It's a rare occasion these days but the report of Ottawa sitting down with UFA forward Benoit Pouliot is welcomed news.
The Citizen's Wayne Scanlan confirmed an earlier report by the Sun's Bruce Garrioch that Benoit Pouliot was one of five players -- all forwards -- that the team would be targeting this summer.
Quick side-note, the other four forwards were as follows: Jussi Jokinen (yes), Matt Moulson (going to be too expensive), Marty Havlat (no), Milan Michalek (no).
Benoit Pouliot's an intriguing player. People seem to hate him for weird reasons. One of those reasons is he did take a ton of penalties last post-season. A fun fact: his three-year regular season penalty differential is +2, primarily because he draws a ton of minors to counterbalance the penalties he takes. Differential, of course, is what matters.
But, the million dollar question: how does Benoit Pouliot do when he's on the ice? We know he's a second-line/third-line tweener forward on raw scoring, having averaged 0.46 PPG over the last three years. His underlying numbers, though, are infinitely more encouraging.
Look at his rolling three-year RelativeCorsi%, which basically measures how his respective team during Game X did with him on the ice as opposed to off.
Save one small stretch, Benoit Pouliot has spent most of the last three years kicking the teeth out of the opposition. Over and over and over. This, on top of the fact that he's established himself as a decent NHL shooter (12.8% career), you're probably talking about a player who fits right in on the team's second line.
So, of course this is (a) the right target for any team; (b) the right target for a team on a budget; (c) an undervalued player who is probably going to out-produce what he's paid, just like Clarke MacArthur.
I like this idea.