David Legwand's Comparables Based Upon On-Ice Performance

After seeing the argument over who David Legwand should be compared to, rather than take his salary and see who he compares to, why don't we instead look at how he is used and how successful he is in that role, and see how much the market pays for that performance? Seems to make a lot more sense to see what his skill set is worth, rather than what his price tag demands.

With that, let's first look at Legwand's numbers:

TOI CorsiRelQoC CorsiRelQoT G/60 A1/60 Pts/60 CorsiRel PDO OZ%
2010 - David Legwand 14.55 0.805 1.743 0.97 0.64 2.19 7.4 1025 42.2


To get the comparable forwards, let's look at the 60 players closest to Legwand's opposition so we only see those who face as difficult of competition. Let's then cut that list down further to only get those players who scored within 0.25 points per 60 of Legwand so we see those players who score about the same as Legwand. Then, remove those players who started in the offensive zone more than half the time, as they aren't put in the same position - defensive - as Legwand.

At this point, we're down to only six other forwards. But we want those forwards who were as successful as Legwand at controlling the play, so finally, we'll remove those players who aren't within 5 of Legwand's CorsiRel score.

We're left with these people:

GP TOI/60 CorsiRelQoC CorsiRelQoT G/60 A1/60 P/60 CorsiRel PDO OZ% Cap
Ryan Getzlaf 67 17.06 0.709 5.617 0.52 0.89 2.31 12.5 1029 46.6 $5.33
Martin Erat 64 13.76 0.961 0.920 0.61 1.02 2.32 7.9 1026 46 $4.50
David Legwand 64 14.55 0.805 1.743 0.97 0.64 2.19 7.4 1025 42.2 $4.50
Teemu Selanne 73 13.89 0.84 0.346 0.77 1.07 2.43 3.6 1024 44.7 $4.50

Look at that. Legwand's closest even-strength comparables make exactly as much, or more, than Legwand. He has the worst zone starts, the highest goal rate, but the lowest assist rate. This past year, Legwand was not overpaid at all. The difference comes from Legwand not producing on the power play, which Barry Trotz recognized by playing him the 7th most often.

How about his comparables in 2009-10:

GP TOI/60 CorsiRelQoC CorsiRelQoT G/60 A1/60 P/60 CorsiRel PDO OZ% Cap
Shawn Horcoff
77 13.68 1.528 -11.148 0.51 0.46 1.37 0.6 960 45.3 $5.53
Clarke MacArthur
81 12.00 1.003 -0.266 0.62 0.49 1.54 -1.1 980 47.2 $1.40
David Legwand 82 14.53 1.426 2.404 0.40 0.71 1.46 -3.1 995 41.3 $4.50
Patrick O`Sullivan 73 12.75 0.827 -10.427 0.45 0.71 1.29 -3.9 956 49.9 $2.95
Joel Ward
71 13.99 1.999 2.440 0.54 0.66 1.51 -6.2 998 39.9 $1.50

Legwand clearly did not have a good year. He was overpaid relative to his production in 09-10, plain and simple. He wasn't scoring and he wasn't driving the play. Despite this, he was only on the ice for 2.34 goals against per 60. Either way, not a good year for Legwand.

In 2008-2009:

GP TOI/60 CorsiRelQoC CorsiRelQoT G/60 A1/60 P/60 CorsiRel PDO OZ% Cap
Mikko Koivu
79 14.48 1.522 -4.078 0.47 0.63 1.57 9.6 999 49.5 $3.25
Keith Tkachuk
79 12.16 1.274 -3.275 0.56 0.75 1.56 9.1 979 46.5 $4.50
Brad Boyes 82 14.02 1.156 -2.793 0.78 0.68 1.77 8.7 963 48.4 $4.00
Ryan Smyth 77 14.85 1.261 -5.566 0.73 0.58 1.89 7.8 969 48.6 $6.25
David Legwand
73 14.03 1.429 -0.937 0.82 0.47 1.70 6.8 994 46.7 $4.50
Milan Hejduk
82 13.86 1.167 -5.322 0.74 0.74 1.85 6.2 970 46.4 $3.90
Mike Modano
80 12.06 1.244 -0.076 0.68 0.68 1.62 2.3 971 46.3 $3.45

And here we see, in Legwand's first year of his contract, that he was on the upper-end of the pay scale, but still in range. Surely, in the first year of a six-year deal, it is understood that the cap hit will probably be a bit high. And while the bad contract to Ryan Smyth stands out and the aging contracts to Tkachuk and Modano are included, Mikko Koivu was one year away from getting paid and Brad Boyes was earning $2.5 million on a contract that was back-loaded.

Still, in 08-09, Legwand took on tough competition with average teammates, led this group in goals per 60, had comparable points, good but not great Corsi, and poor zone starts.


Judging Legwand based upon the role he performs, the offense he provides, the situations he is put in, and the amount at which he controls the play, Legwand is fairly compensated. Those players who have been used similarly while performing at the same rate shows that, in 2 of the last 3 years, Legwand is not overpaid.

Maybe the 2009-10 season is too fresh in people's minds, and maybe the 2008-09 season was too long ago. But whether you judge Legwand's performance this year, or two of his recent three years, his cap hit is fair. It's not great, it's not bad, it's fair.

This FanPost was written by an OTF reader, and does not represent the views of the editorial staff. Got something you'd like to share? <a href="" target="new">Post your own</a>!

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