Thursday, August 12, 2010

Guest Blogger #21: Quit Staaling

By Brett Crawford

Ok Marc Staal, how much are you worth?

Let’s take a look a few other defensemen of comparable age with comparable roles on their respective teams.

STL – Erik Johnson – Age 22 - $5.2 / 2yrs = $2.6 cap hit
NHL Games Played: 148
Goals/Assists/Points: 15/57/72
Career +/- : -8
09-10 Blocked shots: 77
09-10 Hits: 70
09-10 Time on ice: 21:26 per game average

CHI – Brent Seabrook – Age 25 - $10.5 / 3yrs = $3.5 cap hit
NHL Games Played: 392
Goals/Assists/Points: 30/114/144
Career +/- : 55
09-10 Blocked shots: 153
09-10 Hits: 208
09-10 Time on ice: 23:13 per game average

LAK – Drew Doughty – Age 20 - $10.5 / 3yrs = $3.5 cap hit
NHL Games Played: 163
Goals/Assists/Points: 22/64/86
Career +/- : 3
09-10 Blocked shots: 76
09-10 Hits: 157
09-10 Time on ice: 24:58 per game average

NSH – Shea Weber – Age 24 - $13.5 / 3yrs = $4.5 cap hit
NHL Games Played: 320
Goals/Assists/Points: 64/102/166
Career +/- : 16
09-10 Blocked shots: 106
09-10 Hits: 163
09-10 Time on ice: 23:10 per game average

PIT – Kris Letang – Age 23 - $14 / 4yrs = $3.5 cap hit
NHL Games Played: 217
Goals/Assists/Points: 21/58/79
Career +/- : -10
09-10 Blocked shots: 95
09-10 Hits: 117
09-10 Time on ice: 21:33 per game average

WSH – Mike Green – Age 24 - $21 / 4yrs = $5.25 cap hit
NHL Games Played: 317
Goals/Assists/Points: 71/149/220
Career +/- : 51
09-10 Blocked shots: 105
09-10 Hits: 133
09-10 Time on ice: 25:28 per game average

CHI – Niklass Hjalmersson – Age 23 - $14 / 4yrs = $3.5 cap hit
NHL Games Played: 111
Goals/Assists/Points: 3/18/21
Career +/- : 11
09-10 Blocked shots: 137
09-10 Hits: 59
09-10 Time on ice: 19:39 per game average

NYR – Daniel Girardi – Age 26 - $13.3 / 4yrs = $3.325 cap hit
NHL Games Played: 280
Goals/Assists/Points: 20/60/80
Career +/- : -9
09-10 Blocked shots: 180
09-10 Hits: 178
09-10 Time on ice: 21:28 per game average

NYR – Marc Staal – Age 23 - $ ???
NHL Games Played: 244
Goals/Assists/Points: 13/39/52
Career +/- : 6
09-10 Blocked shots: 97
09-10 Hits: 178
09-10 Time on ice: 23:07 per game average

I’ve included the likes of Mike Green, Shea Weber, Drew Doughty and Brent Seabrook to show what these young, cornerstone players are making right now. I don’t consider Marc Staal on the same level as most of these players, especially Doughty.

But the list underlines the big question: what is Marc Staal worth?

Staal has played in three full NHL seasons, so this is the first time he’s seen an opportunity to work out a new contract.

In 17 playoff games Marc Staal finished second on the team in hits (47) and third in blocked shots (27). Both times finishing behind Daniel Girardi (71 hits, 32 blocked shots) He averaged 22:20 minutes in ice time in 07-08, and 21:32 minutes in 08-09.

Daniel Girardi is three years older, clearly he has had more time to develop as a player. But what infuriates me is the notion that Staal may have rejected upwards of $4 million over four years. If that is true, then I’m sorry to say I’d rather see Staal walk away. Better yet, I’d rather see a desperate team sign him to a massive offer sheet and collect a wheel barrel full of potentially high draft picks (Dallas, Carolina, I’m looking at you two).

I just don’t know what the Rangers think they have with Staal. Will he one day become an offensive force at the blueline? In four OHL seasons, Staal averaged 0.52 points a game, which isn’t too bad. But traditionally, the OHL is a high scoring league and doesn’t typically translate into the same level of offensive output in the NHL. That leaves a defensive defenseman, maybe one of the best in the league. But stats don’t lie, and up to this point, Staal hasn’t been leaps and bounds better than his own teammate Girardi, which would contradict the alleged asking price of $4.5 + from the Staal camp.

Perhaps Staals agents think they have a name brand player in Staal and therefore can command more money. They may be right, but if Sather is smart, he won’t break the bank on Staal yet. At 23, Staal has about four years to go before he becomes an unrestricted free agent (provided he and the Rangers don’t get caught up in an ugly arbitration war next time he’s up for a contract). In those four years, he has a lot to prove to his team. He needs to step up and be a true leader, he needs to start doing anything it takes to stop scoring chances, and he needs to improve his offensive output (if he ever wants more than $4 million a year).

I pray the Rangers are realistic in their expectations of Staals worth, and I hope Staal gets his act together soon and signs a respectable deal.


William said...

what a discount E. Johnson is. I've said this before. Redden and Rozy's contract skew how much an actual top 2 pairing d-man should be making on the Rangers. Looking at these comparable stats, and factoring in the Rangers inflator, I think Staal ought to sign something in the neighborhood of 4-5-yr-16-$22 million. Get it done.

Rick said...

unfortunately we always pay way more than the rest of the teams for the same skill set. For some reason pay and NYR go hand in hand. Whats is wrong is that Dan got 3.3M+ throwing Staal into a automatic higher bracket. For three years in the league and wanting 4-5M with no offense and no consistent physical play leaves me wondering what do we pay for players that will bring those traits on a consistent basis?

William said...

just read your comments Brett. did not see them before. spot on. His asking price of 4.5+ has a lot to do with the two albatrosses. At this stage in the game, he is by no means a bonafide #1/2 on a top tier team. While the potential is perhaps there, a lot remains to be seen. At the beginning of last season, Torts and co implored him to do more offensively with the puck. That translated to a lot of costly turnovers, and the rushing style was subsequently shelved. As far as even being a top tier defensive defensemen with solid puck-moving skills, in my opinion, he's still not entirely there. Erik Johnson is probably his closest compare, and Staal is not nearly his equal. He's a decent passer with ok vision; he tends to telegraph his pass, and rarely does he set up the breakaway w/ a tape to tape like DZ, Girardi or Rosy. In an ideal world, Girardi would have gotten 3 yr/8.5, and Staal 4 yr/14

AnnoyingJoe said...

Wow, the proof is in the pudding, looking at those other D contracts really puts things in perspective. From every indication, The team isn't (for once) get into a contract that isn't realistic And while I'd hate to see Staal go, if he insists on being unrealistic about what he's worth....

William said...

Yeah I really wonder what Staal's ceiling is both offensively and defensively. Will he ever put up ~45 points? I'm not sure. He's not tailored to be a PP guy. He has some shortcomings positionally, but which I see him overcoming. Right now, his identity other than playing a lot of reliable minutes is somewhat up in the air so it's hard to quantify his worth. Last year we caught a glimpse of his offensive game changing potential in the late stages(He had some beautiful goals in consecutive games down the stretch). That said, I could see him continuing to develop as a consistent, reliable 22 TOI +d-man with 10/40 pt production potential. This would certainly make him worth $4 million a season. I'm also asking myself, is this a guy who's going to playing for Canada in future Olympic games (provided the NHL participates).

Anonymous said...

Staal isn't leaps and bounds better than Girardi? We must be watching different teams. He doesn't have leaps and bounds more hits or blocked shots if that's what you mean. But hits do not equal defense. In fact, hits are a reflection of having a friendly home scorer more than anything else.

And blocked shots? Think about it. To block a shot, a defender must be playing in his own zone and not the offensive zone. Moreover, he must allow a shot. Staal's defensive abilities allow him to prevent shots from ever occurring and press the play out of his own zone.

LTP said...

ok and Marc Staal simply is not in the same stratosphere as any 1 of those players mentioned in this posting. I would take any one of them & could add 10 tp that list who I would take before Marc Staal. The guy is not worth 5 million per he's not worth 4 mill. per. He's a decent 2nd. pair player & where everyone gets this notion that Marc Staal is a "shut down defenseman" I have no idea. I swear to hear people talk about him you would think he is the incarnation of Larry Robinson or something the guy might be as over rated a player as plays in the league today, keep on drinking Sam & Joe's kool aid people keep on drinking it.

The Ranger Rover said...

If you recall Canada's defensemen in Vancouver, Brent Seabrook was the odd-man out, even though he was brought in to play with Duncan Keith. Out of the seven, Seabrook is the only one who plays a similar style to Marc Staal (albeit he's a much more complete player) -- and look where that got him. Barring a total transformation to his game, I can't see Team Canada wanting such a one-dimensional player on defense. No offense to Marc, but the talent pool is too great for him to be included in such an elite grouping. Four years is a long way away though, and at least two spots will open up (Neidermayer, Pronger). I agree with our guest blogger here, let him walk and take the picks, the compensation will be worthwhile. And I'd put together a package with Staal and some prospects/picks for Erik Johnson any day.

The Ranger Rover said...

Case in point:

William said...

RangeRover: agreed. the sign and trade for E. Johnson would be pretty sweet. sign Staal for ~4 over 4 or whatever, package McIlrath/McDonagh, maybe a forward. done. however, not gonna happen. he's their franchise player and likely to be one of the most complete defensemen in the league over the next 10 years.

Jack said...

Girardi's $3.3M+ is pretty insane. Staal is so young and still has so much to prove. When THIS contract is up what could he possibly renegotiate for unless he turns into Bobby Orr.

Anything more than like...$3.5 is too much right now. Thanks for this post it really puts things in perspective.

Anonymous said...

its amazing to me.

everyone cries about developing youth, staying young. blah blah blah

And now, here is a player that has been developed from inception, shown improvement, and clearly has the potential to be better, and you want to cut him loose because he wants a little money from a team that has been throwing money at people like wade redden?

Make up your mind.

he is CLEARLY better than Girardi, and for that reason should have been signed FIRST. But Sather is mentally challenged so, there you go.

Staal can still be a top 2 defenseman. Alot of these other guys youve compared him to have the luxury of being one of several young stud defensemen on their teams, like Johnson, Weber and Doughty and who knows how they would perferm in the Ranger system as THE guy.

Just fucking sign Staal and move on.

Brett Crawford said...


First, get a name.

Second, how is Staal CLEARLY better?

Please present some small form of a case for such a bold statement.

AnnoyingJoe said...

Im surprised at how many Staal detractors there are.

Is Staal CLEARLY better than Girardi? I'll take a stab: I think he is. Girardi is a solid defenseman, but I think Staal is a legitimate 1st tier defenseman. Your not not going to find evidence for that in his offensive stats, and I don't think he will ever be an offensive powerhouse. But if you watch him over the course of the season you realize how good he is in the defensive zone; He hits hard and effectively and excels at using his body to the protect and manage the puck. He's young and he's always put up against the top echelon F's in the league and he holds his own.

Most importantly, I believe he still has room to grow and improve.

Brett C. said...

I agree Staal has room to grow and improve, and I hope he does.

I like Staal as a player and I would like him to stay with the organization IF it's a reasonable deal for both. Remember this is his first contract renewal since joining the league 3 years ago. How many players get $4 million + contracts this soon? Staal is a good player, and could one day be a great player. But he is not worth $4.5 million a year right now, and it's a poor display of character if the rumours are true and he rejected a very reasonable offer. You have to earn that kind of money, and just because he is a top three defenseman for the Rangers, that doesn't mean he's entitled to top dollar at age 23.

It should also be noted that sometimes the agents push for this sort of thing. I'd like to think that Marc Staal is an honest, reasonable player, but this situation does raise some doubt in my mind.

AndrewFS said...

Anyone who has actually WATCHED a game and not simply compiled stats from knows that Staal is worth 5 million TO THIS TEAM!!!

the point you seem to omit is that Staal's agent knows the market he is dealing in. ex. Anton Volchenkov signing for you honestly believe any agent in their right mind will take 2.5mil when he clearly has a guy who is NEARING his prime years. the market dictates contracts.!! Seabrook signed before Cambell and Redden and so too did Weber but you just wait and see when they hit free agentcy like Hamhuis and Gonchar and then re-write this post.

Staal is what we call a solid asset and a future corner stone of this franchise, we need to pay him his dues, and without the contracts of the unbelievably useless schmucks we have in Rozy and that other doucher we all love to hate, Stalls 5 million would be considered Market value and that one should expect to pay for a future number 1 d-man....

AndrewFS said...

I think if some of you spent more time WATCHING hockey and less time blogging and stat crunching, you would learn the value of a player is not always found in numbers. Anyone who watche Staal on a consistent basis will see tha the is a BEAST, he is solid in every way minus the offense NUMBERS, however I have seen flashes of brilliance form this kid on several occasions and am willing to bet he cracks 40 points this year. He is young, full of talent and CLEARLY, unless you are blind better than Girardi,,,hell look at their numbers last year: Staal more ice time, more points, much better plus minus (teamed against other teams top line ALL the time) dont get me wrong I also like Girardi, especially considered he ia another example of good scouting as he was undrafted but common wake up watch some tape, anyone who has ever played hockey can see who has more skill and potential ..

AnnoyingJoe said...

Andrew 100%. I've had this argument before...

I think that in hockey, more than any other sport, stats aren't the best indicator of a player's worth. I know Gaborik is an incredible player because of his hands, his shot, his ability to put himself in great positions to score and his ability to go from a dead stop to 90mph. Not because I can look up his goal totals.

LI Joe said...

staal is my favorite of the rangers younger guys. his position is defense remember and he does it quite well so i'm not swayed by goals and assts.

he should get between 3.5 mm and 4 mm per yr. anything more and we'll see another player that is hated by a good amt of our fanbase with constant whining.

by the way i again see people comparing to redden rozy and volchenkov who all got their contracts as ufas. ufas and rfas have not ever been comparable not before and not now. apples and oranges.

and kevin re the summer post. my vote would be this one. well at least not the few who advocated changing the letters around despite the number of comments. this one was at least well thought out.

W.R. Little said...

You are all ridiculous. As a Blackhawk fan, who has seen a boatload of talented defenders make the cut and excel at this league - STAAL IS OVERRATED.

I watch players, and I track them. Staal has yet to prove he's a cornerstone defender in this league. He's not nearly as good as Seabrook was 3 years ago, nor is he as solid defensively as Hjalmy is now.

And Hjalmy got lucky with his contract, Wilson saw an opportunity and Chicago knew he's got more to show. They matched, and now they have to bank on Hjalmy's will to get better. Brian Campbell is also useless with him.

There's a reason no one in the NHL has signed Staal to an offersheet - he's just not that good, and that fleeting potential all top prospects have, is fading. Judging by the way I've seen Staal play the past three seasons, I'd say his ceiling is a Hal Gill type player.

The fact that Staal and his agent think that he deserves more than $3.5mi per, is a fucking joke, and shows a serious flaw in character.

Kevin DeLury said...

Great discussion guys. I'm in the camp that Staal is overrated by Ranger fans. And that doesn't mean I think he sucks it means I think he is a solid defenseman, not an elite one.

His offense has not developed the way most thought it would and he is far from being a feared shutdown defenseman.

No way he is worth more than $4 million per. And I wouldn't give him more than 4 years.

G said...

Just so you know what other people (Competitors. From west.) think about Mark Staal:

LI Joe said...

staal is not nearly as overrated as dubinsky is. its actually pretty sickening how some think he walks on water. i'd take staal on my team in a leadership position way before dubinsky

ivaNYRicov said...

wow... thanks G... that was interesting...

They seem to love Staal more than we do. They actually proposed trading Heatly for Staal. They would actually do that... I like Marc, I really do. He wants more money because he is pissed the ClusterF*uck Twins make so much and do so little. Or at least his agents think so. It is making me question his character I must say. I want him to stay, the money isnt mine so I'm not going to worry about that.

ivaNYRicov said...

This post has my vote as the winner in the contest, not that kevin will allow us to influence his decision... right kevin? wink wink nudge nudge

William said...

AndrewF --

that's where your wrong.. $5 million for Staal may be market value, but for any team trying to be fiscally conservative (as the Rangers have to be for obvious and unfortunate reasons) that is not great value. All-star veteran defensemen in this league are fortunate if they make around $6 per season. Staal is not an all-star and he's not a veteran. Given that it's first contract renewal, he should be getting around $4 per max over 3-4 years. Brent Seabrook signed his deal in 2008, although before Campell and Wade, in what was still a similar marketplace. He got then around what a solid 2-3 defenseman Restricted fee agent defensmen (what Staal is) deserves, 3.5 M per over 3. Factor in inflation on top of the standard Rangers inflator (which henceforth needs to be curbed as the organization hopefully learns from their mistakes in the Cap era) and Staal deserves around 4 per. you can't treat Redden, Rozy, and for that matter, as legitimate comparables despite how reasonable that may seem from a relative standpoint.

William said...

RE: no offer sheet...
i guess 5 million isn't market value...clearly there is some delusion on the part of Staal and his agent to be so demanding...

also whats with people getting on here and presuming because fan bloggers use stats in their analysis don't watch games... that's just idiotic. anybody taking the time out of their 'busy' day to talk about this crap has got to be watching at least 40 games a year.