Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Does a Veteran 6D Really Matter?

I think the answer is no.

First, we’ll assume that a team of replacement level players is good for 30 points which seems acceptably low.
Second, we’ll assume that the Edmonton Oilers are good for another 60 points which seems about right. Now there are at least 15 other players of equal or greater value to the sixth defenceman (9F, 5D, 1G) and we’re talking about, essentially, a quarter of the season to go here.

If we decide to award standings points to individual players (disregarding luck, I’m such a fool) then that means we’re talking about 4 points per season per player and at a quarter of a season, 1 point per player. Now this doesn’t even take into consideration that the fourth line would contribute something and it assumes that the quality of your 1C has as much impact on standings points as the quality of your 6D which is just stupid. Now, if one wants to increase the importance of the guys playing twenty minutes a game (and you should!), I’d imagine you’d have to diminish the value of the bottom D and F to compensate.

Basically, unless you think a guy like Theo Peckham is way under replacement level, I don’t see how one can argue replacing him with Nic Havelid or Kyle McClaren is worth even a full standings point. Now, naturally, any improvement is fine, but a lot of this talk (at LT’s) about needing a veteran plug on 6D seems overblown to me.

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