Advanced Stats: Halpern a solid value signing

For Ranger fans looking for excitement this offseason it’s been a relative bore through the first three weeks of the summer. No big trade for Nash, Yandle or Ryan; no splashy free agent signings. In fact, another high-profile Ranger target, Shea Weber, passed on the Blue Shirts reportedly in favor of signing a huge offer sheet with the rival Flyers. While that hurts in and of itself, Weber’s rejection might also increase pressure on Slats to make a big move to add a scorer sooner rather than later.

Regardless of what may or may not happen in the weeks to come as it pertains to Nash, Ryan, etc., Slats has not sat on his hands this summer. He hasn’t made any headline moves but has made several additions to improve depth in the organization. Perhaps the most important of those depth additions was the recent signing of UFA center Jeff Halpern.

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Advanced Stats: Should Rangers part with Stepan in Nash deal

At this point it’s anyone’s guess whether the long anticipated trade of Rick Nash will ever actually go down. This story has dragged on since February and it appears as if we are still no closer to a resolution. While countless rumored return packages have been proposed in the media, then dissected and criticized by the fans, until a trade is finally consummated or Scott Howson reveals publicly exactly what players he wants in return for his franchise player (which would be a violation of the league’s tampering rules) no one knows for sure how high a price Columbus is demanding.

However some close to the situation, including Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, would seem to have a better idea than most. Portzline made an appearance on WFAN on July 7th (as noted here on SNYRangersblog) and indicated a deal could get done for Nash if the Rangers offered Brandon Dubinsky, Derek Stepan and a first-round pick. Since a trade has not been made it would seem the Rangers are unwilling to move Stepan. That belief is supported by Larry Brooks who wrote as much in the NY Post (again noted on this site) last month.

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[Re-Post] Advanced Stats: Taylor Pyatt

Rangers GM Glen Sather continued bargain hunting for affordable forward depth with the signing of UFA LW Taylor Pyatt to a two-year deal Tuesday. The AAV of Pyatt’s deal is $1.55 million. In essence Sather utilized the money saved by allowing Brandon Prust to leave by allocating it to two players, Asham and now Pyatt. The stated plan this summer was to improve the depth on the roster and getting two useful players for the price of one is a good way to do just that. Just how useful Pyatt will be remains to be seen but we can at least get an idea based on past performance.

Here’s how Pyatt has fared in the advanced metrics I like to use to analyze a player’s effectiveness in helping his club possess the puck and tilt the ice in their favor.

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Advanced Stats: The Arron Asham Add

Glen Sather said the Rangers were going to be active in free agency and they lived up to that on day one. They’ve yet to make the type of blockbuster addition expected but that doesn’t mean the roster moves made on July 1st won’t impact next season’s roster. The most notable signing was that of gritty forward Arron Asham, who once he takes the ice for the Blue Shirts will have played for each team in the Atlantic Division.

Asham likely will fill a spot on the fourth line where he’ll bring a little more physicality to the lineup. While he won’t have a prominent role on the team Asham’s addition was meaningful in another way as it meant the club had decided to move on from fan-favorite Brandon Prust. Asham agreed to a two-year deal worth $2 million and Prust later signed a four-year deal worth $10 million to join the Montreal Canadiens.

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Advanced Stats: Whitney or Doan

With the Rangers on the prowl for more offense this offseason two free agents who might warrant a looksee from Sather are (potentially) soon-to-be former Coyote teammates Ray Whitney and Shane Doan. Both players have expressed their desire to remain in Phoenix however the ownership uncertainty surrounding the organization has prompted them to at least consider leaving the desert. If the Rangers were to have their choice of player with all else being equal, which would be the best fit for New York?

If we were to base the decision solely on last year’s stats and the Rangers need for more scoring it would appear on the surface that Whitney would be the better option. After all, his 77 points scored bested Doan by 27. Yet by now we realize that totals may not mean as much as rates do.

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Advanced Stats: Would Mueller be worth a look?

Everyone knows the Rangers are going to address their offense somehow, someway this summer. However, the free agent market’s best scoring forward, Zach Parise, has sworn he won’t sign with his current club’s arch-enemy (the Rangers) and the other players with a track record of offensive production will likely get big money offers from other teams as is customary in free agency. The Rangers, with important younger players set to hit restricted free agency in the next couple of years, may be and should be hesitant to overpay for an unrestricted free agent this summer.

The trade market, highlighted by Rich Nash and perhaps Bobby Ryan, offers more available high-end talent but to date the cost to acquire any one of those players is quite high. Sather has so far resisted the temptation to subtract what potentially could be multiple young assets from his core to add the big scoring winger the team seeks.

That means it wouldn’t be too shocking to see Sather take a chance this offseason on a buy low, bounce back candidate. One of those types just became available today when it was announced the Colorado Avalanche would not be submitting a qualifying offer to 24-year-old forward Peter Mueller.

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Advanced Stats: A look back at the postseason, Part 1

With the Rangers (and their fans) dreams of Stanley Cup glory dashed and their goal of winning a championship unfulfilled it’s time for the organization to take a look in the mirror to figure out what needs to be done to take the next step in 2013. However in order to know what, if any, changes need to be made to this roster in order to improve the team management needs to know where the weaknesses on the club lie. That’s where advanced stats might be able to help.

Before we delve into some of the advanced stats from the perspective of potential summer roster changes, let’s take a look at the season past to see how individual players fared. Today we begin a three-part series analyzing the performance of the Rangers in the postseason. First up is a look at the Relative Corsi and Quality of Competition (QoC) ratings. QoC is one of my favorite advanced stats. It helps to put a perspective on many other metrics I use.

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Advanced Stats: Dubi, Nash and Relative Corsi

Late last week Adam received an email from reader Matthew Hevia in which Matthew argues against making a trade for Rick Nash that would involve Brandon Dubinsky going the other way. Matthew cites the large disparity in the respective Relative Corsi ratings between Nash and Dubi this year in making his case Dubi carries more value than Nash aside from goal scoring numbers.

Relative Corsi has value as a metric but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Nash plays for the worst team in the league this year. Chances are his Corsi rating is being hindered by the quality of his teammates. It’s also conceivable, with Nash being his team’s best player, he is lining up opposite some of the opponent’s better players.

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Read: Using Corsi To Prove Why Brandon Dubinsky Should Stay

Reader Matthew Hevia emailed this look at the idea of swapping Rick Nash for Brandon Dubinsky using Advanced Stats:

Aside from all of the talk regarding how screwed The Rangers would be cap wise if they acquired Rick Nash, think of this.  The Rangers are built primarily on defense and team chemistry.  Rick Nash may add offense, but with a plus minus of -22 this year, it’s clear that he wouldn’t fit in on a defensive minded, hard working, shot blocking team.  The Rangers don’t have anyone who is below a -4.  Also, Dubinsky has value in the locker room that Rick Nash couldn’t match.  As a matter of fact, it’d be unfair to even ask Rick Nash to try and gel with a squad that has gone through a whirlwind of a season thus far.  Between the European tour, the presence of HBO for a month while preparing for The Winter Classic, and solidifying a team identity, It has been the kind of season that forms a special bond between teammates that experience it all TOGETHER.  With all of this being said, I think that the comparison of Dubinsky and Nash using corsi is very telling.  The Blue Jackets are an awful team, and according to the numbers below, on average, with Nash on the ice they let up close to 1.5 shots less than they do when he sits.  When you subtract his off ice corsi, from his on ice corsi, it creates his relative corsi, which is 1.2.  This means that overall, on average, he’s good for helping the team throw 1.2 more shots on net than they give up.  With Brandon Dubinsky on the ice, The Rangers give up almost 8.5 less shots than they do when he is off the ice.  Dubinsky’s relative corsi is 8.2, and this shows you that on average, Brandon Dubinsky is responsible for directing 7 more pucks at the net than Rick Nash is.  I realize that this could change if Rick Nash were placed on a team like The Rangers, but the numbers are the numbers.  You have to play defense, and help the team to put pucks on net in order to score, and ultimately win.  Brandon Dubinsky does all of those things, I say keep him!

Relative   CORSI ON   CORSI OFF

DUBINSKY       8.2 -1.84 -10.03
    NASH          1.2 -0.64 -1.81

Advanced Stats: A More Realistic PP Fix

Speculation has the Rangers trying to add a top-six winger who can help their pitiful power-play ahead of next month’s trade deadline. Some of the names rumored to be on the Rangers wish list are: Bobby Ryan, Shane Doan, Teemu Selanne, Vinny Prospal and Brendan Morrow. Of that group: Ryan is going to cost a princely sum; Doan and Selanne have so far indicated they’d rather stay with their respective clubs; Prospal, while we know he would fit in with the group of guys already here, will turn 37 before the deadline and has cooled off since a strong start; and Morrow may or may not even be available. Fact is it won’t be easy to add someone to boost the team’s PP efficiency nor is there even any guarantee any addition would help in that regard.

The Rangers might instead be forced to either stand pat or make a low risk, moderate reward type of move instead of the big splash many would rather see. If the Rangers truly feel they need to upgrade their man-advantage attack there are other, under-the-radar additions they could make without sacrificing roster players and/or top prospects. This likely won’t be a popular suggestion among Ranger fans but a move in the mold mentioned above would be to acquire Tampa D Marc-Andre Bergeron.

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