Core Four Dollar Value Comparison

We recently wrote an article that predicted the production of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ top four players for the 2022-23 season using the progression and regression of each player’s production over the past four seasons.

Our goal today is to expand on that position by trying to put a dollar value on each of the four main players over the past three seasons.

Capture the production of every Core Four player over the past three seasons

For the first part of the article, we’ll compare each player’s production over the past three seasons with their annual salary cap reached to see (in terms of production) how much value the Maple Leafs have received from each of them. .

Related: Maple Leafs News and Rumors: Kadri, Campbell, Mikheyev and Goodbye

Next, since the vast majority of people outside of professional sports are paid based on the time they spend working, we’ll also break down a player’s cap and compare it to minutes played over the last three seasons. This will help show the monetary value of their production.

What does Core Four general production look like?

The only thing players have no control over are injuries. In an effort to account for games lost to injury, we will be proposing an 82 game to score rhythm for each of the four players. We’ll do this by calculating each player’s points-per-game pace over the past three seasons and extending that to a pace of 82 games, which is the length of a full regular NHL season.

Player Games played Points scored Points per game 82 rhythm game
Auston Matthews 195 252 1.29 106
John Tavares 198 186 0.94 77
Mitch Marmer 186 231 1.24 102
William Nylander 200 181 0.91 75

What does the Core Four Salary-Cap-Hit-Per-Point look like?

Now that we’ve shown each player’s point production over the past three seasons broken down to a single season’s pace, we’ll compare that pace to their salary cap to arrive at a cost per point.

Rank Player 82 game scoring rhythm Annual cap reached Cap reached by point
#1 Nylander 75 Points $6,962,366 $92,832
#2 marmer 102 Points $10,903,000 $106,892
#3 Matthew 106 Points $11,640,250 $109,814
#4 Tavares 77 Points $11,000,000 $142,857

This chart shows that when it comes to production, Nylander gives the Maple Leafs the best value for money. Over the past three seasons, he’s cost the Maple Leafs $92,832 per run scored.

William Nylander of the Toronto Maple Leafs (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)

It might come as a surprise to some Maple Leafs fans that Marner ranks slightly ahead of Mattews in terms of cap-hit per point scored at $106,892 compared to $109,814 per point for Matthews.

It’s probably no surprise that Tavares gives the Maple Leafs the lowest per-point value at $142,857 per point.

What does the Core Four workload look like?

The following table examines the value for each player per minute of ice time played.

Related: The Bruins’ Top 20 Goalscorers Of All Time

First, we determined each player’s average ice time per game over the past three seasons. Then we extend that to an 82-game season.

Player Games played Total minutes played Minutes per game Ice time 82 games
Matthew 195 4,093 21.0 1,721
Tavares 198 3,679 18.6 1,525
marmer 186 4,009 21.6 1,771
Nylander 200 3,565 17.8 1,460

Now that we have an average minutes played for an 82-game season, we can compare that to each player’s annual salary cap.

Rank Player 82 Ice Time Game Annual cap reached Cap reached per minute played
#1 Nylander 1,460 $6,962,366 $4,769
#2 marmer 1,771 $10,903,000 $6,156
#3 Matthew 1,721 $11,640,250 $6,764
#4 Tavares 1,525 $11,000,000 $7,213

While the cap-hit-per-minute for these four players is much closer than the cap-hit-per-point production, the result of this graph is identical to the first. Nylander ranks first, Marner second, Matthews third and Tavares fourth.

What the graphs show in conclusion

We could easily have called this post “Fun With Numbers”. Although the work of statistically deconstructing the value of each of the Maple Leafs’ Core Four was interesting, the results should logically not be surprising. Of course, the results of the analysis do not influence the choices made by general manager Kyle Dubas and his management team.

Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs Andrei Vasilevskiy Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy makes a save on Toronto Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

That said, while the analysis tells us little new information, there are some obvious conclusions. The most obvious point is that Nylander gives the team excellent value for their cap of just under $7 million.

The second obvious point is that by using his production or workload, Tavares is giving the Maple Leafs lesser value for his salary cap. But this study doesn’t take into consideration the intangibles that Tavares brings to the team, such as mentorship and leadership.

Related: Canadiens Strike Gold with the Hiring of Marie-Philip Poulin

Moreover, Tavares came on another type of contract. When he was signed by the Maple Leafs, it was based on what he had done in the past with the Islanders more than what he was likely to do long term with the Maple Leafs.

A possible surprise from the Maple Leafs?

What might surprise some Maple Leafs fans is that Marner, by these numbers at least, gives the team comparable value to Matthews. It’s probably a bit of a surprise.

John Tavares Toronto Maple Leafs
John Tavares, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)

We’re sure most Maple Leafs fans believe Matthews is THE star of the team – by far. However, Marner offers more value to the team than many people realize.

Related: Maple Leafs Must Consider William Nylander Trade This Summer

The bottom line is that, in a salary-to-salary comparison, if Matthews isn’t overpaid, then neither is Marner.

[Note: I want to thank long-time Maple Leafs’ fan Stan Smith for collaborating with me on this post. Stan’s Facebook profile can be found here.]

Comments are closed.