Monday, August 09, 2004


Adrian Aucoin: Worth a whole lot o' Coin!


It's a good time of the year to be an ex-Canucks defenseman.

First McCabe cashes in on a career year, and now Adrian Aucoin has been granted a nice raise.

According to, Aucoin has been awarded a $4.25mil contract for next season. After this, he'll become an Unrestricted Free Agent (according to current CBA terms).

Compare this deal to his contemporaries.

(I'll use the last 2 seasons together with their salary for next year)

Aucoin ($4.25mil): 81 13-31-44 +29 & 73 8-27-35 -5
McCabe ($4.45mil): 75 16-37-53 +22 & 75 6-18-24 +9
Redden ($4.70mil): 81 17-26-43 +21 & 76 10-35-45 +23

Most any smart fan and scout would tell you that Redden is clearly better than his other 2 peers above. How about McCabe vs Aucoin. Who would you rather have?

Just for fun...let's compare

What Aucoin has been able to do is eat more ice than Oprah on a smoothie binge.
Aucoin was 3rd in ATOI this past season and 7th in 2003.

2004 - 26:37 ATOI (18:27/4:11/3:58) (ES/SH/PP)
2003 - 29:00! ATOI (17:29/6:03/5:27)

2004 - 25:43 ATOI (17:41/3:40/4:21)
2003 - 23:38 ATOI (16:30/3:55/3:13)

Part of this is the Islanders almost exclusive use of 4 defensemen. Aucoin, Niinimaa, Hamrlik, and Jonsson all play about 23 minutes a game. Martinek, Cairns, and whatever dog scraps are left get almost nothing. The Leafs have a bit more depth so they don't force themselves to use McCabe as much.

Looking in a team context...

Aucoin's +29 led his team this season after finishing 23rd in 2003!

McCabe's +22 led his team this season after finishing 6th in 2003.

Offensively, they both have similar overall totals in the past 4 seasons

Aucoin: 308GP 37-104-141 231PIM
McCabe: 314GP 44-105-149 473PIM

So, it's pretty obvious to see that these 2 are very compariable in terms of statistics. Certain fans have been telling me that they though McCabe was given too much by the Leafs. However, if he compares so well to Aucoin, the arbitrators likely would have given him the same award the Leafs gave him in a contract...and they did this all without going through a nasty arbitration process.

Who would you take? It's a matter of personal preference.
McCabe will give you a more talented player with a penchant of making more mistakes and taking bad penalties. On the other hand, McCabe is much more physical than Aucoin and can be depended on more to be a force against the beasts of the East.


Like McCabe, Aucoin has really grown since he was traded from the Canucks.

After being drafted in the 4th round, Aucoin made the Canucks for good in 95-96 and provided the Canucks with a serviceable 3rd line defenseman.

It was in 98-99 that he exploded onto the scene with 23 goals (and a whopping 11 assists) in 82 games.

Aucoin was using his big slap shot on the Power Play and the puck was going in for him at an amazing rate.

The problem for Aucoin was, he was looking a lot like a one dimensional defenseman.
He wasn't too physical (and he still isn't), he couldn't pass the puck very well, and he was very predictable on the Power Play.

in 99-00, those same shots weren't going in for him, and his goal total dipped to 10. I remember watching him miss the net way too often (It seemed only 1 out of every 4 shots hit the net) and do little else but shoot the puck.

Now, Aucoin wasn't all that physical, but he was better defensively than most gave him credit for, especially Mark Crawford.

As the old story goes, if Mark Crawford doesn't like a player, there is nothing that player can do to win himself out of the doghouse.

Despite Aucoin's big shot, decent defense (His +/- compare to his team was pretty good, even though he wasn't a top line defender) and good size, Crawford didn't like how Aucoin wasn't very assertive.

BAM! Aucoin is then dealt for Dan Cloutier and the Cloutier era began in Vancouver.

After a brief stint in Tbay, the Bolts dealt him to the Islanders for Mathieu Biron.

Talk about a deal Milbury actually won!

All Aucoin has done with the Islanders is become a hell of a solid all-around defender. He's learned to pass the puck (Gasp!), play good positional defense, and give a dependable or positive effort in every game situation.

As much as I thought Aucoin was shafted by Crawford, I don't think anyone here expected that he would become a very solid all-around defender.

Oh, he's getting more shots on goal than in his Vancouver days, but his game isn't based simply on that one aspect of his game.

Would the Islanders trade Aucoin for Cloutier?

Exactly, they wouldn't... it's too bad Aucoin could never grow more under Crawford than he did.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?