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Tanner Glass is a Waste of a Roster Spot

NHL: Preseason-Winnipeg Jets at Calgary Flames
Calgary Flames left wing Tanner Glass reacts to a call by official during the second period against the Winnipeg Jets at Scotiabank Saddledome.
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Calgary Flames made a tremendous improvement to their team two days ago. They went out and signed perhaps the greatest winger in NHL history in Jaromir Jagr. The pickup will help to sure up their lines and ensure that Sam Bennett has somebody competent on his right side, be that Jagr or Micheal Ferland.

Jagr is 45 yes, but age hasn’t been a factor. He’s still out there generating goals, assists, and shots and helping his team with shot suppression. He’s been all but ageless in this regard. The signing should mean more points for the team and hopefully a better placement in the standings and maybe - just maybe - home ice.

The Flames are an NHL team however; that means they can’t go and make a great move without somehow doing something to at least partially offset it. Today, that particular move was signing Tanner Glass. While Glass is NHL tested like Jagr is, he doesn’t do anything well; everything about his individual and team offensive statistics to go along with his defensive ones actually show that his play is quite abhorrent.

Individual Statistics

Taking a look at the past three seasons, 400 players have played over 1000 minutes. Glass happens to be one of those players. While nobody expects Glass to be an offensive juggernaut with those minutes, his individual statistics have been incredibly awful with the sample size provided.

Tanner Glass Troy Brouwer
Value Ranking Value Ranking
Goals/60 0.24 388 0.51 281
Primary Assists/60 0.24 369 0.36 308
Points/60 0.62 397 1.31 271
Shot Attempts/60 8.59 356 9.95 315
Unblocked Shot Attempts/60 6.96 356 7.61 330
Shots/60 4.94 359 5.42 336
Scoring Chances/60 1.68 360 2.11 285

Troy Brouwer has been inserted just for comparison’s sake. All numbers are five-on-five and score adjusted. As one can see, Glass doesn’t produce. He’s outside of the top 360 in goals and primary assists and outside of the top 390 in points, and worse than the individual who could quite possibly be the Flames most hated forward in Brouwer. Essentially he’s not even producing like a 13th forward on offense, something that one would generally like to see from any of their players.

The individual shots are a slight improvement. He’s at least top 360 in all shot types there (though just barely with the scoring chances) which puts him as an incredibly subpar fourth liner rather than a scratch. Still those numbers aren’t good.

Team Offense

The individual offense is pretty terrible. That should come as a surprise to nobody - watching the games would have shown that. At the very least, one would expect his play on offense to be better without the puck, but when one takes a look at the team offense with Glass on the ice, things get even worse.

Tanner Glass Troy Brouwer
Value Ranking Value Ranking
Shot attempts/60 -9.89 378 -4.03 314
Unblocked Shot Attempts/60 -7.5 380 -3.18 319
Shots/60 -5.08 377 -1.9 312
Scoring Chances/60 -2.24 382 -0.63 287
Goals/60 -1.16 392 0.03 224

Offensively, Glass pretty much neuters every shot type imaginable when he’s on the ice. Shot attempts, unblocked shot attempts, shots, scoring chances, and goals all go way south when Glass is out there. All of his numbers are well outside of the top 360 and put him at a sub-par 13th forward in terms of team offense while he’s on the ice. Goals are the worst of the bunch - he’s actually outside 390, meaning the team would be better off with a legitimate 13th forward in this role.

Defensive Statistics

Offense very clearly isn’t a quality aspect of Glass’ game which would require him to make up some heavy ground on the defensive side of the ice. Unfortunately he fails pretty woefully in that regard, too, and at this point the track record is starting to speak for itself. Glass simply hasn’t been good there, though his defensive metrics have been better than the offensive ones.

Tanner Glass Troy Brouwer
Value Ranking Value Ranking
Shot attempts/60 4.59 382 3.9 363
Unblocked Shot Attempts/60 3.92 383 3.35 372
Shots/60 2.76 371 3.07 383
Scoring Chances/60 0.36 329 -0.1 109
Goals/60 0.52 286 -0.1 181

The opponents average more shot attempts, unblocked shot attempts, shots on goal, scoring chances, and goals with glass on the ice. The shot totals are well outside of the top 360 while the goals against put him as a mid-tier fourth liner. Goals go up as well, though he’s at least in the top 300 in that aspect - the first statistical category where glass does so.

Percentage-Based Statistics

As shown, Glass is incredibly poor at individual offense, team offense, and team defense. This obviously bodes poorly for his overall numbers. The shot and goal ratios with Glass on the ice over the past three seasons have been generally abhorrent.

Tanner Glass Troy Brouwer
Value Ranking Value Ranking
Shot Attempt % -6.79 390 -3.62 351
Unblocked Shot Attempt % -7.12 392 -4.06 363
Shot % -6.79 390 -4.29 371
Scoring Chance % -7.78 382 -1.73 278
Goal % -18.23 398 1.59 165

Nowhere in any of these metrics does Glass rank anywhere in the top 360 which is where one would like to see a player that ever scratches the lineup. Only in scoring chances does he rank above 390th and he still ranks well towards the bottom there. The goal for ratio takes the biggest hit of them all - Glass’ performance drops his teams ratio on goals score versus the opponent by over 18 percent. Of the 400 player sample size, that’s 398th.

With those statistics, Glass simply isn’t worth employing at an NHL level. Parables about toughness aside, the point of hockey is to outscore the opponent. One can do that by scoring or aiding in the offense, by preventing shots, scoring chances, and ultimately goals on defense, or by generally having a positive impact on play. Glass does none of these.

There are certainly arguments to be made about how Glass will be a 14th man that generally won’t play and how it would be a waste to employ someone of promise in that roll only to watch from the press box. While those arguments are certainly not without merit, there are other guys that wound up on the unemployment line entirely who possessed far greater value than Glass, a guy who by all objective metrics has been one of the worst NHL players over the past three years. This team has made similar mistakes in years past only to waive them shortly thereafter; here’s hoping they recognize that mistake as every game with Glass in the lineup is a game the Flames are essentially short-manned.