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UFA Option: Marian Hossa

Marian Hossa is a guy that is widely regarded as the cream of the UFA crop this season, and as such, will be getting a salary a 7M+/yr, and likely for a term that is way too long. It's a nice situation for a player who only managed 66 points this past season. Still, Hossa is a very good player.

Hossa averaged 21:21 minutes of icetime per game this season, playing in all situations . 14:19 at even strength, 2:28 shorthanded, and 4:33 on the powerplay. How well did he produce?

At even strength, Hossa played the 3rd most difficult opposition (tied with Malone). He averaged 2.07 PTS/60 (Hemsky, by way of comparison, managed 2.36) and, even though he spent the majority of the year on a lousy Thrashers team, there isn't much excuse for finishing with a 2.49GFON/60 and a 3.16GAON/60 if you're about to be paid like a superstar. To be honest, I'm rather surprised by how poor his numbers were (they were much better in 2006-07, playing similar opponents).

On the powerplay, Hossa again wasn't anything special. He averaged 3.98 PTS/60, and the powerplay only scored 5.96 GFON/60 while allowing 1.19 GAON/60. These are not impressive numbers, even if we allow that Atlanta had a poor powerplay (23rd overall). Again, by way of comparison, Hemsky managed 5.93 PTS/60 and a 7.90 GFON/60 on a powerplay that wasn't significantly better.

Hossa had nice penalty-killing numbers (-4.41 ON/60), especially given that Atlanta's PK was ranked 27th overall, but do you really pay a player like Hossa big money to kill penalties? Of course not.

I'm shocked by how little I like Hossa's numbers this season. In all fairness, he's coming off 92 and 100 point seasons in the two years prior, so this past year was clearly not indicative of his average production level, but even so this is a guy talked about as an elite producer, and he simply isn't. He's a really, really, nice complementary player on a championship team, a guy worth 6, 6.5, maybe even 7M per season. I think he gets 8M/yr this summer to be the go-to guy on an offense-starved team (Boston, maybe). If I were Kevin Lowe, I wouldn't even bother calling him, because he won't be worth the money, the term, or the NTC he's almost certainly going to get. Marian Hossa should not be a player of interest to the Oilers.

Update: I wasn't happy with what I saw here in terms of Hossa's performance, so I've decided to also look at the season prior to this one.

2006-07 - 14:16 EV, 2:07 SH, 5:17 PP

Hossa played the 6th hardest minutes among Thrashers forwards at even strength. The team score 3.46 GFON/60 and 2.66 GAON/60. He scored at a 2.67 PTS/60 clip. On the powerplay was where he really racked up the points, scoring at a 6.09 PTS/60 rate, with the team putting up a +6.35/60 when he was on the ice (good for 1st on the Thrashers). He was also good on the penalty kill, with only a -4.97 GAON/60 rate. And I still wouldn't sign him at 8 million per year.