Normally I only cover Oilers stuff, but this Erik Johnson/McClement vs. Stewart/Shattenkirk trade is not only a blockbuster, but one that seems to be fairly unbalanced after I dive into the numbers below. Here's the whole deal:
To The Colorado Avalanche
To The St. Louis Blues
Considering it's two forwards and two Dmen changing hands, and I think its VERY clear that Stewart has far more value than McClement, to demonstrate that The Avs won the trade, we'd need to see a clear win for Erik Johnson. This year, surprinsingly to some, I don't think Erik Johnson even matches Shattenkirk. Lets take a look at these two, head to head. For all the charts, I filtered by defencemen who played at least 20 games and who play at least 10 mins/game at 5v5, and 1 min/game for PK and PP.
Defensive Numbers 5v5
In this set of statistics indicating mostly defensive abilities, we see that they are very evenly matched except that Johnson is playing tougher competition. Both guys have below average Sv% against league averages, but not compared to teammates. In other words, their 5v5 goaltending has been lousy this year, and it has hurt their underlying defensive numbers.
Also interesting is the sheltered zone starts that EJ has been receiving. My mental impression was always that he was a bonafide #1 D, but the coach certainly hasn't thought so this year. Brewer (48.1), Polak (43.6), and Jackman (48.7) have been given the lion's share of the defensive faceoffs.
Defensive Numbers 4v5
Shattenkirk doesn't PK at all (averages about 17 seconds of PK time per game), whereas Johnson is a close third for ice time amongst STL Dmen, Brewer and Pietrangelo taking the lead and also having the lowest GAON/60. All in all, it looks like EJ is a solid PKer.
Offensive Numbers 5v5
|Name||G/60||G/60 Rank||A1/60||A1/60 Rank||A2/60||A2/60 Rank||P/60||P/60 Rank||Sh%|
Clearly, Shattenkirk is performing at a far superior level in terms of even strength offence. Considering almost half of EJ's points are coming off of second assists nothing really looks good at all about his numbers. His pts/60 is about the same as Roman Polak, a guy with 42 points in 203 NHL games. Shattenkirk, on the other hand, is racking up plenty of primary offence. He's a sliver behind John Michael-Liles in pts/60, otherwise he looks like a real offensive driver. Of course this all has to be tempered by competition and zone starts.
Offensive Numbers 5v4
|Name||TOI/60||G/60||G/60 Rank||A1/60||A1/60 Rank||A2/60||A2/60 Rank||P/60||P/60 Rank||Sh%|
Shattenkirk, by these numbers, looks to be a top PP QB, right up there with Michael-Liles (he has the top pts/60 at 3.85, almost entirely second assists). He's almost doubling EJ's offensive performance on the PP, and Johnson's numbers are right in line with what you see for second PP unit Dmen.
Corsi Numbers 5v5
|Name||Corsi Rel QoC||Rank||Corsi Rel QoT||Rank||Corsi On||Corsi Off||Corsi Rel||Rank|
Now I think most advanced stats guys prefer Corsi Rel QoC versus Qualcomp since one is based on shooting stats (Corsi) versus +/-ON (Qualcomp), and shooting events happen a lot more often and are more reliable statistically. In this case we see that Johnson is facing bottom tier competition amongst the STL D core. This really surprised me, as I always had the impression he was their tough minutes guy and tough zone start guy. It surprised me enough that I took a look at last year, and it turns out he was 5th on the team for Corsi Rel QoC and had a mammoth 60% zone start. Shattenkirk seems to be doing fine in comparison, driving outshooting from the backend nicely while facing off against lower opposition.
This isn't a video game review, so I will say two things: numbers don't paint the whole picture, and I do not view either player with any frequency, so everything I conclude is based on the numbers and numbers only.
Both have been sheltered, with Shattenkirk getting a little bit of extra breast milk in comparison. The fact that EJ is a solid PKer clearly puts him in a different category as an all around defender. Where the picture for EJ starts becoming murky is when you question his overall contribution in terms of offence versus defence. He has some of the worst defensive numbers on his team, right in line with Shattenkirk's place amongst the Av's D core, yet for a guy with supposedly oodles of offensive ability, Johnson is bricking in the offensive zone.
Considering no one sober would trade McClement for Stewart straight up, I have to wonder at a trade like this. In case you really want some Chris Stewart numbers to prove this, well, he's 15th in the league amongst forwards for pts/60 5v5. His 2.68 nestles him amongst Zetterberg, Kopitar, Carter, Semin, Bergeron, and the like. Bonus stat: Hemsky is 5th by this metric.
So in recap, I think today the Blues considerably improved their team, especially considering Pietrangelo was absolutely crushing Johnson's numbers. The Pietrangelo effect is something I would consider a driving force in St. Louis making this trade. So unless EJ rebounds in a big way on the worse defensive squad in the Avs, it looks like the clear winner is St Louis.
Still, Erik Johnson is young, and he certainly has the tools to get back into the #1 spot, and I think it's likely the Avs will give him every opportunity.