Which Defensemen are really helping us?

I saw an interesting analysis over at which evaluates how well defensemen are helping their teams based on their impact on team corsi% when they are on the ice and their impact on opponents corsi% when they are on the ice.

you can find the article here

and a list for all defensemen with 500+ minutes over the last 4 years here




distance from (0,0)

Combined (dTm+(-dOp))




































I don't feel like anyone will be surprised to see that Erik Karlsson is #6 in the league in terms of improving his team's possession. He's also, as you would assume, quite good at limiting the other team's possession, putting him at 10th overall in the league by this particular metric over the past 4 seasons.

I think the other big standout here is Mr. Wiercioch. I've said this before, but I simply cannot fathom why we had this guy in the press box for so much of this season.

I have a funny feeling that Chris Phillips' numbers are bolstered by some of the earlier seasons included in these stats. I feel that Cowen is benefitting similarly, though he doesn't have age as an excuse.

I would also speculate that Gryba's numbers have and will continue to improve in the future.

Obviously we all hope that Ceci's numbers will improve, but I think the fact that such a young guy is able to be neutral in regards to this statistic while spending so much of his time with Chris Phillips.

There have been a few times this season when i've advocated moving Gryba and Cowen and holding on to Wiercioch. I find this quite validating to my earlier position, and I would be absolutely miserable if were to move Wiercioch this summer as part of a deal.

There are also a number of UFA's and possible trade targets I wanted to explore as well.

Stralman is an absolute stud by this measurement and while he doesn't put up points like Karlsson, he has very similar affects on team and opponent possession. Stralman's difference in team possession and opponent possession is a 9.80%. If we can get a bargain on this guy based on his lack of point production, I will be dancing in the streets.

Matt Niskanen is another UFA target for us potentially- though he'll probably cost more, he has the added benefit of being able to put points on the board. He makes a combined difference of 8.1%

Tom Gilbert's name has been brought up recently, and based on this stat- he'd certainly project to be an improvement over our current corps, I'm less excited about him- he only makes a difference of about 2.3%

I haven't heard abyone else on this site bring up the option of Kimmo Timmonen, but he's something of a possession beast, especially considering his age. He seems to make players around him much better and based on this stat, his difference is about 9.5%

If we were to clear some salary, and make some decent pitches to UFA's this year, we could have three of the 10 most impactful possession defensemen on our team this season.

If we're trading with the Blues- Shattenkirk continues to be an appealing option, at 8.0% difference. I had brought up the notion of Bouwmeester at one point, but he appears to have significant negative impact in this regard at a -.50 difference.

I've heard talk about Sbisa included in a deal for Spezza, he is atrocious by this measurement at a -4.7%, in fact, if this statistic was my measuring stick there is't really anyone on Anaheim that would intrigue me.

I'd like to look at this in more detail and try to measure it against other factors, but I need to get to work, so I'll leave it at that for now.

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