|5-5 Pts/60||CF%||CF% rel||Sh%||Sv%||PDO||Pen +/- per 60|
Paul Gaustad did everything he needed to do as a hockey player this season. His point production was more or less on par with his average career numbers and his 58.0 faceoff percentage was fourth in the entire league. However, was one of the absolute worst possession players at even strength. Gaustad also didn't fare too well starting most of his shifts in the defensive zone against weak competition. That's pretty much a day in the life of a fourth liner, except that Goose is making an absurd amount of money. Though it may not be fair, big things are expected of those with big bank accounts, and Gaustad's paycheck does not match his skill set. Fair or not, that's the brunt of it.
With the net empty and the extra attacker on, Gaustad uses his gigantic frame to battle and camp out in front of the net. After a mad scramble, Goose finds a loose puck and knocks it past Tim Thomas to tie the game with 47.1 seconds left. The Predators would eventually lose the game in a shootout because of course.
The Road Ahead
The Predators still have one compliance buyout remaining. (The first was used on Hal Gill.) With how much of the roster is coming back next season, the front office should seriously consider using it on Gaustad. Even though he's a wizard at the dot, do the Preds really want to pay an average of $3.5 million to a faceoff specialist? Not only would it free up some salary for free agents, it allows space for those free agents to actually suit up.
Regardless of if he goes anywhere or not, what we saw this season is exactly what to expect from him. Anything else is unrealistic. There hasn't been any talk or indication a buyout is even a possibility, but if David Poile is serious about lighting a fire under his team it should be. He rectified his mistake with Matt Hendricks, and has the chance to do the same with the contact he gave Gaustad. There's still no getting that first round pick back, though...
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