John Gibson has signed a contract extension with the Anaheim Ducks that will keep him in Orange County for the next eight years to the tune of $6.4 million dollars per year. This puts him just outside the top five NHL goaltender salaries, behind Pekka Rinne who is making $7 million per year and just in front of Connor Hellebuyck’s $6.16 million.
While I don’t typically like goalie contracts of this size, it’s hard to deny how valuable and crucial Gibson has been to the Ducks over the past several seasons.
It’s also fairly easy to defend Gibson’s on-ice value, which matches up well with his contract, especially in comparison to other goaltenders who are statistically and financially comparable.
Raw Save Percentage
Among goalies who have played at least 100 games, Gibson has the highest regular season save percentage.
At the same time, it’s hard to get a real picture of a goalie’s performance by looking at just their raw save percentage. A few deeper statistical numbers can help us get a better picture of Gibson’s value.
During the 2017-2018 season, Gibson ranked third among goaltenders (minimum of 1500 TOI) in GSAA (goals saved above average). For those who don’t know, that stat is basically a plus/minus of goals above or below what an average NHL goalie would give up, given the number of shots the goalie faced during the season.
Gibson’s GSAA was +14.09, better than Pekka Rinne, Marc-Andre Fleury, Andre Vasilevskiy and Connor Hellebuyck.
The only two he finished behind in that category were Philip Grubauer and Sergei Bobrovsky.
MDsv% and HDsv%: Mid and High-Danger Save Percentage
Mid-danger save percentage measures a goalie’s save percentage for shots that are taken from a part of the ice where it’s considered to be a moderate scoring threat. Over the past two seasons, Gibson ranks third (94.12%) among netminders who have played at least 50 games, while his teammate Ryan Miller holds the number one spot.
High-danger save percentage (shots taken from areas with a high scoring chance) is a metric that is a bit more concerning for fans of Gibson’s contract.
Among goalies who have played at least 50 games during the past two seasons, he drops to 13th in this category at 80.63%
dSV%: Delta Save Percentage
Delta save percentage is how a goaltender performs in regards to his expected save percentage, again using a plus/minus measurement. Over the past two seasons, Gibson ranks third among goalies who have at least 3000 TOI (40 total goalies) with 1.04.
What does all this mean?
It’s a little premature to argue that Gibson is certainly going to be worth his contract. Depending on how you look at statistics, the case could easily be made that Bobrovsky and Rinne are solidly ahead of him, at least in the fantasy depth charts.
They also get paid more than him.
Some might also point to Gibson’s injury history as a source of concern.
However, from a statistical standpoint, Gibson’s contract is about right
. He has proved to be near or in the league-top-five goalie tier and has consistently put up numbers that show he’s good, without an elite defense in front of him.
At only 25 years old, his numbers are already solid and his best years are yet to come.
Stats via Corsica.hockey and Spotrac.com