I am a hockey fan. Almost a fanatic.
It was suggested recently that Bryan McCabe of the Toronto Maple Leafs should have been named to the Canadian Men's Olympic squad over Wade Redden of the Ottawa Senators.
Now, I am a Senators fan. But I am not being a homer when I say that there is no way McCabe should be considered over Redden.
Those who make the suggestion point to McCabe's offensive production. Here it is:
42 GP, 15 Goals, 34 Assists for 49 points (1.17 ppg). Over those games he is a +5 with an average time on ice of 28:11 with 7:30 of that being on the power play.
Now Wade Redden's stats:
34 GP, 7 Goals, 28 assists for 35 points ( 1.03 ppg). Over those games he is a +26 with an average time on ice of 24:25 with 5:50 of that being on hte power play.
Nowif you ask me, the diffference in terms of offense is negligible. Redden's ppg is very close, and that is with about 3:40 minutes less ice time generally and 1:40 less power play time per game specifically.
But the real kicker is the plus/minus. Redden ranks 2nd in that stat among defensemen. 3rd in the entire NHL. McCabe ranks 41stamong defensemen., about 100th in the NHL.
IMO, that means that by having Redden over McCabe you lose nothing if you need a defenseman to make some offense in a game where you're behind, and you gain a lot if you are protecting a lead.
Now if you were to ask me about having McCabe over say Rob Blake, then I would say yes to McCabe.
So for you Leaf fans, let me spell out what I just said directly: I think McCabe should be among the top 6 defensmen for the Olympic squad. Just not over Redden.