Tom Preissing on Waivers


Dean Lombardi has placed defenseman Tom Preissing on waivers (H/T to Puck Daddy). Lombardi’s a pretty bright guy; a big chunk of that San Jose Sharks team chewing up the league right now was his creation (not to take credit away from Doug Wilson, but he had a nice base to build from). Let’s take a quick look at Preissing’s numbers over the past four seasons:

  • 2008-09: 22GP – 3G – 4A – 7PTS, -7
  • 2007-08: 77GP – 8G – 16A – 24PTS, -6
  • 2006-07: 80GP – 7G – 31A – 38PTS, +40

That’s a pretty funny career curve, and nicely highlights some of the problems with straight +/-. Here’s the +/- for Preissing’s teams over these seasons:

  • 2008-09: -19
  • 2007-08: -35
  • 2006-07: +67

That clears up a bit of the confusion; obviously Preissing’s +/- has to a large degree reflected the success of his team. Still, let’s go one step further and look at his even-strength advanced statistics:

  • 2008-09: QC-7th, QT-7th, Corsi/60-2nd, PTS/60-5th (0.47)
  • 2007-08: QC-5th, QT-1st, Corsi/60-4th, PTS/60- 5th (0.74)
  • 2006-07: QC-6th, QT-4th

Looking at this, we see that Preissing has always played third pairing opponents, and that this year he has had lower quality teammates than he has previously, which might partially explain why his +/- is so poor this season (he’s on pace to record a +/- four times worse than the number he posted last year).

Still, there’s a more obvious explanation. Using Vic Ferrari’s Time On Ice tool, we can see something more interesting. Preissing’s Corsi number is quite good, but L.A’s a bit of a shot-happy team, so it’s probably inflated a bit. Let’s compare four numbers, all at even-strength:

  • Team Average SH%: 6.4%
  • SH% with Preissing on the ice: 4.6%
  • Team Average SV%: .918
  • SV% with Preissing on ice: .882

In short, Preissing’s getting destroyed by the bounces. He’s played just over 20 games, so the smaller sample size makes the effect more pronounced, and he hasn’t gone from a decent third-pairing defenseman to garbage over the summer.

Still, despite the fact that Preissing is better than his counting numbers would indicate (and yes, I know he’s softer than butter), I wouldn’t pick him up on waivers. He’s being paid 2.75M per season through 2010-11; that’s outrageous money for a third pairing defenseman. At a guess, I’d say someone was unduly influenced by his +/- on a strong team, and his points scoring on a better powerplay. He’s a third-pairing defenseman who qualifies as a low-level special teams option. Lombardi’s right to put him on waivers and try to clear some cap space, but he’s probably already too late.

The real question, for Oilers fans: if Tom Preissing is getting this sort of treatment, what kind of treatment is Steve Staios going to get over the next couple of seasons? Staios is paid 2.7M per season through 2010-11; he has 8 points and is -6 through 60 games this season. I really don’t know if he’s tradeable.

  • Hippy

    I agree with Willis, Staios has been a good guy for the Oilers, but his contract as well as any other guy on the team during '06 (sans Hemsky) is not desireable and his intagibles make him the most tradeable. In terms of desire though, Horcoff's contract should be traded even for nothing, $7 mil is lofty company (even more so for a second line center).

  • Hippy

    Aren't the Oil lacking enough grit as it is. Staios needs to stay, because realistically, they need him. It's sad, but true. Notice how everybody wants to ditch Pisani, Moreau, Staios? They may be overpaid and over played, but doesn't every young team need veterans? Just a thought.

  • Hippy

    @ Peter Pan:

    We have Smid, Strudwick and Souray on the backend for the rest of the year, and can pick up a Staios replacement in the offseason.

    His 2010-11 number is way too high. Ditto Moreau.

    As for Pisani, I want the Oilers to keep him – his contract runs out in 2009-10, at which point he can be resigned at a more reasonable rate.

  • Hippy

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    His 2010-11 number is way too high. Ditto Moreau.

    I disagree on Moreau's number. I think his role is to big but his price seems pretty reasonable.

    As for his role, a new coach would likely adjust that and right now I think it's safe to say that a new coach will be a real possibilty heading into next season.