Winnipeg Jets 2014 UFA Rumour Mill: Jussi Jokinen, Mikhail Grabovski, David Legwand, and Leo Komarov

Bruce Bennett

Jets have been in the mix for a few players according to some members of the press. Let's take a look at the numbers for them.

Pierre LeBrun reported that with Winnipeg Jets now on the outside of the race for Paul Statsny, True North has turned their attention to centres David Legwand and Mikhail Grabovski. In addition, media members have discussed the Jets courting the likes of Jussi Jokinen (by Ken Wiebe) and Leo Komarov (also by Ken Wiebe).

Let's take a brief look at the numbers for these players.

Jussi Jokinen - Age: 31 - Pos: LW - Prev Caphit: 3.0M - 81 GP, 21 G, 36 A, 57 PTS

TOI/60 S/60 Penalty +/- Corsi% relCorsi% O/D ZS% rel O/D ZS% PDO
15.5 8.1 +4 54.8% +8.6% 57.1% +11% 100.7

Jussi Jokinen is the highest scoring player of the bunch and therefore is most desirable for most fans. Of course, this also means his price tag is likely the highest of the bunch. This would be concerning for getting optimal value with Jokinen, although the Jets could balance this out with using a cheap moneypuck addition like Marcel Goc.

Jokinen was given a pretty good offensive zone boost with Malkin, which has inflated his scoring numbers and Corsi%. He still is historically a good player however.

Years TOI Corsi% RelCorsi% -OpRelCorsi% O/D ZS%
2011-14 2499.0 52.2% +2.2% +2.0% 53.1%

Jokinen has received some zone start pushing but still his results are still impressive. In 2012-13 he was deployed more defensively and still came out ahead. His 1.56 points per 60 minutes is 181st in the NHL for those with +1000 minutes between 2011-14; this places Jokinen below Bryan Little but above Michael Frolik for the same timeframe.

Looking at dCorsi% (which is a regression looking at a players Corsi% relative to their deployment) Jokinen has been a strong promoter of shot volume for five of his last six full seasons and has suppressed shots against volume above average for three of those same seasons (despite playing on some poor defensive teams).

Jussi Jokinen might demand a price, but he also would be a very good player. His on-ice results would likely be very similar to Michael Frolik. There is some risk with the age, but even a steep decent would likely keep Jokinen an upgrade over Devin Setoguchi or Olli Jokinen.

David Legwand - Age: 33 - Pos: C - Prev Caphit: 4.5M - 83 GP, 14 G, 37 A, 51 PTS

TOI/60 S/60 Penalty +/- Corsi% relCorsi% O/D ZS% rel O/D ZS% PDO
16.7 6.2 -17 49.5% +0.3% 49.2% -1.8% 97.1

David Legwand comes next in points totals. He generates a lot less shot volume and on the surface his underlying metrics seem inferior to most of the players here. Legwand's penalty differential is grotesque although not historically the norm for the centre.

Years TOI Corsi% RelCorsi% -OpRelCorsi% O/D ZS%
2011-14 2879.8 49.1% +0.8% -0.4% 45.6%

Legwand has primarily started his shifts in the defensive zone, yet his Corsi% has been near even and his teammates tend to do slightly better with him on the ice than off. Also, his 1.52 points per 60 5v5 minutes is only 13 players worse in ranking than Jussi Jokinen.

Looking at dCorsi% has promoted shot volume at an above average level for his usage and suppressed slightly above average as well. His overall dCorsi% has not been negative since the 2007-08 season.

Legwand could be a pretty good pickup that could really improve the team without the crippling contract that a Paul Statsny is likely to earn. Underlying numbers also suggest that Legwand is unlikely to give poor contract value like Olli Jokinen did.

Mikhail Grabovski - Age: 30 - Pos: C - Prev Caphit: 3.0M - 58 GP, 13 G, 22 A, 35 PTS

TOI/60 S/60 Penalty +/- Corsi% relCorsi% O/D ZS% rel O/D ZS% PDO
15.4 5.3 +4 51.0% +4.0% 51.5% +0.9% 102.5

Mikhail Grabovski had a pretty good season to the dismay of Steve Simmons. Grabovski's linemates did significantly better with him than without, while Grabbo scored at a pretty decent pace.

Years TOI Corsi% relCorsi% -OpRelCorsi% O/D ZS%
2011-14 2487.2 50.4% +4.2% +0.5% 47.0%

Grabovski has always performed well in possession metrics, despite playing multiple seasons on one of the worst possession teams in the league. Grabbo has taken ugly minutes on an ugly team and performed quite well, but got called out for not scoring enough while taking those ugly minutes. It's one thing to improve a bad team, it's another thing to make opponents do worse than normal while playing on a bad team, which -OpRelCorsi% shows Grabovski doing.

Grabovski is actually the higher 5v5 point per minute player of the players discussed here. His 1.75 points per 60 is just slightly less than Bryan Little's. dCorsi% numbers are hilariously positive overall, although it appears that it is predominately due to shot creation and not shot against suppression.

There is a good chance that Grabovski costs the least of these forwards and actually performs the best. Grabbing Grabbo could relieve the loss of a player like Alexander Burmistrov, another player who improved his team predominately indirectly instead of directly improving a team's scoring chance differentials.

Leo Komarov - Age: 27 - Pos: LW - Prev Caphit: 1.2M - 42 GP, 4 G, 5A, 9 PTS

TOI/60 S/60 Penalty +/- Corsi% relCorsi% O/D ZS% rel O/D ZS% PDO
13.8 5.2 +6 45.6% +1.8% 42.3% -0.5% 100.7

Leo Komarov has not been as strong of a scorer as the previous players, but is similar in his performance in improving his teammates possession. He is also a good agitator and is known to get under some players skin.

Komarov's -OpRelCorsi% is a negative value (-4.4%) which indicates his opposition tended to do better against Komarov than not. Usually when we see large discrepancies in relCori% and -OpRelCorsi% it is due to team effects. Most likely Komarov's true Corsi% abilities fall somewhere between the +1.8% and the -4.4%. Where that is, I am unsure, but it is likely closer to the +1.8% than the -4.4%.

Komarov's low 1.09 points per 60 5v5 minutes leaves a lot to be desired in offensive production, although some or most of it could be due to team effects and sample bias.

Conclusion

These UFAs would likely be a lot more expensive than the "moneypuck picks" discussed earlier; however, these are still good players who would likely improve the Jets, not just be a lateral exchange with Olli Jokinen and Devin Setoguchi.

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