Travis Moen and Mathieu Darche are similar hockey players filling similar hockey roles. Granted, Moen is tougher, and brings more intangibles to the rink. But, Darche is a cheaper alternative with better risk/reward numbers.
2011-12 salary: $1,500,000
Moen is a 6'2", 215 lbs winger. Despite being injured toward the end of the season, the 30 year-old had the second-highest amount of short-handed ice-time among Montreal forwards. He ended the season with 9 goals and 7 assists in 48 games. He had a traditional plus/minus of minus-3, to go along with 41 penalty minutes.
Over the span of his career he has averaged a goal every 11 games, and a point every 5 games. He has never been a plus player in the NHL. He has a career shooting percentage of 8.0%, thanks in part to an incredibly-high 20% success-rate last season.
What He Brings
Moen sits in the middle of the pack in most of our statistical categories. That said, we need to keep in mind that he often plays in situations his game simply doesn't fit. He has been the default go-to-guy to fill in for injuries on the top-2 lines. This forced Moen to play big minutes against other teams' top lines.
He has the 8th-best defensive-zone passing success-rate among forwards and is one of only 10 forwards who win over 50% of their offensive-zone puck-battles. He also wins 64% of his d-zone puck-battles while short-handed.
Where He Struggles
Moen has the fourteenth-best overall grade among Habs forwards. Out of 21 forwards used this season, Moen's overall risk/reward of 0.88 places him 17th. At even-strength, Moen makes 1.8 successful plays for every 1 unsuccessful play; twenty-fourth among the 31 players who have played for the Canadiens this season.
Moen produces numbers well suited for a serviceable third-line winger. The issue with re-signing Moen comes down to the value you place on the intangibles. If that value is $1,500,00, than Moen returns.
2011-12 salary: $700,000
Darche is a 6'1", 215 lbs winger. Like Moen, Darche was a big part of the Habs penalty-killing success this season. The 35 year-old had the fourth-highest amount of short-handed
ice-time among Montreal forwards. He ended the season with 5 goals and 7
assists in 61 games. He had a traditional plus/minus of minus-4, to go
along with 18 penalty minutes.
Over the span of his career he has averaged a goal every 8.3
games, and a point every 3.5 games. He has a career plus-minus of minus-20, but plus-5 in his career with the Canadiens. He has a career shooting percentage of 8.4%.
What He Brings
Darche has the fourth-best overall grade, and seventh-best overall risk/reward rating among Habs forwards. He is second among forwards in success-rate when attempting to acquire or remove puck-possession from the opposition, and the third-best success-rate in plays that require him to maintain puck-possession.
While at even-strength, Darche makes 2.11 successful plays for every 1 unsuccessful play. Among forwards with substantial PK ice-time, only Tomas Plekanec and Lars Eller have higher short-handed ratios.
Where He struggles
Darche isn't the prettiest player on the ice. He looks clunky, and panicky at times, but still earns above-average numbers in most of the statistics we cover. He is however, involved in the second-most defensive-zone events per-minute played among wingers. This is partly due to his inability efficiently move the puck out of the defensive-zone, as he also has a below-average defensive-zone passing success-rate.
Darche is pushing 36 years-old. That said, re-signing a player with his overall ratio, at his price-point, with his dedication to the organization is simply a no-brainer.