Player Preview: Mathieu Perreault

Trin Potratz
August 18 2014 07:30AM

PERREAULT

The biggest off-season move that Cheveldayoff made was signing the underrated Mathieu Perreault. Perreault blossomed after being dealt to the high-flying Anaheim Ducks, posting an impressive 43 points in 69 games while playing near the 12-minute mark per game. That’s impressive.

Sure you can look at it as he played on a good team, and wouldn’t have produced the same kind of numbers with a lesser team. Well, enter your new organization Mathieu, because you’re likely gonna be under the microscope and you will play more, and with more playing time and pressure, production is needed.

He’s always been a solid depth option, and at $3 million per season, the deal could turn out to be a really good one for the Jets.

PERFORMANCE

Perreault extra skater

When I say that Perreault is a solid depth scorer, it’s an understatement. Perreault is almost always good for at minimum 30 points, even though he hasn’t stayed completely healthy in his NHL career (Most games played in a season was last year’s 69.)

Last season, playing for a mighty Ducks team (haha, I make myself self laugh….did you get it??) Perreault broke out despite playing third line minutes, and many questioned why the Ducks didn’t bring him back. (The answer is Ryan Kesler went there. Plain and simple.)

While many may look at last season as a fluke, it’s worth noting that Perreault has had a very good Corsi number the past few seasons, always keeping his head above the 50% line, and became known as an underrated fan favourite in Washington. He’s not a big guy, but Perreault has been a very useful player for a lot of years and now he’ll finally get a chance to extend his career. The floor is yours Mr. Perreault.

EXPECTATIONS

Getting too elated about the positives I’ve pointed out should not be a crutch to lean on when predicting Perreault’s season with the Jets next year. According to my personal depth chart, Perreault will slot in as the 3rd-line centre behind Bryan Little and Mark Scheifele. If what many media outputs have said is true (and I have no idea how credible this source of information is) that Perreault was promised playing time with Evander Kane, then you could jack up the number of points. If not continue to read on.

The Jets will not be a good team next year, and could infact be competing for the “No Honour for Connor” sweepstakes. Sorry to break it to ya in a PLAYER PREVIEW blog, but it’s the truth. We will know a lot more about Perreault half way through the season. (Read the bottom in major questions for elaboration on that point.)

My fair prediction is that Perreault will manage slightly over 40 points this season if he stays completely healthy. However, The Hockey News calls him the “Rodney Dangerfield of the NHL…Gets no respect, but just keeps on scoring.” Do you trust them or me???

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HEY!

MAJOR QUESTIONS

1.     Was Perreault really promised time with Evander Kane during contract negotiations?

Playing with talented players is always a nice draw card, and considering the Jets don’t have much else to dangle, it’s one of the best they got. Word has it that Perreault was promised time with Evander Kane despite Kane’s chemistry with Mark Scheifele. Hey, I’m certain a bait-n-switch was implemented. The boldest thing Cheveldayoff has ever done!

2.     Is Perreault a good player only on good teams?

My elaboration is finally here….I know you were all excited about it. Perreault has played on some good teams (well, if you can call the Capitals a good team in the past few seasons) and has become a complimentary player. The real question is to find out whether or not he is underrated and underutilized or was at his best because he wasn’t in the spotlight. Well, welcome to Winnipeg where all the answers will be known.

3.     Can this be a career year for Perreault?

Yes.

Perreault will likely find a lot more ice, and barring one or two injuries could see himself placed directly into the top six playing with the likes of Wheeler, Byfuglien, Kane, Ladd or Frolik frequently. If only the rest of the team wasn’t so bad. I’m sticking with 40-45 points at best.

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Potratz is SAIT Journalism graduate and has worked as a reporter for the Grande Prairie Daily-Herald Tribune and Strathmore Standard. After keeping his own personal blog at www.potratzhockey.com he aspired to join the Nation Network. Follow him on Twitter @PotratzHockey
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#1 garret9
August 18 2014, 08:17AM
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1) Does Scheifele actually have chemistry with Kane? https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bp5QveVCQAAzGZS.jpg Scheifele has been Kane's worst C after Jokinen in terms of possession and Kane's point pace... Those dots go (from left to right) Jokinen, Scheifele, Little, Burmistrov, Wellwood.

2) Added caveat: Maurice also talked about how much he likes Buff with Wheeler.

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#2 garret9
August 22 2014, 11:12AM
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Kevin McCartney wrote:

Do you have any splits for those relationships, Garret? Seems to me 55 and 9 were outrageously good in December and January before the 55 injury, but 55 was a blackhole October and November. Thoughts?

Splits were kinder in second half, but still not Burmistrov's level...

Perreault has been a top 30 guy in the NHL for dominating soft minutes... while Scheifele is getting better, I'm not sure he's at that level yet.

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#3 Neil B
August 18 2014, 03:23PM
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garret9 wrote:

1) Does Scheifele actually have chemistry with Kane? https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bp5QveVCQAAzGZS.jpg Scheifele has been Kane's worst C after Jokinen in terms of possession and Kane's point pace... Those dots go (from left to right) Jokinen, Scheifele, Little, Burmistrov, Wellwood.

2) Added caveat: Maurice also talked about how much he likes Buff with Wheeler.

I'm not sure that Buff-Wheeler works, but I'm not earning the big bucks :-)

I was thinking Ladd-Little-Wheeler / Kane-Perreault-Frolik / Galiardi-Scheifele-Buff, with Little & Perreault taking the tough minutes, and Scheifele having sheltered time. The only thing that gives me pause is Buff playing with a relatively inexperienced centre.

On a second line, and playing a mostly-healthy 80 games, I'd project Perreault to go 21g/51pts. That said, playing true second-line minutes and playing for 80 games are two big, big questions for Perreault.

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#4 Kevin McCartney
August 19 2014, 06:40PM
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Do you have any splits for those relationships, Garret? Seems to me 55 and 9 were outrageously good in December and January before the 55 injury, but 55 was a blackhole October and November. Thoughts?

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