So how does McCabe stack up?

Some people here feel McCabe is a tier 1 D-man, others say he is tier 2. Most people feel the money he is getting paid is excessive.

So, how does he stack up statistcally against the other “top tier” D-men over the last 3 years…

Niedermayer – Age 33, GP 244, Points 156, ppg .70, +51

Lidstrom – Age 36, GP 243, points 180, ppg .74, +80

Zubov – Age 36, GP 237, points 168, ppg .71, +41

Gonchar – Age 32, GP 228, Points 183, ppg .80, -14

Pronger* – Age 32, GP 238, points 157, ppg .66, +24

Blake – Age 37, GP 234, points 142, ppg .61, +28

Jovanovski – Age 30, GP 167, Points 102, ppg .61, +13

Chara – Age 29, GP 224, Points 113, ppg .50, +79

Redden – Age 29, GP 222, Points 138, ppg .62, +79

McCabe – Age 31, GP 223, Points 135, ppg .60 +30

*Include ’01-’02 for Pronger instead of ’02-’03

So overall McCabe is

7th in games played

8th in PPG

6th in +/-

Some things worth noting…

First and foremost, Lidstrom, Chara and Redden all had the benefit of playing on MUCH more defensively sound teams. ALL of the above played on teams that were considered better than the Leafs and more serious contenders.

Finally, it is worth noting that McCabe had a pretty bad ’02-’03 season, that is included here. If we substitute a decent/average season ’01 – ’02 for him his numbers are at:

GP 230, points 154, ppg .67, +37

which puts him at :

6th in Games Played

4th in PPG

6th in +/-

I realize that the numbers don’t tell the whole story, however they are something that is concrete and not subject to opinion. They are the best unbiased measure that we have. Even if we include the poor ’02-’03 season, McCabe comes out in the top 7 d-men in that list, which represents the cream of the crop of established D-men in the league. We will see what the other D-men get in terms of salary (although Blake and Lidstrom will take a drop from their age and wanting to stay on their teams)

My bet is that he comes out behind Jovo, Chara, Redden, Pronger, Niedermayer … about 6th.

So, the arguement, right or wrong, can be made that McCabe is paid pretty much where he should be in light of his numbers.

Finally, I see a lot of people knocking his defensive skills. At the same time, I think it is pretty well known that the Leafs were NOT a defensive minded team and played poor defense, and had poor defensive coaching… his +/- runs contrary to most people’s opinion of him.

Sergei Zubov is a bargain at 4 million!!

I also consistently see Jovanovski rated higher by people here. I don’t see any hard evidence for it, except opinion.

14 Responses to So how does McCabe stack up?

  1. the_word says:

    Lidstrom, Blake, Niedlemayer, Zubov and Pronger have all been instrumental players in a playoff run to the finals. McCabe, Chara and Redden haven’t, in my view that a big difference that can’t be ignored. Not so much in how much they should earn, but you would you want on your blueline.

  2. Aetherial says:

    In their prime, there is no question in anyone’s mind that the D-men you mentioned are better than McCabe… Frankly, so is Redden. Chara has to rebound this year to prove himself to me.

    So the point was not so much about who is the best… the point was how does MCCabe stack up against the best, in terms of past performance and salary.

    He appears to be pretty close to where he would be.

    I still wish they did not sign him (mostly because I think no-trade clauses are excessively dangerous in a cap world) and I ESPECIALLY wish they had the foresight to trade him at the deadline this past year.

  3. LeafsLegacy says:

    AGREED! McCabe’s no trade clause is killing me! And the statistics that were shown tell me hes better than Gonchar, and Jovo. But McCabes inconsistancy is a factor. Some nights he’s solid, racking up like 2-3 points a night, other nights he misses checks and gives up the puck. That’s why McCabe is not really considered a “stud”.

  4. sufferingleaf says:

    Mcabe for the most part is a semi liability behind the blueline. Also look how his production dropped when the NHL learned how to defend him on powerplay.

  5. scout says:

    drop is an understatement

    they disappeared

    he became ineffective

    4 assists after Olympic break

  6. the_word says:

    The McCabe situation seemly a little funny to me, I mean when you look at his playoff performances he doesn’t stack up, but then again he just came off a career year so those comparisons may not be fair.

    What I find more confusing is that McCabe may be the best fit for the Leafs (he’s great with Kaberele) in terms of where the franchise is going. McCabe and Kaberele together are greater than the mere sum of their parts, with that in mind I feel McCabe does stack up quite well.

    I doubt the Leafs were offered much for him at the deadline. The best I heard of was Pommenville and a draft pick out of Buffalo.

  7. Aetherial says:

    As it turns out, this year was not too much out of line with his last few seasons… also his +/- suffered this year compared to previous years… of course they had brutal goaltending for most of the year and a team and a coach without a clue about defense, in a league with new rules and they were caught slow-footed…

    In hindsight … boy Pomminville and a pick would have looked great instead of 5 more years at 5.75 with a no-trade 🙁

  8. Aetherial says:

    And co-incidentally(?) he was also coming off an injury and also in the last quarter of a season where he was logging like 30 minutes a night and then di dnot get an olympic break.

    Hi numbers don’t bear out the whole liability behind the blue line theory. In fact, last year at -1 really was not normal for him and tehre were a lot of factors I listed in another response above.

  9. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    that has nothing to do with it, there have been 100 guys in the last 5 years, who can score goals the way he has, he just lost a lot of pop in his slapshot late in the season.

  10. 92-93 says:

    maybe Maurice and his staff will help change that?

    maybe experience too?

  11. 92-93 says:


    there’s also the possibility that McCabe OKs or asks for a trade to a NY-area team.

    that would be sweet depending on who comes the other way.

    names like Tambellini, Nilsson, Immonen and high draft picks seem pretty attractive right now for a team trying to stock their farm system with decent, young talent (along with freeing up 6 million in cap space!)

  12. Aetherial says:

    We traded immonen in the first place because he wasn’t thought to be a soli prospect. Then again, things changes with the “new” NHL. I think that one of the knocks on him was his size? That would not be an issue now.

    I seriously doubt he would have gone through this if he was going to OK a trade to a NY team, but anything is possible I guess.

  13. sundin_13 says:

    send McCabe to the oilers + some for pronger

  14. LeafsLegacy says:

    lets hope!

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