UFA Options: Anaheim Ducks

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.

  • lj

    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.

  • lj

    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.

  • lj

    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.

  • lj

    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….

  • lj

    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.

  • lj

    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.