Originally written on HockeyAnalysis.com  |  Last updated 10/22/14
The only real dip into the unrestricted free agent market yesterday by the Toronto Maple Leafs was the signing of 3rd/4th line center Jay McClement.  Jay McClement’s best season in the NHL point wise was in 2009-10 when he had 11 goals and 29 points and last year he had 10 goals and 17 points for the Avalanche so clearly he wasn’t signed to produce offense.  The question is, how good is he defensively.  Let’s take a look at how McClement compares to his Avalanche team mates last year in terms of goals against per 20 minutes of ice time. Player Name GA20 LANDESKOG, GABRIEL 0.645 O_REILLY, RYAN 0.657 DUCHENE, MATT 0.780 STASTNY, PAUL 0.812 HEJDUK, MILAN 0.837 JONES, DAVID 0.839 KOBASEW, CHUCK 0.878 MCCLEMENT, JAY 0.920 MCGINN, JAMIE 0.957 DOWNIE, STEVE 1.094 The only players who saw goals get scored against the avalanche at a higher rate when they were on the ice last year were McGinn and Downie, and a good part of Downie’s time was spent with the extremely defensively inept Tampa Bay Lightning so you can’t really include Downie.  So, essentially McClement had the second worst goals against rate of any Avalanche forward.  Now, what about quality of competition.  Let’s look at the average goal scoring rate (goals for per 20 minutes of ice time) of the players McClement lined up against. Player Name OppGF20 O_REILLY, RYAN 0.790 LANDESKOG, GABRIEL 0.787 DUCHENE, MATT 0.775 DOWNIE, STEVE 0.775 STASTNY, PAUL 0.763 HEJDUK, MILAN 0.762 JONES, DAVID 0.760 KOBASEW, CHUCK 0.746 MCGINN, JAMIE 0.746 MCCLEMENT, JAY 0.737 McClement’s opposition was by far the weakest offensively that any Avalanche forward faced last season.  This isn’t very good news for Leaf fans who might be expecting a defensive forward. In 2010-11 he split time between the St. Louis Blues and the Colorado Avalanche and put up a goals against per 20 minute of ice time of 1.147.  The only two forwards on either team to put up a worse GA20 was Brandon Yip and Kevin Porter.  His quality of competition was a little tougher in 2010-11, about middle of the pack of those two teams. Three seasons ago in 2009-10 with St. Louis he did seem to have a good defensive year.  He posted the third lowest goals against rate of any Blues forward and faced the toughest offensive opponents.  In 2008-09, also with the Blues, he was 5th best in goals against rate and 3rd best in offensive quality of opponent.  In 2007-08, again with the Blues, he had the worst goals against rate but second toughest offensive quality of opponent. When we take his statistics league-wide we see some bad news as well.  Of the 308 players with 1000 or more 5v5 zone start adjusted minutes of ice time over the past 2 seasons, McClement ranks 303rd in terms of goals against rate, 270th in terms of opponents goals for rate and 139th in terms of teammates goals against rate.  So, to summarize that, he had above average defensive line mates, played against very weak offensive opponents and had a dreadful goals against average while he was on the ice. The two years prior McClement looked much better.  He ranked 119th (of 310) in goals against rate, 124th in teammate defensive ability, and had the 87th toughest quality of opponent offensively. In summary, the last 2 seasons McClement’s statistics show him to be a dreadful defensive player.  The two years prior he seemed to be useful to good defensively.  Which player will the Leafs get?  Who knows, but Leaf fans better hope it is the 2008-10 version because the McClement of the past 2 years has him as one of the least valuable players in the league.  

Belichick declines to address Revis' reported tardiness

Texas mayor delays Halloween for Friday night football game

C-USA hired PR firm to help Marshall’s playoff chances

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift, blames media for scrutiny

Report: Cowboys could limit DeMarco Murray's touches

Lakers announce Steve Nash to miss season with back issues


Is Mack Brown the best option for SMU?

Jeremy Kerley on new contract: 'Bentleys for everybody'

Buss: Any FA who won’t play with Kobe ‘probably a loser’

NFL to start airing its own anti-domestic violence PSAs

Ex-Bronco John Boyett punched cabbie, told cops to call Elway

Former NFL QB still feels effects of concussions every day

RNS looking to add agents with existing client rosters

Would World Series win make the Giants a dynasty?

NFL teams facing potential must-win scenarios in Week 8

WATCH: Jeremy Lin poses as Adidas employee for prank

WATCH: Peyton screams at fans to 'shut the f- up!'

Father auctioning off infant son's soccer club allegiance

Love thanks T'Wolves fans in essay for not burning his jersey

WATCH: Browns WR 'kicks out' son over favorite player snub

Memorabilia dealer wants Todd Gurley reinstated immediately

Aaron Rodgers gave girlfriend Olivia Munn a 'special ring'?

The 10 college football programs with most to gain in Week 9

Most disappointing potential dynasties of divisional era

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Lakers: Steve Nash out for season

Is Mack Brown SMU's best option?

Are sports leagues finally getting serious about domestic violence?

Brian Urlacher rips Jay Cutler

On Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and embracing newfound roles

Top NFL storylines: Week 8

Kiffin's mom worried for son's safety

Report: Goodell will have to testify

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.