It feels kind of weird to do a projection for Tim Gleason because scoring goals isn't his job. Being a steady defensive defenseman is what he's paid to do and the maximum amount of points we can expect from him is around 20. That said, we'll still do a projection for him and also look at what other things we can expect from Gleason this year. He was a workhorse on defense last year and had some pretty ugly underlying numbers as a result. It's looking like he will have a similar workload this season, so a rebound year would really help the Hurricanes.
Like I mentioned earlier, offense isn't Gleason's game so we'll go right to the underlying numbers to get a better idea of his performance in recent years. This table does give you a good idea of how many points to expect out of him, which isn't a lot.
Gleason 5v5 Underlying Numbers 2007-11
|Season||Corsi Rel. QoC||GAON||Corsi Rel.||Corsi On||SA/60||OZone%|
Gleason's constantly carried a big workload and it appears that it finally caught up to him last season as he was on ice for a lot more shots and goals against. He also played 82 games while fighting numerous injuries and other setbacks, so it was definitely his toughest year in the NHL. Fans have to remember that Gleason and Corvo were taking on almost all of the tough assignments on defense with the rest of the D being more offensive-minded or young (until the Bryan Allen trade, of course). Gleason is a solid defender but he isn't the kind of player who can carry 45% of the team's defensive assignments. Having another defender to help take some of the work off his shoulders would help him and the team in general. He had a similar problem the year before and he had even tougher assignments that year but performed slightly better.
Unfortunately for Gleason, it's looking like he will be stuck carrying a huge workload again but that could change if Bryan Allen steps up into a bigger role or if one of the other defenders begins to play more minutes on the penalty kill. We've seen Faulk and Pitkanen do that so I'm hopeful that Gleason won't be carrying the whole shutdown role by himself this year and these numbers will look better.
The criteria for Gleason's comparable players were defensemen who entered the league at 21 years of age, played in at least 400 games and scored over 14 goals and 100 points in their career. I found very few matches.
|82 Game Average||82||3||16||19|
Gleason's comparable players project a one-point increase for him if he plays in all 82 games this year, which would be a solid offensive year by his standards. Really, if he stays healthy for most of the season, he should produce a respectable amount of points given how many minutes he plays. I don't think we need to worry bout him having a Ludwig-like season unless an injury occurs.
There's a decent chance that Gleason plays on the top-pair this season, which means that he'll get more chances to put up points, but I still don't think his production will be high at all. He has a decent shot (that rarely hits the net) so it's possible to see his points take an upswing but I don't see it happening as that's not the focus of his game. Something around the range of 12-20 points seems reasonable for him. I'm also a bit worried that the injuries he played through last year will begin to take more of an effect and he may have to miss some action...but I'm hopeful that it won't happen.