2008 Final Grade: Cody McLeod

2008 Final Grade: C+

2007 Grade: N/A

Links:

{{mcleod}} (hockey-reference page)

2008 ITCS (aka highly unofficial) McLeod game log

Season Stats: 49gp 4g 5a 9pt -6

Minutes: 496.1 (12th), EV 9:40 PP :08 PK :20 ATOI 10:07

1st Half: 8gp 2g 0a 2pt +2

2nd Half: 41gp 2g 5a 7pt -8

Playoffs: 10gp 1g 1a 2pt -3

Best Month: February (14gp 0g 4a -2 50 PiM)

Positions: LW (47), RW (2)

Lines: 3rd (26), 4th (19), 2nd (4)

Linemates: McLeod game log

C: Guite (17), Hensick (12), Arnason (11), Hlinka (9)

LW: Smyth (2)

RW: Laperriere (17), McCormick (14), Svatos (7), Jones (5), McLeod (2), Hejduk (1), Parker (1), Skrastins (1)

Season: This was McLeod's first NHL season, so all numbers represent career highs for him.

Report: McLeod kind of surprised everyone (well, me, at least) with a fine rookie season. Even with just 49 games played, he was 3rd on the team in hits (98) and 2nd on the team in penalty minutes (120) and fighting majors (12). He also showed in the Minnesota series that he can really get under the skin of the opposing team (but where was that during the regular season?). McLeod doesn't have a ton of offensive skill, but he does seem to have some good hockey instincts. Defensively, he's a tad rough, as we famously saw in the Detroit series. There are some other negatives, of course. As others have pointed out, McLeod tended to be quite selective when it came to picking dance partners. He doesn't seem to be the greatest of fighters, so I can understand that, and it's not like he runs from every heavyweight. He also loses points for his propensity for losing his cool after the fights. The way he jaws at the opposing bench or to the other penalty box is extremely annoying, and has to bug his teammates as much as it bugs me. I also feel McLeod was a bit inconsistent in his effort. Some nights, he seemed to be playing for a continued spot on the roster. Other nights, he seemed to play like a guy who was going to play no matter what (probably because Joel "Even Hand" Quenneville never once sat him). I think that a healthy scratch here or there would have done wonders for McLeod's game. In the last few games, Quenneville suddenly started using McLeod on the penalty kill...and it wasn't pretty. All that said, I think McLeod was a great addition to the team and, overall, his positives outweighed any negatives.

Fast Fact: McLeod spent 16 seconds on the penalty kill in his first 42 games, and 15:43 in his final 7 games.

2007-2008 Salary (and Cap Number): $490,000 ($477,000)

2008-2009 Status: McLeod signed a 1-year, $522,000 deal this summer as a restricted free agent. He'll be a restricted free agent again after this season.

Outlook: Two years ago, the only guys beside Ian Laperriere to earn a fighting major were Mark Rycroft and Jeff Finger. This year, all kinds of unexpected players (Brett Clark? Scott Hannan? Ben Guite?) were stepping into the ring and McLeod's 12 fights were a big boost as well. Quenneville obviously had a major affinity for McLeod (he often put McLeod on the ice for the opening faceoff). Will Tony Granato have the same level of love? Despite the (over) abundance of, um, muckers on the team, I think McLeod will find a considerable share of ice time next year.

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