Restricted Free Agents Benoit Pouliot and Tom Pyatt not qualified by Habs' brass
By not tendering qualifying offers to Benoit Pouliot and Tom Pyatt the Montreal Canadiens handed the two young forwards their proverbial hockey-freedom. The likely reason behind the two decisions were two-fold. Both players were passed on the depth chart by other young forwards, and the decision (particularly in the Pouliot case) freed up some cap-space; either for the future long-term signings of PK Subban and Carey Price, or a modest dip into the upcoming UFA pool.
As Alain Vigneault once explained in reference to Darcy Tucker, neither player sat comfortably in their chair. Pouliot was supposed to be a player who produced offense, while Pyatt was supposed to play strong minutes in the defensive-zone.
Why didn't they fit their chair?
Lets see what the numbers say.
Using multiple numerical values within my system we see that Pouliot just didn't put up numbers warranting a spot among the team's top-9 forwards. He ended the regular season with grade of 60; three percentage-points below the team average, and 20th among 27 teammates scouted.
His overall risk/reward rating of 0.47 was 0.17 points below the team-average, and 24th out of 27 players rated.
Pouliot was a player counted on to produce offense. But, his offensive-zone risk/reward rating ranked 22nd among all Montreal players. Pouliot's play in the defensive-zone didn't make up for his offensive-numbers, as his defensive-zone risk/reward rating placed him 21st among Habs players.
Number 57's playoffs numbers didn't help his cause. He finished last among his teammates in total grade (49), overall risk/reward (-0.16), and (incredibly enough) offensive-zone risk/reward (0.00). The negative number in overall risk/reward simply means that pouliot actually hurt the team (missed pass, lost puck-battle) more than he helped the team (won puck-battle, successful dump-in).
Pyatt was never a player meant to produce offense, so looking at his offensive-numbers would be counter-productive. Number 94's regular season grade of 61 ranked 17th among his scouted teammates, while his overall risk/reward rating (0.47) placed 25th out of 27 players
His defensive-zone risk/reward rating (0.05) was particularly disappointing, as it was only good enough for 21st place, while also being well below average.
Pyatt's defensive numbers in the playoffs severely hurt his cause, as he ended the playoffs with the lowest defensive-zone risk/reward rating (-0.01) among all players scouted.
Be free! Be free young men!
*Follow the "Quick Links" at the top-left of the page for all the Habs numbers from last season*