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Three Years Later: David Legwand's Contract

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07-23-2010, 01:17 PM
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Seth Lake
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Three Years Later: David Legwand's Contract

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In December of 2007, the Predators signed the franchise’s first draft pick, David Legwand, to a 6-year, $27 million contract. The summer prior, the Predators faced potential sale and relocation to Canada, beginning with outgoing owner Craig Leopold drastically cutting payroll. Legwand’s contract, and a corresponding 7-year extension with the same per annum value given to Martin Erat, were GM David Poile’s first attempt to create a core of players to build around in more financially secure future seasons.

Now, three years later, in that more certain future, those contracts are considered “unmovable” in trades, because of their $4.5 million cap hit and Legwand and Erat’s decline in performance. At the time, however, Poile had few better candidates. Legwand and Erat were the youngest of the team’s top-5 scorers and the only two not under contract for next season, after Paul Kariya left. In hindsight, a long-term extension for young defenseman Shea Weber, Ryan Suter or Dan Hamhuis would have been a better investment, but highly unconventional with so many years from each player becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Legwand was also coming off a career year in 2006-07. He scored a team-leading 27 goals, recorded 63 points and was a +23, all easily career-highs. In the minds of many fans, Legwand was finally the elite two-way threat many envisioned him becoming, when he was selected second overall in the 1998 draft. He was 26–peak age for most forwards–and Vincent Lecavalier, the player picked ahead of him in ’98, had also just had a breakout offensive year, scoring 100 points.

Whether or not David Poile bought into this breakout year as the beginning of a new David Legwand, there were a few apparent reasons he wasn’t going to score 63 points again. For one, Paul Kariya, still by far the best linemate of his Predator career, was gone. Also, his 17.6% shooting percentage that facilitated the 27 goals in just 153 shots was all-time-great-sniper territory and sticks out like sore thumb in his year-by-year stats. Part of the increase was playing with a better set-up man, but a 7% spike? It was a nice swing of luck, but just that.

I say this not because I think David Poile is a chump who paid for an illusion of statistical variation, but because of the expectations it engendered in the fanbase. Whether or not they consciously cite ’06-07, anyone calling Legwand a disappointment lately is expecting him to be something he’s not. This opinion is hardly unanimous, though–some consider Legwand one the Predator’s best players, others want him to be put on waivers.

To find out which extreme opinion of Legwand is closer to the mark, I used a statistic more familiar to baseball fans, Wins Above Replacement [WAR].
http://www.predsblog.com/2010/07/23/...ands-contract/

I know this has been a fiercely debated topic in the past, the Pandora's box of topics if you will...however, I believe we can handle this discussion in a calm and respectful manner in relation to this article and the statistical analysis presented within.

The article hits on both sides of the argument and is a fantastic read with a lot of points open for discussion.

Please keep the responses to this thread away from attacking one side or the other and in fact on the analysis presented in this article. This is not a poll, but again, rather a discussion of the article...

Consider the Pandora's box open...

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07-23-2010, 01:37 PM
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Joe T Choker
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for being a 2nd overall pick, he sure hasn't lived up to the expectations, even if it is a weak draft class ... he was one of 2 "can't miss" prospects from that class & he has plain & simply underperformed statistically speaking of course ... his intangibles are 1) skate like the wind, 2) strong on the back check ... eeerrrmmm

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07-23-2010, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave is a killer View Post
for being a 2nd overall pick, he sure hasn't lived up to the expectations, even if it is a weak draft class ... he was one of 2 "can't miss" prospects from that class & he has plain & simply underperformed statistically speaking of course ... his intangibles are 1) skate like the wind, 2) strong on the back check ... eeerrrmmm
So I Dumont a disaster for being a number 3 overall pick a year or two before Legwand was? What about Radek Bonk at number 3 overall in his draft class?

This is the only that matters to me stats and salary aside, are we a better team with or without Legwand and to me, it's a very simple answer. Yes.

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07-23-2010, 02:34 PM
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"Can't Miss" == "he will be an effective player in the NHL".

By that measure, he was, indeed, a can't-miss player. Compare and contrast with, say, about two-thirds of 1999's first round.

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07-23-2010, 02:36 PM
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Basically 13.5 mil per player or 27 mil over next three years for these two players. Imagine signing a 40 goal guys at 6 mil a year. Is there any down side to this thinking? Heck give the 40 goal guy 7 mil a year that would still leave 6 mil in overage. Signing these two was a mistake at this amount.

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07-23-2010, 02:40 PM
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Let me ask a question. Who was a better value the last few years at $4.5 million for a cap hit. Legwand or Arnott?

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07-23-2010, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenngineer View Post
Let me ask a question. Who was a better value the last few years at $4.5 million for a cap hit. Legwand or Arnott?
Unfortunatley both were not even close to being worth what they were paid. Kinda like comparing two russian women with facial hair and choosing one to be best because her mustache is smaller than the other.

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07-23-2010, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Byrddog View Post
Unfortunatley both were not even close to being worth what they were paid. Kinda like comparing two russian women with facial hair and choosing one to be best because her mustache is smaller than the other.
Thanks for the laugh.

In all seriousness, other than Weber, Suter and Rinne's contracts last year, who was a good value for us contract wise? Bouillon was pretty good for the money too so throw him out of the equation.

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07-23-2010, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenngineer View Post
Thanks for the laugh.

In all seriousness, other than Weber, Suter and Rinne's contracts last year, who was a good value for us contract wise? Bouillon was pretty good for the money too so throw him out of the equation.
Hornqvist and Franson, but they were on their ELC's...

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07-23-2010, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenngineer View Post
Thanks for the laugh.

In all seriousness, other than Weber, Suter and Rinne's contracts last year, who was a good value for us contract wise? Bouillon was pretty good for the money too so throw him out of the equation.

Hey I totally agree and its my whole point. Far too much money has been spent on underperforming players. Paying for potential is really getting old. Most any player has good aspects of the game. It will however not warrant the paydays that have been handing out for medocre performance.

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07-23-2010, 03:13 PM
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ThirdManIn
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Unfortunately, paying for potential is still the Predators' way for at least another couple of years. We aren't the only team to overpay players. Every fan base has at least one player who is considered to be drastically over-paid. Since this article, and thus the discussion, is about Legwand's contract I'll keep Erat out of it. David Legwand does make the Preds a better team. He has the heart of a giant, if not the skill set to match. His on-ice vision is incredible, he can skate, he is as good positionally as anybody. Offensively he can turn it on, but his inconsistency is the issue. His salary might be too high for what he brings overall to the team, but there are very few players I'd rather have on this team than Leggy. He basically wrote the book on what it is to be a Nashville Predator personality.

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07-23-2010, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThirdManIn View Post
David Legwand does make the Preds a better team. He has the heart of a giant, if not the skill set to match. His on-ice vision is incredible, he can skate, he is as good positionally as anybody. Offensively he can turn it on, but his inconsistency is the issue. His salary might be too high for what he brings overall to the team, but there are very few players I'd rather have on this team than Leggy. He basically wrote the book on what it is to be a Nashville Predator personality.
Adding to this, he is also the all-time leading scorer in franchise history. One of 3 players with 100 goals, the only one with 150. One of 3 players with 200 assists, the only one with 250. One of 3 players with 300 points, the only one with 400.

Has also appeared in more games than any other player in franchise history, take his defensive play into account with his offensive contributions and it's easy to see how he has stuck around for so long. He should still be able to finish his career with 700-800 points, and if he did he would certainly not be the first player to have his jersey retired with 700 points.

But by all means, if the masses want to keep complaining about the guy, then go for it. I'll continue to enjoy watching you folks look stupid.

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07-23-2010, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenngineer View Post
Let me ask a question. Who was a better value the last few years at $4.5 million for a cap hit. Legwand or Arnott?
Arnott no doubt. Arnott would still be around if it wasn't for the concussion problems and his age. Arnott was a 25-30 goal scorer for 3 years. Legwand was overpaid for being a checking line center.

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07-23-2010, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by roseyc View Post
Arnott no doubt. Arnott would still be around if it wasn't for the concussion problems and his age. Arnott was a 25-30 goal scorer for 3 years. Legwand was overpaid for being a checking line center.
Which then leads me to another question, who's playing Legwand as a checking line center? Arnott has had good linemates his entire time he's played here. When Legwand had Kariya, he put up good numbers. Last year he played on a line with Ward and Smithson for better part of the year.

I want to see more of the Legwand we saw in the playoffs then the one we saw during the regular season. I'd also like to see Legwand playing with some guys that can actually handle the puck as to increase their offensive chances.

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07-23-2010, 06:32 PM
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A year after Legwand's deal, the trendline for caphit/PPG went directly through Legwand on the chart. Offensively he hasn't lived up to expectations the past two seasons, but, at the same time he's had some deficiencies on the wings. When given capable linemates, he's performed (see 09-10 post season), when given Smithson he hasn't. That just addresses the offensive end.

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07-23-2010, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenngineer View Post
Which then leads me to another question, who's playing Legwand as a checking line center? Arnott has had good linemates his entire time he's played here. When Legwand had Kariya, he put up good numbers. Last year he played on a line with Ward and Smithson for better part of the year.

I want to see more of the Legwand we saw in the playoffs then the one we saw during the regular season. I'd also like to see Legwand playing with some guys that can actually handle the puck as to increase their offensive chances.
This is a good point, especially the part emboldened. The first part is something that has been said by more than a few posters since around November of 2009. Yeah his productivity went down, but what do you expect when he's asked to play a role almost exclusive to defense. Ward has had his moments, and in his first season he was definitely a much needed surprise. He isn't, however, a great set up man or finisher.

The second part is something I hope will happen. Legwand was pretty damn good in the play offs, and I think if his role is changed he can be productive. I doubt he'll ever be the offensive juggernaut it would take to quiet all of the Leggy haters, but then I guess that would take 40 goals and 60 assists.

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07-23-2010, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byrddog View Post
Unfortunatley both were not even close to being worth what they were paid. Kinda like comparing two russian women with facial hair and choosing one to be best because her mustache is smaller than the other.
what a load of shyte.

In the first three years of his deal Arnott scored 27,28 and 33 goals. I guarantee you if we had to go out and get a 30 goal scorer on the UFA martket it would cost at least 6 million a year.

now, if we were on the hook for 4.5 mil this next year we'd probably be underwhelmed but kudos to poile for unloading him before he got too bad...

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07-23-2010, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenngineer View Post
Which then leads me to another question, who's playing Legwand as a checking line center? Arnott has had good linemates his entire time he's played here. When Legwand had Kariya, he put up good numbers. Last year he played on a line with Ward and Smithson for better part of the year.

Legwand played with Ward and Smithson. That's our checking line.

I want to see more of the Legwand we saw in the playoffs then the one we saw during the regular season. I'd also like to see Legwand playing with some guys that can actually handle the puck as to increase their offensive chances.
The Predators have been looking for the Legwand that played in the playoffs for some time now. Legwand is not a legit scorer. It doesn't matter if they put him on the top line he's not the scorer you think he is. When he played Kariya he had a fluke year. Kariya then made a lot of players look good. I don't buy the fact that he needs better linemates. Trotz has tried to put him with other linemates and it doesn't work. I'm sure that playing with Smithson didn't help. Everytime that he puts him on a line with Erat it doesn't work. Legwand seemed to have chemistry with Ward and then with Dumont. Keep holding your breath about Legwand putting up big numbers offensively and you'll be posting from the hospital after passing out.


Last edited by roseyc: 07-23-2010 at 07:07 PM.
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07-23-2010, 10:22 PM
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Rosey, I've never expected Legwand to put up monster offensive numbers. I do however think his production is in direct correlation to whom he's playing with. You say he and Erat never do well together so explain the 9-10-11 line, that was all Kariya and Legwand and Erat had nothing to do with that success? Ward was hurt a good portion of the year, Smithson can't hold a puck on his stick to save his life and yet you expect Legwand to carry a line by himself? When he was paired with some sort of offensive talent in the playoffs, Dumont, he did just fine. Funny how Dumont seemed to come to life as well. Coincidence? I doubt it. Good players feed off of each other and always have. I also seem to recall that Legwand was pushing us towards a playoff birth one year before he broke a collarbone and as a team we collapsed. I also remember Johansson scoring 28 or 29 goals that year as well lining up with Legwand. If Legwand doesn't get hurt that year he's got 60 points.

People sit and criticize the lack of production from Legwand when he's basically been put into defensive shackles by the coaching staff with players who are really 4th line players for the most part. Ward is probably a 3rd line guy and max 40 point guy. Smithson is a 4th liner and hasn't hit 20 points in his career if I'm not mistaken. So he's playing with two guys that combine for less than 60 points and then sit and rail on the guy who centers them? I'm sorry but Crosby couldn't make Smithson a 30 point scorer for an entire season.

One other thing that isn't discussed in his point totals is his lack of minutes on the PP. Arnott was the number 1 PP center last year and if you look at his numbers, they're not very good, not good at all. For all the minutes he got, his results were poor. Once again, players being used by the coaches yet we blame the player for the results? Guys have to be put in situations to accentuate their skills and hide their weaknesses. Having to be the only offensive guy on a line is not very hard to shut down at this level. If you're the other team you can cover Legwand because you know, even if he gets the puck to Smithson, nothing will happen because he'll either cough the puck up, dump it into the zone or miss the net with a shot. Ward will finish on occasion but will not make you pay for a mistake. Once Legwand's speed is taken away, because of his linemates, he become ineffective offensively. If there's a Dumont on the ice, other teams have to respect his puckhandling and playmaking abilities which opens up more ice for Legwand. Sorry but as much as I'd like to sit and bash Legwand for his lack of production, I put it more on the coaches for misuse of his talents.

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07-23-2010, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by PredsV82 View Post
what a load of shyte.

In the first three years of his deal Arnott scored 27,28 and 33 goals. I guarantee you if we had to go out and get a 30 goal scorer on the UFA martket it would cost at least 6 million a year.

now, if we were on the hook for 4.5 mil this next year we'd probably be underwhelmed but kudos to poile for unloading him before he got too bad...

My reference was to Leggy and Erat, however since you mention it Arnott was the softest big man this team has ever had. Sure he had some numbers and offense in spurts he made players on his line less effective. That is the reason Dumont has been in the doghouse. His goals per year dropped due to setting up Arnott. Dumont still had decent points for last two years setting up Arnott. Sully suffered as well especially on the PP Arnott playing down low and Sully on the point.

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07-23-2010, 10:54 PM
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ok my bad on misunderstanding which disappointment you were talking about.

but I disagree that Sully and Dumonts goal totals suffered by feeding Arnott

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07-24-2010, 02:06 AM
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he is what he is

Legwand is no Vinny Lecav, but he is no Brian Finley either.

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07-24-2010, 10:22 AM
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It's all Smithson's fault. We'll leave out that Legwand got over 50% more ice time than Smithson.

3 years later, he's overpaid, and we still have 4 years to go. No way he'd get that money now. He was paid to be a 60 point player who was defensively responsible. That's only happened once his career, which coincided with his UFA year. This was the first year he was moved off a true scoring-line, but still got 18 min of icetime a game and 2 minutes of PP time a game. I would venture that 10 goals with 18 min of icetime a game is the least production for any NHLer getting 18 min a game.

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07-24-2010, 11:28 AM
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It's all Smithson's fault. We'll leave out that Legwand got over 50% more ice time than Smithson.

3 years later, he's overpaid, and we still have 4 years to go. No way he'd get that money now. He was paid to be a 60 point player who was defensively responsible. That's only happened once his career, which coincided with his UFA year. This was the first year he was moved off a true scoring-line, but still got 18 min of icetime a game and 2 minutes of PP time a game. I would venture that 10 goals with 18 min of icetime a game is the least production for any NHLer getting 18 min a game.
It's not Smithson's fault, it's Trotz's fault for putting him out there with him. Legwand's production is pretty predictable depending on his linemates. If he has guys that can score, his numbers go up, if he has guys that have minimal offensive skills, the numbers go down. It was proven last year. Play with Smithson and Ward for a bulk of the year and his numbers stunk. Play with Dumont in the playoffs and his numbers were the best on the team.

Will the real David Legwand show up this year? Who knows. Will Trotz put him in a position to score points with linemates that are his equal offensively, another big question mark. Having a fourth line grinder who's best offensive move is dump and chase is not going to help anyone score goals.

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07-24-2010, 11:55 AM
  #25
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The easiest part about being a sports fan is having the ability to use hindsight in passing judgment of how a team is managed. Poile gave Legwand the contract he did for two reasons: 1) the numbers were comparable with other players posting similar productive to what Legwand had in 06-07 while defensive play was also taken into account. 2) The team desperately needed signs of stability in order to have the best shot at signing/re-signing players going forward.

Obviously his production declined over the past three seasons, but it is absolutely reasonable to credit the role (and line) he was put into by Trotz for the lowest amount of points in a season during which he played 60+ games since 2001-2002. Now... let's continue this part of the discussion for weeks and months...

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