Tom Preissing on Waivers

Preissing

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

    rindog wrote:

    an act of desperation trying to cover-up for mistakes made elsewhere?

    You got a great point. As much as I admire Staios for his heart, I do believe he has to sacrafice his body to contribute or else he does not offer much, on the ice.As for leadership he is probally respected, for his sacrafice.rindog wrote:

    tries to eliminate the opposition from taking shots

    If thats the case thier not doing a great job of it. There is far and few between games that the Oilers outshoot the opposition. And somtimes its embarassing.
    So, I myself do not consider it a strength for the team. 2.7 mill next year ..Ouch!

  • Hippy

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    On the other hand, if you’re blocking a lot, it’s probably a good sign that you’re stuck in your end of the rink more often than not.

    I wonder if you get hit with a shot in front of the opposition net if you get credit for blocking a shot. haha.

  • Hippy

    Blocking shots is a double-edged sword. You love to see the character and willingness to sacrifice the body that doing it takes, plus of course it helps keep shots from getting to the net.

    On the other hand, if you're blocking a lot, it's probably a good sign that you're stuck in your end of the rink more often than not.

  • Hippy

    @ Jonathan Willis:

    Yeah, I will agree his salary is a bit on the side of "handcuffing".

    @ rindog:

    Well, blocking shots in it self is an individual strength, yes…but having to do it a lot I'll agree is more of a team deficiency than anything else.

  • Hippy

    I think we could all agree when Steve Staios is playing mean and is in the game he brings intangibles to the team. When he is at his best he's a great 3rd pairing guy.

    When he's not….

    But as the games get tighter having a guy who's seen it all on your bottom pairing isn't a bad thing.

    Thankfully his play has picked up of late and we're not seeing his defensive ineptitude rearing it's head as often. Bad decisions and being out muscled is not something you want from your veteran shut down guy.

  • Hippy

    @ The Towel Boy:

    Should blocking shots really considered a strength?

    Or is it an act of desperation trying to cover-up for mistakes made elsewhere?

    Take Detroit for example. They do not have one defenseman in the top 50 for blocked shots.

    Could it be that they rely on a system that tries to eliminate the opposition from taking shots rather than trying to have their defenseman try to block them?

    Just a thought??

  • Hippy

    The Towel Boy wrote:

    There are some that believe that Staios brings more to the table than points, +/-, corsi numbers and strong defensive zone play.
    Things like veteran leadership and a nice smile could be considered a tradeable facet of his game….maybe? I like his moxie and his willingness to get down on the ice to block a shot too.

    I sure hope. Because that 2.7 million he's getting paid in 2010-11 could cost this team dearly.

  • Hippy

    There are some that believe that Staios brings more to the table than points, +/-, corsi numbers and strong defensive zone play.

    Things like veteran leadership and a nice smile could be considered a tradeable facet of his game….maybe? I like his moxie and his willingness to get down on the ice to block a shot too.