The Vancouver Canucks today announced the signing of Owen Nolan and Todd Fedoruk to pro-tryout offers, which work as an invite to training camp. These offers do not guarantee that the players make the team, but with the Canucks banged up a little to start the season, there’s a chance that one of these players may make the team out of training camp and play for a few games in lieu of a rookie. PTO’s do not count against the teams alotted fifty contracts. Here’s the official press release from Canucks.com.
It’s early August, so let’s analyze these “transactions”.
At first glance, you’d see Nolan as providing veteran experience (and, of course, the elusive “heart ‘n grit” that’s somehow required to advance deep in the playoffs, despite the Canucks lacking it this year) and Fedoruk being the pugilist that the Canucks don’t need except in the eyes of a scribe who believes the year is 1975 and an assortment of radio callers.
Owen Nolan is 38 and he’ll will be 39 next season. Last year he played with the Zurich Lions of the Swiss-A league, scoring 7 goals and 26 points in 24 games. Over an 82-game stretch, that projects to about 10 goals and 38 points at the NHL level, according to Gabe Desjardins’ league-to-league projection estimates. Nolan has never played an 82-game season. Of the six forwards 39-and over in the NHL last season, just two of them scored at least 10 goals and 20 points (Teemu Selanne and Mark Recchi).
Nolan is not Recchi, but, in his last three NHL years, he actually put up some half decent underlying numbers for a second liner. The parentheses indicate his rank on the team among forwards who played over 50 games in scoring rate, quality of competition and relative Corsi.
|Goals/60||Corsi Rel QoC||Relative Corsi||Adj Fen/G|
|2008||.88 (3rd)||.901 (2nd)||14.1 (3rd)||1.07|
|2009||1.02 (1st)||.046 (6th)||1.6 (5th)||-3.26|
|2010||.66 (5th)||.250 (6th)||-0.9 (6th)||1.58|
With the exception of 2009, where his poor underlying numbers were disguised by a 16.9 shooting percentage and a 103.4 PDO (on-ice save percentage plus on-ice shooting percentage, a reliable indicator of luck) Nolan looked to be readily serviceable. If he has a bit left in the tank, he could fit in as a not-horrible option for the second or third line until Mikael Samuelsson, Ryan Kesler and Mason Raymond return to the lineup. Age and health are the two big issues here, but I have a feeling if he plays a few games he might score one or two goals, especially since the Canucks play twice against Edmonton in October, and Nikolai Khabibulin may be fooled by a Nolan shot even if he told him exactly where he put it. Like at the 1997 All-Star game.
As for Todd Fedoruk, he’s totally useless. He’ll fight a couple of times a game in the pre-season, some fans will love him, and he’ll disappear into the sunset because the Canucks are too smart to have some plug on the team, even just to keep certain media hacks* away from eating too much pizza and popcorn in the press box.
*Hacks. Get it?