Christopher Boucher, Boucher Scouting's creator and founder, is the Manager of hockey analytics, metric development, and services at

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Halpern should be signed

Jeff Halpern is 37 years-old. Jeff Halpern scored only 1 goal and added only 1 assist in 16 games with the Montreal Canadiens last season, and had a traditional plus/minus rating of minus-3.

Also, let me mention, that everything I just mentioned is all crap.

Jeff Halpern's return to the Montreal Canadiens for the 2013-14 season should be a no-brainer.

Halpern won 55.6%  of the faceoffs he took last season. Among regular centres, only Ryan White had a comparable success-rate at 54.5%. Tomas Plekanec won 50.6% of his draws, while Desharnais won an even 50%.

Halpern had the best defensive-zone risk/reward rating last season. He also had the top defensive-zone ratio, as he contributed 3.85 successful plays in the defensive-zone for every 1 unsuccessful play. Halpern was directly responsible for more scoring chances against than any other centre, but started over 50% of his shifts in the defensive-zone; among Montreal centremen, White was the only other centre to average over 40% of his starts in the defensive-zone, while Plekanec, Desharnais and Eller were all below the 33% mark.

Halpern was successful with 82.5% of his attempts to remove puck-possession from the opposition in the defensive-zone; no other Montreal centre had a success-rate above 79%. Halpern gave the puck away only 26% of the time he had possession in the defensive-zone.The average among Habs centres was 31%.

  • Halpern averaged 5.4 defensive-zone takeaways for every 1 defensive-zone giveaway; tops among all Montreal players
  • Halpern produced the best defensive-zone defensive-touch success-rate among Habs centres
  • Halpern produced the best defensive-zone offensive-touch success-rate among Habs centres
  • Halpern had the fewest offensive-touches per-minute played, but drew the most obstruction penalties against per-minute of ice-time
  • Halpern won the second-most puck-battles among Habs centres, but took the second-fewest obstruction-penalties against.

Yes, an argument can be made for giving other players a chance at the fourth-line centre's job. Signing Halpern doesn't take that chance away, it simply gives the Habs an above-average insurance policy.


1 comment:

  1. Completely agree even before seeing all these numbers. I just don't get it