First a shout out to an excellent background article on this topic from the Edmonton Sun. They do a great job at providing both sides of the Spooner for Ryan Strome deal, especially the granularity of the salary and cap impact for each team.
However, we wanted to provide additional color to the piece within the context of the Advanced Bracton Metric as well as our arbitration analyzer. Sure this deal appears to be another change of scenery situation. But is it?
In the case of Spooner, his AB score is +2.5 and his AB adjusted for points is 10.83. This places him slightly better than median league wide for the latter, and 126th in the NHL for the former. Spooner is therefore a solid two-way player who would be a welcome addition to any team, especially in the bottom 6 forward role. Given the Rangers past junkets into shedding valuable players according to our metric, dealing Spooner (of all possible candidates to trade), is in no way surprising. Like the Kings, mentioned in our prior article regarding their inexplicable move of Tanner Pearson, the Rangers also need to start understanding what we are saying at HFFA.
Hmmm. If there are more trades like these last two. we might sense a pattern brewing here – get high AB players in exchange for low AB ones……but shhhhh!! This will be our little secret, K? Don’t tell the Kings and the Rangers.
As for Ryan Strome, by contrast, he tallied a -3.96 AB score last season, which is well below replacement and 516th league wide. Adjusted for salary, he ranks 292nd, or basically at the top of the bell curve with respect to value. He is a very borderline NHL player according to our work.
Translated, the Oilers just gained 6.5 points in the standings and the Rangers lost 6.5 points by making this deal. This amounts to exceptional addition by subtraction for Edmonton, and in a tight conference, may actually be the difference between making and missing the playoffs. Yes, its true; even a slight incremental gain, which on the surface appears to be rearranging deck chairs, can sometimes have a monumental impact on the outlook for an entire team.
Like many sports, hockey is a game of inches. It is also, therefore, a game of improvement or detraction at the margin. It appears Edmonton, at least in this instance, understands this better than the Rangers do. Maybe blueshirtbanter will reinstate our messaging privileges? Highly unlikely, but operators are standing by.