know he is expensive to acquire? So you would rather have more 5-7 Dmen instead of a true #1? We tried that, it didn't work.

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#56 **
January 30 2014, 01:54PM
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@Oilanderp wrote:

The following is a list of ALL defencemen with more than 20 GP and who average more than 18 minutes of 5on5 per night for their clubs, ranked by CorsiRelQoC, followed by their cap hit in millions:

1. Shea Weber (NSH - $7.85)
2. Roman Josi (NSH- $4)
3. Jan Hejda (COL - $3.25)
4. Erik Johnson (COL - $3.75)
5. Zdeno Chara (BOS - $6.916)
6. Ryan McDonagh (NYR - $4.7)
7. Dan Hamhuis (VAN - $4.5)
8. Alex Pietrangelo (STL - $6.5)
9. T.J. Brodie (CGY - $2.125)
10. Andrew Macdonald (NYI - $0.55)
11. Ryan Suter (MIN - $7.538462)
12. Justin Faulk (CAR - $0.84)
13. Travis Hamonic (NYI - $3.875)
14. Dustin Byfuglien (WPG - $5.2)
15. Calvin DeHaan (NYI - $0.87)
16. Jonas Brodin (MIN - $0.894167)
17. Paul Martin (PIT - $5)
18. Brian Campbell (FLA - $7.142875)
19. Erik Karlsson (OTT - $6.5)
20. P.K. Subban (MTL - $2.875)
21. Drew Doughty (LA - $7)
22. Duncan Keith (CHI - $5.538462)
23. Kris Russell (CGY - $1.5)
24. Mike Green (WSH - $6.083333)
25. Dennis Seidenberg (BOS - $3.25)
26. Keith Yandle (PHX - $5.25)
27. Dmitri Orlov (WSH - $0.69)
28. Dennis Wideman (CGY - $5.25)

Just FYI the Oilers don't have anyone who meets this criteria but they have 3 d-men playing over 17 mins of 5v5 a night: Jultz, Ference, Petry.

Great job. I would like to add their age for my own argument:

1. Shea Weber (NSH - $7.85) 28 yo 2. Roman Josi (NSH- $4) 23 yo 3. Jan Hejda (COL - $3.25) 35 yo 4. Erik Johnson (COL - $3.75) 25 yo 5. Zdeno Chara (BOS - $6.916) 36 yo 6. Ryan McDonagh (NYR - $4.7) 24 yo 7. Dan Hamhuis (VAN - $4.5) 31 yo 8. Alex Pietrangelo (STL - $6.5) 24 yo 9. T.J. Brodie (CGY - $2.125) 23 yo 10. Andrew Macdonald (NYI - $0.55) 27 yo 11. Ryan Suter (MIN - $7.538462) 29 yo 12. Justin Faulk (CAR - $0.84) 21 yo 13. Travis Hamonic (NYI - $3.875) 23 yo 14. Dustin Byfuglien (WPG - $5.2) 28 yo 15. Calvin DeHaan (NYI - $0.87) 22 yo 16. Jonas Brodin (MIN - $0.894167) 20 yo 17. Paul Martin (PIT - $5) 32 yo 18. Brian Campbell (FLA - $7.142875)34 19. Erik Karlsson (OTT - $6.5) 23 yo 20. P.K. Subban (MTL - $2.875)24 yo 21. Drew Doughty (LA - $7) 24 yo 22. Duncan Keith (CHI - $5.538462) 30 yo 23. Kris Russell (CGY - $1.5) 26 yo 24. Mike Green (WSH - $6.083333) 28 yo 25. Dennis Seidenberg (BOS - $3.25) 32 yo 26. Keith Yandle (PHX - $5.25) 27 yo 27. Dmitri Orlov (WSH - $0.69)22 yo 28. Dennis Wideman (CGY - $5.25) 30 yo.

So from this list, let's discount anyone over 34, because there have been numerous articles saying that around that age d men decline: three player over that age on this list, no surprise. Now anyone under 25, because the Oilers don't need more youth: that's 12 players, some of them franchise players who will be unavailable anyways.

These cutoffs leave 13 players:

1. Shea Weber (NSH - $7.85) 28 yo 4. Erik Johnson (COL - $3.75) 25 yo 7. Dan Hamhuis (VAN - $4.5) 31 yo 10. Andrew Macdonald (NYI - $0.55) 27 yo 11. Ryan Suter (MIN - $7.538462) 29 yo 14. Dustin Byfuglien (WPG - $5.2) 28 yo 17. Paul Martin (PIT - $5) 32 yo 22. Duncan Keith (CHI - $5.538462) 30 yo 23. Kris Russell (CGY - $1.5) 26 yo 24. Mike Green (WSH - $6.083333) 28 yo 25. Dennis Seidenberg (BOS - $3.25) 32 yo 26. Keith Yandle (PHX - $5.25) 27 yo 28. Dennis Wideman (CGY - $5.25) 30 yo.

Going by @Oilanderp's criteria and my age criteria, these are the best d men the Oilers should go after:

Shea Weber: would take a lot of pieces to get him.

Erik Johnson: size, performance, age, decent salary cap for a top 2 dman. Given that Hedja is going to hit a wall soon, I doubt the Avs would let go of Johson, specially when the Oilers have nothing they might need.

Dan Hamhius: great fit, but I don't see how he can be taken out of Vancouver to a division rival.

Andrew Macdonald: just enough size, age, ability, UFA, due for his first big contract, from an eastern opponent looking for answers, this is the guy I think the Oilers should go hard after.

Ryan Suter: similar case as Dan Hamhuis.

Dustin Byfuglien: he is currently playing as a winger, if Winnipeg is willing to trade, I say get him. I think it is easier to find ways to motivate than to make someone grow or put on so many pounds while at the same time have skill.

Paul Martin: another option similar to Macdonald, albeit older and with a higher price tag. He could be the veteran need to anchor the Oilers blue line. With the depth of young blue liners, the penguins might be willing to part with Martin, he has just one more year at 5 mill after this season.

Duncan Keith: he's a bigger pipe dream than Shea Webber.

Kris Russell: undersized, not a top pairing guy.

Mike GReen: If Washington misses the playoffs they might consider trading him, he would have one more year at 5 mill. Has size, skill, high salary though. Not sure he can be a top guy night in night out.

Dennis Seidenberg: ideal, like Paul Martin, but just signed an extension with Boston, so I think he is unattainable.

Keith Yandle: same situation as Hamhuis, but a good target to go after. Like Mike green though, may not quite be a top pairing guy.

Dennis Wideman: with Calgary for 3 more years, not a top 3 guy.

Based on these criteria, there's really only 4 guys the Oilers could realistically go after: MacDonald, Martin Green and Bifuglyen. It is going to be hard for Mac T to improve the blue line without moving important pieces. Sorry for the long post.

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#57 The Last Big Bear
January 30 2014, 01:57PM
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@Oilanderp wrote:

Perhaps if we look closely at the Vollman charts above we can get a sense as to what it is telling us and if that is useful at all in judging a defenseman.

As I see it, there are 4 elements of information being provided:
1. The vertical axis is CorsiRelQoC, so the closer to the top of the graph the player's bubble is, the more he is playing against tough competition.
2. The horizontal axis is OffZoneStart%, which is a measure of where the player is being used. The further right on the chart the more that player is being used in offensive situations.
3. The colour of the bubble can be CorsiOn (which is straight up Corsi (shots attempted by his team when that player is on the ice)), or CorsiRel(which is just shot attempt differential). In either case, the bluer the bubble, the more shot attempts his team is getting while he is on the ice.
4. The size of the bubble is TOI, which is just time on ice (per game). The larger the bubble the more time that player is on the ice.

To summarize, looking at the Vollman charts we can instantly tell four things:
1. quality of competition the d-man faces
2. where the coach uses the d-man (OZ or DZ)
3. whether or not the d-man is getting outshot
4. how much the d-man plays (TOI)

Would you agree that these 4 things are good things to look at when judging a defenceman? If not, what would you add or remove from this list?

As I said previously, I think items 1, 2, and 4 are excellent differentiators of defensive ability.

Which is to say that the "Vollman Sledgehammer" for defencemen is an extremely useful tool, but for defencemen it should be in black-and-white. The colour of the circles are completely extraneous (for defencemen).

So what does it tell us?

It tells us how an NHL-level coach subjectively evaluates that defenceman's ability, and how a he chooses to use that player.

There is not a single empirical metric of performance or ability to be seen on that chart, other than the colour of the circles. And based on every analysis of defencemen Corsi stats I have ever seen, we are fully justified in dismissing shot attempt differentials as a tool for evaluating defenders. Great for forwards, but no better than random noise for defencemen.

By my estimate, and apparently by yours as well, the best metric we have for evaluating NHL defencemen is looking at how their coaches choose to use them.

I would like to have a more objective and empirical metric than that, but I have yet to see one.

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#58 Tikkanese
January 30 2014, 01:57PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

You must be talking about a different Nick Lidstrom.......I remember him being over 6'2" ( 210 lbs) not 5'8' (175 lbs) like BC is.

Why do fans like you believe you cant get size and skill in the same package? I for one do not want anymore small, physically incapable defencemen on our team. We play in a different division where size matters.......unlike the eastern conferences.

Mac T already found the smallest defenceman available in Ference and you want more.........no wonder this team is spinning it's wheels!!

Size isn't everything. Your "behemoth" example of Lidstrom is silly. He couldn't fight his way out of a wet paper bag. Neither can Campbell for that matter but that's not the point. He's a top pairing defencemen, that is attainable and that is something the Oilers need badly.

Ference may be on the smaller side, but he plays big. That matters. Size isn't everything. Petry and Gilbert are both big but do not play big if you want a couple examples.

Not every defencemen is the prototypicle big, plays big, great passer, great leader, minute eater that would solve every problem the Oilers have. Not many teams have two of those let alone one. Campbell would solve most of those issues and at only two years left isn't really a risk at all.

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#59 Heshoothescores
January 30 2014, 02:02PM
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Why not throw money at UFAs Markov or Gonchar. 1 year deal. He`d be a good mentor.

Same with the forwards. Why isn`t Jagr on this team. Kids can learn a lot from a future HHOF

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#60 @Oilanderp
January 30 2014, 02:02PM
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@G bear

Since people want size, I have modified the list I made earlier in the thread.

I made a list of ALL defencemen with more than 20 GP and who average more than 18 minutes of 5on5 per night for their clubs, ranked by CorsiRelQoC, followed by their cap hit in millions. Then I crossed out the guys who are shorter than 6'2" or less than 200lbs. Then, as Gbear has suggested I crossed off guys who are 34 years or older:

1. Shea Weber (NSH - $7.85)
2. Roman Josi (NSH- $4)
3. Jan Hejda (COL - $3.25)
4. Erik Johnson (COL - $3.75)
5. Zdeno Chara (BOS - $6.916)
6. Ryan McDonagh (NYR - $4.7)
7. Dan Hamhuis (VAN - $4.5)
8. Alex Pietrangelo (STL - $6.5)
9. T.J. Brodie (CGY - $2.125)
10. Andrew Macdonald (NYI - $0.55)
11. Ryan Suter (MIN - $7.538462)
12. Justin Faulk (CAR - $0.84)
13. Travis Hamonic (NYI - $3.875)
14. Dustin Byfuglien (WPG - $5.2)
15. Calvin DeHaan (NYI - $0.87)
16. Jonas Brodin (MIN - $0.894167)
17. Paul Martin (PIT - $5)
18. Brian Campbell (FLA - $7.142875)
19. Erik Karlsson (OTT - $6.5)
20. P.K. Subban (MTL - $2.875)
21. Drew Doughty (LA - $7)
22. Duncan Keith (CHI - $5.538462)
23. Kris Russell (CGY - $1.5)
24. Mike Green (WSH - $6.083333)
25. Dennis Seidenberg (BOS - $3.25)
26. Keith Yandle (PHX - $5.25)
27. Dmitri Orlov (WSH - $0.69)
28. Dennis Wideman (CGY - $5.25)

Just for reference, Scott Stevens was 6' 200lbs, and so would be "too small"™ to make this list.

If we want a d-man who is big and plays a lot of minutes against tough competition, that leaves 5 players on this list.

EDIT: If we use Gbear's 'likelihood of getting that player' criterion, then it reduces this list to ONE player: Big Buf. Lord, what have we done? Do we want him? What would WPG want?

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#61 The Last Big Bear
January 30 2014, 02:37PM
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Is this the best place to point out that the Oilers had a physical defenceman that they couldn't be bothered to re-sign last year, who just got locked-up with a 3 year extension by the best team in the NHL?

Not saying Fistric is a candidate for the #1 spot, but suggests that the Oilers might not be appropriately valuing NHL-capable physical defencemen.

Oh, and he's 2nd among Ducks defencemen in Corsi Rel, and has the hardest Corsi QoC of any player on the team. For all you Corsi buffs. But not worth the time of day to the Oilers.

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#62 Mikey
January 30 2014, 02:47PM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

Is this the best place to point out that the Oilers had a physical defenceman that they couldn't be bothered to re-sign last year, who just got locked-up with a 3 year extension by the best team in the NHL?

Not saying Fistric is a candidate for the #1 spot, but suggests that the Oilers might not be appropriately valuing NHL-capable physical defencemen.

Oh, and he's 2nd among Ducks defencemen in Corsi Rel, and has the hardest Corsi QoC of any player on the team. For all you Corsi buffs. But not worth the time of day to the Oilers.

Not sure what your point is. Are you saying the oilers should have kept him? His cap hit at 1.2, suggest he is a 5-7 D man. His games played suggest more of a 7. For the record I would rather him than potter.

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#63 @Oilanderp
January 30 2014, 02:56PM
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@The Last Big Bear

It tells us how an NHL-level coach subjectively evaluates that defenceman's ability, and how a he chooses to use that player. There is not a single empirical metric of performance or ability to be seen on that chart, other than the colour of the circles.

Great discussion btw. I agree that you may be poking at a legitimate hole in the armour by pointing out that the Vollman represents mostly coach-biased data when it comes to defencemen. I'd slightly disagree that the coach-biased data is unempirical. TOI, CorsiRelQoC, etc. ARE facts. They become such, however, due to the coach's whim and as such are not 'objective' in the strictest sense. This would be a major problem if the coach was a complete imbecile. However, if we assume that every coach in the NHL has a certain established level of competence, then I am not sure this bias skews the data enough for it to matter. The d-man has high TOI, CorsiRelQoC, etc NOT simply because the coach has randomly decided it to be so. Rather, the coach chooses to use that d-man given in those circumstances because his play warrants it. As such, it is empirical, albeit in a secondary sense. Can we agree to call it secondarily empirical? A minor point to be sure.

And based on every analysis of defencemen Corsi stats I have ever seen, we are fully justified in dismissing shot attempt differentials as a tool for evaluating defenders. Great for forwards, but no better than random noise for defencemen.

I agree that using straight Corsi is not enough to evaluate any player, let alone defencemen. A good d-man could easily have a poor Corsi (horrible zone starts, playing the toughs, etc). However, surely we can agree that if a player's team is consistently outshooting the other team while he is on the ice, then that is good? It doesn't tell us the whole story, but it's not just noise.

The corsi-related stats are meant to be used in tandem, and using them alone you aren't going to get the precise titanium-steel alloy tongs you need to pluck excaliber out of the blacksmith's forge. They are more like using a huge, encumbering, fingerless, wet asbestos gloves. Still, you can manage to grab some useful things from the fire.

I would like to have a more objective and empirical metric than that, but I have yet to see one.

Brilliant, and I wholte-heartedly agree. But what would that possibly look like?

If we could come up with that, we would become online advanced hockey stat GODS. The Kings of Moneypuck, as it were.

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#64 billythebullet
January 30 2014, 02:56PM
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So far we have nikitin and bc on our list of potentials. Both are probably better then potter, belov, n.shultz and p.larsen.

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#65 **
January 30 2014, 03:22PM
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@Oilanderp wrote:

@G bear

Since people want size, I have modified the list I made earlier in the thread.

I made a list of ALL defencemen with more than 20 GP and who average more than 18 minutes of 5on5 per night for their clubs, ranked by CorsiRelQoC, followed by their cap hit in millions. Then I crossed out the guys who are shorter than 6'2" or less than 200lbs. Then, as Gbear has suggested I crossed off guys who are 34 years or older:

1. Shea Weber (NSH - $7.85)
2. Roman Josi (NSH- $4)
3. Jan Hejda (COL - $3.25)
4. Erik Johnson (COL - $3.75)
5. Zdeno Chara (BOS - $6.916)
6. Ryan McDonagh (NYR - $4.7)
7. Dan Hamhuis (VAN - $4.5)
8. Alex Pietrangelo (STL - $6.5)
9. T.J. Brodie (CGY - $2.125)
10. Andrew Macdonald (NYI - $0.55)
11. Ryan Suter (MIN - $7.538462)
12. Justin Faulk (CAR - $0.84)
13. Travis Hamonic (NYI - $3.875)
14. Dustin Byfuglien (WPG - $5.2)
15. Calvin DeHaan (NYI - $0.87)
16. Jonas Brodin (MIN - $0.894167)
17. Paul Martin (PIT - $5)
18. Brian Campbell (FLA - $7.142875)
19. Erik Karlsson (OTT - $6.5)
20. P.K. Subban (MTL - $2.875)
21. Drew Doughty (LA - $7)
22. Duncan Keith (CHI - $5.538462)
23. Kris Russell (CGY - $1.5)
24. Mike Green (WSH - $6.083333)
25. Dennis Seidenberg (BOS - $3.25)
26. Keith Yandle (PHX - $5.25)
27. Dmitri Orlov (WSH - $0.69)
28. Dennis Wideman (CGY - $5.25)

Just for reference, Scott Stevens was 6' 200lbs, and so would be "too small"™ to make this list.

If we want a d-man who is big and plays a lot of minutes against tough competition, that leaves 5 players on this list.

EDIT: If we use Gbear's 'likelihood of getting that player' criterion, then it reduces this list to ONE player: Big Buf. Lord, what have we done? Do we want him? What would WPG want?

The Oilers missed opportunities, like trading Yakupov's pick in a package for a top d man. Now they are between a rock and a hard place and it is going to be difficult to get a legit top d pairing.

I thought about the need for size, the average height and weight for NHL is around 6'1 and 203 lbs according to different websites. So any top pairing dman 6'1 or over, and 205 lbs or over should fare well on most nights provided he is aggressive enough.

I think if no top dman with our criteria can be found, plan b should be to get cheap veterans on short term contracts until the prospects start hitting strides, at least 3 years from now, and keep trying the defense by committee approach. That scenario would be very sad though.

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#66 YEGFan
January 30 2014, 03:23PM
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Harry wrote:

Some people just never learn. 5'10" 190 is just too damn small no matter how you look at it. I could see if we already had big dmen buy we dont.

What is it going to take for people to realize that Edm needs size?

You are arguing on the premise that size is the most important criterion when determining a player's value. I will never agree with you because your premise has been proven irrefutably wrong countless times. I have friends that are 6 4" 240lbs, they should NOT be in the NHL.

I really like the Scott Stevens reference. He is the perfect example of a player "playing big." "Playing big" is just a way of describing skill. It's mostly body positioning and it's a talent. You are wrong if you think physical size is necessary to achieve that talent.

Anybody claiming this team must have players of a certain size or weight is willfully ignoring obvious facts and evidence (doing something like that is usually described as stupidity).

Size can be helpful, but it is only helpful because it enhances the actually necessary skills to play hockey.

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#67 The Last Big Bear
January 30 2014, 03:25PM
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@@Oilanderp

As I said though, I think using an NHL coach's evaluation of a player IS the best measure we currently have of defencemen. I don't think it's skewing anything, I think it is the gold standard to which we should be comparing other metrics to see if they make sense.

What would a perfect metric look like? Well to be honest, if I didn't know better, I would have said it would look exactly like the Vollman diagrams above. They are a fantastic representation for forwards' ability, and i can't think of any theoretical reason why they shouldn't work for defencemen.

But time and again, regardless of the analysis, I invariably have to come to the same conclusion, that whether a defenceman is outshot or not has essentially no relation to his ability.

Shea Weber and Roman Josi face the same quality of competition, with the same team. But Roman Josi has better Corsi numbers (raw and relative) than Shea Weber. Weber gets outshot more often than Josi, against the same competition. This is not an exception, or an outlier, this happens just as often as not. Corsi numbers simply do not reflect a defenceman's ability.

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#68 The Last Big Bear
January 30 2014, 03:33PM
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@**

Defence-by-committee is possible. And it can work.

But your centremen are the most important part of that committee.

LA won the cup with defence by committee (Doughty was still growing into his role). But their centres included Kopitar, Mike Richards, and Jarret Stoll, all of whom are top-tier defensively.

The Nuge, Samwise Gamgee, and (the admittedly-quite-good-defensively) Boyd Gordon, are not even on the same planet as that kind of centre depth.

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#69 Will
January 30 2014, 03:33PM
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@Mikey

I agree with you. I'm just thinking on two fronts. First what would it actually take to get Yandle. And second, even though I think Yak is the better RW over say Ebs, are the Oilers a better team? I think Ebs Hall and Nuge like playing specifically with each other. Why they haven't even tried the 3 first overall line drives me crazy. But they never seem to put it together. So, with that in mind, Yak is just kind of the odd guy out.

Drives me nuts to have to trade a guy like that, but at some point Mac T will have to trade one of these kids for some legit D, and also balance out the top 6 either through a gritty two way winger, or gritty two way center. Since both of those are in crazy short supply and come at a real high cost, this was the best I could think of given the free agency pool.

My only other idea is Steve Downie over Callahan. Cheaper, grittier, surprisingly talented, could match well with skill.

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#70 @Oilanderp
January 30 2014, 03:42PM
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@The Last Big Bear

And that's where we would look at WOWY (with Or Without You) numbers for Josi and Weber, which, alas, is currently beyond my knowledge.

If anyone here knows how to get the WOWY stats for Josi and Weber from the http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/ site, I would greatly appreciate some instruction. I know it can be done, I just can't figure it out quickly, which is usually the point I ask for help.

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#71 Citizen David
January 30 2014, 04:43PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

You must be talking about a different Nick Lidstrom.......I remember him being over 6'2" ( 210 lbs) not 5'8' (175 lbs) like BC is.

Why do fans like you believe you cant get size and skill in the same package? I for one do not want anymore small, physically incapable defencemen on our team. We play in a different division where size matters.......unlike the eastern conferences.

Mac T already found the smallest defenceman available in Ference and you want more.........no wonder this team is spinning it's wheels!!

Do you every remember Lindstrom throwing his weight around? Ever? No one was afraid of him physically dominating anyone. I would love a Chris Pronger that is the whole package but I don't want to pay the price that would cost. Campbell just might be actually available. And he's a darn good defenseman.

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#72 The Last Big Bear
January 30 2014, 04:59PM
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@Oilanderp wrote:

And that's where we would look at WOWY (with Or Without You) numbers for Josi and Weber, which, alas, is currently beyond my knowledge.

If anyone here knows how to get the WOWY stats for Josi and Weber from the http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/ site, I would greatly appreciate some instruction. I know it can be done, I just can't figure it out quickly, which is usually the point I ask for help.

Well, CorsiRel is basically the average of your WOWY vs the entire team.

If you're giving up fewer shots than the rest of the team, your average WOWY is going to be a positive effect.

WOWY is more useful for telling you which players work well together, or if there is one player combination that is driving the stats up or down. But that's not really what we're looking for in a metric to evaluate defencemen.

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#73 Rama Lama
January 30 2014, 05:06PM
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Mikey wrote:

Your memory is shot. Lidstrom is 6'1 190. Campbell is 5'10 190.

So you are telling me that Nik LIdstrom is smaller than Karlsson? I doubt it, I think your stats are goofy!

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#74 Rama Lama
January 30 2014, 05:11PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

Size isn't everything. Your "behemoth" example of Lidstrom is silly. He couldn't fight his way out of a wet paper bag. Neither can Campbell for that matter but that's not the point. He's a top pairing defencemen, that is attainable and that is something the Oilers need badly.

Ference may be on the smaller side, but he plays big. That matters. Size isn't everything. Petry and Gilbert are both big but do not play big if you want a couple examples.

Not every defencemen is the prototypicle big, plays big, great passer, great leader, minute eater that would solve every problem the Oilers have. Not many teams have two of those let alone one. Campbell would solve most of those issues and at only two years left isn't really a risk at all.

If we going to use your logic we will be in the basement for eternity. Size does matter, even if you don't think so.

Campbell is a good fit in the Eastern Conference but small defenceman have a very hard time managing in the Western Conference where most big forwards ply their trade.

Did you NOT watch the game yesterday genuis?

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#75 oilfan in yyc
January 30 2014, 05:29PM
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Everyone's numbers are better in the southeast, although I suppose the now Atlantic division is more difficult. To say that Chicago couldn't afford to keep him might be a bit misleading, I don't remember him being a top pairing guy on their cup run, and don't remember him actually playing that great for them, I think they more likely couldn't afford to pay a guy that much to be a number 3/4 guy.. Might just be my memory though.

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#76 Zarny
January 30 2014, 05:42PM
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Campbell's contract is stupid. That's a deal breaker for me.

As a player Campbell is not the ideal solution. He is better than what the Oilers have but his weaknesses also mirror weaknesses the Oilers already have.

So any solution including Campbell would also still require a big, physical top pairing D to handle stuff like defense and breaking up the cycle against guys like Thornton and Getzlaf.

At $7,142,875 per season that becomes very difficult if not impossible. Especially in 2015-16 when Yak's next contract kicks in and MacT goes fishing for the pieces he can't get this year.

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#77 admiralmark
January 30 2014, 06:34PM
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Of all the Cockimamey ideas Lowetide?! A 36 year old 7+ million player. This is not what this team needs.

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#78 Citizen David
January 30 2014, 06:39PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

So you are telling me that Nik LIdstrom is smaller than Karlsson? I doubt it, I think your stats are goofy!

NHL.com 6'1 192 Hockey db 6'2 192 Rotoworld 6'1 193 Wikipedia 6'1 190 Hockey reference 6'1 191 The Hockey news 6'1 192

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#79 Yak Attack
January 30 2014, 09:20PM
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admiralmark wrote:

Of all the Cockimamey ideas Lowetide?! A 36 year old 7+ million player. This is not what this team needs.

This is exactly what this team needs ! This would be a bridge to the future. We need real NHL defensemen to gap the 2 or 3 years before our crop of draftee's make or break it.

What we also have been missing in our never ending re-re-re build is veterans to mentor and teach the kids how to be men.

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#80 4-93-14
January 31 2014, 04:44AM
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Brian Campbell would be a very bad idea and money not well spent!

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#81 4-93-14
January 31 2014, 04:46AM
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Yak Attack wrote:

This is exactly what this team needs ! This would be a bridge to the future. We need real NHL defensemen to gap the 2 or 3 years before our crop of draftee's make or break it.

What we also have been missing in our never ending re-re-re build is veterans to mentor and teach the kids how to be men.

Yes we do need someone to bridge the gap , but not Brian Campbell!

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#82 Rdubb
January 31 2014, 06:04AM
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Lowetide, come on man, I almost always agree with you, but this one, this has to be one of the worst things you have ever "put out there", period! Campbell is older, but not that old. He is also considered an "offensive defenseman", not a "shut down defenseman" which is what we need. You and your co-horts @ 1260 always say that our top 6 is too much alike, which is where their problems arise, wouldn't adding Brian be the exact same thing on defense? Are we not loaded with guys who are this type of player (albeit with no where nearly the experience), such as Petry, Schultz, MM (once he gets more confidence playing in the NHL his offensive abilities should shine). That's already 3 guys who are playing a ton of minutes. Now you can also add in up and comers Klefbom & perhaps Gernat to that list too. Then we also have Larson (albeit he doesn't play a great deal @ this time)... Or, am I wrong in my thoughts? I'd really like to hear what you think Lowetide, maybe you can change my mind with a good argument, but I'd also like to hear if I have got you move a bit too with my argument? Just my opinions PECK

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