Tomas Plekanec - C
5'11" 198 lbs
2011-12 Stats 81GP- 17G- 35A- 52 Pts- -15
Plekanec just completed the second year of his six-year contract worth $5 million per year.
Anybody who truly follows the Habs knows that Plekanec is well worth the price tag.
It would be hard to find a GM not willing to pay that type of money to any player who can play effectively at both ends of the ice, in any situation, and never complain.
Don't let Plekanec's plus/minus rating in 2011-12 fool you. His -15 was, which the worst differential of his career and only the second time he finished below zero.
That being said, on a team that was as disastrous as the Habs were last season, it would be hard for any player averaging 20:45 minutes a game to do any better.
For years Plekanec hasn't been used properly. While an incredibly effective penalty killer, his abundance of PK time — 3:13 minutes per game — second among forwards behind Maxime Talbot's 3:29, has been effecting his point production.
His 52 points are hardly a fair reflection of his potential. When you factor in the amount of time on ice he focuses on defense and his revolving door of wingers, you start to wonder how the 50 point mark was even possible.
Plekanec played with roughly 20 different combination of wingers last season making it nearly impossible to muster up any chemistry.
With names like Travis Moen, Rene Bourque and Mathieu Darche playing alongside him, it is enough to make anybody aware of what Plekanec is capable of offensively cringe.
Just imagine what kind of numbers Plekanec could have put up alongside Max Pacioretty and Erik Cole.
With any luck, the addition of Michel Therrien will bring change to the way Plekanec has been used.
With the assumption that David Desharnais will remain in between Cole and Pacioretty, it's vital that Plekanec is surrounded by talent as well.
Unless Marc Bergevin can sign a top six winger — and there are not many out there — or bring in some outside help via trade, Pleks will be flanked by Bourque as well as captain Brian Gionta.
Plekanec will also remain an important part of the PK unit, but the acquisitions of Colby Armstrong and Brandon Prust will hopefully give him more of a break when a man down.
Who would you like to see placed on Plekanec's wing? And how many points do you see him collecting if provided with talented and consistant line mates?
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Sean is a freelance writer currently contributing to HabsAddict.com. He is also a regular blogger and frequent panelist on the Habs post game show at MontrealHockeyTalk.com You can follow Sean on Twitter.
Friday, July 20, 2012
Tomas Plekanec - C