The new bottom six forwards
Over the past few days, we have seen some fairly significant roster turnover for the Rangers. While the majority of the core remains intact, the Rangers saw Arron Asham and Taylor Pyatt come in to –for all intents and purposes– replace Brandon Prust, Ruslan Fedotenko, and John Mitchell.
We’ve analyzed Asham versus Prust and Pyatt versus Fedotenko individually. But to be fair, you need to compare both Asham and Pyatt versus Fedotenko, Prust, and Mitchell to get a real idea of where the Rangers stand after three days of free agency.
Using the same metrics as the two posts prior, let’s look at the defensive metrics of these five players combined:
A few things pop out at you when looking at this table. First off, no one is going to be able to replace Mitchell’s absurd 11.1 RCorsi. That was the best on the team last season, so the Rangers lose a lot in puck possession by letting Mitchell go. The only way they can replace that is by having someone currently on the roster step up.
It’s also obvious that the duo of Prust and Fedotenko were trusted more against top competition in their own zone. Combine that with the fact that their RCorsi’s are better than the combination of Pyatt and Asham, and you have the Rangers downgrading slightly defensively. Add Mitchell to the mix, and the Rangers are climbing an uphill battle.
In regards to DGVT/GVT/PVT, this is a bit skewed as we are comparing three departed players to two incoming players. However, the average DGVT/GVT/PVT of the trio of Mitchell, Fedotenko, and Prust is still better than the average of the duo Pyatt and Asham. What is interesting to note is that although Prust played against top competition and was counted on to be a shutdown forward, his DGVT shows he may not have been as effective at it as his underlying metrics suggest. This is just my interpretation of the stats though.
So in the grand scheme of things, while we may not like to see Fedotenko, Prust, and Mitchell bolt for greener (or retirement) pastures, the Rangers didn’t downgrade significantly defensively to save cap space. Puck possession may hurt in the short term though.
The Blueshirtswere able to stay relatively consistent on the bottom six while saving at least $2.6 million ($1.5 million for Prust, $1.1 million for Mitchell) for 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, and at least $2.5 million (Prust’s final two years) for 2014-2015 and 2015-2016. That’s no small chunk of change, especially with trades brewing and key RFAs to be signed next year.