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Summer Signing Series – Forsberg

As the summer free agency period comes to a close MPS is taking this opportunity to review the biggest signings of the summer from a purely financial perspective. To be fair to all the teams and players we’ll be looking at we’ll be using the same set of base assumptions throughout the series. Principally these assumptions are:

– The performance metrics we want to pay for are:

o Goals (40%) and Assists (60%) when the players are out at Even Strength or on the Power Play.
o Team Goals Against (100%) when the player is on the ice killing penalties.

– The salary cap starts this season at $73 million and increases 5%/year for future years (obviously this is up for debate but it basically reflects flat revenue growth and the assumption the NHLPA uses its escalator clause).

Signing #5 – Filip Forsberg

Next in our series is another Left Winger and another Nashville Predator (although this time he stayed in Music City, USA), Filip Forsberg.

The Details

Just like the Stamkos contract, Filip Forsberg and the Nashville Predators agreed to a deal just before free agency began (this time on June 27, 2016). In this case the contract was for $36 million over 6 years working out to an AAV of $6 million/year. In 2015-2016 Forsberg scored 33 goals and 31 assists.

Breaking it Down

As explained in our earlier blog, point totals are fine but valuation needs to be done using rates (if this doesn’t make sense to you please check out that other post because the rest of this article/series takes it for granted) so let’s take a look at Forsberg’s rates:

EVEN STRENGTH Last 3 Years Last Season
Goals/60 Min 0.96 0.99
Assists/60 Min 0.85 0.63
POWER PLAY Last 3 Years Last Season
Goals/60 Min 1.77 1.93
Assists/60 Min 3.93 4.09
PENALTY KILL Last 3 Years Last Season
Team Goals Against/60 Min 2.70 5.55

Just like the other Left Wingers we’ve looked at in this series (Okposo, Lucic and Ladd!) Forsberg is an excellent scorer. In particular, his goal scoring rate of ~1.00/60 minutes is very good and the best of the entire group! Forsberg comes back to the group a little with lower rates for assists but his combined 1.6 to 1.8 Pts/60 Minutes is right in the same range as those other elite players.

Ice Time

The other key factor to determining a player’s worth is how much ice time they get (again if you haven’t read this article yet you may want to do that so you can see the logic behind this). In Forberg’s case he has played the following:

ICE TIME Last 3 Years Last Season
Even Strength 13.59 13.95
Power Play 2.62 2.60
Penalty Kill 0.84 1.71

This is getting a little old analyzing our 4th elite Left Winger of the series but just like the others Forsberg plays about 18 minutes/night. That’s right in the same range as the others and makes a lot of sense given that he plays on the top line and the #1 Power Play unit. Something a little interesting about Forsberg is that he kills penalties. I don’t watch a lot of Predators games so this came as a bit of a surprise to me.

The Forecast

Just like the rest of our posts we are going to start with a baseline forecast that assumes Forsberg simply plays exactly the same way and exactly the same minutes as he has for the last 3 years.

Forsberg1

I really like it when things just work out…$6 million contract meets our $6 million baseline forecast! After taking a look at this it’s pretty easy to see where this contract is coming from but I’ll resist the urge to make this a really short post. In truth, Forsberg is a little different than our other Left Wingers in that he is a Restricted Free Agent (RFA) which typically this means the team has more negotiating power over the player during their RFA years and they don’t pay ‘full market value’. Given this fact let’s tweak the forecast to see if we can produce a scenario that still works given Forsberg should earn a little less in his RFA years. I’ll also point out that he is a lot younger than our other Left Wingers at only 22 years old whereas the others were at least 28.

Forsberg2

So if we’re looking to make a few tweaks to our forecast a few places stand out. First, his ice time is likely going to look more like his last season than his 3 year average because Forsberg is only 22 and his role has obviously increased a little over time and will probably stay there for the foreseeable future. Next, I think it’s fair to say that his performance may also improve given his age so we can tweak his rates up a little as well. Finally, we should ‘fix’ his Penalty Kill results as his 3 year numbers are unsustainably low and probably just a result of a small sample size in his early seasons. Then after all that we come up with a more reasonable forecast and one that does find Forsberg to be a small bargain (consistent with a couple RFA years mixed in).

Verdict

Verdict Forsberg

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Summer Signing Series – Forsberg

One thought on “Summer Signing Series – Forsberg

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