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So, as you know I have been pretty unhappy with the way this offseason has gone so far, outside of the Gaborik and Gomez situations. So I really wanted to know, are we going to be better than we were last season.

Here is how I did my calculations. I wanted to get a more fair and balanced view on what a player can and should give us, so I wanted to take into consideration both what they did last season, and what their career averages are. For example if a player averages 30 goals per season per 82 games, but last season averaged 10 goals per 82 games played, then I would estimate that next season they would have a bounce back season likely in between those 2 totals because players tend to get worse with time, and you have to take into account players do have medians that they perform at. So for said player I would guesstimate 20 goals this upcoming season since it is the average between what they have done in the past, and what they did last season. Furthermore it is too difficult to figure out who will play how many games, so you literally have to assume the same 18 players will play all 82 games, or that the fill ins for those players will perform at the same level, the calculations otherwise would be extremely complicated and way too time consuming for someone doing a blog just for fun.

One final thing we have to deal with is that rookies are extremely difficult to project in the NHL. The only way I could think to do it is as follows. A player jumping from the AHL to the NHL will perform at roughly 50% of the level based on the same calculations performed above, and a player jumping from juniors to the NHL will perform at 25% of the level based on the above calculations. I can’t think of any other way to do it, and if anyone can, please do let me know! The calculation includes Dubinsky and Zherdev, because until they are officially traded, they are part of this team.

Left Wing
Projected Goals
Center
Projected Goals
Right Wing
Projected Goals
Ryan Callahan
21
Brandon Dubinsky
13
Marian Gaborik
49
Christopher Higgins
21
Chris Drury
24
Ales Kotalik
22
Sean Avery
15
Artem Anisimov
17
Nikolai Zherdev
23
Enver Lisin
21
Brian Boyle
15
Donald Brashear
4
Left Defenseman
Projected Goals
Right Defenseman
Projected Goals
Marc Staal
3
Dan Girardi
5
Wade Redden
6
Michal Rozsival
8
Matt Gilroy
4
Corey Potter
5

 

Adding them all up you are talking about approximately 276 goals worth of offense here. Now, clearly this is assuming nobody big gets hurt, nobody has a substantially up or down year, etc. I shudder to even think about what the upper and lower bounds is based on a floating error, maybe in the neighborhood of 20% (55 goals).

To put things in perspective, last seasons team scored 76 fewer goals than these projections.

I want to reiterate something, this is not an exact science. The odds of Enver Lisin scoring 21 goals while playing 4th line minutes are probably below zero. Likewise the odds of having a player get injured…say Gaborik, and being replaced by a player who would put up goals at the same pace (Who would be the next in line to be inserted…Aaron Voros? Yuck!) are also highly unlikley. Likewise the odds of Nikolai Zherdev playing this season are also quite low. My guess is this team scores in the neighborhood of 220-245 goals. which would roughly put us in the 10-20 range in terms of offense. Which is clearly an improvement over last season.

So, to answer my question…yes, we are a better team. Are we a cup contender? No, definitely not. I think if you can add Dany Heatley, Dane Byers and Evgeny Grachev while subtracting Nikolai Zherdev, Enver Lisin and Christopher Higgins, I think that would make us a much much better team, and possibly a cup contender.


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