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This morning, Suit gave us a good qualitative analysis of what the Rangers got in trading Mike Rupp for Darroll Powe and Nick Palmieri. As he mentioned in the post, I like to do the quantitative analysis of these moves. For the sake of this post, we are going to focus on Powe, as Palmieri hasn’t seen enough NHL time over the past few seasons to have accurate metrics. I am also going to use last year’s metrics, as eight games is far too few to have an accurate reading on this year (numbers courtesy of behindthenet.ca).
Rupp for the Rangers was more of a character guy in the locker room than an on ice presence. Sure, he dropped the gloves and stuck up for his teammates, but he really only played five minutes per game. When Rupp was deployed, he was used against the bottom of the barrel (team-worst -.162 QoC), but still managed to have a team worst -14.3 RCorsi. Some of this is effected by his 43.2% Ozone start (after a whistle), but to have the team-worst numbers in both quality of competition faced and puck possession isn’t exactly an endearing place to be.
For all of Rupp’s quality off the ice, on the ice is eventually what matters. These metrics really explain why Rupp was deployed as sparingly as he was: He simply wasn’t the player he used to be. While he was never expected to be a defensive force, he was supposed to be able to hold his own in the defensive zone. He was struggling with that, and the numbers make it as clear as day.
As for Powe, he doesn’t exactly face the toughest competition, but he faces far tougher matchups than Rupp (-.007 QoC). Even with the tougher matchups on a weaker team, Powe managed a better RCorsi, although it’s still in the negatives at -8.6. Throwing in his 40.3% OZone start rate (again, after a whistle), and you get a player who starts more shifts in the defensive zone against tougher competition than Rupp, but still manages to have puck possession more than Rupp.
Let’s move on from the standard QoC/RCorsi/OZone start that we usually leverage here and move on to GVT. This is where things get interesting. Both players are in the negatives in GVT (Powe: -1.6, Rupp: -0.1), but the overall stat shows that Rupp may be a little bit more valuable than Powe in teams of goals versus a threshold player (your standard AHL call up, like Kris Newbury or Brandon Segal).
But GVT is also broken down to OGVT (offensive GVT), DGVT (defensive), and SGVT (shootout). I tend to ignore SGVT entirely and focus on OGVT and DGVT, which actually works out here since both players have a 0.0 SGVT. Powe is a negative player offensively (-3.6 OGVT), but a halfway decent defensive player (2.1 DGVT). This is in line with what Suit mentioned this morning that Powe brings a penalty killer’s mentality to the Rangers.
As for Rupp, he was by far the better offensive player, although still in the negatives with a -0.9 OGVT. On defense, he was far worse than Powe with a 0.8 DGVT. This again is in line with what Suit said, as Powe is being brough in for defensive purposes. This is one of those rare occasions where the metrics match the eye test at almost 100% accuracy.
For comparison’s sake, Brandon Prust had a 1.7 GVT with a 2.6 DGVT last season. Prust may have been the better offensive player, but his defense is clearly on the same level as Powe’s. For those wondering who would replace Prust, it looks like Powe may be that guy.
In the end, this trade was a good move for the Rangers, as they dealt a player they were using sparingly for a player they can use to fill two big holes (fourth line, penalty kill). It’s minor moves like these that prepare a team for a run at the Stanley Cup.