Kevin Cheveldayoff had the air of a pretty relaxed gent this afternoon as he watched his club’s batch of prospects finish development camp at the Iceplex, but he did manage to tie up a loose end or two before beginning his weekend by signing two players to one year contracts.
Paul Postma received a one way deal as a reward for his fine offensive season on the Rock last year, as the 23 year old totaled 44 points on the way to an AHL all-star spot. I don’t like to put much emphasis on +/- absent the context of outshooting, competition, and what sort of goaltending he had behind him, so his -14 for the year doesn’t explicitly concern me.
If he makes the Jets next season, I suspect he’ll be sheltered quite extensively so that he can continue learning at the NHL level without being stretched beyond his current capabilities. As the current roster stands, he’ll have a difficult time beating out Clitsome for a regular spot in the top six, and he’s got no shot moving beyond that level barring a significant leap in his play, so his fate is likely to fill the Randy Jones spot on the roster.
Kyle Wellwood’s contract is a more substantial matter in my view, and the 1.6 million offered for another season of his handiwork seems cheap at the price. Wellwood has pretty firmly established himself as a very solid possession player against middling comp over the last few years, and the market for players that are that productive is normally a fairly robust one.
It’s my suspicion that had Wellwood produced precisely the same numbers last year against precisely the same competition while standing 6’1" and weighing 200 pounds, he would have garnered a deal not unlike David Jones or P.A. Parenteau. Teams, and fans, appear to have a size fetish that can occasionally blind them to what actually happens on the ice, and while size certainly has its place as an asset, it should always be results that drive decision making. Make no mistake, Kyle Wellwood was a very productive player last season.
One of the excellent tools available at Hockey Analysis is the WOWY (with or without you) function that shows how certain players work with others. Here are Wellwood’s Corsi-close numbers from last year with everyone on the club, and below is a table for the link-averse showing his efforts with the other top forwards and defenders. Wellwood and Wheeler both play the right side, so they hardly spent any time on ice together, which is why Wheeler is absent from this table:
|Together||Wellwood apart||Other player apart|