Southeast Division: Buyer Beware…

Today we saw the first significant trade leading up to this years trade deadline as the Ottawa Senators traded Patrick Eaves and Joe Corvo to Carolina for Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore. Although this trade should help the Sens this season, a word of caution has to be put out concerning the trading for players from the southeast division.

The southeast division is one horrible division and it could be argued that 5 of the worst 10 teams in the league play in the southeast division. A big reason for this is bad defenses and outright horrible goaltending (Tomas Vokoun aside). The three worst teams in terms of team save percentage are Tampa (.881), Washington (.889) and Carolina (.891) while Atlanta (.904) is a marginally more respectable 12th worst. Because of this weak goaltending offensive players who play in the southeast division often look better than they probably are. Cory Stillman is a perfect example.

Cory Stillman vs SE division: 18GP, 11G, 11A, 22PTS
Cory Stillman vs rest of league: 37GP, 10G, 14A, 25PTS

In double the games he has fewer goals and only slightly more points.

And it isn’t just Stillman. Here are a few other big name trade acquisition possibilities.

Marian Hossa vs SE: 19GP, 11G, 10A, 21PTS
Marian Hossa vs Others: 36GP, 13G, 14A, 27PTS

Olli Jokinen vs SE: 20GP, 9g, 15a, 24pts
Olli Jokinen vs others: 38GP, 20g, 14a, 34pts

Jokinen has actually done well in terms of scoring goals against the rest of the league but his overall point totals are still lower.

Vaclav Prospal vs SE: 22GP, 12g, 15a, 27pts
Vaclav Prospal vs others: 34GP, 11g, 13a, 24pts

When it comes to acquiring offensive players from the southeast division it is definitely a case of buyer beware. They may not be everything you hoped they would be.

This article has 9 Comments

  1. Great post.

    On the flip side, there might be some defensive bargains to be had. Commodore’s numbers should make him look worse than he is.

  2. Good data – but I don’t think the Senators are expecting the world from Cory Stillman, nor do I think the league is particularly high on players like Slava Kozlov, Vaclav Prospal, or Alexander Semin, who all play in that division.

    And Marian Hossa’s having a tremendous off-year – he’d still be expected to have superstar level production wherever he goes.

  3. I agree with you on Kozlov and Prospal. They are definitely second line players or at best second tier first line players. They are not star calibre players, especially at this point in their careers. Semin though is a different story. Prospal has never scored 30 goals and Kozlov hasn’t since 1995-96 when he was a member of the Red Wings. Kozlov is past his prime but was a pretty good two-way player in his prime.

    He is quite talented and only 23 years old and had 38 goals and 73 points last year. He struggled with a high ankle sprain the first half of this year but has been great the past month or two. Semin won’t be as good of an all-round player that Hossa is but has the potential to be almost as good offensively. He will be a big part of the Capitals future with Ovechkin and Backstrom and should be easily be counted on for 30-40 goals.

  4. Semin’s lazy, and while he has talent, I can’t expect future 38 goal seasons from him. The South *will* get better at defense in the coming years.

    He’ll score in the 25-30 range – but I don’t see him with 17 power play goals in a season again.

  5. I don’t think Semin has demonstrated that he’s particularly lazy. His problem is he’s a defensive liability, and he tends to overstay his shifts, so they’re kept to a minimum.

    He’s only given an average of 17 shifts per game. But the only players on the Caps who have been spending longer on the ice per shift are Ovechkin and Nylander. He doesn’t kill penalties… but he spends a lot of time out on the Power Play.

    His injuries include a problem with his TAIL BONE and various ANKLE problems. He’s missed 17 games this year due to an ankle issue that began in October. Players with high ankle sprains typically suffer skating issues, and often have problems with the sustained efforts of skating. That being said, ankle injuries and a tail bone bruise are NOT indicative of a lack of physical preparation, and for a player like Semin it’s entirely understandable that it would present him with a problem. He’s on pace for 23 goals in 63 games. He could easily get another 7 goals in another 19 games… which means over the course of an 82 game season he could quite easily score 30 goals again.

    As for the PP goals… with the injury to Nylander, he’s become more of a passer to Ovechkin than he would’ve had to be in an ideal world. I wouldn’t say never… but 17 is a pretty hard to attain total.

  6. Not only is he a defensive liability, he takes lazy penalties and tends not to skate hard unless the puck’s on his stick, and tends to hold the puck too long.

    I love his skills, but once he gets on a real team in a real division, his weaknesses will be exposed. He makes all sorts of mental errors. I suspect he will have an Alex Kovalev career – some seasons demonstrating tremendous ability, others making people wonder how a guy with that kind of talent does that poorly.

  7. “It is my belief that the Ottawa Senators would be better served having an older veteren player with Stanley Cup winning experience on their roster than a 23 year old Patrick Eaves. Patrick Eaves makes $942,000 this season. For about a million dollars there are a number of veteren players that would be better suited to help the Senators win a Stanley Cup.”

    Pretty hard to disagree with this move, don’t you think, David?

Comments are closed.