The Value of Blueliners
Last Spring, I thought Timonen would be the ideal replacement for Souray (though I underestimated his - and Markov's - salaries by long shot). The guy was tasked with containing Ovechkin in round 1 and did as good a job as could be expected. I wonder if Hamrlik would have done that well.
Timonen is 32, and signed in Philly for 6 years at a cap hit of $6.333M. Hamrlik, 33, signed for 4 years at $5.5M per. If you add Harmlik's salary to the cap hit for the buyouts of Cullimore and Salmelainen, it's pretty much the same as Timonen's salary. Just sayin'.
Here is a very interesting post from Behindthenet Blog: if you take the numbers at face value, losing a top 2 defenseman is 2.5 to 3 times worse than losing a top 2 forward due to injury. That's surprising.
Speculating on a reason for the difference:
- perhaps it's easier to compensate for the loss of a forward by redistributing minutes. On average, a defenseman will play 20 minutes while a forward will play less than 15. Your five remaining NHL defensemen making up 21 lost minutes will be spread thinner than 11 remaining NHL forwards making up the lost 19.
- the talent curve could be a lot steeper for defensemen - there are fewer elite defensemen who can step in and replace a top player.
- others reasons?