The Carolina Hurricanes had a tough time in the faceoff circle last season, no two ways about it. After finishing second from the bottom in the league in that statistic, they decided to bring in some help in that area and on July 1 signed free agent Tim Brent to a two year deal.
Brent won 52% of his draws and took the third most, (788) on the Leafs last year. That percentage would have placed first last season on the Canes for players who took more than 400 faceoffs.
But not only can Brent get the job done in the faceoff circle, he also does a decent job killing penalties as well. He had the highest average short handed ice time for forwards on the Leafs last year, (forwards who played more than 10 games) and he's physical, can block shots, and can contribute a bit offensively.
So who is Tim Brent? Apparently, Toronto fans were asking themselves that very question. Let's check with J.P. again from Pension Plan Puppets for some feedback.
|2010 - Tim Brent||79||8||12||20||-4||33||0||1||1||60||13.3%|
From JP Nikota:
On July 4th, 2009, a relatively unknown player was signed to a contract by the Toronto Maple Leafs, and one of the most popular memes at Pension Plan Puppets was born: "Who the f*** is Tim Brent!?". My guess is that, as Hurricanes fans, your reactions weren’t much different than those of Leafs fans three years ago.
In the summer of 2009, Brent was a 24 year-old forward playing for Rockford in the AHL, and managed to put up 62 points in 64 games, which, using Gabe Desjardins’ NHL/AHL points equivalency rate, suggested that Brent might be able to put up roughly 35-40 points with similar ice time in the bigs. At the time, the Leafs were cap-strapped, and needed to find talent on the cheap, and rolled the dice on Brent, hoping that he could contribute at the NHL level. Of course, Brent didn’t see equivalent ice time in the NHL (last season saw him average 8.81 minutes per 60), and thus produced points at about half the rate, but was a reasonably effective 4th liner, and that’s where the Canes stepped in.
Brent’s normal box stats tell a story of your typical replacement-level player, but advanced stats suggest that last season, the puck generally moved in the right direction, even relative to the level of competition he faced, with a Corsi Rel QoC of 0.380. Moreover, his Zone Starts show that he started in the offensive zone less often than any other Leafs regular (41% of the time), but that he finished his shifts in his opponents’ end 45.9% of the time. Not bad.
In the end, paying $750k for a depth forward isn’t the end of the world, especially if the term is only two years. Nothing to worry about, here.
Brent appears to be a prototype fourth liner. He brings high energy and does not seem shy about sacrificing his body when necessary. He certainly had a decent season last year, but prior to that, he had only played in four NHL games the previous three years, without scoring a point.
Was last season a preview of things to come or an anomaly? Caniacs will soon find out.
(Another thank you to JP for taking the time to provide his feedback)