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Final Grade: Brett Clark

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Season Stats: 82 GP, 10 G, 29 A, 39 Pt, +5 140 Shots


Minutes: 1941 total (1st among D), EV 16:36, PP 3:21, PK 3:34, ATOI 23:40


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Splits:


1st Half: 41 GP, 3 G, 18 A, 21 Pt, +8 69 shots


2nd Half: 41 GP, 7 G, 11 A, 18 Pt, -3, 71 shots



Linemates: Skrastins (62 GP) and Sauer (20 GP)



Career: In his 2nd full season in the NHL, Clark set career highs in GP (82), goals (10), assists (29), +/- (+5) and points (39).




Report: With apologies to Kurt Sauer, Clark is the most underrated and underappreciated player on the team (both with Colorado fans and hockey fans in general)...One of 5 Colorado players (and the only defenseman) to play in all 82 games...Was used in all situations, and led the NHL in total shifts by a wide margin (2,880 – 270 more than Jay Bouwmeester)...His 24 points at even strength were tops among defensemen on the team, and tied for 13th best in the league...Has been paired often with Karlis Skrastins, and Scratch's shot blocking has worn off on Clark...Clark blocked 146 shots in '05-'06 and 207 this year (4th best in the NHL)...His defensive game seemed to be hurt by his pairing with Karlis...He was +1 with Skrastins, +4 in 20 games with Kurt Sauer...More importantly, the team gave up 4 ½ less shots per game once Skrastins was hurt and Clark joined Sauer...Clark is steady in his own end, but doesn't have the positioning and physicality of some of his teammates...His biggest strength is his puckhandling...Is an above-average passer and possesses tremendous poise and patience with the puck...In fact, one knock would be that he didn't handle the puck enough and his homerun passes from last year were non-existent this year...Preformed well on the powerplay, although he struggled early in the season receiving cross-ice passes...His versatility is a huge plus, although he is miscast in the #1 role...Needs to stop chewing on that damn mouth guard.




Fast Fact: Clark has played for 7 different AHL, IHL and NHL clubs in his NHL career. Before his trade to the Avalanche, his highest number of games in a season with one team was 63 with the Orlando Solar Bears in 2000.



Midseason Grade: B+


Final Grade: A-




2007-2007 Salary: $1,500,000


2007-2008 Status: signed ($1,500,000)



Outlook:


Clark will be back next season. I do expect (hope?) that the Avs will acquire a big name defenseman that will enable Clark to move down the depth chart a little bit to an area a bit closer to his comfort zone. While he's not a perfect #1 guy, he'd be an excellent player to have in the role of 3rd or 4th defenseman.