|G||A||P||+/-||PPG||GW||HITS||BkS||GvA||S%||2011-12 CAP HIT|
|Lubomir Visnovsky||18||50||68||18||5||4||52||116||45||11.8||5.6 M|
|Nicklas Lidstrom||16||46||62||-2||7||1||49||92||33||9.1||6.2 M|
|Keith Yandle||11||48||59||12||3||0||30||103||61||5.5||5.25 M *|
|Dustin Byfuglien||20||33||53||-2||8||6||140||72||59||5.8||5.2 M|
|James Wisniewski||10||41||51||-14||7||2||108||119||67||6.3||5.5 M +|
|Tobias Enstrom||10||41||51||-10||6||0||30||137||29||8.8||3.75 M|
|Christian Ehrhoff||14||36||50||19||6||3||54||108||47||6.7||4.0 M #|
|Dan Boyle||9||41||50||2||4||2||55||139||51||4.5||6.7 M|
|Kris Letang||8||42||50||15||4||2||167||109||52||3.4||3.5 M|
|Shea Weber||16||32||48||7||6||3||211||113||51||6.3||UNSIGNED ^|
* first year of a new contract, increased from 1.2 M in 2010-11
+ first year of a new contract, increased from 3.25 M in 2010-11
# first year of a new contract, increased from 3.1 M in 2010-11; heavily back-loaded contract, actual salary is $10M + $8M bonus, cap hit is seriously misleading
^ unsigned; previous cap hit was 4.5 in 2010-11
The green highlighted boxes on Wisniewski’s stat line are where he is above the average of the ten. He is above average in assists, power play goals, hits, blocked shots, and giveaways. Sixty seven giveaways is certainly nothing to write home about and has him quite a bit ahead of the average, but he also ranks above his high-scoring comrades in other defensive stats (the good ones – blocked shots & hits). Wisniewski’s -14 is also misleading: he was an uncomfortable -18 on the Islanders before being traded to a stable, playoff-bound Montreal team where he was a +4.
Provided that Wisniewski continues his gradual yearly progress (he only had 30 points the year before – still nothing to shake a stick at, though), he appears (at least on paper) to have a good balance of offense and defense. That balance is something the Jackets have long been lacking: what offense they’ve seemed to extract has sometimes seemingly come at the cost of a solid defense (guys like Stralman & Russell, for example).
At a cap hit of 5.5 million, that shakes down to $107,843.13 per point. Compare that to Fedor Tyutin, whom the Jackets are paying approximately $105,324.07. Hardly more than they are paying Tyutin on a per-point basis, with a lot more production. And if you compare Wisniewski to a guy like Shea Weber, whose contract has yet to be market-inflated, they’re paying him only a million more than Weber made last year, and less than he will likely make next year. Compare that also to Christian Ehrhoff who has made out like a bandit from the Sabres’ wallet; his one-point-less has garnered him a Swiss bank account to envy.
In the scheme of things, Wisniewski seems like an overpay, but among his top-10 scoring defensemen, he is absolutely middle of the road. Unless he suffers a steady decline, the Jackets should get exactly what they paid up for.
The verdict: DEAL.