Time for another game of “The Grass Ain’t Always Greener.”
I think there is a propensity of casual hockey fans (certainly not the ones reading this blog) to pull the trigger on deals too often. In many cases, a straight one-for-one trade rarely works out, nor marks any significant improvement. I can only think of a few cases where these have worked (Dany Heatley for Marian Hossa), and even those can be debated. To see how this game works, check out our blog on a Thornton for Spezza trade.
I present to you: Filip Kuba vs. Mattias Ohlund
Filip Kuba: 6’5, 226 lbs
Mattias Ohlund: 6’3, 230 lbs
Ohlund is a bit bigger weight wise, but Kuba is taller. Both should play the body more.
Filip Kuba: 32 years old, drafted in 1995
Mattias Ohlund: 32 years old, drafted in 1994
This one is a wash age-wise. Kuba was drafted a year later than Ohlund and played his first NHL career game a year later as well. Ohlund decided to hold out for three seasons before signing, so he loses what we will call Alexei Yashin points here. But Ohlund does have more NHL experience.
Kuba: Drafted 8th round, 192nd overall.
Ohlund: Drafted 1st round, 13th overall.
You have to give this one to Ohlund, seeing as he was the higher pick. But history has shown us that draft position doesn’t mean a thing once the puck has dropped (take, oh I don’t know, Alexandre Daigle and Daniel Alfredsson as an example).
Kuba’s first full NHL season: 2000-01 season- 75 GP, 9 goals, 21 assists, 30 points
Ohlunds’ first full NHL season: 1997-98 season- 77 GP, 7 goals, 23 assists, 30 points
I’m going to go with Kuba here, as this first season was played with the Minnesota Wild; a rather defensive minded team. The points total may be the same, but Kuba also did it in two fewer games. It’s marginal numbers, but stats don’t lie.
Kuba’s post lockout numbers: 292 GP, 30 goals, 103 assists, 133 points
Ohlund’s post lockout numbers: 290 GP, 39 goals, 74 assists, 113 points
Again, the numbers are close, but I have to again give this to Kuba. He has two more games at hand, but 20 points more than Ohlund.
Kuba’s Playoff numbers: 24 GP, 4 goals, 9 assists, 13 points
Ohlund’s Playoff numbers: 42 GP, 8 goals, 17 assists, 25 points
Kuba averages half a point per game. Ohlund averages a bit more. Ohlund’s playoff experience may win him out here, but point totals remain consistent. Call it a slight victory for Ohlund. But expect Kuba to put up some numbers in the playoffs next year. Remember, his playoff experience was in Minnesota- a notorious defensive system- and Tampa, where Dan Boyle took most of the defensive points.
Kuba’s contract: 3 year deal, $3 million per season
Ohlund’s contract: Pending UFA. Made $3.5 million per season
This one goes to Kuba. That half a million is a fourth liner now, and knowing the way the free agent market has worked lately, Ohlund is bound to be overpaid this summer.
So again, who would you do? Save the money and stick with Kuba. You may get more points out of it anyway.