Luke Schenn

Tampa Bay Lightning: Bringing In Schenn & McElhinney

featured image photo credit – Mark6Mauno/Flickr

The Tampa Bay Lightning didn’t make much of a splash on July 1st, ultimately signing just two true NHL calibre players.

Those two were Curtis McElhinney, former Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes goalie, and Luke Schenn, a depth defenseman, who has travelled through Toronto, Vancouver, Anaheim, Los Angeles, Arizona and Philadelphia through his 11 year career in the NHL.

Here’s what the two of them bring to the table.

Curtis McElhinney

The veteran, 36 year old goaltender has had a long tenured career, and over the last couple of seasons, has been very important for his teams. He helped Toronto clinch a playoff berth two seasons ago, by stepping in and winning a very important contest to officially clinch. He then was a part of the miracle run in Carolina, where they went all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. 

McElhinney is coming off of a career high in starts with 33, posting a career-best 20 wins in the process. He is an outstanding NHL backup, but the Lightning already have fan favorite, Louis Domingue, backing up elite net-minder Andrei Vasilevskiy. What was the point?

They gave McElhinney $1.3M. He’s more expensive than Domingue’s cap hit of $1.15M. Domingue had more wins (31) in less games (26). McElhinney (.912 Save%, 2.58 Goals Against Average) were better than Domingue’s stat line (.908SV%, 2.88 GAA), but that’s not a huge difference.

However, there is one area in which McElhinney stands out more than Domingue however, and that is goals saved above average. While Domingue posted a -1.81 GSAA, McElhinney had a +2.25. But, keep in mind, McElhinney has only posted more wins than losses twice since the 2009-10 season in years with more than 10 starts, and those seasons were the last two. That could either mean improvement despite his aging, or he’s just benefitting from being on a good team at the right time. Maybe that could continue with Tampa, but Louis Domingue has already proven his success with the Bolts, and I don’t understand why they don’t keep sticking with him in net.

This signing ultimately tells me that Domingue is likely to get moved, and I really don’t like that. 

Luke Schenn

Schenn will likely be a 7th defenseman, as he was signed to a 1 year, $700k contract. With that said, these are some players who could’ve been brought in instead (Dan Girardi) and some players he will be competing for time with. 

visual created by Kyle Pereira, stats from CJ Turtoro

As shown above, every other option would have been better. Schenn is atrocious when it comes to entering the offensive zone, and defending against the rush. He couldn’t break up an opponent’s entry, even if his life depended on it. He also is really bad at entering the offensive zone, as shown by his PossEntry60/PossEntry% on the graph. Schenn is really all over the place, and seemingly just shoots the puck a lot. Based on the above visual, I’d genuinely just take a flier on Callan Foote making the jump next season. Just a pointless signing in my book. 

In Conclusion 

The Lightning have had a very slow off-season. This first day of free agency didn’t change a thing. On the one hand, I’m glad they didn’t pull teeth for a guy like Joe Pavelski, but the depth signings, both of them, were just useless. They haven’t signed their RFAs yet. Brayden Point and Cedric Paquette need to get signed quickly.

Meanwhile, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Florida Panthers have done almost everything right in building up their roster for next season. The Lightning need to get it together, or they will quickly fall behind an ever-so competitive Atlantic Division. 

Spider Graphs created by Kyle Pereira, gathered by CJ Turtoro

Stats from hockey-reference

Salary Cap Info from capfriendly

NHL Draft Profile: Nolan Foote

The Foote family name carries a lot of profound hockey ability and top-tier talent, and Nolan Foote looks to be an extension of that. Nolan is the son of former Colorado Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote and is the brother of Tampa Bay Lightning defensive prospect Callan Foote.

Embed from Getty Images

Name: Nolan Foote

Date of Birth: November 29, 2001

Nationality (Place of Birth): Canada/USA (Denver, Coloardo)

Hieght: 6’3″

Weight: 187 lbs

Shoots: Left

Position: LW

Rankings

Ranked #27 by TSN/McKenzie

Statistics

Foote, a Denver native, stands at 6’3″ tall and 187 lbs. The left-shooting forward was drafted 43rd overall in the 2015 WHL Bantam draft, but was quickly able to prove that he was worth far more to the Kelowna Rockets than initially expected. Since making his WHL debut in 2016, Foote has tallied 138 points in 168 games (0.82 P/GP), 107 of which were primary (0.64 P/GP).

In 66 WHL games this season, the 18 year-old LW potted 36 goals and added 27 assists for 63 points (0.95 P/GP), 53 of which were primary points (5v5P, 0.8 P/GP).

Player Profile

From what I have gathered, Nolan Foote is an excellent shooter. He is known for a quick and well-timed release (a-la Phil Kessel) and possesses fantastic puck-protection, which is considered to largely be due to his size. Foote is also known to be an excellent net-front presence, which is a need for many teams in the league.

Skating is widely considered the biggest issue in Foote’s game, although it appears to be improving. Considered to be a power forward, ‘hard’ play is apparently a need, although I don’t necessarily believe that.

According to Last Word on Hockey, Nolan Foote is most comparable to that of Calgary Flames forward James Neal. Yet again, I don’t exactly agree with this, although I see the connection. Neal, is a great shooter, and is a pretty perimeter-centric player because of it. Foote, on the other hand, is consistently present in front of the net, and thus echoes a James van Riemsdyk like presence.

Draft Day

Foote is expected to be selected in the 2nd round (44.2 average draft rank). Based on his average draft rank, there are a few likely destinations for Foote. The Vancouver Canucks, Philadelphia Flyers, Minnesota Wild, Chicago Blackhawks, Ottawa Senators, the Arizona Coyotes, Montreal Canadiens and the Colorado Avalanche pick between 40-47. The Avalanche might be the most likely destination out of those teams. Foote’s father, Adam now works for KO Sports, a boutique hockey agency and KO represents several Avalanche players including Ian Cole, Anton Lindholm and J.T. Compher.

Statistics retrieved from eliteprospects.com, prospect-stats.com, and lastwordonhockey.com