Sunday, 1 May 2016

RFAs, the Series - Episode 8: Peter Holland

Welcome to Episode 8 of my series on all of the Maple Leafs' RFAs.

We're getting pretty near the end! Only 4 names left. Unfortunately we missed out on Morgan Rielly, but that's okay. 

Today's episode is going to discuss young centerman Peter Holland.
Peter Holland during warmups. Image courtesy of

Holland had a very chaotic season in terms of role. He started the season out-of-favour with Mike Babcock, but earned his way back into the regular line-up. Where in the line up he played fluctuated constantly, between 4th line winger, 2nd line center, and everything in between. 

During this time, Holland put up a pretty respectable 27 points in 65 games. Additionally, his possession impact (in terms of Rel. xGF%) was very impressive, as shown in the distribution graph below.
Graph from

Holland is one interesting example where xGF% and Corsi don't line up. Below is the same graph but using Rel. Corsi% instead.

You'll see he's very slightly above average in this stat. Whereas, for Rel xGF%, he's near the top quality portions of the graph.

Since the stats are very similar, we can isolate that the difference between the two stats is where Holland is really good. Below is an image from the introductory post on xGF% from (which I consider a must-read) that details the variables added into the xGF model that don't exist in the Corsi model.

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 8.36.28 PM
Image courtesy of
So, some combination of these is where Holland excels relative to the rest of the league. His actual shot generation/prevention is pretty average, but the quality of those shots is significantly advantageous.

So, what?

Holland is in a weird place with this organization where he's young, but he's been given opportunity to succeed enough that he maybe should have established himself more concretely by now.

With an influx of young talent coming in, the Leafs have to make a tough decision. By my estimates, anywhere from 10-12 jobs on this forward core are already taken by prospects who are ready and signed veterans. 

So, where does this leave Holland?

In my opinion, it leaves him on the trade block. There's many organizations who would have a spot for a cheap, young, productive forward like him. 

There's still a chance the Leafs sign him, but as much as I like Holland, I believe the roster spot would be better served on a prospect who is done cooking in the AHL like Connor Brown, Byron Froese, or Kasperi Kapanen.

I'm going to suggest some possible trades, as opposed to my usual routine of suggesting possible contracts. Just keep in mind that these are suggestions, and aren't the product of actual negotiations with hockey teams. It's incredibly difficult to simulate that environment in my mind, to produce a reasonable trade, but I'm going to try anyway.

Ideal: Peter Holland + Frank Corrado to the Detroit Red Wings for Pavel Datsyuk, 16th overall pick, Tyler Bertuzzi

This is obviously a very complicated trade. Toronto absorbs the last year of Datsyuk's contract, for when he leaves for Russia and Detroit is left on the hook on the cap for his $7.5M cap hit. They also get the young centerman we've been discussing, along with a young right-handed defenseman they've been needing to balance their roster. 

In return, the Leafs would get a middle 1st round draft pick, and a good young forward prospect. 

This is a great rebuild move for the Leafs, and a great retool move for the Red Wings.

Realistic: Peter Holland to the Vancouver Canucks for 3rd round picks in 2017 and 2018

This trade replaces the 3rd round picks the Leafs will lose as compensation for hiring Mike Babcock and Lou Lamiorello. It gives the Canucks the young center they need to shore up their depth for when the Sedins move on some time in the future. A pretty simple and not that exciting trade, but one that makes sense for both teams.

Pessimistic: Peter Holland to the Chicago Blackhawks for a 4th round pick in 2016, 3rd round pick in 2017

Just slightly worse than the Vancouver trade, but almost the same idea. Chicago is a team that really needs good depth players that come cheap, and Peter Holland fits that bill. It would allow them to trade someone like Anisimov to relieve their cap woes. For the Leafs, once again it replaces a pick lost to compensation, as well as adding another pick to their long list of 2016 draft picks.


To conclude this post, I'll restate that my trade proposals are mostly guesses, and guidelines for the idea that the potential trades. When these things get hammered out in negotiations, a lot of variables and biases and interests are introduced. This kind of environment is very difficult to simulate.

Still, though, I think we have some good proposals for the Leafs to move Holland. It will be very interesting to see if this is, in fact, the path they choose to follow.

Be sure to check out the last episode on Connor Carrick, and stay tuned for the next post on Scott Harrington.

No comments:

Post a Comment