Player Preview: Mathieu Perreault

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???

……………..

…………………….

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.

  • Kevin McCartney

    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?

    • Kevin McCartney

      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.

    • Spydyr

      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.