Pick a Defenseman

Ok Caps fans, lets play a game. I’ll give you the statistics for five defensemen and you tell me which one you’d like on your team. Ready?

A 18 2 3 5 3 26 16:14 13:50 2:14 0:08 45 34 11 3 $1.25M
B 17 1 4 5 1 14 15:45 13:37 2:04 0:03 44 31 11 5 $6M
C 13 0 4 4 5 19 15:54 13:44 2:03 0:06 34 20 3 2 $3.7M
D 13 0 1 1 -8 10 17:10 13:57 3:08 0:05 23 15 2 4 $2.075M
E 13 1 4 5 7 5 22:00 17:22 4:23 0:14 4 16 14 1 $3.5M

Obviously, we’re looking at defensive specialists here, with none of the five totaling more than 5 points and each playing (very) minimal time on the power play. But during this past off season, if you weren’t talking about a 2nd line Center in Washington, you were wondering about filling the holes on Defense.

So, who do you take?

Who’s who, after the jump.

We’ll start at the bottom and work our way up. Player E is obviously getting more ice time than all five players we’re comparing to each other. But he’s by far the least physical player in the bunch and he gives the puck away far more than he takes it. Oh, and he’s injured and will be on the shelf for 4-6 weeks. Honestly, the only reason Player E is on this list is because he was all the DC hockey community could talk about for a few weeks this past summer. That player: Highly touted shut-down defenseman and off-season free agent Willie Mitchell of the LA Kings.

Player D is seeing slightly more ice time than Players A, B and C, with the difference coming in his extra time on the penalty kill. He’s the steadiest of the five players with the puck, as he’s the only one with more takeaways than giveaways. But he also has only one assist on the season, and at -8 he currently ranks tied for 233rd among NHL defensemen in +/- (out of 246 defenseman). He’s also already missed 6 games due to injury. That player: FormerCap, Shaone Morrisonn.

Players A, B and Care all fairly even in points, +/-, and ice time in all situations. Players A and B hit more and block more shots, but Player C is steadier with the puck and has far fewer giveaways than the first two players on the list. Now take a look at the last column. Quite the wide range of salaries, huh? From a value standpoint, Player A stands out as being by far the most affordable player on the list while Player B seems massively overpaid.

Ready to find out the identities of Players A, B and C?

Player C is Calgary Flames defenseman Corey Sarich.

Player B is Mike Komisarek of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

And Player A? Yeah, you probably guessed it’s Mr. Movember, the Washington Capitals’ own John Erskine.

So, who’d you pick?