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Follow up on the foot...it ended up being broken, which is worse than I thought. I'll be in a walking boot and crutches for six weeks, so that's great!
Anyway, back to the reason you all came here.
Paajarvi is a strange sort of player, because he was drafted 10th overall in 2009, and he had lots of pedigree for the first few years after that. In fact, his rookie season wasn't that bad at all, as he posted 34 points in 80 games, and it was assumed that he was only going to get better from there. However, the winger has yet to post even 20 points in a season since then. Including last year, he really only has two full seasons, so the numbers are a bit skewed, but he hasn't played all that much because he spent parts of five seasons in the AHL.
The fact that he has been in the NHL this long makes him ineligible for the "bust" label, although it is a bit strange that he is in the league in this role. Paajarvi certainly isn't somebody who is going to move the needle offensively, however his shot suppression numbers have been quite solid throughout his career. If deployed correctly (and that if is a big one), he can be a useful player on the fourth line.
As you can see, since 2015, his goals, assists, shot generation and suppression have actually been similar to a third liner:
Despite that handy little graph, he obviously has his limitations because you know he won't be a scoring winger. But then again, that's why he received just $900k for only one year. Even if you don't like the move, it's less consequential than previous depth signings such as Tom Pyatt, Alex Burrows, and Nath Thompson. Plus, he did not receive a NTC so that's progress!
According to Bill Comeau's SKATR comparison tool
, Paajarvi is at the 90th percentile in terms of defensive zone starts, so obviously he is heavily trusted to limit shots and goals against. On that same site, I found an interesting comparison over the past two seasons between him and Tom Pyatt:
That's a lot to take in, and I obviously won't explain everything, but essentially, Paajarvi has been more effective than Pyatt, and he's extremely cheap. I hope that this deal doensn't preclude Ottawa from playing some younger players like Colin White, Logan Brown, Filip Chlapik, etc., but overall this is a pretty low-risk move. Let the off-season begin!
I’m having a lot of fun right now sitting in the waiting room of the ER, after it looks like I sprained my foot playing road hockey last night...fun stuff!
I obviously can’t write too much right this second, and I’ll add more thoughts later tonight, but I thought it’d be good to cover this news right away. Pierre Dorion has made his first transaction of the off-season, as he re-signed winger Magnus Paajarvi to a one-year contract worth $900k. The 27 year-old had 8 just points in 35 games with the Senators last season, although he was deployed in a very defensive role.
It’s a very low-risk move considering there is no term, so at least Dorion learned his mistake with other depth player contracts. After signing Paajarvi, the only NHL UFA left on the roster is Chris Wideman, with Mark Stone, Cody Ceci, and Fredrik Claesson left as RFA’s.
More to come!