(Author’s Note: I use the term SO to mean shootout in this article)
(Editor's Note: No humor today, I just realized it's been almost a week since I updated this site and I wanted to be sure you guys didn't think I forgot this place existed so I'm double posting a piece I wrote for HFL on why I think Carter should stay and Hartnell should go.)
The guys over at Broad Street Hockey have written several posts as to why Jeff Carter is not worth trading for a goalie. I myself have gone on record as saying the only player I could accept trading Jeff Carter for is Shea Weber. Anyway, I figure it best that to justify these feelings I should actually show the math behind it. In order to show why Carter is not worth a goalie, I will compare Jeff Carter + Sergei Bobrovsky to Ilya Bryzgalov.
Now, this comparison is based on an attempt to prove that losing Jeff Carter’s production will NOT be worth the bonus of a goalie. Think of it this way, the goals Carter scores will outpace the goals prevented by acquiring a top A+ talent goalie.
Jeff Carter had 36G 30A this season for a total of 66 points: that means that Jeff Carter had a hand in 66 goals in 80 games, this means that Jeff Carter created 0.825 Goals per game. This means that in order to replace Jeff Carter’s production, you need to account for AT LEAST 0.825 goals per game in whatever comes back AND keep the team under the salary cap while doing so. So, let’s try to do that shall we. Sergei Bobrovsky had a .915 SV% for a GAA of 2.59 after allowing 130 goals on 1527 shots in just over 3000 minutes of game time in 54 games played. Brian Boucher’s stats were almost identical so using Bob is a fair comparison.
So, when you multiply out Jeff Carter’s offensive production for 54 games instead of 80, you get 44.55 points, which in order to make the Flyers come out ahead means that I will round up to 45 points. So the new goalie would need to allow 85 goals in 54 games…that’s a pace that would DESTROY the current NHL record. The save percentage (based on the shots Bob faced) would be 99.944%. I’ll stop for a second: 99.944 SV%. That is unheard of. That is IMPOSSIBLE. The NHL record for SV% was set this past season by Tim Thomas, it was 93.8%. Now obviously, I’m not completely insane, I know that another forward would take the spot of Jeff Carter on the Flyers top-6.
So rather than stick to that 99.944% number I’m going to set a bar for this new goalie and look at what the replacement for Jeff Carter would have to put up in order to replace the 66 goals that Carter created. Let’s assume that the Flyers land Ilya Bryzgalov. For 3 of the last 4 seasons, Ilya has put up a 92 or 92.1 SV% and has a career SV% of 91.6%. I am going to be generous and say Bryzgalov posts a 92.5 SV% in 55 games as the Flyers goalie. I’m using 55 games because that’s close to what Bobrovsky played as the ‘starter’ this season for the Flyers. Now, let’s assume that because of the age of the Flyers star defenders, Chris Pronger and Kimmo Timonen, that the Flyers defense allows more shots through on this goalie, whoever he is, so in the 55 games, the Flyers allow 1600 shots on goal. This is an average of just over 29 shots per game up from 28.27 shots per game allowed against Bob last year.
To have a 92.5 SV% Bryzgalov would have to stop 1480 of 1600 shots, which means he allows 120 goals in 55 games for a GAA of 2.18 (this assumes no OT/SO or EN goals and that Bryz plays 60 minutes every game.)
Comparatively speaking, Bob’s 91.5 SV% during the same time: 1464 saves on 1600 shots or 136 goals allowed in 55 games for a GAA of 2.47. (Same rules regarding OT/SO/EN situations.) This means that Bryzgalov is stopping 16 goals that Carter would have scored. Keep the number 16 in mind for later. Jeff Carter created 66 goals in 80 games, since we’re basing our goalies on 55 games, Carter would create 46 goals in 55 games. (It’s actually 45.375, but I’m rounding up which guarantees that if the Flyers ‘break even’ in production terms they’re actually a tiny bit ahead.)
Now, since Bryzgalov is a 16 goal improvement over Bobrovsky in 55 games, we can subtract that 16 from Jeff Carter’s 46 in the 55 games to leave us with 30 goals that need to be accounted for in 55 games or .545 goals per game. This leads to the next question, where do you get a player who creates this type of offense. Well the first thing we’ll do is find out what ‘this kind of offense’ is over an 82 game season, the answer 42.73 points which we will round up to 43. Sounds easy right, finding a 43 point player; well it’s not, because guess what? Carter’s 5.27 cap hit is now on Bryzgalov which means you need to find 43 (or more) points in a player who (according to my calculations) would make less 2.625 against the cap.
Sounds easy right, but wait, ONE MORE THING, you have to replace Ville Leino’s 54 points (per season) as well with another 800K (Leino’s old salary) on the cap, which means, you need to get 2 players, who produce 97 points combined in 82 games with less than 3.1M to do it. This cap number assumes a 62M cap and LTIR of Ian Laperriere, waiving of Shelley, Leighton and Walker and resigning Nodl and Powe to reasonable hits based on their RFA qualifying numbers.
Now, there’s some internal solutions, for one: James van Riemsdyk will surely improve on his 21G 19A effort from 2010-11; 55 points for JvR seems reasonable so that increase of 15 points on his side comes out of the 97 points and knocks it down to 82. So we’re down 2 players costing less than 3.1M AND producing 82 points combined. Assuming Matt Read makes the NHL roster because of his 1-way contract, his NCAA numbers and a limited AHL sample suggest that he could produce like Andreas Nodl did this year, I’m going to be generous and give Matt Read 27 points over a full season. Read has a 900K cap hit. This leaves 2.2M in cap space and 55 points needed just to break even in terms of a full season of production. Can this be done? Yes if Ville Leino signs for 2.2 (he wants 3.5 or more) and has the exact same season, the Flyers break even on dealing Carter for Bryzgalov.
But I propose a counter solution. Trade Scott Hartnell (who has already once agreed his NTC, in 2009 to EDM for Sheldon Souray, but Souray would not waive his NTC) which frees up 4.2 in cap space. Have Matt Read’s 27 points fill in for Hartnell’s projected 50 points then use the remaining (2.625 (cap space)+3.3 Hartnell/Read difference) 5.925 to sign Vokoun at 4 and put 1.925 to signing another 25 point player (they exist at that price and my vote goes to Eric Belanger due to the fact that he’s also solid defensively as well) Here’s why: Vokoun’s save% will be about 92.2% behind the Flyers D and based off his career numbers that could be an understatement, he could very easily put up the 92.5 SV% I put on Bryzgalov. If Vokoun comes in he’s going to stop 11-15 more goals than Bob (92.2-92.4375 SV%) for a GAA of 2.27-2.20. (Again, like earlier, these calculations are based off 1600 shots faced in 55 games)
This means that the Flyers would come out ahead in terms of goals (same offensive production from Read + Belanger in Leino and Hartnell’s slots when JvR’s point increase and the fact that Carter’s got a 16 goal cushion because he’s staying.) And that’s how you win, by scoring more than the other team. This team, based on my calculations with these moves will do just that.