When I headed over to CapGeek.com in order to see the amount of money the Washington Capitals are paying for outstanding postseason goal tending my jaw dropped. A $637,777 Cap hit for 2011-2012 to put 22-year-old Braden Holtby between the pipes for Washington. I mean this kid will be a future millionaire no doubt when the time comes to sign him at the end of next year. This playoff success will extend into more than just a few regular season starts for him in Washington next season no doubt as spots on the end of the bench open up.
Tomas Vokoun likely played his last game as a Washington Capital this season. Vokoun after coming off a four-year deal worth 22 million dollars signed just a one year contract last season with Washington for 1.5 million. A perennial favorite of mine in the pool season because of his ability to make a ton of starts when he was a Florida Panther; Vokoun actually suited up for 46 puck drops this year. Washington was able to grind out 42 wins this season with Vokoun taking on 25 of those wins.
Where am I going with all this? Moneyball. I mean MoneyPuck. I have decided to take a look into what Washington paid per win for their 3 goalies that allotted them those 42 games they won.
Here goes my best Billy Bean impression:
$457,300 for 25 wins
$182,312 for 13 Wins
$31, 108 for 4 Wins
The Washington Capitals spent an average of $15,302 on goaltending for each of those 42 wins. Now I know what you are thinking, I was as well. I now know why they charge $14 dollars a pint at a game! But that is a blog for another day.
I find this stat very interesting because of the emergence of a young 22-year-old goaltender that has elevated his team out of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and into the second round.
The variables that any given GM looks at when scouting goalies must be a complete nightmare, because no matter what you look at, or how it looks on paper you might just be sitting on a Braden Holtby and not even know it. It takes just one chance for a goalie to step up onto the NHL stage and make a story we will be talking about for years. This year could be the year we will be talking about Braden Holtby for years to come. Can anyone remember the phenomena of Cam Ward in Carolina or Ray Emery in Ottawa? Those types of goalies that helped ride a team to the finals are often remembered for just that and sometimes nothing more. Could this be the beginning of a Braden Holtby career that spans 10 years or will he just be another flash in the pan?
Now for the Comparison in goaltending cost:
The New York Rangers finished the season with 51 wins. The starting goaltenders that shared the season; Henrik Lundqvist (39 wins) and Martin Biron (12 wins)
$3,269,799 39 Wins
$128,040 12 Wins
That means the New York Rangers spent on goaltending for each win a total of $66,624.
With Roberto Luongo ready to leave Vancouver I am sure there is a statistician breaking down his average cost per win somewhere in a dark computer room and feeding the GM all the information he can.
To steal the lyrics from Dire Straits – “Now that ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it”
Pull out all your hair as a GM and just throw a dart at your goalie depth chart and see what happens. That’s the way you do it.
Follow me on twitter