Fair market value is one of those wonderful terms that means nearly whatever the user wants it to. In my case it means: What are comparable players making on other teams, and when were they signed? And also what are they doing now vs what they did previously?

Chris Kelly is in his first full season with the Boston Bruins, last season he played 24 regular season games, and the fun little playoff run we all remember so well. Here’s some of the key facts.

First long term view.

  • Is 31 now (November birthday)
  • Has been in the NHL since 05-06 season,
  • Is very healthy. Only 20 regular season games lost to injury since entering the NHL.
  • Has been equally effective at home or on the road throughout his career.
  • Career highs: Goals;15 (twice) Assists; 23 Points; 38
  • Career average points per game: .387.
  • Career plus player.
  • UFA in June.

Short term, current role:

  • 3rd line center
  • top penalty killing forward 75th out of 463 NHL forwards for average SHTOI
  • Currently tied for league lead in short handed goals: Mike Richards, Cal Clutterbuck, Brandon Sutter, TJ Oshie, Patrick Dwyer, Dave Bolland also have 2 shorthanded goals through 11/28.
  • 3rd among Bruins forwards in SHTOI
  • Current average points per game: .727. (Higher than the career average for either Bergeron or Krejci.)
  • Good at faceoffs.
  • Best takeaway to turnover ratio of Bruins top six forwards.

Comparables:

  • Adam Pardy (defenseman) has a cap hit of $125,000 less, has played no more than sixty NHL games in a season, career high of 10 points in the NHL in four seasons. Pardy is younger and larger, playing slightly more total minutes, about a minute less short handed, and hitting more. 1st year of a 2 year deal.
  • Andrew Burnette, of the Blackhawks is 7 years older, on a 1 year contract with a cap hit lower than Kelly’s. Last three seasons were 50, 61, 46 points with the Wild.  Is a career minus player. Does not kill penalties.
  • TJ Oshie on a one year contract, has had serious injuries, seven years younger, higher offensive peaks. RFA at end of current contract. Worst (of 3 and current) NHL seasons is a -1.
  • Manny Malhotra, same age, very similar offensive numbers, has had multiple injuries, better faceoff man, plays about 40 seconds more shorthanded per game. Current cap hit 2.5m, year 2 of 3 year contract.
  • Tomas Kopecky Cap hit 3mil, signed this off season, plays about the same number of PK minutes, not as offensively gifted, in first full season playing PK.
  • Martin Hanzal: Starts new contact next season at 3.1 per year, plays more minutes than Kelly, roughly 7 years younger, giveaway to takeaway fairly similar to Kelly. Very similar offensively.

Given his current numbers, age, and role with the Bruins, I’d say that at a low ball or long term deal $2,850,000 for five plus years or up to $3,333,000 for three years or less would be a appropriate. Given that he’s wearing an A, has played through facial injuries, was a good part of the Stanley Cup win, and seems genuinely well liked by his team mates if I’m sitting in the corner office and its $3.5 a year or he walks for less than five years, I take it and consider myself lucky assuming no no-movement or no-trade clauses.

One benefit to signing him past thirty five if you think he can keep handling the minutes and penalty killing at that age is that it would be a more moveable contract than resigning him then if need be.

As I mentioned over at Inside Hockey the core groups on these two teams are a little different, as is the team balance. A few more posts will break down other portions of the teams.

Canucks:

Top Line: Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Alex Burrows (except when it’s Kesler) This is purely an offensive line. Burrows does what heavy defensive lifting this line does. Daniel Sedin is the shooter, Henrik is the setup man.  Burrows is also what physical presence this line has. With 26 hits in his 18  post season games Burrows is 8th on the team in hits, the twins have combined for 11.  Together the line is a -4, all three see heavy powerplay time with the brothers Sedin ranking one and two. Henrik Sedin won the Hart last year, Daniel is likely to have one for his very own this year.

2nd Line:

Mason Raymond, Ryan Kesler, Chris Higgins this is as much a second offensive line as a checking line. Kesler who most will remember from his play for USA during the past Olympics is second on the team in points, tied for second in goals, leads all Vancouver forwards in TOI and is instrumental to the lineup in all situations. Raymond also gets a lot of PK time. This trio is a combined +12. With 118 hits between them this is a very different look from the first line.

3rd line:

Jannik Hansen, Maxim Lapierre, Raffi Torres, with a combined five goals in the playoffs its easy to overlook this line. Torres is the teams best know walker of the fine line between legal play and suspension worthy violations. Lapierre leads the team in post season penalty minutes, has four 10 minute misconducts to his credit, 1 diving, and 1 unsportsmanlike among the standout to his credit he’s also second for forwards on the team in blocked shots, and has an over 50% rating in the faceoff circle. Hansen was healthy enough to play all 82 regular season games, and each post season game with respectable minutes, and few penalties.

4th line and others:

Tanner Glass, Cody Hodgson, Victor Oreskovich, make up the 4th line as currently configured and average under eight minutes a game each. Combined they have about fifty hits, are a -11 and have one point.

Manny Malhotra is a faceoff guru with strong defensive skills who hasn’t played since March. He suffered an eye injury, and has just recently been cleared to practice and or play again depending on which source you are listening to. Vancouvers head coach has been coy on if he would play or not, and Vancouver and national media have speculated that if he does he would be matched up against the Bruins top line.

 

Bruins:

Top line:

Milan Lucic, David Krejci, Nathan Horton, with a heavy hitter with loose gloves on either wing a quick look at the regular season statistics page might convince you they were fourth line bangers. On the other hand, both Lucic and Horton have racked up thirty goal season in their careers, Lucic with his first this season, and Horton with his in 2005-6. David Krejci is the center, he is often very high or very low in production, but has either lead outright or tied for the Bruins points lead in the last two seasons. The three were together most of the season and own seven of the Bruins 12 game winning goals this post season. This line is a combined +24.

2nd Line:

Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, Mark Recchi, while non of the three on this line is particularly large, they don’t appear to know it. With none of the three topping two hundred pounds they own three of the teams top six hit slots for forwards with Bergeron second only to Vancouver native Milan Lucic in hits. Bergeron is the playmaking, faceoff dominating center who is good in all three zones, owns a short handed goal this post season, and has a knack for unassisted goals. Marchand is a speedy pest with good hands, vision and looks nothing like a rookie. Mark Recchi is the NHL’s elderstatesman and the future hall of famer has a finely tuned sense of where to be and which way to lean. Not as fast as he was ten years ago, he still manages to make his time on the ice count. This line is a combined +19

3rd line:

Tyler Sequin, Chris Kelly, Michael Ryder. The teen sensation has only played seven of the post season games, but has applied lessons picked up all season to be effective. He had a four point period against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and possesses both breakaway speed and hard, accurate shot. Could be slightly more effective defensively. Michael Ryder has had his best post season in a Bruins uniform, he’s been physical at need, defensively sound, and has used his quick hands to score five goals, two were game winners. Kelly, is the steady defensive rudder at center on this line, plays tons of time short handed and generally one of those players who flies under the radar unless you follow his play closely. This line is a combined +15

4th line and others:

Rich Peverley, Greg Campbell, Daniel Paille make up the fourth line we’ve seen the last several games. Peverley and Paille own above average speed, and neither Paille or Campbell shy away from a hit, if it can be made without giving up defensive position. All three are among the top five penalty killing forwards and frequently on the ice to protect a lead in the waning moments. Peverley had been on the third line before an injury to Bergeron allowed Seguin back into the lineup, and will likely see time on other lines as forwards are rested, injured or penalized. This line is a combined +1

Shawn Thornton, resident beat cop and generally rides with Paille and Campbell, while more known for his work with his gloves off did rack up ten goals and ten assists this season. He was made the odd man out when Seguins ascension and Bergeron’s returned. Quietly important team leader.

 

Final comparison:

While the Canucks have the clear advantage on the powerplay, at even strength the advantage is muted or removed entirely. The Bruins come into this series with more goals scored (58 to 50), and quite a few more even strength goals, with the Bruins putting together 47 even strength goals and the Canucks just 30 the teams are even in four on four goals with one a side. Essentially the Canucks have higher scoring players, but the Bruins have more players scoring.