I just wanted to add a couple of things to the post below but I decided to make a separate entry since I know a lot of people have already read the original Hank vs. Soupy post and will probably not scroll down that way again. If you haven't read it, please do. It took me forever to write and I really am curious to know what people think about it. If you're too shy to comment, shoot me an email.
- I should have mentioned yesterday that Before the Net's numbers are updated regularly so if you happen to wander over there, it's possible that you'll see slightly different numbers than the ones Meg and I used. I'm pretty sure the numbers we used didn't include the most recent game so that would explain some fluctuation.
- You could really almost make a case that Brian Campbell is the fourth most valuable defenseman on the team. If you look at goal differentials (Goals For On/60 - Goals Against On/60), Henrik Tallinder (+1), Toni Lydman (+.45), and Jaroslav Spacek (+.29) all have a better number than Campbell (+.13). Additionally, Tallinder, Lydman, and Spacek all have higher Quality of Competition ratings although Spacek's is very, very close to the same as Campbell's. For the record, Dmitri Kalinin has a good differential (+.67) but he and Nathan Paetsch are playing the lowest Quality of Competition out of the d-men. Paetsch has the lowest differential and is just a touch above Kalinin in Quality of Competition.
- Just for fun, here are the top five forwards in Quality of Competition and goal differential (at least 30 games played):
QUALITY OF COMPETITION
1. Jochen Hecht (0.14)
2. Jason Pominville (0.13)
3. Derek Roy (0.04)
4. Tim Connolly (0.04)
5. Thomas Vanek (0.01)
No real surprises although it does show just how often Hecht and Pominville are matching up with top lines. Clarke MacArthur's rating was up there with them but he didn't meet the 30 game criteria.
1. Daniel Paille (3.06 GF On/60, 1.84 GA On/60)
2. Derek Roy (3.81 GF On/60, 2.67 GA On/60)
3. Drew Stafford (3.12 GF On/60, 2.16 GA On/60)
4. Jason Pominville (3.20 GF On/60, 2.47 GA On/60)
5. Thomas Vanek (3.36 GF On/60, 2.88 GA On/60)
Okay, no more stats for a while, I promise.
I do have one more thing to say though. I know a lot of the attachment to Brian Campbell is sentimental. He was drafted by the Sabres, he's come up through the system, and we've watched him go from healthy scratch to two-time All-Star. I get that, I do. And it's okay for us as fans to value that, maybe even above other things. But as much as we say we want our GM to be the same way, we really don't. That's not what GMs do. GMs have to strip away personality (to a degree) and sentiment and look at what the player is contributing to the team and decide whether his contributions justify his cost. It's one thing when you're the Dallas Stars and the player you're showing loyalty to is Mike Modano. Modano is one of the best hockey players of his generation. He can change games and he can make a difference for a franchise in years when they might be struggling. Brian Campbell is not that player. He's a fine hockey player. But I don't think he's a guy you build a team around and when we're talking about six million dollars, that's what he'll end up being. He'll be part of the core that other pieces get moved around. If the Sabres sign him to a five or six million dollar contract I really, truly believe he's not going to live up to the expectations that come with it. And eventually all of us who wanted Campbell to stay for sentimental reasons will be moaning and groaning about why we're paying him so much money.
And that is my official last word on Brian Campbell. For this week at least.