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Behind The Numbers

Analyzing top NHL Trade Deadline candidates

Martin Hanzal of Coyotes, Gabriel Landeskog of Avalanche could be moved before March 1

by Rob Vollman / Correspondent

The NHL Trade Deadline is March 1, and some prominent names have been circulating in the rumor mill, including Martin Hanzal of the Arizona Coyotes, Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche, Mike Ribeiro of the Nashville Predators and Thomas Vanek of the Detroit Red Wings.

Last week, we dove into the underlying numbers to gain more insight into Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Matt Duchene of the Avalanche, Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Kevin Shattenkirk of the St. Louis Blues.

This week, we'll look at similar statistics to get a better understanding of another group of players who could be changing cities soon.


Martin Hanzal, C, Arizona Coyotes

One of the most complete players who might be available prior to the trade deadline is Hanzal, who becomes a free agent at season's end.

Whether he's winning faceoffs, going into corners, playing tough minutes, working on special teams or pitching in offensively, Hanzal is a highly versatile player who would be of value for virtually any contender.

Hanzal has won 55.5 percent of his faceoffs since 2013-14, which ranks 13th among the 162 players to take at least 1,000 draws during that time. Over that same span, the 6-foot-6 Czech has thrown 528 hits in 209 games, an average of 2.5 per game that ranks 44th among the 660 forwards to play at least 20 games.

Taking on top opponents in both zones, Hanzal's average ice time of 14:17 of ice time at even strength leads Coyotes forwards; he also works on the power play and penalty kill. Hanzal can also chip in offensively; he has 306 points in 600 games with the Coyotes.

Video: TBL@ARI: Hanzal finds twine on Vrbata's slick feed


Gabriel Landeskog, LW, Colorado Avalanche

There could be a rare opportunity to land one of the League's best young two-way players. A frustrating season in Colorado might make general manager Joe Sakic receptive to offers for his captain.

With 20 points in 40 games, Landeskog may not be having his most productive season, but his 177 points in 238 games from 2013-14 to 2015-16 is 34th in the League.

Even in an off year, Landeskog is still one of the Avalanche's top options in all manpower situations, and why not? Since his NHL debut in 2010-11, he has boosted Colorado's share of shot attempts from 45.3 percent to 49.5 percent when he's on the ice for a Relative SAT of plus-4.2 percent that leads the Avalanche among those who have played at least 70 games.

Landeskog is 24-years-old and signed through the 2020-21 season at an annual NHL salary-cap charge of $5,571,429, according to, so it makes perfect sense for any Stanley Cup contender to pull out all the stops to acquire this type of young, difference-making player if he hits the market.

Video: COL@ANA: Landeskog slams home power-play goal in 2nd


Mike Ribeiro, C, Nashville Predators

Interest in Ribeiro may not be at its highest point. He turned 37 on Feb. 10 and was a healthy scratch five times in 11 games prior to being placed on waivers on Feb. 3. He went unclaimed and was assigned to Milwaukee of the American Hockey League. 

Ribeiro may not win faceoffs, kill penalties or shut down opponents but he is one of the League's finest playmakers. His 565 NHL assists are ninth among active players. More recently, he was the second Predators player to reach 20 assists this season, and his 111 assists since 2014-15 are tied for 20th in the League.

Other than being able to absorb his annual cap charge of $3.5 million, the only catch to acquiring Ribeiro is that he requires a very specific type of offensive deployment in order to remain this effective. At even strength this season, he has lined up for 248 faceoffs in the offensive zone and 75 in the defensive zone, a 76.78 zone start percentage that ranks second to Artemi Panarin of the Chicago Blackhawks (83.67) among those to play at least 10 games.

Video: STL@NSH: Ribeiro bats in a rebound at the doorstep


Thomas Vanek, LW, Detroit Red Wings

Detroit's 25-year streak of making the Stanley Cup Playoffs appears to be coming to an unavoidable end, so it makes sense for GM Ken Holland to get whatever he can for his pending free agents, including Vanek.

One of this season's most surprising statistics is Vanek's 2.99 even-strength points per 60 minutes. That's fifth in the NHL among those who have played at least 20 games, according to the calculations at Hockey Analysis.

Vanek could provide a scoring boost to any number of contenders, assuming he continues to be carefully used in a highly offensive capacity. He averages 2:55 per game on the power play but 0:01 killing penalties. At even strength, Vanek has a 71.62 zone start percentage, which is in seventh in the League among those who have played at least 10 games and is well ahead of Andreas Athanasiou, who is second on the Red Wings at 60.55 percent.

Video: CBJ@DET: Vanek, Abdelkader connect for PPG

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