Final Grade: C+
Midseason Grade: B-
Season Stats: 74 GP, 2 G, 6 A, 5 Pt, +6, 32 shots
Minutes: 1058 total (5th among D), EV 13:49, PP 0:07, PK 0:22
1st Half: 39 GP, 2 G, 3 A, 5 Pt, +6, 18 shots
2nd Half: 35 GP, 0 G, 3 A, 3 Pt, E, 14 shots
Linemates: Klee (50 GP), Brisebois (16), Leopold (3), Liles (3) Finger (2),
Career: Vaananen's two goals shouldn't have been surprising – he's scored exactly 2 goals in 4 of his 6 NHL seasons.
Report: Mr Inconsistency...Maybe streaky is a better word there...Has good stretches and bad stretches...His all-over-the-place ice time reflects that...He had 11 games of 18+ minutes of ice time and 11 games of under 10 minutes...When he is on his game, he is a big, physical stay-at-home defenseman...When he isn't on his game, though, he is provides a negative impact...2nd on the team with 88 hits...Is supposed to be a good skater, but I've never seen evidence of that...To make matters worse, he tends to dog it skating back on a play...Doesn't handle the puck very well...Played pretty well with Klee, but he and Brisebois seemed absolutely lost together – both acted like they had no clue what the other was going to do at any given moment...Has a propensity for taking bad penalties behind the goal line (as in, right in front of the referee)...Not much of a shot blocker...His 72 blocked shots was 5th on the team...Not much of a shot taker either...His .43 shots per game was lowest on a team that has several defensive-minded defensemen...It's a telltale sign that Vaananen was not trusted enough defensively to be used on the penalty kill.
Fast Fact: Although it's true that he didn't play much on the penalty kill, Vaananen had the most PK ice time on the team (28:10) without allowing a PP goal.
2007-2007 Salary: $998,000
2007-2008 Status: UFA
Outlook: Ossi Vaananen, at times, was our most physical defensemen. Unfortunately, on this team that's sort of like calling someone the thinnest of a bunch of fat chicks. And that's only when he's putting in the effort. It's noteworthy that in the last 7 games of the season, Vaananen was a healthy scratch 5 times. By that point, he'd been passed on the depth chart by Jeff Finger and Kurt Sauer. Both of those guys are similar players to Vaananen and, frankly, both are better – and cheaper - options. With 5 defensemen either signed or RFAs, I think it is very unlikely that Ossi will be back with the club in 07-08.