Friday, March 02, 2007

Ryan Smyth's Worth: A comprehensive analysis.

Lowe made the right choice.

I base my opinion on existing contracts, Kevin Lowe's budget, Smyth's production, his durability, his age, his status as an unrestricted free agent, his ability to play tough minutes while outscoring, his leadership and his loyalty to the team he clearly loves to play for.

1. Knowledge of Existing Contracts.

Best Examples:

Jason Arnott: Agreed to a five-year, $22.5 (4.5m/year) million dollar deal in this past off season. He was 31 years old when he signed the deal.

Career:
Arnott* - Smyth
Games: 824 - 770
Goals: 276 (0.33) - 265 (0.34)
Assists: 368 (0.45) - 284 (0.37)
Points: 644 (0.78) - 549 (0.71)

* Stats are based on the time before he signed his latest deal.

Season of negotiations:
Arnott - Smyth*
Games: 81 - 72
Goals: 32 - 42
Assists: 44 - 30
Points: 76 - 72

* Stats are prorated over remaining games.

Steve Sullivan: Agreed to a four-year, $12.8 (3.2m/year) million dollar deal in the summer of 2005. He was 31 years old when he signed the deal.

Career:
Sullivan* - Smyth
Games: 597 - 770
Goals: 175 (0.29) - 265 (0.34)
Assists: 274 (0.46) - 284 (0.37)
Points: 449 (0.75) - 549 (0.71)

* Stats are based on the time before he signed his latest deal.

Season of negotiations:
Sullivan - Smyth*
Games: 81 - 72
Goals: 23 - 42
Assists: 49 - 30
Points: 72 - 72

* Stats are prorated over remaining games.

Rod Brind'Amour: Agreed to a five-year, $18 (3.6m/year) million dollar contract in this past offseason. He was 35 years old when he signed the deal.

Career:
Brind'Amour* - Smyth
Games: 1187 - 770
Goals: 382 (0.32) - 265 (0.34)
Assists: 599 (0.50) - 284 (0.37)
Points: 981 (0.83) - 549 (0.71)

* Stats are based on the time before he signed his latest deal.

Season of negotiations:
Brind'Amour - Smyth*
Games: 78 - 72
Goals: 31 - 42
Assists: 39 - 30
Points: 80 - 72

* Stats are prorated over remaining games.

Saku Koivu: Agreed to a three-year, $14.25 (4.75m/year) million dollar contract during last season. He was 31 years old when he signed the deal.

Career:
Koivu* - Smyth
Games: 569 - 770
Goals: 137 (0.24) - 265 (0.34)
Assists: 323 (0.58) - 284 (0.37)
Points: 460 (0.80) - 549 (0.71)

* Stats are based on the time before he signed his latest deal.

Season of negotiations:
Koivu - Smyth*
Games: 72 - 72
Goals: 17 - 42
Assists: 45 - 30
Points: 62 - 72

* Stats are prorated over remaining games.

Daniel Alfredsson:
Agreed to a five-year, $24.7* (4.339m/year) million dollar contract the summer before the lockout. He was 31 years old when he signed the deal.

*Prorated to reflect lockout rollback

Career:
Alfredsson* - Smyth
Games: 629 - 770
Goals: 219 (0.35) - 265 (0.34)
Assists: 350 (0.56) - 284 (0.37)
Points: 569 (0.90) - 549 (0.71)

* Stats are based on the time before he signed his latest deal.

Season of negotiations:
Alfredsson - Smyth*
Games: 72 - 72
Goals: 32 - 42
Assists: 48 - 30
Points: 80 - 72

* Stats are prorated over remaining games.

Martin St. Louis:
Agreed to a six-year, $31.5 (5.25m/year) million dollar contract in this past offseason. He was 30 years old when he signed the deal.

Career:
St. Louis* - Smyth
Games: 444 - 770
Goals: 140 (0.32) - 265 (0.34)
Assists: 180 (0.41) - 284 (0.37)
Points: 320 (0.72) - 549 (0.71)

* Stats are based on the time before he signed his latest deal.

Season of negotiations:
St. Louis - Smyth*
Games: 80 - 72
Goals: 31 - 42
Assists: 30 - 30
Points: 61 - 72

* Stats are prorated over remaining games.

You can draw your own conclusions from this, I think things are pretty clear.

2. Kevin Lowe's Budget.

Although the salary cap was supposed to introduce parity for the Oilers organization, after two years under the new CBA it's clear that this team will not spend to the cap. Thus all monies must be spent responsibly, so that the team can remain competitive with other organizations that do spend to the cap.

3. Smyth's Production.

Over his career, Smyth has averaged 0.71 Points Per Game. Before this years campaign, his best year in terms of PPG was 2002-2003 where he scored 66 points in 61 games (0.92). This year, Smyth is exceeding this total, and is averaging a point per game. However, it's safe to say that in light of both his career PPG (0.71) and his output this season (1), that it's unrealistic to expect a continuation of the current PPG average throughout the length of a 5 year contract. It is prudent to expect Smyth to put up around 0.80 PPG during that term. Thus the contract should be structured around the expectation of 0.80 PPG. As you can see above, 5.75m/y will buy you a lot more than 0.80 PPG.

4. Smyth's durability


Not including his rookie season, Smyth potentially could have played 868 games at this point in his career. I am aware that this is an unrealistic expectation; however, my intention is only to use it as a basis to determine the percentage of games he has played in.

Potential: 868
Actual*: 786
Percentage: 91%

* Gives the benefit of the doubt that he will play the remaining 19 games this season.

This is a fairly good result. Smyth is neither particularly durable nor is he injury prone.

5. Unrestricted Free Agency.

All the comparable contracts I included were signed by unrestricted free agents. Refer to them for comparison.

6. Tough Minutes and Outscoring Ability.


Here is where you make up the ground between a Jason Arnott and a Ryan Smyth. Their numbers may be similar, but Smyth has taken a much harder road (especially in the last couple years). Still, is this ability really worth in excess of 1m dollars per season on top of the fact that Arnott outscores Smyth? I just can't bring myself to believe that it is.

7. Character and Loyalty.

The above is why I wouldn't have been upset if Smyth had signed for 5.4m/5. By all measurements, even that would have been any overpay. However, one that is understandable due to the intangibles that Ryan Smyth brings to a team. Can you put a dollar value on this sort of thing? Frankly, I think Kevin Lowe did, and that's why he went as high as 27m/5. It's just too bad that they couldn't work things out.

1 comment:

Scarlett said...

Excellent post Kinger. This is exactly what I've been thinking.

Lowe offered him above his value, and obviously took into account his tough minutes and intangibles of character/grit. This was more than a fair offer. It angers me even more to know he turned it down, deeming himself worth more. I never thought he would ever get that air of self-importance like we've seen so many times. I always thought he was above it.