UFA options - Steve Sullivan


GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT
2008 - Steve Sullivan 41 11 21 32 2 30 3 0 2 0 83 13.3

Advanced ES stats - QUAL COMP 0.00, QUAL TEAM +0.20, -5.8 corsi, 2.18 ESP/60

PDO - 103.6

Background

The Masterton Trophy candidate missed the entire 07/08 season with back problems only to return this year and score at 0.78 PPG pace on an offensively starved team. Sullivan has long been a capable scorer in the NHL, scoring 20+ goals 7 times in his 13 season career. He's also breached the 60 point mark 6 times.

Strengths

Agile and quick, Sullivan has soft hands and is especially dangerous on the half boards during the man advantage where his one-timer tends to be especially deadly. Sullivan had the 3rd best ESP rate on the Predators this past season behind Arnott and Dumont (although the bounces certainly helped), despite sitting out a season and a half. His ES efficiency in 06/07 was also a stellar 2.88, while his PPP/60 rate was a healthy 5.45 that same year. When healthy and in the line-up, Sullivan is a fairly capable scorer.

Weaknesses

Being not much bigger than Brian Gionta discussed below, all the issues with the Flames and small players are relevant here as well. In addition, Sullivan is not only getting on in years (he'll turn 35 this July) but is a siginificant injury risk. The last time he played a full season was as a Blackhawk in 02/03 and since then, he's averaged 49 games a season (not counting the one he missed completely). In fact, many people thought his career was over when he was unable to return last year. As such, anyone who signs Sullivan is all but guaranteed to miss him for large portions of the season.

Verdict

Sullivan is a legit top 6 forward when he's in the line-up, but his age and health concerns are significant issues. On the one hand, that makes acquiring him a real risk. On the other, it means demand for him this summer will be muted and he therefore should be relatively cheap to sign.

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