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The Two Best Realistic Trade Options For The Penguins

February 6, 2015, 8:56 AM ET [412 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Evander Kane stuff sure was interesting yesterday and whether or not you are on board with such an acquisition for the Penguins his situation is in a holding pattern now.

Kane is on IR with what is believed to be a shoulder ailment. This takes him off the table as you cannot trade for a player who is on IR. Kane should find out later today if he will have season ending surgery.


Edit 9:26 AM

Let's just put it this way, the Penguins aren't going to be the team to trade for a player on IR when they need said player for a playoff push.


Today I am going to focus on two players that I have mentioned here before but I am going to go into more detail about them. These players are readily available and would come with considerably less cost and probably fill what the Penguins need more than anything, bottom six forward help.

The first of these two players is Daniel Winnik. The Penguins have actually been tied to Winnik and have already had discussions about acquiring him from Toronto.

Once again, here is Winnik's HERO (Horizontal Evaluative Ranking Optics) chart:

He isn’t much in the goal department but that hasn’t stopped him from setting others up. He is a quality possession player who is able to play a good amount of minutes. He currently leads Toronto with 3:28 of shorthanded ice per game.

Winnik has a very manageable cap hit of 1.3M.

*Remember any trade for the Penguins will have to be very close to dollar for dollar, they don’t have any wiggle room left*

In a nutshell Winnik is the better version of Nick Spaling. He can play both center and wing.

The next guy is basically the epitome of what I want in my third line winger position. Reliable on the possession front and able to contribute offense as well. This player is Sean Bergenheim and he has been a healthy scratch for the Panthers as they look to focus more on their youth.

To highlight his ability to generate offense I am going to take a look at his scoring chances for percentage (SCF%). This is a metric created by War On Ice. Here is a breakdown of what it is

Second, we’ve empirically tested for higher probabilities within these zones for two types of shots:

•Rebounds: Any shot that follows within 3 seconds of a blocked, missed or saved shot. All have measurably higher probabilities of success in each of the three zones.

•Rush shots: Any shot that follows within 4 seconds of any event in the shooting team’s neutral or offensive zones. This is based on David Johnson‘s definition, but the four second threshold gave general and statistically significant increases in probability.

So based on these measures, the average probability of a goal given the type and locations, and the consideration of team defense, we have these conditions for a “scoring chance”:

•In the low danger zone, unblocked rebounds and rush shots only.
•In the medium danger zone, all unblocked shots.
•In the high danger zone, all shot attempts (since blocked shots taken here may be more representative of more “wide-open nets”, though we don’t know this for sure.)

These definitions are flexible but we feel they’re a reasonable starting point given all the data we have available. We’re open to changing it if we have sufficient numerical evidence.

Now that we have an understanding of what War On Iceconsiders a scoring chance let’s look at Sean Bergenheim’s numbers relative to the team’s he has played on.

This is really good, especially for somebody who is considered a bottom six player.

Let’s now check out his HERO chart:

Excellent stuff here. The kind of player who provides superb depth to a Cup contending team. He is able to log big minutes, has legit top six offensive numbers with possession to match and just look at that shooting rate.

Shot volume = goals and we all know the kind of goals that go in during the playoffs. You can't score those goals if you don't get the puck towards the net. When Bergenheim is on the ice his team has the puck a lot and he is willing to fire the puck when given the opportunity. Productive possession.

Sean Bergenheim should be at the top of the Penguins wish list. He is available and won’t cost a ton to acquire. For a team that claims to use analytics, this is a no brainer.

There is one catch. His cap hit is 2.75M. As I mentioned above you would have to match dollar for dollar on any potential trade. Figure it out, he is worth it.

To beat a dead horse it obvious which player the Penguins should be moving out to create the salary room for these potential moves. In fact in the USA Today this player was deemed the most overrated center in their six most overrated players in hockey. You can find that here

Bergenheim and Winnik are the kind of depth players the Penguins need. From where I stand the status quo isn’t good enough for a Cup championship. Other teams are going to look to improve as the deadline nears, the Penguins should also be looking to do the same. Possession rules the day and these two are capable in that area with the ability to chip in on offense.

They are there for the taking. Take them.

Thanks for reading!

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