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2013-14 NHL Scoring-Per-Ice-Time Leader is Not Who You May Think

March 23, 2014, 11:21 AM ET [170 Comments]
Eklund
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Yesterday before the St. Louis - Philadelphia game, I sat in the pressbox crunching some numbers. I made a rather interesting discovery.

Among NHL regulars ranked in the NHL's top 40 in scoring, Philadelphia Flyers power forward Wayne Simmonds (16:39 average ice time, 38th in overall scoring) and Colorado Avalance rookie star Nathan MacKinnon (16:59 TOI, 40th in scoring) are the players averaging less than 17 minutes of ice time per game.

What's more, Simmonds leads the NHL in total scoring per minutes played. Art Ross Trophy leader Sidney Crosby has 94 points in 21:58 of ice time per game in 70 games played. That averages to a ratio of one point for every 4.36 minutes on the ice. Simmonds has 54 points in 16:39 average TOI over 70 games played. That averages to a ratio of one point for every 3.29 minutes on the ice.

No, I am not suggesting that Simmonds ranks among the true elite offensive players in the NHL. He's certainly no Crosby, Ovechkin, Giroux, Seguin or Malkin. Heck, he may not even be as much of a pure offensive threat as Flyers teammate Jakub Voracek (49th in scoring). I'm also not suggesting that if his ice time was bumped up further, he'd be all that much higher on the league scoring charts.

What I am saying, though, is that no player in the NHL this season has been more efficient in generating offense relative to his role on his team. I don't think Simmonds will win his team MVP award (the Bobby Clarke Trophy) over either Claude Giroux or Steve Mason but he really should be looked at as a major candidate for it.

I am working over the next few days on updating the status of several impending unrestricted free agents around the nHL who are negotiating extensions with their current teams before hitting the open market this summer.

I'll close for now with another Flyers-related note, I have heard there has been some preliminary groundwork done toward a four-year or five-year deal in Philadelphia to retain Andrew MacDonald. Both sides seem to want this to happen.

More to come...
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