Midseason Grade: C
Final Grade: C+
Joined Team: Drafted in the 7th round of the 2001 draft.
MHH Nicknames: The Svats Machine
Pos: RW (69)
- 3rd (29)
- 2nd (27)
- 1st (9)
- 4th (4)
- Wolski (14)
- McLeod (14)
- Stewart (10)
- Tucker (7)
- Smyth (7)
- Jones (5)
- McCormick (4)
- Hejduk (3)
- Willsie (2)
- Arnason (2)
- Hendricks (2)
- Arnason (36)
- Hensick (11)
- Stastny (11)
- Wolski (6)
- Laperriere (3)
- Guite (1)
- Willsie (1)
- TOT 13:06 (8th)
- EV 10:49 (8th)
- PK :36 (17th)
- PP 2:16 (5th)
*Rank is based on total minutes, not average per game.
Best Month: February (7points in 12 games)
Career Highlights: The Svats machine set career high in games played (69!) and assists (20!). He is currently 11 goals from 100 in his career and 47 points away from 200. He's also 8th in goals on the Avs' all-time list and can move to 6th (passing Claude Lemieux and Valeri Kamensky) with 18 goals.
Report: The 2008-2009 version of Marek Svatos wasn't much different than the 2007-2008 version. He's still a small, feisty player with basically one dimension. Since that one dimension is scoring goals, he's guaranteed to get opportunities.
The Svats Machine has improved himself defensively over the years, moving from "nope, don't do that" to "relatively responsible". I'm not sure there's really a lot of growth potential in this area, so what you see is probably what you're going to see. He continues to hit people like he's 6' tall (one of the reasons I dig him so much). Unfortunately, he continues to get hit at his actual maybe-5'-10" size which is why his professional high in games played is 72 (with Hershey, during the lockout). But none of this is really that important.
Nope, Svatos is there to score goals. Over his career, he's averaging 27 goals per 82 games. Of course, he's never played 82 games, but what can you do? Svatos is excellent at shooting the puck when he's open close to the net. You know what he's not excellent at? Finding an open spot close to the net. That hinders him a bit, and you kind of wish he could emulate Hejduk a bit and take more shots from a little farther out.
One would think that Svatos' deft stickhandling would generate opportunities for his teammates, but so far that hasn't happened. Svatos has just 64 assists in his 262-game career; 4 NHL players had more than that last season alone. When your career high is 20 (set this year), you might want to rethink the playmaking a bit.
Another area you'd think Svatos would be much, much better than he is would be the shootout. Svatos was just 3 for 9 last year in the stupid shootout and is a tepid 8 for 26 in his career (30.7%).
I feel I'm dumping on the Svats Machine a bit, and maybe I am. The truth is, Svatos has been one of my favorite players since he burst onto the scene in the Dallas series of 2004. I appreciate that Svatos has improved some secondary areas of his game and doesn't play small. I just feel if he's going to be someone who "just scores goals" or whatever Peter McNab says about him he should, you know, score goals. 20+ goals a season are really what we should be looking for here. 14 just is not enough.
Fun Fact: Svatos has played in the final game of the NHL season just once - April 4th, 2004.
TheMarek Svatos Drinking Game: Drink when Svatos hits someone bigger than him Drunk potential: Significant
What I Said Last Year: "He also eased up on the boneheaded penalties, improved his defensive play, and seemed to be much more consistent overall. All he has to do now to earn my eternal gratitude is to stay in the lineup."
2008 Salary (and Cap Number): $1.75M ($2.05M)
2009-2010 Status: Svatos is signed for one more season ($2.05M) and is slated to become a UFA next summer.
Outlook for 2009: Literally since Svatos' 32-goal rookie year, he has constantly been packaged in hypothetical deals on Avalanche-related message boards. By now, Svatos has been traded (along with Clark and a 2nd round pick, of course) for pretty much everyone from Luongo to Malkin. At some point, someone within the organization is going to decide that Svatos is Radim Vrbata - a talented player unable to play well enough to crack the top 6 - and Svatos really will be traded. Until then, I'll be watching him and rooting for him to succeed.
Next Up: Michael Vernace (on Monday)