What you did for me lately is no longer relevant. The season is over. This week the Avs watched a lot of NHL on the Fly, then came out and lost a game they had to win in order to keep playoff hopes alive, 2-5 to the Blue Jackets. Not that it mattered, because in COMPLETELY STUNNING FASHION THAT NO ONE COULD HAVE PREDICTED, the Sharks went to overtime, which would have eliminated the Avs even had they won. They then showed fan appreciation by continuing to be considerably worse than the Nashville Predators. JS Giguere got his first start in a month and looked it in a 1-6 defeat.
Herein, I'll look at final season numbers for The Boys, leaving the ratings out of it. There will be plenty of time for that later, when I fight AJ over whether there's a significant difference between a B- and a C+ again in the player grading stories. Instead I've got Capgeek open in order to include each player's employment status. (I think I have QOs right.)
9. Matt Duchene - Restricted free agent, qualifying offer = $3.2 million
58 games played. 14G 14A 28pts. 10.6% shooting over 132 SOG. Played 16:17/game and took faceoffs at a 51.2% rate. Was also 3/6 in the shootout. For those who care, he came out at -11. (The team was a combined -76, which, including all skaters who played this season, puts the team average around -3.) It was a bumpy season for him overall, with an injury to each leg, a shift from center to LW (an utterly failed experiment tbh), and lots of bottom 6 time. Definitely led the team in spin moves though... Not exactly what we hoped for out of a guy in his first contract year.
11. Jamie McGinn - Restricted free agent, qualifying offer = $714,000 hahaha.
He finished the season with the following overall totals: 78GP 20G 17A 37Pts -3, shooting 12.6% over 159 shots, 13:26/game. But just with us, it looks like this: 17GP 8G 5A 13Pts -2, 15.1% over 53 shots, 16:50/game. He saw an expanded role in Colorado with top talent and he excelled. He likely won't sustain that S%, btw, as his career number is 10.8%... but if you remove a disastrous 10-11 season in which he shot 1.6%, it's a much better 13.1%. We like this one Sherman. Please keep him.
12. Kevin Porter - Restricted free agent, qualifying offer = $804,000
Scratched more often than not, Porter finished with 4G 3A 7pts in 35 games. In the games he did play he averaged 9:10 of ice time, typically on the 4th line.
16. Jay McClement - Unrestricted free agent. Current salary = $1.45 million
80 GP, 10G 7A 17Pts. 10.5% shooting over 95 shots. His 248:20 SH TOI led not only forwards, but the team; the closest forward is Gabriel Landeskog, though I imagine Daniel Winnik would be up there were he not a Shark these days.
17. Chuck Kobasew - Signed through 2013 at $1.25 million avg. cap hit
58GP, 7G 7A 14Pts. He averaged 11:50 TOI, but that's a bit misleading as he started the year on Stastny's wing but finished it in the bottom six and the penalty box (51 PiM, tied for 5th with Landy). He did average more than a hit a game though.
23. Milan Hejduk - Unrestricted free agent. Current salary = $3 million
14G 23A 37Pts. 6 of those goals came on the power play, tied with McGinn for second most. (Didn't mention that on McGinn because only 3 of them were in the unipron.) Speaking of the PP, he was second behind O'Reilly in PP TOI (189:57). His final average TOI was 17:00 but as we know, that is totally not indicative of where he ended up (which was the bottom six) as the year ended. 8.2% over 170 shots is really not good enough for a sniper and marks the first time since his rookie season that he shot less than 10% (also his least shots/game ever).
26. Paul Stastny -Signed through 2014 at $6.6 million avg. cap hit
79 GP, 21G 32A 53Pts, good for second in each of those (not GP). He started slow, with only 7 points in each month of 2011, but turned it up a bit as usual at that point and put together 10-24-34 in 39 games. That's still less than what he usually does in the winter and spring though... Stastny led the team in power play goals, assists, and points with 7-12-19 there.
27. Steve Downie - Restricted free agent, qualifying offer = $1.85 million
He ended the season playing through a possibly separated shoulder. Final line is 14G 27A 41Pts. As a member of the Avs he hit it off with O'Reilly and Landeskog while healthy, with only 2G but 11A (13Pts) in 20 games, most of them in a single hot stretch that ended with said injury. He also put up a total of 105 hits (I don't know what his Avs split there is and would welcome anyone who knows to inform us all). His S% with us was terrible at 4.9%. If he is re-signed, look for him to score more goals next year for sure, as his career number is 14.1% and he had 12.1% in Tampa this year.
37. Ryan O'Reilly - Restricted free agent, qualifying offer = $945,000 hahahahahaha.
Ah, yes, The unlikely team points leader, with 55 (18G 37A). Was charged with the 4th most giveaways on the team with 34, but his 101 takeways came away at #1 in the NHL, the only skater with takeaway figures in the triple digits. The rest of the top ten? Just John Tavares, Pavel Datsyuk (although to be fair he was the first to be credited with a takeaway), Joe Thornton, Michael Grabner, Marian Hossa, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Anze Kopitar, and Joe Pavelski. Also his ratio of takeaways to giveaways is just astonishingly better than the competition at +65; only Toews comes close with +57. There's some obvious arena bias there (2 Isles and 3 Hawks?) and real-time stats are sketchy BUT, the point remains. The 52.8% faceoff number and the name recognition factor will hurt his Selke odds, but he should absolutely be listed as a finalist IMO.
40. Mark Olver - Restricted free agent, qualifying offer = $892,500
In 24 games, mostly down the stretch, Olver managed 4G 3A 7Pts, on 25 shots. Olver, your S% was 16% and we've seen you put home a couple good ones. Shoot the puck more. Now that wasn't exactly his role, as things turned out, his role was to have 43 hits in those games and bring the COME AT ME BROLVER. Which he did do. Now put his brains in Ryan Stoa's body and we'll be in bidness.
54. David Jones - Unrestricted free agent. Current salary = $2.5 million
In the 72 games he was healthy for (lol@our old Bubble Wrap meme there, the dude has made 2 whole seasons straight) he scored 20 goals, along with 17A (37pts). His S% led the team at 14.7% (among skaters with 100+ shots). He also needs to shoot the puck more. Jones's 5 GWG tied for most on the team, and his 2 OT goals did as well, with Landeskog and O'Reilly respectively. If clutchness exists, Jones might be the guy to point to. He also had one of the Avs' three shorthanded goals (the other two went to McClement and Kobasew). I really do wonder whether we'll see him return. Would suck to let a 20 goal scorer walk for nothing unless we sign Zach Parise.
55. Cody McLeod - Unrestricted free agent. Current salary = the very bizarre $1,033,333
That really has to have been an RFA qualifying offer at one point. But really, round that number, guys, we aren't exactly doing salary cap limbo here. 75 GP, 6G 5A 11Pts, 164 PiM including 18 majors, a handful of tenners, and a game misconduct. The only guy with more major penalties than minor penalties on the team. Gee, I wonder what his role was? Maybe his TOI will lend us some kind of a clue. Oh. Only 7:11/game. What would be the role of a guy with that set of numbers? Maybe to have 123 hits, which is almost 2 a game and about 13 hits/60mins.
88. Peter Mueller - Restricted free agent, qualifying offer = $2 million
The Avs' Masterton Trophy nominee had 7G 9A 16Pts in his first 32 games back since Rob Blake just flatout ragdolled him into the end boards in 2010. He shot about 8.5%. That would extrapolate to about a 42 point season (it's a .5 P/G pace). Not bad at all given he hadn't played NHL hockey in like 18 months (the few games he played at the beginning of the year notwithstanding). I'm excited to see how he pans out next season, be it with us or someone else, because there's sure to be someone out there who picks him up if we don't qualify him for at least a season, after having the chance to properly train in the summer and have a full 100% camp.
92. Gabriel Landeskog - signed through 2014 at $3.575 million avg. cap hit
Man I was REEEEALLY hoping he'd make it to 55. Ah well, 22G 30A 52Pts ain't bad. Landeskog led the team in: GP (82), Goals (22), plus/minus (+20) and it's not close, shots (270) and it's even less close, hits (219), SH TOI/G among forwards not bred specifically for the task (McClement) (1:20), intangibles and goalie interference penalties (this is trolling). That includes a rookie adjustment period that saw him only manage 4 points in 14 games in November and only shoot 2.8%. In fact he had as many points after the all-star break (12-14-26 in 31GP) as he did before it (10-16-26 in 51GP).
3. Ryan O'Byrne - Signed through 2013 at $1.8 million avg. cap hit
You gotta dig to find the numbers on a guy like the O'Byrninator. 2:52 SH TOI/G. 180 hits, second only to that rookie who was kinda okay at hockey. 141 blocks led the team, in only 74 GP, and was good for 33rd in the NHL. (I'd be interested to see the league-wide blocks/60 comparison.)
5. Shane O'Brien - Unrestricted free agent. Current salary = $1.1 million
In 76 games, O'Brien had 138 hits and 86 blocks. He chipped in offensively with 20 points (3G 17A) and, and this was a shock to me, was a plus player at +2. His 105 PiMs came in third behind McLeod and Downie. Do his attitude and intangibles outweigh his tendency to try to throw it into hero mode and commit costly turnovers?
6. Erik Johnson - Restricted free agent, qualifying offer = $2.6 million
Was just phenomenally unlucky offensively for a long time at the beginning of the year, and his decision making struggled. However, especially in 2012, Johnson showed that he can be exactly what the Avalanche want him to be - a legit #1 guy. Was he this year? No. 4G 22A 26Pts, -7, with his 20:50 overall ATOI leading the team. 123 hits and 94 shot-blocks. But can he be? I absolutely think so.
8. Jan Hejda - signed through 2015 at $3.25 million avg. cap hit
It took Hejda a little while to adjust to the altitude or something, but when he did come on, he was a good shutdown workhorse for us. In 81 games, he had 142 hits and 134 blocks, second to O'Byrne. He was second on the team in ATOI at 20:40 and played over 25 minutes more than once down the stretch; he also led defensemen with 3:03 SH TOI/G, second only to McClement's 3:06. So close. (By the way, McClement and Hejda were 23 and 28 respectively in SH TOI/G in the NHL.) He also was 1 for 1 in the faceoff circle. What?
22. Matt Hunwick - Unrestricted free agent. Current salary = $1.55 million
33GP. 3G 3A 6Pts. -3. 18:03 ATOI.30 blocks ain't bad in 33 games. Pretty limited ice time outside of even strength. Also in my opinion is just about the best interview the Avs have when it comes to information. This guy is gonna be a coach or on TV when he decides he's done. I'd guess he heads back East to a team who needs a 5/6 guy in the offseason, but who knows? I kind of thought that last summer too.
41. Tyson Barrie - Signed through 2014 at $900,000 avg. cap hit
No points, though he did have two taken away, in 10 games. He was -2 and was credited with 9 hits and 10 blocks in those games. He was victimized as a rookie defenseman a couple of times, sure, who isn't? At the end of the season he looked at home on the Avs blue line and showed some real confidence. I'm excited to see if he's our #6 guy next year or if he is sent back to Cleveland to marinate longer.
44. Ryan Wilson - Restricted free agent, qualifying offer = $1.275 million
Not a bad QO for a guy who wasn't drafted. He spent some time this season with a concussion, totalling only 59 games, but amassed 97 hits in those games. He had 20 assists to go with a lone goal (21pts) and was +11, although I recall his QualComp being poor. (I'm not citing those numbers much because I still don't know how to interpret them. That's a study project for me in August.) Also had three fights. Please qualify him, Sherman, I've got a bit of a mancrush here.
46. Stefan Elliott - Signed through 2014 at $900,000 avg. cap hit
He ended up scratched a lot because Barrie was playing well and he wasn't at the end of the year, but his coast to coasting and his offense (4G 9A 13Pts in 39 games) was definitely passable for a rookie Dman. He was also +2 but only played 17:08 a night. He'll probably spend the rest of his Avalanche career compared to Tyson Barrie so why not keep with it: Better ceiling offensively, needs more work defensively.
1. Simian Valarmov... no, Semyn Varmalov... wait, Varly. That's it.
(giant cane yanks Julie Browman off the stage and Stachi and Sandie take over)
1. Semyon Varlamov - Signed through 2014 at $2,833,333 avg. cap hit
Like I'm real sure the $333 was a deal breaker. 53 GP, of which he started all but 1. He earned 26 wins with a SV% of .913 and a GAA of 2.59. That's not really a good picture of his season though, which is told better by season splits. In October he was fine, .924 SV% 2.44 GAA, partially because the Avs were playing well against bad hockey teams like the Canadiens and Maple Leafs. In November he (and the Avs) were dreadful: 2-7-1, .878 SV%, 3.39 GAA; in December the Avs won in spite of him (5-3-0 .889 SV% 3.26 GAA) and he only picked up 12 games in January and February. However, in February and March he was excellent, starting a ton of games and finishing with a .932 SV% and 2.06 GAA after the all star break. Oh, and he had a fantastic assist. I love goalies getting points. ^_^ Most importantly, he played a full season without injuring himself. Woohoo!
35. Jean-Sebastien Giguere - Signed through 2013 at $1.25 million avg. cap hit
32 GP (30 starts) with 15 wins. .919 SV% and 2.27 GAA. He was generally solid and stable as a backup for us, and filled in nicely when Varlamov needed an extended break from #1 duties. Also was charged with a shutout and a loss in the same game (thanks shootout). However, his value to the team can really be seen in the way Semyon Varlamov's game changed over the season to be better positionally and with rebounds. Giguere was partially brought in to be the old man mentor, and he seems to have done that well, as well as being a sound veteran voice in the room.
THE PLAYOFFS! Don't be too sad. The best hockey of the season will be soon. No more loser points and no more shootouts. Play to win, and win or die. Starts on Wednesday night. After that come the shake-up events of the offseason, with free agency and the Entry Draft, followed by the Dark Days (that's August), during which hockey fans play NHL '1X and repeat the number of days remaining until October to themselves while rocking back and forth. Then it's September! And camps start and EVERY TEAM IS UNDEFEATED and rosters are shaken out and then before you know it the Avs have their first win of the regular season. It's not that long a wait, and it's a time those of us east (or significantly west) of Denver can use to catch up on some much-needed sleep. ;)