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When Iginla owners rolled out of bed on Thursday, they no doubt felt like a kid on Christmas morning. What better place for Iginla to be moved than Pittsburgh? Obviously this move is going to improve Iginla’s value on your fantasy hockey team, but to what degree? Today I am going to look inside the numbers to figure out how big of an effect this trade has on our latest Geek of the Week: Jarome Iginla.

 

Iginla is one of the greatest stars of his generation, his 11 straight 30 goal seasons are unheard of in this day in age, not to mention the fact that he topped 40 in six of those years and broke 50 twice. He is an aging star though and he was playing on a Flames team that isn’t exactly bursting at the seams with talent. His big name and strong performance history garnered him an average draft position of 47 this season and if you are one of the GMs who drafted him this high, your team is probably suffering right now. Running the numbers through Fantasy Hockey Geek shows you that Iggy has not been living up to his high draft position:

 

(For a Yahoo! standard 12 team H2H league with categories: G, A, +/-, PIM,SOG, PPP)

 

Rank

Player

G

A

+/-

PIM

SOG

PPP

140

Mike Richards

7

13

-9

38

51

11

141

Jarome Iginla

9

13

-7

22

100

6

142

Alex Pietrangelo

5

13

-5

6

62

4

 

 

You can see above that Iginla is currently the 141st most valuable player in a league of this format. Given that his average draft position was in the 40’s, it is clear that Iginla’s actual value has been decreasing at a much faster rate than his perceived value. Shrewd managers would have recognized this even before this season’s draft as Iginla was only the 121st most valuable in the same league last season. Iginla is still shooting the puck and getting his goals, but the +/- and PPP are not even close to where they were when he was in his prime and surrounded by great talent. If you drafted Iginla in the first five rounds this season, I would hazard a guess that you are not leading your pool right now. I have good news though, that value changed early Thursday morning.

 

With Iginla making his Penguins debut on Saturday afternoon, what can we expect in terms of production improvement and how will that affect his value? Let’s take a look inside the numbers:

 

  • The biggest and most important question will be points. Despite the fact that Iginla is entering the twilight of his career, the trade should bring him back to close to a point per game because of 2 factors:


o Improved linemates: You just need to look at Chris Kunitz to see what playing for the Penguins can do for a player’s output. On any other team, Kunitz is probably a solid 55-60pt guy who contributes in some other categories but on Crosby’s line, he is suddenly a point per game stud. Iginla spent most of his time on the Malkin line on Saturday, but Malkin and Neal are no slouches. Iginla has shown chemistry with Crosby in international play so I do think he will find himself on Sid’s line over the course of the rest of the season. I don’t think there’s any doubt that Iggy will see some of the same boost that Kunitz did.

 

o The Ray Bourque effect: Iginla is a player that thrives when his emotion and adrenaline are up. This trade will re-energize him, he has a hunger to get the cup and now he has reason to believe he can get one. This is the hockey equivalent of releasing a starving caged lion into a field of gazelles. To take a look at precedent for this, I took a quick look at Ray Bourque. Before being traded to Colorado, his production was still good (0.58 points per game) but his output was declining. After the trade to the Avs, Bourque became a point per game player for the remaining 14 games. My gut feeling is that Iginla may see a similar short term resurgence to what Bourque did because of his newfound shot at a Stanley Cup.

  • Another thing that will be impacted greatly by the move is Iginla’s +/-. We all know how fickle this category can be, so I try not to bank on it too much but there are some teams where you are clearly at a disadvantage and some where you are clearly at an advantage. Iginla is moving from the former to the latter so I don’t think there is any doubt that his +/- will improve greatly. He is moving from a team with a goal differential of -21 to a team that is a +39.

     

  • Surprisingly to me, Calgary’s powerplay is actually converting at a rate that is close to Pittsburgh’s. Iginla only has 6PPPs this year, which I would say he could definitely improve on in Pittsburgh but in his first game he was on the second powerplay unit. If he doesn’t find his way onto PP1, then his upside will take a bit of a hit.

     

  • Iginla’s shot total is already pretty good but he will be receiving passes from the likes of Crosby and Letang and Pit tends to spend more time in the offensive zone than Calgary, so I do see a small bump. Kunitz shot total went up about 10% from Ana to Pit. James Neal went up by more than 50%. I would expect Iggy to go up about 20% over the remainder of this season.

     

  • In terms of PIM, I wouldn’t expect much change. I’ll quickly add here that if your league counts hits then Iginla’s is a solid contributor there as well but I also wouldn’t expect a huge change from Calgary to Pit. Energized players tend to hit more, but to coin a phrase from Patrick Kane “You can’t hit guys when you have the puck” and Pitt tends to have the puck more frequently than Calgary does.

 

So what does this all equate to in terms of value? If we take all of my assumptions above and apply them to Iginla’s 2013 numbers (as of Saturday morning), he would look something like this:

 

 

Player

G

A

+/-

PIM

SOG

PPP

Jarome Iginla

14

17

10

22

120

6

 

 

To figure out how that affects his overall value, I plugged the numbers into the Fantasy Hockey Geek “What If?” analysis tool and it calculates as follows:

 

 

Player

FHG Value

G

A

+/-

PIM

SOG

PPP

Jarome Iginla

3

9

13

-7

22

100

6

Iginla - What If?

46.7

14

17

10

22

120

6

 

 

His new FHG value to be 46.7, which would place him 44th in the entire league! Based on my assumptions and analyses of the impact of the trade, Iginla’s value could rise almost 100 full spots just from a team change.

 

As an Iginla owner, your best bet now would be to hold on to him and enjoy the success. If a Crosby owner out there is ready to overpay for Iginla, then I would maybe consider a deal for another top 20 guy, but nothing less. If Iginla continues to only see time on PP2, then I would see if I could trade him high based on the hype but if Iginla is moved to the top unit then he is going to be a very solid own for the balance of the season. Running the exact same What-If scenario as I did above but changing the PPP to 9, would change Iginla’s ranking to the 13th overall player in the league. I would not be at all surprised if Iginla is added to the top unit and contributes more with the man advantage going forward.

 

Owners of Kunitz and Neal need to pay close attention as well. I have been huge on Kunitz all year, but if this move drops him from the PP1 or from Crosby’s line then I would sell high on Kunitz ASAP, assuming of course that you could still get another top 10 player in return for him. Running a similar What-If scenario in FHG but removing a good portion of Kunitz’ or Neal’s powerplay production would show you a significant drop to their overall value.

 

Congratulations to Iginla owners, you just got a huge bump for a late season push/playoff run. Your fading star could very well have just become a fantasy stud again. If you think his output might change slightly differently from what I have said above, then logon to Fantasy Hockey Geek and do a What If analysis of your own and see how his value changes. Armed with this information, you will know exactly how to proceed with your increasingly valuable asset.

 

 

 


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Disco Stu said:

Disco Stu
Crosby out indefinitely Sidney Crosby had surgery on a broken jaw last night and will be out indefinitely. The Penguins plan to,release an update on the time frame early in the week
March 31, 2013
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