Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Great Debate

After watching last night's game against Phoenix(you can get our recap here)I stumbled upon a topic with Phillip that seems to be a popular one in PredNation. David Legwand. Is he the most valuable Nashville Predator? Is he vastly overrated?

Phillip and I have very different opinions on this matter, which really is very similar to how most of PredNation feels. There are people on both sides of the aisle when it comes to David Legwand.

I happen to think Legwand is vastly overrated. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm well aware that Legwand brings qualities to the game that are valuable to this hockey team. He is a great skater, he is a good forechecker, and will occasionally make a play or two on the defensive side. He chips in on the offensive front from time to time(although not nearly as much as he should with the amount of money he's making.) But there are a few reasons why I think he is overrated.

Now, before I get to my reasons, I'm aware that there is another side to this argument that has valid points. For example, Dirk Hoag of On the Forecheck had a great arguement for Legwand a few days ago. However, here are a few stats that still don't have me sold on Legwand.

Over and over again, you here about how Legwand is a great defender. And, at times, he can be. But over the last 3 full seasons(not counting this year), Legwand's plus/minus rating is a minus-12. He's been on the wrong side of the plus/minus scale for the last three years. That's not a very good stat for someone who is supposed to be defensively sound. As a matter of fact, I've even heard some people complain that Legwand has never been nominated for a Selke Trophy. Sorry, but it just doesn't happen when you're a minus-12 over the past three years. Now, he is a plus-4 so far this year. Maybe by season's end he will maintain his progress.

Another thing is his production is on the decline. His points per season have gone down in each of the last three years and are on pace to go down again this year. In the past 4 seasons, Legwand has had point totals of 63, 44, 42, and 38. He's on pace for less than 30 points this year. The man is getting paid $4.5 million per year to produce offensively. He wasn't paid that money to play defense, he wasn't paid that money to turn into a 3rd line center(Yes, I know he's first line right now. That's because the two in front of him are hurt.)

His faceoff winning percentage this year is at 43.7%, which is good for dead last among all of the centers for the Nashville Predators.

Does he have the talent to be our most valuable player? Yeah he does. In 2006-2007 he was a plus-23. He had 63 points(granted he was on a line with Paul Kariya) and had a great year. That is why he was signed to such a lucrative contract. But the guy is not that player anymore. Look, I want Legwand to be as good as he can be. I want him to prove me wrong and be the most valuable player on the Nashville Predators. But he's not. And he's making way too much money for 5 goals.

What do you think of David Legwand?


  1. Great talent but unless he blows up the lamp in the 2nd half he'll prolly will get a chance for a fresh start next year with another team. Fresh start would prolly be best for both him and the Preds.

  2. about the contract. if you look at when it was signed and what the team was going through at that time, then one could assume that a big part of the money in his contract went to signing the franchises first draft pick to a long term deal than simply player performance and expectations.

    +/- -12 for 3 years isn't all that bad when he was facing the top line of every team and had the offensive help of smithson to help balance out the stat.

  3. Numbers don't tell the whole story, on any player. It's hard to put up almighty numbers when you are PKing or on a shutdown line. Time out with injuries doesn't help, either. He's fast, reads and anticipates plays, good stick handler, one of the best penalty killers in the business and sets up the goal scorers. Give me the players with the assists any day. Without them, the scorers wouldn't be scoring.