Lucic Regression & Contract Thoughts

I pulled together a list of power forwards from the mid 90’s to today to look at the drop off in offensive production we should expect from Lucic during the contract.

Here is the list of players that I looked into;  Shane Doan, Ryan Clowe, Patrik Elias, Andrew Ladd, Dany Heatley, David Backes, Marion Hossa, Scott Hartnell, Brenden Morrow, Brendan Shanahan, Rick Nash, David Clarkson, Keith Tkachuk, Milan Michalek, Glen Murray, Todd Bertuzzi, Jarome Iginla, Ryan Smyth, Corey Perry, Owen Nolan, Justin Williams, Chris Kunitz, Ryan Kesler, Dustin Brown, Blake Wheeler, Michael Ryder, Joffery Lupul, Brandon Dubinsky.

The numbers were taken from hockey-reference.com, I looked predominately at wingers (exception of Backes & Kesler)  that had  .6 PPG prior to their 27th birthday (with the exception of David Clarkson), were 6’1+ (with the exception of Kunitz) and had a seasons with 50+ PIM’s.  I excluded Alex Ovechkin because I think he’s at an entirely different level as Lucic, I think we can all agree on that right?

There were three groups of players;

  • Players that have played until they were 34/35. (12.5)
    • Shane Doan, Patrik Elias, Marion Hossa, Brendan Morrow, Brendan Shanahan, Keith Tkachuk, Glen Murray, Todd Bertuzzi, Jarome Iginla,
      Ryan Smyth, Justin Williams (played til 34 this will be his 35th year), Chris Kunitz & Owen Nolan (.5 – I’ll explain the .5 in a minute)
  • Players that were either ineffective or injuried. (4.5)
    • Ryan Clowe, Dany Heatley, Joffery Lupul, Owen Nolan (.5)
  • Players that are currently active.  (12)
    • Milan Lucic, Andrew Ladd, David Backes, Scott Hartnell, Rick Nash, David Clarkson, Milan Michalek, Corey Perry, Ryan Kesler, Dustin Brown, Blake Wheeler, Brandon Dubinsky

Owen Nolan.  So Nolan had a clause in his contract that he would get paid during the lockout and a court battle ensued.  After the lockout Nolan sat out a year due to a ‘knee’ injury.  He came back for his 34 & 35th year.  Therefore I gave him a .5 because he didn’t play for two of his 27 – 33 years but he played the final 34 & 35 years.

Please note; the Points / G do not take into effect the games missed by the players during their seasons.  For example Todd Bertuzzi in the season he played at age 31 averaged .73 PPG but missed 67 PPG.  Part of that was I wanted to look at year to year productivity and part of it was I am lazy.

The Age is listed per Hockey-Reference.com.  Hockey Reference has the players age on Feb. 1st of the given hockey season.

About Lucic:

Milan Lucic averaged .68 Pts/G between his 22 birth year to his 27th birth year.  Lucic has been fairly healthy only missing 10 games in his 6 previous seasons in the NHL.  He is, as of now, a legit 1st line forward.  The questions that we need to answer is;

  • How much offensive regression should the Oiler’s expect?
  • How much time missed should we expect?
  • When should we expect the drop off?
  • Is he going to be worth that contract?
  • What about Hall?  (I will not answer that question!)

Here’s a look at the players comparisons 22 – 27 season.

Milan Lucic 0.78 0.75 0.59 0.74 0.54 0.68
Player 22 23 24 25 26 27
Shane Doan 0.28 0.63 0.83 0.6 0.71 0.86
Ryan Clowe 0.11 0.59 0.53 0.73 0.7
Patrik Elias 0.68 1 1.17 0.81 0.7 0.99
Andrew Ladd 0.48 0.6 0.46 0.73 0.61 0.96
Dany Heatley 1.16 0.81 1.26 1.28 1.15
David Backes 0.47 0.43 0.66 0.61 0.76 0.66
Marion Hossa 0.93 0.83 1 1.01 1.15
Scott Hartnell 0.59 0.61 0.54 0.73 0.54
Brendan Morrow 0.54 0.49 0.61 0.6 0.8
Brendan Shanahan 0.88 0.86 1.32 1.26 0.91 1.05
Rick Nash 0.76 0.86 1.01 0.88 0.88 0.72
David Clarkson 0.27 0.39 0.52 0.22 0.58
Keith Tkachuk 1.06 1.29 1.06 0.96 1 0.86
Milan Michalek 0.85 0.7 0.74 0.52 0.5 0.78
Glen Murray 0.2 0.42 0.39 0.74 0.51 0.79
Todd Bertuzzi 0.45 0.5 0.63 0.7 1.18 1.18
Jarome Iginla 0.82 0.92 1.17 0.89 0.9 0.82
Ryan Smyth 0.44 0.66 0.85 0.82 0.92 0.72
Corey Perry 0.77 0.92 0.93 1.2 0.75 0.82
Owen Nolan 1.07 0.85 0.88 0.55 0.58 1.08
Justin Williams 0.56 0.93 0.82 0.81 0.32
Chris Kunitz 0.59 0.74
Ryan Kesler 0.33 0.46 0.72 0.91 0.89 0.64
Dustin Brown 0.57 0.77 0.66 0.68 0.7 0.66
Blake Wheeler 0.56 0.46 0.54 0.8 0.85 0.84
Michael Ryder 0.78   0.68 0.71 0.44
Joffery Lupul 0.65 0.35 0.82 0.63 0.61 0.57
Brandon Dubinsky 0.5 0.64 0.7 0.44 0.69 0.66
  • The average PPG is .74 for the above list.  Lucic is within the range but a little behind.
  • Also, Clarkson should not be a comparison.
Player 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35
Shane Doan 0.8 0.75 0.98 0.89 0.67 0.83 0.63
Ryan Clowe 0.83 0.59 0.48 0.77 0.31
Patrik Elias 1.18 0.92 0.74 1.01 0.83 0.77 0.96
Andrew Ladd 0.69 0.77 0.59
Dany Heatley 0.88 1 0.8 0.65 0.58 0.37
David Backes 0.58 0.77 0.73 0.57
Marion Hossa 1.22 0.92 0.96 0.89 0.88 0.95 0.78 0.83
Scott Hartnell 0.6 0.82 0.34 0.67 0.78 0.62
Brendan Morrow 0.78 0.9 0.83 0.61 0.68 0.46 0.57 0.35
Brendan Shanahan 1.09 0.76 0.72 1 0.94 0.94 0.87 0.65
Rick Nash 0.95 0.6 0.87 0.6
David Clarkson 0.5 0.18 0.25
Keith Tkachuk 1.04 1.03 0.98 0.95 0.88 0.73 0.73
Milan Michalek 0.61 0.48 0.52 0.36
Glen Murray 0.61 0.87 1.12 0.74 0.83 0.76 0.48
Todd Bertuzzi 0.87 0.87 0.73 0.59 0.67 0.54 0.56
Jarome Iginla 1.34 1.2 1.09 0.84 1.05 0.82 0.75
Ryan Smyth 0.88 0.96 0.67 0.77 0.79 0.57 0.56
Corey Perry 1.01 0.82 0.76
Owen Nolan 0.86 0.88 0.72 0.74 0.53 0.42
Justin Williams 0.59 0.78 0.72 0.69 0.52 0.51 0.63
Chris Kunitz 0.61 0.65 0.64 0.73 0.74 1.08 0.87 0.54
Ryan Kesler 0.76 0.56 0.58 0.67
Dustin Brown 0.63 0.34 0.33 0.34
Blake Wheeler 0.77 0.95
Michael Ryder 0.72 0.4 0.52 0.76 0.76 0.41 0.4
Joffery Lupul 1.02 1.13 0.64 0.38 0.3
Brandon Dubinsky 0.77 0.64
  • Here is how players played from their 28 – 35 years.
22 – 27 28-35  %
Shane Doan 0.651667 0.792857 121.7%
Ryan Clowe 0.532 0.596 112.0%
Patrik Elias 0.891667 0.915714 102.7%
Andrew Ladd 0.64 0.683333 106.8%
Dany Heatley 1.132 0.713333 63.0%
David Backes 0.598333 0.6625 110.7%
Marion Hossa 0.984 0.92875 94.4%
Scott Hartnell 0.602 0.638333 106.0%
Brendan Morrow 0.608 0.6475 106.5%
Brendan Shanahan 1.046667 0.87125 83.2%
Rick Nash 0.851667 0.755 88.6%
David Clarkson 0.396 0.31 78.3%
Keith Tkachuk 1.038333 0.905714 87.2%
Milan Michalek 0.681667 0.4925 72.2%
Glen Murray 0.508333 0.772857 152.0%
Todd Bertuzzi 0.773333 0.69 89.2%
Jarome Iginla 0.92 1.012857 110.1%
Ryan Smyth 0.735 0.742857 101.1%
Corey Perry 0.898333 0.863333 96.1%
Owen Nolan 0.835 0.691667 82.8%
Justin Williams 0.688 0.634286 92.2%
Chris Kunitz 0.665 0.7325 110.2%
Ryan Kesler 0.658333 0.6425 97.6%
Dustin Brown 0.673333 0.41 60.9%
Blake Wheeler 0.675 0.86 127.4%
Michael Ryder 0.6525 0.567143 86.9%
Joffery Lupul 0.605 0.694 114.7%
Brandon Dubinsky 0.605 0.705 116.5%
98.97%
  • On average a player aged 28 – 35 will produce 98.97% of his offensive production from his previous 22 – 27 seasons.  On averaged from Lucic’s 22nd – 27th year he would score 56 points if fully healthy for an 82 game schedule.  His production, based on averages would drop to a grand-total of 55.

The final two years!  I forgot to put the headings on this chart.  The first is the name, second is the 22 – 33 years, third is the 34 – 35 years and the final one is the 34-35 season divided by 22 – 33 years.  Essentially how much offense have they retained versus their career.

Shane Doan 0.727273 0.73 100.38%
Patrik Elias 0.911818 0.865 94.87%
Marion Hossa 0.976364 0.805 82.45%
Brenden Morrow 0.663636 0.46 69.32%
Brendan Shanahan 0.9775 0.76 77.75%
Keith Tkachuk 1.01 0.73 72.28%
Glen Murray 0.656364 0.62 94.46%
Todd Bertuzzi 0.760909 0.55 72.28%
Jarome Iginla 1.003636 0.785 78.22%
Ryan Smyth 0.770909 0.565 73.29%
Justin Williams 0.821 0.475 57.86%
Chris Kunitz 0.659091 0.63 95.59%
Average 80.73%
  • On average a player a players production would drop by 19.27% in his 34th – 35th years compared to their 22nd – 33rd years.

A player in their 28th – 33rd season can expect to produce at 96% compared to their 24th – 27th season.  I didn’t add the chart, but looked at the numbers.  What’s interesting with Lucic is his 22 & 23 years were his better years.

What should we expect from Lucic?

Based on the players listed above Lucic’s projected points, barring injuries, per game during the life of the contract should be between .65 PPG for the first five seasons and then drop to .54 PPG during the last two years of the deal.

Now this doesn’t factor in that Lucic is likely going to play with McDavid.  So I’d expect those totals to increase but I don’t have any decent stats to back it up.  That was the reason I looked at Chris Kunitz.  Kunitz before being paired with Crosby in Pittsburg put up .61 PPG in Anahiem and since the move to Pittsburgh he’s now averaging .72 PPG.  That number includes his last two seasons (age 35 & 36) which his PPG has dropped to .54 & .51.

Putting everything into consideration if Lucic finds chemistry with McDavid, I think he should realistically expect a 10 – 20% bump in producitivty.  So let’s give him a 10% bump from his projected numbers without McDavid.  I will guess the first 5 years of the deal he should average over .70 Pts/G, if he or McDavid do not have any major injuries.

The Contract Still Sucks!

The current CBA is done in Sept 2022.  But there could be a change to the agreement as early as Sept. 2019.  Per Yahoo – This CBA is a 10-year agreement, but both can choose to opt out after 8 years. The NHL will have first crack to do so by Sept. 1, 2019. If they decline, the NHLPA can decide to opt out by Sept. 19, 2019. The 10-year deal expires Sept. 15, 2022. There’s actually a potential lockout date as early as 2019.  Perhaps the Oiler’s buy-out the last year(s) of the deal if the NHL has another amnesty buy-out after the expiration of the CBA.  Which would essentially be a get out of jail free on the last year(s) of the deal.  A potential lockout was already brought up by Brooksie.

Also, the Cap should go up by roughly 10 million during the last two years of the deal.Cap Projections have the Cap going up by roughly 3% for the last three years.

  • 2016-17 – 73
  • 2017-18 – 75
  • 2018-19 – 77
  • 2018-20 – 79
  • 2020-21 – 81
  • 2021-22 – 83
  • 2022-23 – 85.5

So although there is going to be an estimated 20% drop in player productivity in the final two years of the deal.  There is an estimated  13.5% & 17% increase in cap space for the final two years of the deal.  Those are likely conservative numbers too considering the current Canadian dollar and expansion.There is risk with the contract.  I think there is risk with any contract but I consider this to be a 5 year deal rather than the 7 years it’s reported as.  The final two years he has a 8 / 10 team lists for the final two years of the contract.  So there’s a chance that he could be dealt to a team needing cap space.The Body Will Break Down

  • I looked at the 12 players that have played til 35 to compare the number of games they missed from their 22-27 seasons, 28-35 seasons, 28 – 33 seasons & 34 35 seasons.
  • The numbers were interesting;
Player 22 – 27 28 – 35 28 – 33 34 – 35
Shane Doan 2.33 3.43 2.20 6.50
Patrik Elias 4.33 12.86 17.60 1.00
Marion Hossa 1.60 9.88 10.17 9.00
Brenden Morrow 17.50 19.00 22.83 7.50
Brendan Shanahan 5.33 2.50 2.67 2.00
Keith Tkachuk 11.00 13.57 17.80 3.00
Glen Murray 9.50 11.29 7.40 21.00
Todd Bertuzzi 12.17 15.86 22.00 0.50
Jarome Iginla 3.60 2.00 2.00 2.00
Ryan Smyth 8.00 9.29 13.00 0.00
Justin Williams 17.20 6.14 7.17 0.00
Chris Kunitz 7.00 9.38 8.00 13.50
Average 8.30 9.60 11.07 5.50

I honestly went into this thinking that here is where you would lose value in signing Lucic.  But the data that I pulled doesn’t look that way.  Now, I know that I have removed Lupul & Clowe from the data pool but if a player is on LTIR his cap hit doesn’t count after the start of the season.  Meaning you can hide those dollars.  I would have thought that there would have been more games missed by after a player after turning 28.

Now, I know the data sample is a little low but it’s what I’ve got.

I think that people are assuming that Lucic will completely fall apart.  With most people that’s not the case.  In fact the 34 – 35 year seasons the players were relatively healthy, their production dropped.

Estimated Production

How much does 35 million (real money for the first 5 years) of Katz’s money get us from a production standpoint?  My projected total for the first 5 seasons of Lucic’s deal, which I think is what Chia bought,  is:

360 GP – 105 G – 155 A -260 PTS  (Average season is 72 Games Played with 20 Goal & 52 Points)

What do you think is that worth 7 Million a season?

The final two years (assuming there isn’t a lockout).  There will be a 6 million dollar cap (but only 4.5 million in real dollars) for a 16/17 goal scorer.

144 GP – 33 G – 49 A – 82 PTS

Is it a bad signing?  I’m not sure that I love with the last two years.  I don’t think the signing is as bad as some people are making it out to be.

These are conservative estimates.

Let’s take a look at an optimistic point of view.  There is a chance that Lucic doesn’t miss 10 games a year, based on his history he’s just as likely to miss 10 games in the first 5 years of the contract.  Using Kunitz as a comparison playing with Crosby (& to a certain extent Malkin) during his 29 – 34 the Penguins Left Winger saw a 30% increase in production.  I only did a 10% increase for Lucic.  Let’s say on the positive side that Lucic will see roughly a 35% increase in man-games lost.  That’s just over two games a season rather than the (10 games I projected).  Let’s also use the 30% increase in point production playing with a generational talent during his 24 – 33 season.  That increases his; games to  points per game to .83 and decreases his games lost to 11 total.

  • Games:  399 (80)
  • Goals: 132 (26)
  • Assists: 199 (40)
  • Points 331  (66)

 

 

 

 

 

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