GDB 45: Vincent Lecavalier

As we wait for the game against the Coyotes to begin, let’s consider two players over the past two seasons. Both are gritty, have good size, and are well-known and often mentioned as Top-10 players. Here are the numbers:

Player A

2008-09: 45GP – 28G – 21A – 59 PTS, +10

2007-08: 82GP – 40G – 66A – 106 PTS, -8

2006-07: 82GP – 56G – 54A – 100 PTS, +23

Player B

2008-09: 45GP – 15G – 22A – 37 PTS, +4

2007-08: 82GP – 41G – 44A – 85 PTS, -23

2006-07: 82GP – 49G – 57A – 106 PTS, -11

Player A is clearly superior to Player B. Outside of a slight difference in one season, he’s been a far better offensive performer, and his +/- totals are well ahead of Player B. Yet everybody, bizarrely enough, thinks that these two players are identical in ability, despite the fact that the statistics don’t support it at all.

The reason that everybody regards these two players as identical talents is because they are one player. Player A is Vincent Lecavalier, specifically his point totals against his own division, pro-rated over full seasons. Player B is Vincent Lecavalier against the rest of the NHL, pro-rated over an entire season.

I haven’t gotten into the effect of the various divisions on player performance, but it is something that we as Oilers fans should be wise to. We’ve seen the effect on Erik Cole, and it isn’t an illusion. The Southeast is the worst division in the NHL, by far, and it isn’t surprising that some of the league’s top goal- and point- scorers can be found there. It’s something that GM’s should keep in mind before making trades, at any rate.

It’s something Oilers fans should keep in the back of their mind as they watch their team play the Coyotes and fantasize about what a new addition to the lineup could do to help the cause.

  • Hippy

    Jason Gregor wrote:

    Ender the Dragon wrote:

    JW makes the case that it would be a poor trade for the Oil. CurtisS thinks it’s a no-brainer that the Oil do the trade in a second. I’m not sure what Gregor thinks; his answer is a bit ambiguous, but maybe he wasn’t aware there was a question.
    I didn’t know there was a question, but my answer is clear. If I’m starting a team, I take Lecavalier over Hemsky any day.
    There is a reason why Lecavalier is making the money he will make and what Hemsky makes, he has earned it. Hemsky has never been an 80 point player. Take out the salary and I don’t care what division they play in, I take Vinny hands down. Anyone who thinks Hemsky is better is wearing coloured glasses. Lecavalier plays in any situation, scores more goals, it tougher and has put up more points.
    To say that a GM would take Hemsky over Vinny is only based on money. If the question is what player/salary would fit better on a team, that is different than who is flat out a better player. I asked 10 scouts at the game tonight, and 10 out of 10 agreed with me.
    My other point Jonathon, you talk about tough and soft minutes. Well it seems that all 1st line players are considered tough minutes. But if a team has a checking line that doesn’t score, wouldn’t they be harder minutes to play against as on offensive player? Just curious.

    Jason,

    Maybe in the past. Not today.

    This year Hemsky's ppg is 1.05.

    Vinny's is 0.91.

    Less points at half the price.

    Also Vinnie is 28 and Hemsky is 25.

    With the salaries being equal and you had to start a franchise today, you couldn't make a great argument for Vinnie over Hemmer today.

    Last year maybe. Two years ago for sure.

    With the salaries as they are, you take Hemsky and its not even close.