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12-31-2012, 02:56 PM
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well --I guess it has been determined that either i) after that hit on him or ii) after he signed the big (a relative term) contract--that Hjalmasson has never been the same again--so say his detractors on this board ---so it must be true...right?
BUt-though his +/- dropped from +13 the year prior to just +9 (despite that bad pairing with Leddy for some time last year) -he did manage to up his ponts by 5 and his assists doubled over the previous year from 7 to 14 last season despite playing 11 fewer games -and he was only 2 points off the 17 he managed in 2009/10 but in 8 less GP -so overall there is no real "drop-off' over the last 3 seasons and the +9 of last year matched the +9 of 2009/10 so I don't think the drop-off from +13 in 2010/11 was that significant...well then if not the stats showing "significant" drop in play THEN it has to be in the style --I guess not physical enough for some last year
--or maybe it was he didn't block as many shots as "before" --let's look at that:

2011/12: 69GP 142 Bks (2nd best of the d-men to Seabrook's 165in 78 GP0)
per GP: Hjalmarsson 2.05 Seabrook 2.11

2010/11:80GP 166 Bks (best among our D-men ;Seabrook next at 154 in 82 GP)
per GP: Hjalmarsson 2.075;Seabrook 1.878

2009/10: 77GP 137 Bks (2nd best among our d-men;Seabrook at 153 in 78GP)
per GP: Hjalmarsson 1.779 ;Seabrook 1.96

SO Hjalmarssom did "improve " in Bks while seabrook "regressed" in BKS/GP from 2009/10 to 2010/11 but this reversed from 2010/11 to 2011/12 with Seabrook "improving" and Hjalmarsson "regressing in this stat -BUT i do not think we can establish any trend from this--perhaps this season it reverses again? Who can say for sure?
So I don't thin Bks gives us a 'defdinite" marker for Hjalmarsson 'huge" regression as implied by posters on this board detracting him..

So it mUST ONLY be in the perception of some huge drop-off in physicality--an IMPLIED "drop-off" towards "running scared" from being hit or hitting..THE NHL doesn't keep stats on running scared from being threatened with hits--we might look at turnovers-though such are not always as a result of a hit -sometimes simple stck checks cause a turnover give-away BUT in any case here is his give-away stat-line of the past 3 seasons played:

2009/10: 36 GVa in 77GP 0.4675 per game
2010/11: 55 GVa in 80GP 0.6875 per game
2011/12: 51 GVa in 69GP 0.7391 per game

THUS a clear trend of increasing give-aways over the last 3 seasons--NOT A GOOD stat trend at all --whether caused by physical fear from being about to be hit, or by more actual hits on him ,or by mental errors caused by other resons--we cannot say ...maybe a combination of all 3 items that might cause this increasing trend in turnovers..HOWEVER ---part of his inflated GVa stat per GP last season might be the loss of Campbell and the time paired with Leddy for a part of last season -neith physical guys themselves but at least Campbell had more experience and could steady things down more than Leddy could when teams forechecked hard and got physical --some body would have to break down the stat og Hjalmarsson's GVa's last uear further into how many WITH a leddy pairing vs. how many if paired with other D-partners to guage how much regression was Hjalmarsson's own fault or due to the Leddy factor.

FYI : Campbell had 42 GVa's in 2010/11 in 65GP ;in 2009/10 Campbell had 38GVa in 68GP) On a per game basis: 0.5588 in 2010/11 vs. 0.6461 in 2009/10 ---since Campbell IMPROVED while Hjalmarsson trended worse from 3 seasons ago to two seasons ago while paired together -it would indicated that indeed this worsening trend for Hjalmarsson started bewfore Campbell got sent out ..SO MAYBE Leddy wasn't a factor in the further regression in this stat for Hjalmarsson last year--OR maybe only the the magnitude of the regression could be attributed to Leddy --it is hard to tell merely from the stats...

We can look at the hits stat for physical trending --the implication is that if his hits are significantly trending down he is playing lessphysical than before-though he was never considered a physical d-man..BUt let's look:

2009-10: 59 hits in 77GP .7662 hits per game
2010/11: 46hits in 80GP .575 hits per game
2011/12: 42 hits in 69GP .6086 hits per game

From this stat we see no constant trending "down" as he trended back up again after a significant down in the prior year compared to the first year of the last 3 seasons examined ..
Still-not as much as he hit 3 seasons ago...

So while both the GVa and hit stats are not upto levels from 3 years ago OVERALL this somehow has not sIGNIFICANTLY affected his +/- stat you can't say he has SIGNIFICANTLY cost us MORE in ES play (there has to be some net offseeting benefits that have kept his +/- from plumetting SIGNIFICANTLY as a result of pooer physical play and more give-ways per game -OR maybe we are just lucky more goals against haven't resulted =or maybe he was on for more ES scoring-if that trended up to offset more Goals against then on a NET basis he is not really that detrimental compared to what fans thought of him 3 years ago..

STILL the perception is more "timid" and more turnovers and so player worse than before...BUT another factor might be how healthy he was or was not last year --I do recall that in 2009/10 he was getting to lose pucks and CLEARING quicker than the last 2 seasons played ---in 2010/11 we might blame some of that "lethargy" on the CUP HANGOVER syndrome that affected most guys on our team TOO ....BUT last season perhaps he did play a lot of games "banged up" and not 10% healthy? IF so then it explains a lot--if not then the perception of his detractors on this board (ie. regression in defensive effectiveness) would be a "real" concern--I think this season will tell us for sure whether his path is further "regression",plateau level,or a restoration of what we first saw in his play before the last 2 seasons played ...
To me -it is not so much more physicality from him,but rather the intuition and speed to get to and CLEAR those loose pucks from the corners of our d-zone like he did better than in the last2 seasons played.There is no stat to tell us that but one can observe whether he again gets to those pucks first and clears effectively or whether he does not and so the puck stays in our zone longer and results in more scoring chances against us do that he must be BOTH more motivated to get to such loose pucks ahead of oppnents,to be mentally alert to clear without turnovers , and to be physically 100% so as to be quick enough in skating to get to such corners faster than opponents can to set off this process...We shall see IF he can recover all these qualities that led to the perception of his defensive "usefulness" before the doubts of the last 2 seasons when the detractors started demanding his value was not worth the money paid him..
However on THAT ISSUE (of value for level paid) we can of course ALSO tear into others on this team..

SO let us see IMPROVEMENT again from Hjalmarsson to quiet the critics--BUT we could demand the same thing from #88--- whose 20011/12 season was a huge disappointment on the value for money scale TOO---I would suggest a LOT MORE "concern" on that score than with Hjalmarsson...You see IF Hjalmarsson despite perceptions still is +9 to +12 then his ES play is not that much of a concern--His PK play might be -so we would like to see him block more shots and clear more pucks again in that role ...In KANE"s case--clearly just 66 pts in 82 GP is not $6.3 million of "value" -and so we want to see IMPROVEMENT at least back to near a point per game even if that is his "plateau" level.. We aLSO expect him to be a key cog in an effective PP --which sadly last season was a disaster ..IF he can't be the cog that makes our PP effective then we really have to question his value .SO we EXPECT a big rebound year (in a shortened season --on that ppg or better basis !).
THE NHL is not the Swiss league --so back to back multi-goal games are not likely -but we KNOW he is capable of a ppg pace because he has done it before --giving us ONLY 80% of what he is capable of will NOT BE GOOD ENOUGH --that goes for EVERYONE on thios team TOO--whatever their talent level ...Q should not tolerate any 80 percenters this season (if he have one) or in following seasons (if he is still the coach) ..Time we saw 100% -from every player on the team..

Now as to the TRADE him for a 2nd line centre solution argument:

THAT is an indictment that nobody in our pipeline is currently ready to fill that role EFFECTIVELY to the level required..

It also assumes Hjalmarsson's value (alone or in a package) can get us such a solution -as if teams are so anxious to part with such an effective 2nd line centre of proven value (how many tams have such a luxury?) ...OR if the solution is that good how much is a 2nd line effective centre worth --probaly a lot MORE than hjalmarsson's cntract -unless it is a "young" guy with some NHL experience wh our brass thinks is "ready" to be effective at the NHL level-and this solution must be better thananything we have "ready" in our own pipeline...

THE obvious value for money paid comparable id Hjalmarsson's current $3.5 million per year contract vs, the same $3.5 million per that OTTAWA is now paying to its 2nd line centre solution(Kyle Turris)...BUt at the time Turris was hefted out of PHX -most people on this board were still howling about how Turris was a big failure -instead--change of scenery--blosSoms in Ottawa and they lock him up at what looks like a bargain price for their 2nd line C solution for years to come --of course we could not have given up Hjalmarsson in any deal with PHX because they were looking for cheaper prospects and picks --otherwise they would jhave kept Turris and paid him that money ..ALSO we had no one ready to replace him had we traded Hjalmarsson for a 2C last year..So do we have a 2nd pair #3D-man this year so we MIGHT put Hjalmarsson into a package to get our needed 2C solution?

We have Oduya at least as a stop-gap for awhile...WE have Stanton and Dahlbeck in Rockford who while not providing much offensively (But neither does Hjalmarsson)
seem to have got the defending prt of the game figured out -so maybe THIS YEAR we could pull the string and use Hjalmarsson in some deal to get the 2C we need who can impact NOW ...But can Stan recognize who that Turris-like "solution" is and why his cirrent team needs to part with such AND for just position nEEDS not money savings?OR can STAN figure out some 2 team deals to accomplish this task --eg, trade Hjalmarsson for picks --trade the picks and some current Hakes prospects in some package to a team trying to unload contract /cap issues and already stocked at the 2c position with depth there? It won't be easy finding such deal partners..

With a reduced cap --lots of teams may try unloading contracts but few may be willing to accept equal contracts back -and even teams under the cap with room to add --may not plunge in due to their own "revenue cliffs"...

A more IMPORTANT consideration in the overall scheme of reduced CAP willbe :

WHAT should you pay for a 3C NOW? IF a 2C is $3,5 million per --maybe all you can pay a 3c in a reduced cap environment is $2 million per or less
--looked at that way BOLLAND would be too expensive to carry ..

And so if a #3 D is equal to a #2C at $3.5 million --a #3C is probaly worth only
a #4D or a #5D and that range would be only $1.5 to $2million in a reduced cap environment..

clearly GM's willbe rethinking the structure/allocation of $$ to positions on the team...

. With reduced cap MAYBE you can't have more than 4 forwards making over $3.5 million -or you could BUT you can't have the top l3 forwards at $18million or more combined...

So the Hawks WILLneed to eventuall shed OVERALLOCATED CONTRACTS -but do you get more bang for the buck by saving (for say 3 years) $2.5 million/yr. on a $3.5 million/yr #3D cost oR by cutting $4-5 million yr by replacing a top six $5-6 million a yr. forward with some "cheap" kid from the pipeline or acquired by trade?

So if $10million a year has to be chopped (not this shortned season if we have one but maybe NEXT SEASON) then you probably nedd to chop 1 of our top 4 forwards and Hjalmarsson and or bolland plus another $2million /yr from somewhere...

It willnot be an easy re-shuffle.. BUT that willbe for the cominmg summer..In the short season (IF it happens) for this season-there probably willnot be much trading ..teams know the real chop chop will occur next summer..The key willbe to find the right trade partners and the right solutions coming back in any trade..

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