Something many of us have learned about Brian Burke during his in Toronto is that he’s extremely patient. The Kaberle, Kessel, and Beauchemin deals evidence Burke’s ability to wait in order to maximize return value in trades. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that the Leafs don’t have a #1 center yet, as an opportunity up to Burke’s standard has yet to come together.

With the confirmed “availability” of Anaheim’s “big three” the most intriguing part in all of this was the prospect of icing a line featuring Lupul — Getzlaf — Kessel. What it would take to acquire the Ducks’ centerman is still up for debate; however, beyond the usual claims of being a physically dominating, playmaking pivot with a high hockey IQ, Getzlaf provides one of—if not the—best value in the league in terms of points-to-million ratio.

I see this way of calculating a player’s effectiveness most accurate when figuring out a players points produced per million earned (or P:M ratio). In the end, points equals goals, goals equals wins, and wins equals playoffs. I use points because it’s the most general yet the most precise way to determine a player’s overall value – it records both goals and assists, rather than just a singular stat.

I created the following table that charts the value Getzlaf has provided the past four years (since his breakout season) up against his comparables based on contract, style of play, and role (or supposed to-be role) with their clubs.

Player Games Played Points Recorded Total $ Earned PPG Avg. PPG per million earned
Ryan Getzlaf 291 318 15.373M 1.17 20.6:1 Million
Joe Thornton 323 341 28.6M 1.05 11.9:1 Million
Eric Staal 315 303 25.5M 0.96 11.8:1 Million
Evgeni Malkin 274 333 19.3M 1.21 17.2:1 Million
V. Lecavalier 305 283 32.04M 0.92 8.8:1 Million
Scott Gomez 316 225 29.4M 0.71 7.65:1 Million

Of all those names on the list, Malkin is probably viewed by most as the most talented and overall “best” player, and his point per game value is tops among all six centers at 1.21. However, Ryan Getzlaf still provides the best overall value at 20.6 points produced per million dollars earned. Malkin is still close behind with a 17.2 P:M ratio, but still has earned nearly 4 million dollars more than the Ducks— pivot.

When I showed this to a few colleagues, they questioned the accuracy of these numbers because Getzlaf’s breakout season (82 points in 2007-08) was during the last year of his ELC. They questioned whether or not, if I took out the 2007 season, he would still be tops among the P:M ratio. Well, the results are even more staggering, take a look:

Player P:M ratio w/out 2007-08 season
Ryan Getzlaf 16 : 1 million earned
Joe Thornton 11.3 :1 million earned
Eric Staal 10.5 : 1 million earned
Evgeni Malkin 12.3 : 1 million earned
Vincent Lecavalier 7.6 : 1 million earned
Scott Gomez 7.02 : 1 million earned

As you can see, Getzlaf still maintains his firm lead in value provided to his team. I acknowledge Getzlaf still has two more years left on his contract at higher values than what he has been playing at now. I took the remaining games left in this season, added them to an 82-game schedule next year, and figured out a dollar value by adding his salary next season to his what’s left of his salary next year.

Player Games Left to be Played Projected Point Production Total $ to be Earned PPG P:M ratio
Ryan Getzlaf 126 147 (rounded) 9.205 1.16 15.9: 1 million

Should Burke acquire Getzlaf today, this is the projected value he’d receive from his top line center. Evidently, there is a drop off in his P:M ratio, going from 20.6 to 15.9, however, that number of 15.9 is still higher than the comparable names I mentioned earlier (all point totals are rounded):

Player Games Left to be Played Projected Point Production Total $ to be Earned PPG P:M ratio
Joe Thornton 128 134 11.5M 1.04 11.6: 1 million
Eric Staal 123 118 12.375M 0.95 9.5: 1 million
Evgeni Malkin 126 152 13.8M 1.2 11: 1 million
V. Lecavalier 126 116 15.36M 0.92 7.55: 1 million
Scott Gomez 124 88 9.34M 0.7 9.42: 1 million

Should he continue his current statistical pace and production, Getzlaf’s P:M ratio and overall value provided to his team (be it in Anaheim or anywhere else) is really going to show. He’s slated to earn the least amount of money out of all six players, yet is pegged to produce the highest PPG total and highest P:M ratio.

All these numbers may be overwhelming at first glance; however, the most prominent conclusion I came to was that this is exactly the type of contract Burke likes to deal for when acquiring  or just outright negotiating terms himself with a marquee player. Should Getzlaf be legitimately available, you can be sure Burke will make a strong if not the strongest run at the Ducks— #1 centerman; after all, he was the one who signed Getzlaf to his current contract.

What it would take to acquire him is an entirely different discussion in its own right; nonetheless, the value is there, and with these statistics in mind, one can assume the Leafs will get their moneys worth either way.



Five Minutes for Fighting looks into Liles’ contract situation

– Should JML be in Toronto’s plans beyond this season?

VLM looks at if Gustavsson will finally get his deserved chance

– With Reimer struggling, this may be Gustavsson’s only golden opportunity

Check out Mislav’s fantastic (as usual) Game in 10

– It’s no coincidence the Leafs are undefeated in spectacular fashion since his return

In relation to Burke’s presser yesterday

– Lukas from THW looks at Burke’s changing plans

Komisarek and Brown are close to returning to the lineup

– Should be interesting to see who gets sent down when they do


As always, tweet me your thoughts on the mashup, and while you’re at it: give me a follow! @degratesports

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