WOULD PATRIK ELIAS BE A MISTAKE?

Patrik Elias was asked today about the trade rumors of him to the Los Angeles Kings, and specifically his no movement clause – Elias responded “nodody asked me” to waive his no-movement clause concerning the rumored trade, per Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice. The report and quote came via Gulitti’s twitter.

I have heard and read the rumors. I also heard that Elias was not willing to waive his NMC so his answer today came as a recent revelation. It got me thinking. Elias to the Kings…

First, the dollars. $6 million dollars through the end of the 2012-2013 season. That is a lot of money for a 34-year-old (35 in April) left wing and sometimes center with 8 goals, 19 assists, a -13 and .079 shooting percentage in 40 games. Elias has played with New Jersey his entire career. In the past 5 seasons, his goal totals have been 16, 21, 20, 31 and 19. Pretty underwhelming for the price.

But statistics don’t tell the whole story. While I would not put Elias in the category of a “leader” (though he does wear the “A”) or “elite”, he is a solid player and teammate and thrives in a team game on both ends of the ice. His -13 this season is more a reflection of the abortion of a franchise New Jersey has become since the Ilya Kovalchuk trade than Patrik’s defensive skills. He has been a plus player his entire career.

Elias does come with recent injury concerns. He underwent a hip / groin surgery in June of 2009. It limited him to only 58 games that season. He then suffered a concussion in January of 2010 that kept him out for 3 weeks.

The skill set is very much what you have seen is what you get. An exceptional stick handler. An accurate shot. The ability to find a seam, sometimes out of nowhere. He can skate but more than that, he is an intelligent skater. He has a nose for the open areas of the ice and when the shot is not there, Elias is quite adept at finding the open man. Think Ziggy Palffy, but bigger if you need a former Kings’ analogy. Patrik Elias generally elevates his game in the second half of the season and is a consistent and proven playoff performer. From 2000 through 2009, he has 102 playoff points, the most of any other NHL player during that time period. Much of this is history however. Elias has faded. He is not the player he was three or more seasons ago though we have all seen what a change in scenery can do.

How would he look on a line with Kopitar and Brown?

…I am going to pause for a moment so Surly can wipe the drool from his face as he reads this. You see, each time this subject comes up, Surly turns into a 13-year-old boy who just felt his first boob…

He would look great. I have little doubt Elias can help the Kings, assuming he remains healthy but that is an assumption you make with any mid 30’s player in the NHL. Patrik Elias on Kopitar’s left would be the veteran, moderate to high skilled left wing that would find Kopitar open for shots on goal, give Anze the time and space to get in shooting position especially on the powerplay, get shots on net on a consistent basis that Brown would pick up and put in within or around the crease and rarely if ever hurt you defensively.

What’s the down side? Dollars. That $6 million guarantees that Handzus would not return after this season. It also poses questions on Williams, Ponikarovsky and Sturm, all of whom will be UFAs after this season. Of course, any trade for Patrik Elias would require some salary to go the other way whose cap hit, from Lamoriello’s perspective, would likely not last past this season. Care to guess who that may be?

For the record, I would be against this trade. I see him as a handicap from a salary perspective and do not put him in elite status to justify it. I am open to persuasion however. Elias on Kopitar’s wing intrigues me…now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get Surly more tissue.



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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13 replies

  1. Yes, it would he a huge mistake. He doesn’t fit the age requirement. Smyth is enough and he is still productive.

  2. Not the right fit and costs more than he’s worth.

  3. Yeah I’m not too thrilled with Elias but I think that there is another solution. Possibly pry Alfredsson out of Ottawa. Then try to squire Kiprosuff and Regehr from Calgary and Weber from Nashville. A few small insignificant and annoying pieces will be gone but I think well have a winner. Also I will replace Murray as coach. Eh? Eh?

  4. The guy is a proven comodity in the playoffs, absolutely invaluable to guys like Kopi and Brown. No one who plays for New Jersey is playing to his potential this season, so a change might bring out the best in him. Worried about the age though. If it came down to Elias or Zues I would have to pause, but would consider it. With all that being said, I still say no.

  5. Kopi does not need a winger to drive up his goal total. He’s always going to be a 30 goal=60 assists = 90 points guy here. That’s not bad at all — that’s top 10 league wide.

    Look at how he plays, especially on the PP, it’s not about scoring for him. It’s about scoring, and passing, and set ups, and playing the length of the ice, being a + player. (And grinning like a cheshire cat.)

    Let’s stop pretending he’s a stud sniper. He’s our Toews not our Sharp. We don’t need to change that. We need to get him a Sharp/Daniel Sedin/Semin type of LW. Or, do we?

    Look at the old mullett headed guy! Smyth is 7th in the league among LW with 0.41 G/G (Hell, he’s really 5th. There are to punks with 1 or 2 games played showing a high G/G ratio.). Ahead of him are Sharp. D. Sedin, Semin, and Perron (who has only 10 GP.) Fact is we have the 4th best regularly playing goal scoring LW in the league. Maybe he’d be even more amazing on the top line with Kopi….

    I’m just postulatin’

    So, yes, I’ll pass on Elias too.

    • I don’t even know where to begin with this. Giving Kopitar a winger with skill will probably get him up with the scoring elite notice how when he carries the puck there’s immediately 3 guys around him look what he’s done for Brown. Also where are you getting all those fancy stats you’re throwing around?

      • NHL.com Individual Stats for LWs, sorted by G/G

        http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20112ALLLALAll&sort=avgGoalsPerGame&viewName=goals

        (BTW Kopi is 9th in terms of all forwards in P/G.)

        Sure he’s elite. And, he’s absolutely vital to our success. But he’s clearly not interested in being the shoot-all-the-time-rack-up-the-goals kind of player (he ain’t young Brett Hull.) He’ll score, and even more when they stop being able to triple cover him. But really, he’s never going to pot 45+ goals year in and year out.

        I wouldn’t trade him at all. But I won’t ask him to be The Offense alone either. Set him up for more, take what you get; but don’t demand that he perform like Stamkos, Crosby, Sedin, or Sharp — that’s not his game. Let’s let him be the best Kopi he can be.

  6. Smyth should be and the question is Why hasn’t he been on the first line w/ Kopi & Brown??

    With Zeus moving up and Stolli moving down, wouldn’t some more speed on that line make sence…..Willie, Poni & Zeus give them and upgrade offensively than with Simmonds….

    The first line Experiment is 1/2 the season in, and there are still no answers…..What happens if Parse comes back? Now Murray has all 4 lines mixed up, can we please solve the 1st line ” 1 ST ”

    Every Defensive combination and left / right senario has been tried except a Doughty / Harrold pairing……Why is Smyth on the first line such a Taboo….

    Look It really doesn’t matter who is on what line as long as Jamie Kompon is coaching our offence. Last game Creativity became a priority, well it should have been, with Kompons system in place, unless we break through the neutral zone and gain an outnumbered advantage.
    You could set up 5 pilons in front of the opposing goalie and still take away 99.9% of our offensive chances in their zone. Any system that is setup solely for the open shot to be coming from the point, and that is the focus, can’t have Scuds, Mitchell and mostly Greene taking the all important shot on net….!!!!! Let the players start being creative. Kompons system reminds me of a coach in youth hockey with his twins sons playing the point, find another offensive coach please…..
    Here is the most glaring problem with Kompon on the Bench…..LINE Changes…..He Sucks

    How many times are we forechecking 1 guy chasing 2 to 3 guys, get posession or a loose puck, and we still are coming off the bench, or bail out on an outnumbered attack, Maybe, I’m wrong, I hope I am, but I don’t see a Stanley Cup with coach Kompons name on it……look who the competition is, makes sence.

    • Smyth started the year with Kopi and Brown but it didn’t last long, though that line played together throughout training camp as well.

      Smyth needs to be with Williams in my opinion. Those two Have wonderful chemistry together.

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