2012-13 Player Review: Matt Frattin

2012-13 Player Review: Matt Frattin

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“Lite power-forward” Matt Frattin had an inauspicious start to his 2013 NHL campaign after getting cut from Maple Leafs out of training camp. This, after finishing the season with the Leafs last year and going on to lead the AHL in points and goals (10 in 13 games) in the playoffs prior to badly injuring his knee in while sliding into an empty net (ironically, in the process of scoring another goal). The coaching staff was less than impressed with his intensity during camp and the addition of JVR on the wing bumped Frattin from the lineup. He went back to the AHL and didn’t have a good start to his season there, either. Whether that was the product of sulking or a lack of Nazem Kadri as his center, it wasn’t working.

As far as hockey players go, Matt Frattin checks the boxes I like to see in an NHL forward. I’ve liked his skillset from the first game he played as a Leaf (last game of the 2010-11 season) when he displayed NHL attributes not normally seen in a rookie. Good acceleration. Good top speed. Skates backwards well for a forward. Finishes his checks (hard, and with purpose). Skates to tough areas of the ice. Strong on his feet. Decent defensively. Big shot. Quick Release.

That’s what I see when I watch him play, but he’s also been a frustrating player to watch for a variety of different reasons.

After Joffrey Lupul broke his arm in the third game of the season against Pittsburgh, Frattin was called up and had an absolutely lights out start to the NHL season on a sheltered line with Nazem Kadri. 7 goals in 10 games had him looking like the player everyone has seen from a potential standpoint while he was tearing it up with the Marlies, where he clearly looked like an NHL player among AHL players.

Kadri started the season red-hot and Frattin was equally as hot, piling up goals and points seemingly at will. After 10 games, it was revealed that he had cartilage build-up on his recently repaired MCL and had to undergo “clean up surgery” on his knee. As it goes with leg injuries and hockey, he came back to the Leafs looking like a different player, having lost some of the acceleration and top speed — as well as confidence — that a player like him really needs to provide secondary scoring at the NHL level. Not being able to keep his legs in shape and essentially being off them for three weeks can lose a player a half-stride here and there. Simply put, knee injuries are tough to bounce right back from.

The issue was, in the week that he had with us, he didn’t demonstrate the things we thought were his strengths. If he’s not taking the body and skating, he’s not an effective player. – Randy Carlyle

His injury and some poor puck luck, combined with wavering intensity and a reluctance to take the body, and voila – Frattin was a healthy scratch. Frattin sat in the press box for three games in early April and again for the final game of the regular season followed by game 1 of the playoffs.

Curious lineup decisions aside, Frattin drew back in for Game #2 against Boston and immediately made an impact while being used as a decoy on the first line to gain Phil Kessel some time away from Zdeno Chara. Making a strong play setting up Lupul for the go-ahead goal, he played a role in the comeback in a series the Leafs were down 1-0 in.

His lower body strength along with his quick release are the two things that standout as Frattin’s biggest attributes. You can see one of the two here with what was seemingly a dead play that he kept alive by pushing off his inside edges, fighting off Boychuk and sending across a great pass to Lupul.

That, combined with more posts than you can count in the series, including one in the overtime of Game 4, shows that when the bit is between his teeth Frattin can be a hard player to contain. His playoff performances are certainly an indication of that.

His inconsistency is something that is a glaring area in need of addressing. You have to wonder if that’s something that will ever correct itself, or if he is going to be a player who will always leave you wanting more. If he were to play to his potential most the time, Frattin would be a top 6 forward for the Leafs.

As his season went, it was certainly and up and down rollercoaster ride for Frattin. Next fall, he’ll look to shake off an injury affected regular season and build off of his strong, if unlucky, playoff performance.

Plays of the Year:

RATE THIS PLAYER: Out of 10, rate Matt Frattin’s season relative to his role, opportunity/usage and the expectations for the player entering the season. Be sure to back it up.

800 comments
Claymish
Claymish

What would it take for Malkin? A hell of a lot. Kessel + Colborne + Gardiner + 1st pick

Optimustic
Optimustic

I'm giving a 7 to Frattin could get better with regular line mates though.

darthNihilus
darthNihilus

I rated Frats at 6/10 because I feel that when he is on his game he is an 8 and when he's off his game he is a 4. 

I also believe a large part of whether he is effective or not has to do with the way in which he is deployed. He is more effective as a secondary scorer than a pure checker. 

Knights2Leafs
Knights2Leafs

For 2014 - 2015 Pittsburgh has from their current roster 3 forwards, 1 defenseman and 1 goalie signed.  Plus 3 RFA forwards and 2 RFA dmen.


TheCanucksnaphook
TheCanucksnaphook

What exactly does it take to get Malkin out of Pittsburgh?

Starts with TWO 1st round picks.

Zep2
Zep2

Morning all. Great game last nite marred by the guys in stripes. The NHL has the worse , most inconsistent officiating in pro sports. Last nite Lucic took Orpik out and all he could see was the # 44, clear hit from behind. For some reason he gets away with those calls.  In the 2 OT periods they called a delay of game and Too many man on the ice penalty.  They looked away at everything else and an uncalled hooking penalty on Malkin resulted in the winning goal

In the Hawks series , Carter slashes Keith in the back , then hacks at his bare hand. No call. The result - a hot headed Keith lashes out and gets a game suspension

Walkoms phantom call on Saad was absurd as well as the non call on Kellys elbow to the Leaf

The whole idea of penalties evening out through the run of a game is ridiculous. What would MLB do if an Ump were calling balls and strikes bases on that criteria

CanuckUKinToronto
CanuckUKinToronto

Hey... changed my avatar.  My Newfie (named Maple after our beloved Leafs)... in her Leafs T shirt...  She is a big fan and is next to me when I am screaming at the laptop streaming game at 2am!!!!   

CanuckUKinToronto
CanuckUKinToronto

Further to the other point about how the Bruins are playing shows how good the Leafs actually played and how much closer we are to contending.  After 3 games, Chara and co have held ALL of the top Pens to  zero goals and zero pts... ALL

Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Iggy, Neal.. all ZERO.. Kessel after 3 games had 2 goals and 1 assist and after 7 had 4 goals and 6  pts.   JVR had 2g and 1 assist after 3 games.. and 7 pts after 7 games.....  We have a solid team offensively..  The team is close.. BEFORE these playoffs, the Pens and their great offense were a favourite to win.. why do the Leafs get so little respect- other than not holding leads.. that will take 2-3 players only... We have a solid core of 10-15 players.. just need the last 3-5 pieces.. We have the money and the cap space to do so.. Be creative and get it done Nonis and co...

CanuckUKinToronto
CanuckUKinToronto

I would give Frattin a 6 out of 10.  He has a lot more to give most nights. When he does show up he is very effective when using the body and going to the net... he also has a good shot.  My criticism is that he is already a mature player by age so not sure how much more he will improve. - Frattin is 1 yr and 4 months OLDER than JVR and coming up on almost 3 yrs older than Kadri.   A lot compared to Stalberg.  Well Stalberg is 2 yrs older. If you look at stats at age of 25.. Frattin played roughly 1 full season at 81 games.. with 15 goals and 28 pts.  Stalberg at that age played 117 games and averaged over 82 game equivalent 15 goals and 27 points...  so fairly similar.  Stalberg then improved his next 2 years averaging over 20 goals .. He had 22 g and 43 pts in the prior full season and this season he would be extrapolated to be 16 goals and 40 pts.  Frattin at 2 yrs younger if you extrapolate what he did this last season would be 23 goals and 43 points.  That being said.. He is a good fit on our team, a good asset and prefer what he brings rather than Stalberg.  I think he still has some upside due to his shot.  My guess is he could be a 25g, 45- 50 pt player for the next few years.  

Stalberg was a cap hit of $875k.  He will probably now get $2- 2.5m per year if not more pending how stupid free agency is.  Frattin is still under contract for one more year at $925k...  His production per cap hit makes his rating that much more valuable.  I am hoping next year we say Frattin had a rating of 8 or 9 !!!  He has that capability.

.JVR.
.JVR.

I'd give Frattin a 6.5 outta 10.

Komas Taberle
Komas Taberle

The goaltending tonight was terrific, what a game.

Savo43
Savo43

The better the Bruins do in these playoffs, the more our boys realize how good they can be. I don't know why we're cheering against them, especially since Seguin has done nothing LOL. 

wendelsfist
wendelsfist

What does Shero do with the Penguins?  Vokoun has been great in net except for one bad game.  Their defence needs to upgraded and they need to do something with their forwards.  

Greg Fenton
Greg Fenton

@TheCanucksnaphook Make a list of the players and prospects you DO NOT want the Leafs to trade, those are the players the Penguins will be asking for. You don't get a player like Malkin for a couple picks and depth talent UNLESS the Penguins are blowing up the whole roster (which they aren't). 

Or ask yourself this, if the 2001 Leafs were going to trade Sundin to the 2013 Leafs, what would they have to get for it to be a GOOD deal for the 2001 Leafs? 

Knights2Leafs
Knights2Leafs

I don't know Phook.  He's only got 1 year left on his contract.  Plus getting picks means they are rebuilding.  They need players.  We have some.

Look at Pitts' cap for next year and they are already at $61M with only 10 forwards, 6 dmen and 2 goalies signed. They could really use getting rid of Malkin's $8.7M cap hit.  Plus I wouldn't want to give up too much unless he's resigned.  They need a 2C but even getting rid of Malkin's cap hit, I don't think they could take Grabo's at $5.5 even if they wanted him.  

Colborne plus Gunnarson plus our first next year IF he re-signs?  Even then I'd want a guaranteed re-sign which isn't likely to happen.


CanuckUKinToronto
CanuckUKinToronto

@TheCanucksnaphook 

Pittsburgh will definitely seek a shake up if they get knocked out 4 straight to the Bruins.  Malkin could be the one who goes.. Funny that you would think they want D but actually NONE of their top scorers have done anything vs the Bruins. Like I said in my other post, makes JVR and Kessel look pretty awesome in comparison.

Knights2Leafs
Knights2Leafs

For sure Keith deserved a game, but Carter definitely deserved a penalty for clearly hacking at Keith's bare hand.  Had Carter not been cut for stitches, I wouldn't even have given him 1 game because of Carter's initial dangerous actions.

Greg Fenton
Greg Fenton

@canuckintheuk Leafs "don't get respect" and aren't considered a top NHL team right now because they lack the talent that top NHL teams have. Just because the Leafs played well against the Bruins and the Bruins played well against the Rangers and now the Penguins doesn't mean the Leafs better then those 2 teams. The Penguins beat the Islanders int he playoffs, and the Islanders beat the Leafs 2 of 3 times in the regular season. Using the same logic, shouldn't we say the Leafs are further away from being a contender then the Islanders? Its just not a logical argument. 

@Great DaneAs I said in another thread, I agree that the Leafs are 2-3 players away from being as good as team in the league. Their "middle" and "bottom" players match up extremely well against most teams out there. The problem is those top players that the Leafs need to add are extremely hard to come by. Nothing in the Leafs recent (10 years or so) past would tell me that the wallet has been closed at all, its not a matter of money. Its finding 2-3 of those top tier, elite, franchise players, and thats very hard to do.

Great Dane
Great Dane

@canuckintheuk  Good morning CinUK.

Leiweke has seen the same thing as you and I.  A top center and a top d-man and we are in contention.

Others might not agree but the extended interview with Leiweke proved to me that the wallet is open to get the players that is needed.


CanuckUKinToronto
CanuckUKinToronto

@Savo43 

I totally agree Savo.  The way the Bruins are playing vs other teams, it makes our team look close to contending.  We clearly have the ability to score.  Our only issue is to have the ability to hold the lead, clear the zone and clear the crease.  A number 2 Defensive D man who can clear, another McClement type player who can win draws... and another heart guy (D'Amigo maybe.. ie inhouse)...  the replacement of Grabo and Bozak with a 1a or 1b C (paired with Kadri as the other) .. plus a vet backup goalie.. and we are a solid team..  Reimer still has been injury prone so we do need a solid back up who may play 30+ games.. 

Savo43
Savo43

@wendelsfist Pens will be better off just letting their old dudes walk and using youth with their top guns. Too many big names on that team. 

Knights2Leafs
Knights2Leafs

That's why I say give them Gunnarsson.  They do have some great dmen prospects but all are at least 2 or 3 years away. Pouliot, Harrington and Maatta.

TheCanucksnaphook
TheCanucksnaphook

@canuckintheuk I mean does he even fit into our lineup properly?  The guy is a stud and led the Penguins to a Cup while Crosby was hurt (yes for the 50th time)

CanuckUKinToronto
CanuckUKinToronto

@Great Dane @canuckintheuk 

When you see the Leiweke interview it shows how professional/presentable he is as a leader.. esp compared to Burke.. Leiwke is a President and CEO kind of guy.. Burke was more of a GM.. We have that already covered in Nonis now.  I sure how he can deliver on his aspirations.

CanuckUKinToronto
CanuckUKinToronto

@Great Dane @canuckintheuk 

Morning Great Dane.  I really am positive on Leiweke.  I concur.  We are very close.  I do think we need the vet backup goalie too.  The most Reimer has played is 37 games in a season.  Last year the most with 68% of games.. Still that leaves a backup playing at least 24 games.  I think that is also on the list.... and why our mgmt was seeking it at the deadline.. we still are in my opinion.

Greg Fenton
Greg Fenton

@rustynail @Greg Fenton @Knights2Leafs Malkin is one of the best and most consistant performers in the league. There is very little, probably nothing, that should/would be untouchable if it means getting him or a player like him. 

Greg Fenton
Greg Fenton

@Knights2Leafs First, depth can be found much, much easier then  players who are among the best in the world so to get someone like Malkin, you do strip away the depth. 

Second, guys like Colborne, Gunnerson, Frattin, Grabovski - these guys do not even come CLOSE to being enough to pry someone like Malkin away from the Penguins, IF they are even willing to move him. Players like Kadri, Kessel, Lupul, van Riemsdyk, Reimer, Rielly, Gardiner - thats who the Penguins will be asking about. 

Greg Fenton
Greg Fenton

@TheCanucksnaphook @Knights2Leafs  Not even close. A 1st rounder, an over paid 3rd liner, another 3rd liner in his mid 20's and a depth D-man for one of the best centers in the league? Would you have been happy with that return for Sundin in his prime?

CanuckUKinToronto
CanuckUKinToronto

@TheCanucksnaphook @Knights2Leafs the one thing that none of us know is how the buyout and the cap reduction affect every team's decisions on high priced players like Malkin.. He is 8.7m cap hit on a salary cap of $64m..  That is 13.6% of the payroll for one guy. 

Knights2Leafs
Knights2Leafs

Oh, it would get it done, but no way I'm stripping our depth unless he's a guaranteed re-sign.

MaxwellHowe
MaxwellHowe

@TheCanucksnaphook @Knights2Leafs Better off getting Louongo for next to nothing and making him part of the trade with Pitts while retaining a good chunk of his salary.  But in combination with Malkin's salary, man, it would cost a fortune in terms of the salary cap.

MaxwellHowe
MaxwellHowe

@TheCanucksnaphook @canuckintheuk If it was purely a hockey decision, it would be Crosby that they trade.  His health issues make him the more obvious choice to move (assuming they have to decide b/w the two).  But its all about the politics, and Crosby is the fan favorite in Pitts, so he won't go anywhere - unless he were to ask I suppose.

CanuckUKinToronto
CanuckUKinToronto

@TheCanucksnaphook @canuckintheuk  Yes he fits as our 1C.  Also he has chemistry with Kule too so when/if Kadri is hot as 1a C.. Kule might get bumped up with Malkin and either JVR or Lupul.   Grabo would have to go.  

Greg Fenton
Greg Fenton

@Komas Taberle @wendelsfist @GeorgeCastanza  You still need some veterans and some experience on a team if you are going to win. 

If you are going to say the Penguins are too old (which they aren't), look at the Bruins. Chara is 36. Jagr is 41. They have some old, veteran players as well. You need a mix.