I think most people remain somewhat shocked that Mason Raymond was not claimed as an unrestricted free agent in July and still has not found a home. The 27 year-old winger is still considered one of the top free agents out there. I don't know what kind of money and terms MayRay and his agent are seeking. He made $2,275,000 last season. Is he asking for the same, or more? Is it justified? I thought I would look into his statistics to try find an answer.
|2012-13 (46 GP)
||2011-12 (55 GP)
||2010-11 (70 GP)
||2009-10 (82 GP)
|Goals Projected Over 82 Games||17||14||17||25|
|Assists Projected Over 82 Games||21||14||27||28|
|Points Projected Over 82 Games||39||29||44||53|
|Power Play Goals
||4 (led the team)||1||2||8|
|Avg. Time On Ice Per Game||15:49||15:35||15:47||17:19|
|Power Play Time On Ice Per Game Avg.||2:07||1:08||1:22||2:04|
|Shorthanded Time On Ice Per Game Avg.||1:05||0:54||1:04||1:33|
|Shots Per Game||1.7||2.3||2.8||2.6|
|Faceoff Winning %||34%||28%||40%||35%|
|Hits Projected Over 82 Games||32||47||43||64|
|Blocked Shots Projected Over 82 Games||14||19||16||19|
|Giveaways Projected Over 82 Games||32||17||16||16|
|Takeaways Projected Over 82 Games||30||29||40||44|
|CORSI Rel QoC||0.023||0.475||0.262||0.800|
|O Zone %||56.5%||59.7%||55.6%||49.1%|
Phew, that's a lot of numbers, and I could add so many more. Raymond received his pay raise after the 2009-10 via salary arbitration and then regressed statistically for the most part right away. His output increased on average last season in a contract year, but not to the point of where it was in 2009-10. Not enough to get a raise, in my opinion. Not under a new CBA with a lowered cap limit. It seems the best course with Raymond is a 1-year deal at $2 million max to get him to show you what he's got.
I like looking at the time on ice numbers. Alain Vigneault gave Raymond more power play ice time last season than he ever had. His average ice time overall was on par with the previous 2 seasons, but still a fair bit less than 2009-10. I think it's fair to say that AV gave him a fair shake, especially on the power play. It's fair to say that Mason did not earn any more than he received.
Now, on message boards, comment threads, Twitter Shitter etc all I've read about is how often MayRay falls down. There's a drinking game in regards to that for Pete's sakes. I remember seeing it a lot on my TV. I remember seeing him constantly bringing the puck into the offensive zone, doing a big or small 360, getting the puck taken away. But I also remember him generating a lot of chances. I remember his wicked wrist shot. It's all about perception, and negativity can trump all at times. However, what grinded my gears about MayRay beyond what I mentioned above, was the streakiness in his scoring. Very hot and cold. 18 points in 55 career NHL playoff games with the Canucks doesn't impress me either. His career points per game with the Canucks in the regular season was .475 ppg. In the playoffs he was .327 ppg. Sure, there are players with worse spreads than that, but MayRay was just another part of the problem when the team's scoring dried up. He needs to drive to the net more, or get the puck there at least.
Mason Raymond is a good hockey player. At 6' and 185 pounds he's mostly a skill player, but the Cochrane Alberta farm boy plays tough. He goes to the dirty areas generally. He isn't afraid. He's actually one tough son of a gun given that he got piledriven into the boards in the 2011 Finals and suffered a fractured vertebrae, came back to play hockey and played arguably like he always had: uber speed, skill and determination.
He achieved those stats over the past 3 years mostly playing high-end bottom 6 minutes. Like I said before...give him top 6 minutes on one of your top 2 lines and he should thrive. Just like Michael Grabner. It can happen in a new environment. Heck, I believe the Canucks' second line for the majority of 2009-10 was Raymond - Kesler - Samuelsson, was it not? It was gold. So, his versatility should also be mentioned because he played against other teams' top players on that line and still put up a whack of points. He can play a 2-way game as well.
So...yeah...I am still surprised that no team has signed him yet. This post is me saying thanks to a Canuck who played with heart and guts in his tenure here and giving the guy more props than what he is getting, in general.
Suck it, Bobby:
Laser beam for a wrister:
You'll love this:
Good luck, Mason, and thanks for the memories.