Mid-Season Report Cards: Defensemen

DENVER - DECEMBER 23, 2010: Adam Foote #52 of the Colorado Avalanche gets in the face of Minnesota Wild #22 Cal Clutterbuck as captain Mikko Koivu (R) #9 soils his hockey pants. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Disclaimer: All grades were determined by averaging together the MHH staff's individual choices in a blender. It's science.

Adam Foote

#52 / Defenseman / Colorado Avalanche

Height: 6-2

Weight: 220

Born: Jul 10, 1971 (39 years-old)

2010-2011 Mid-Season Stats:


GP G A PTS +/- PIM
PPP SHP GWG S S%  
1st Half 28 0 5 5 -2 19
0 0 0 13 0.0

 

2009-2010 Mid-Season Stats:


GP G A PTS +/- PIM
PPP SHP GWG S S%  
1st Half 36 0 5 5 6 48
0 0 0 15 0.0

 

Paul's Coffey: The gritty old Cap'n may be slow, old, and tire out after 1 period, but I like what he brings while he's not sucking on the oxygen tank between periods. Foote is a great captain, a vital influence on the crop of young D, and a bitter battled-tested old bastard that doesn't take no shit from nobody. Sometimes I wish he'd concentrate more on defense than being grumpy, but I'm not gonna say it to his gnarly face. Also, it's nice to see him cut back on the stupid penalties a little.

Dustin: it's hard to grade Foote since his most important contribution is probably in the locker room. He is still feisty and willing to get in people's faces but he has had a rough year defensively.

DDC: No one on the team displays his toughness and tenacity. He clearly has heart. Too bad the tank is nearly on empty though.

Mike: Mixed bag.  On-ice play seems to degrade almost nightly, but his visible leadership and willingness to protect teammates is great to see.

Contract Status: UFA. Last year of 1 year $1,250,000 contract.

Bminus__small__medium

20099-2010 Mid-Season Grade: B+                                     2010-2011 Mid-Season Grade:

 




Kyle Cumiskey

#10 / Defenseman / Colorado Avalanche

Height: 5-10

Weight: 187

Born: Dec 02, 1986 (24 years-old)

2010-2011 Mid-Season Stats:


GP G A PTS +/- PIM
PPP SHP GWG S S%  
1st Half 11
1
4
5
0
8

0
0
0
14
7.1

 

2009-2010 Mid-Season Stats:


GP G A PTS +/- PIM
PPP SHP GWG S S%  
1st Half 25
3
4
7
1
8

0
0
0
29
10.3

 

Paul's Coffey: Unfortunately, Cummer's season has been cut short because of a Mueller suffered in only his 11th game of the young season. Cumiskey is the new Leoprone in terms of injuries, but with an even worse nickname. Like Jones, every year seems to be Thing #1's potential "breakout" year, but injuries always get in the way. With the emergence of Shattenkirk and the acquisition of the quick Hunwick, it seems unlikely that there will be room for the all of the speed demons, but Sacco has stood by Cummers in the past, so don't count him out. Cumiskey and Hunwick are both RFAs and Cumiskey makes about 1/3 of what Matt  Hunwick does this year, so that may play a role in who Sherman keeps or ships. Cumiskey could thrive in the right environment (meaning when he signs with Edmonton and scores a hat trick in his first game vs the Avs), and I hope he gets a healthy opportunity somewhere, if not Denver.

Sandiegee: Just average, yes he's been injured... I hope that his health improves and he can prove me wrong.

Beachie: Cumiskey has played far too few games to give an accurate and fair assessment. He’s had a couple of good games, but his greatest value might be as bait for other teams. He’s still a fast skater who can move the puck out of his own zone with speed and often causes the other team to freeze in awe - or disbelief as the case may be. But once he gets into the offensive zone, he seems lost and often turns over the puck. Other teams, especially in the east, could view his talents as key to their defense while overlooking his liabilities. On the right team - one with a solid, defensively-minded blueline - he could be a threat again.

Contract Status: RFA this summer. Last year of $600,000 contract.

C__small__medium

2009-2010 Mid-Season Grade:  B+                                          2010-2011 Mid-Season Grade:

                                                                                (Kyle received a couple INC votes as well)

 

 

 

Keep reading for the rest of your defensmen's grades.

John-Michael Liles

#4 / Defenseman / Colorado Avalanche

Height: 5-10

Weight: 185

Born: Nov 25, 1980

2010-2011 Mid-Season Stats:


GP G A PTS +/- PIM
PPP SHP GWG S S%  
1st Half 40 5 25 30 10 25
2 0 0 94 5.3

 

2009-2010 Mid-Season Stats:


GP G A PTS +/- PIM
PPP SHP GWG S S%  
1st Half 28 3 11 14 -3 10
2 0 0 45 6.7

 

Beachie: Liles has easily been the best defenseman on the Avs this season. Not only is he putting up points, his defensive game has improved significantly as shown by his +10 rating, a stat he shares with linemate Ryan O’Byrne for the top spot on the team. He’s racked up 5 goals and 25 assists already, only 19 points behind his career high, yet he’s done it in less than half the time. He’s also upped his physicality, finishing checks, muscling guys off the puck in the corners, and coming to the defense of teammates. He makes the team competitive every night and is clearly a leader for the young D-corps.

DDC: Doing it all this year, leading the team in ice time, +/- and hair length.

Dustin: what's to say? JML has been a beast this season. I always had faith in him as an offensive defenseman but I never imagined he could be this good.

MIke: His best professional season bar none.  Wanna see more effective use of his abilities on the PP, but otherwise no complaints.

Contract Status: 1 more season at 4.2 million per

2009-2010 Mid-Season Grade: B-                                           2010-2011 Mid-Season Grade:A__small__medium

 



Kyle Quincey

#27 / Defenseman / Colorado Avalanche

Height: 6-2

Weight: 207

Born: Aug 12, 1985 (25 years-old)

2010-2011 Mid-Season Stats:


GP G A PTS +/- PIM
PPP SHP GWG S S%  
1st Half 21
0
1
1
-5
18

0
0
0
39
0.0

 

2009-2010 Mid-Season Stats:


GP G A PTS +/- PIM
PPP SHP GWG S S%  
1st Half 41 4 15 19 5 39
1 0 0 73 5.5

 

Paul's Coffey: Quincey, oh Quincey. The BMF is no more. Never did we even get a glimpse of the BMF. His measly lone point came only after we blasted him in an intervention. Luckily the intervention was a success, but Alex Ovechkin shrugged Quincey off and into oblivion days later. That play kind of sums up his entire season for me: he tires to do something, fails, and actually ends up worse than where he started.

Dustin: Very up and down. Mostly down.

Mike: Inconsistent and seems to have tried to winnow his game down to a few aspects.  That approach doesn’t seem to be working.  Get well soon.

Contract Status: First year of two year deal at $3,125,000 per year.

2009-2010 Mid-Season Grade:  A-                                         2010-2011 Mid-Season Grade:Dplus_medium

 

 

 


Ryan Wilson

#44 / Defenseman / Colorado Avalanche

Height: 6-1

Weight: 207

Born: Feb 3, 1987 (23 years-old)

2010-2011 Mid-Season Stats:


GP G A PTS +/- PIM
PPP SHP GWG S S%  
1st Half 31
2
7
9
7
22

1
0
0
29
6.9

 

2009-2010 Mid-Season Stats:


GP G A PTS +/- PIM
PPP SHP GWG S S%  
1st Half 30 2 7 9 8 15
0 0 0 19 10.5

 

DDC: I don’t think anyone on the team has waffled between excellent and terrible as frequently as Wilson has. Shift to shift, it can really go either way.

Paul's Coffey: His play of late has redeemed him - for now. If he can play at this consistent level, he is a fantastic find and a valuable addition. He and O'Byrne operating at full Mack Truck steam will help this team immensely. And looking at his stats, it would appear he is consistent - if only all stats were as pure and true as corsi....

Sandiegee: If this was done in December I would have given him a C. But the last three or four games he has been playing a physically dominating game, throwing his body around finishing his checks.

Dustin: Has been much better lately and is starting to throw some heavy hits again. He was awful for a portion of the season though.

Contract Status: RFA. Last year at $551,666.

2009-2010 Mid-Season Grade: B+                              2010-2011 Mid-Season Grade:

Bminus__small__medium

 





Ryan O'Byrne

#3 / Defenseman / Colorado Avalanche

Height: 6-5

Weight: 234

Born: Jul 19, 1984 (26 years-old)

 


GP G A PTS +/- PIM
PPP SHP GWG S S%  
1st Half 29
0
4
4
10
37

0
0
0
16
0.0

 

Sandiegee: Since he has begun wearing the "A" he is tied Liles with a plus 10 rating. He's got size and throws it around. He also watches out for his teammates. A good thing to have in the locker room.

Beachie: Upon his trade, O’Byrne quickly established himself as a solid, physical shut down defenseman and was the perfect compliment to Liles. The pair has managed to lead the team in +/- at 9, and O’Byrne has contributed on 4 goals. His real damage is done, however, defensively. He’s responsible in his own end and commits to his hits, forcing turnovers consistently. He also has kept guard on the blueline successfully, allowing his partner to pinch in and create offense. He does have a tendency to take stupid penalties at less than opportune moments, but his dominating presence on the ice gives other teams reason to pause, which is something the Avs have terribly lacked in recent years. O’Byrne is a welcome addition, for sure, and a shrewd trade by Greg Sherman.

Dustin: Damn. I was happy enough about O'Byrne when the Avs picked him up but he has found his niche playing with JML. He plays smart, fundamental defense very well.

Mike: Big, sometimes mean, hits well, takes tons of dumb penalties.

Contract Status: RFA. Last year at $941,667

2009-2010 Mid-Season Grade: N/A                                          2010-2011 Mid-Season Grade:Bplus__small__medium






Kevin Shattenkirk

#8 / Defenseman / Colorado Avalanche

Height:5-11

Weight:193

Born: Jan 29, 1989 (21 years-old)


GP G A PTS +/- PIM
PPP SHP GWG S S%  
1st Half 29
5
14
19
-1
16

1
0
1
39
12.8

 

Paul's Coffey: Despite a major slump in the points department (0 points in the last 9 games), Shattenkirk his still better than expected and perhaps even better than advertised as the overall 14th pick. I think he would benefit from keeping his head up along the boards a bit more as he seems to be the beneficiary of too many avoidable hits, but once he has the puck nobody sees the ice better. And he needs to shoot more. Here's hoping he turns it back on and brings the Calder home this summer.

Mike: Developing faster than expected.  Would like to see more willingness to be physical behind his own goalline, but his passes and breakout instincts are pretty sweeeeeeet.

Dustin: hitting a minor slump at the moment but still so good offensively. Still makes mistakes defensively that's what rookies do. His timing and vision might be the best on the blueline.

DDC: I am 100% smitten, but he has been very, very quiet lately.

Contract Status: 1st year of three year entry level deal at $1,300,000 per.

Aminus_medium

2009-2010 Mid-Season Grade: N/A                                        2010-2011 Mid-Season Grade:






Matt Hunwick

#48 / Defenseman / Colorado Avalanche

Height:5-11

Weight: 190

Born: May 21, 1985 (25 years-old)

2010-2011 Mid-Season Stats:


GP G A PTS +/- PIM
PPP SHP GWG S S%  
1st Half 39
1
4
5
-2
13

0
0
0
49
2.0

 

2009-2010 FULL season stats:


GP G A PTS +/- PIM
PPP SHP GWG S S%  
2009-2010 76
6
8
14
-16
32

1
1
1
60
10%

 

Paul's Coffey: I am very unimpressed with Hunwick. As far as I can tell, the only thing he does remotely well is skate the puck up ice. We don't have Hunwick's mid-season stats from last year with the Briuns, so we've thrown his last year's entire stats up there for comparison. I think we'll all be very sorry should Colby Cohen develop into a top six defensman - and Boston wanted a first-round pick for Hunwick?!?! Sure he's fast and can skate, but so can Apolo Anton Ohno. 

DDC: Definitely a work in progress. It hasn’t been pretty so far.

Sandiegee: I'm worried about this one. I hope that it's a 17 game "settling in period" and that the second half of the season he does more.

Dustin: Still holding out hope for the speedster but so far he had been useless offensively and up and down in his own end.

Contract Status: RFA. Last year at $1,450,000

2009-2010 Mid-Season Grade: N/A                                       2010-2011 Mid-Season Grade:Dplus_medium





Jonas Holos

#6 / Defenseman / Colorado Avalanche

Height: 5-11

Weight: 196

Born: Aug 27, 1987 (23 years-old)


GP G A PTS +/- PIM
PPP SHP GWG S S%  
1st Half 15
0
3
3
4
2

0
0
0
20
0.0

 

Paul's Coffey: I like Holos, but I don't agree with the angry Holos fan base that thinks he should be a constant starter in the NHL right now. He's still needs development. And on that point I heartily agree that he needs/deserves playing time somewhere, rather than the press box. The only current player I'd put him ahead of is Hunwick. Everyone else fits a nice role on the team. I love Holos' attitude, and his competence with the puck on the PP early in the season was a breath of fresh air. Maybe Holos is such a competent, unspectacular player, that he gets snubbed because he doesn't excel at any one aspect of the game, he just does everything well enough - which is still way better than Hunwick.  He's got a lot of upside, even if it isn't flashy. It'd be a shame to let that potential go untapped back to Europe.

DDC: Holos has been solid, if unspectacular. That’s more than you can say about several of the guys ahead of him on the depth chart.

Beachie: Hølos is probably the most confusing storylines this season. His numbers are good. He plays intelligently. He's responsible defensively and also jumps into the play. And he puts his all into every game. Yet, he's been demoted to Lake Erie and, when called back up, sat in the press box more games than he's skated on the ice. What gives, Sacco? For some inexplicable reason - at least to the fans on the outside - Hølos has found himself in Sacco's doghouse, and while guys like Hunwick get ice time, he watches from the sidelines. Perhaps the fact that the defenseman is not putting up strong offensive numbers is affecting his status with his coach. However, Hunwick hasn't been either, and Quincey wasn't when he was in the lineup. It's an enigma, and I hope it turns around soon as the team might lose Hølos to the European teams that are offering big money for him to return. It would certainly be the Avs' loss if that happens.

Mike: Trending upward, but needs ice, whether in Denver or Cleveland, watching from the box isn’t helping anybody.

Contract Status: 1st year of 2 year deal at $785,000 per.

Bminus__small__medium

2009-2010 Mid-Season Grade: N/A                                             2010-2011 Mid-Season Grade:





David Liffiton

#5 / Defenseman / Colorado Avalanche

Height: 6-2

Weight: 210

Born: Oct 18, 1984 (26 years-old)


GP G A PTS +/- PIM
PPP SHP GWG S S%  
1st Half 4
1
0
1
3
17

0
0
0
2
50

 

Paul's Coffey: Lake Erie Captain David Liffiton handled himself VERY well in his short stint with the Avs. He is a big, physical, stay at home defensman, who has a lot of experience n the AHL and even Denmark. I'd like to see him get another chance - especially if O'Byrne or Foote miss time with injuries. The Avs don't have many big, physical, defenders.

Dustin: I liked him while he was up as well. Seems well rounded and a little nasty.

Mike: Not sure why he isn’t immediately inserted into Quincey’s roster spot.

DDC: Just 4 games, but he definitely made an impression. I think he deserved a longer look

Contract Status: RFA. $500,000                                  

Incomplete__small__medium

2009-2010 Mid-Season Grade: N/A                                           2010-2011 Mid-Season Grade:

 

 

 

 

 

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