His Name is Sammy Pahlsson

I was planning on doing this sometime soon but with Pahlsson's GWG last night, this really seems like the perfect time to take a look at the man traded for the immortal (literally) James Wisniewski.

Here are Sammy's stats for the Hawks so far:














It's a bit hard to judge Sammy so far with the Hawks as he's been playing on the wrong type of line for most of his time here. Pahlsson is not an offensive center and won't put up huge points for you. His career high for points is only 26 (8G, 18A) came during the Ducks championship run.

Odd then that Pahlsson's most common linemates with the Hawks so far have been Kane and VERSTEEG! - obviously two of the most offensive minded forwards the Hawks have.  It's no surprise then that we haven't really seen much out of him.

Pahlsson thrives in a shut-down mode though, which we finally got to see him in last night as he played with Buff and Ladd.  As Sam also mentioned in the last night's recap, this line was sent out against the dangerous kids line of the Blues and they were a non-factor all game.  The Buff-Pahl-Ladd line is one that should be rolled out for every game unless something stops working.. and that'll probably be Buff if anything.

Don't know if it's a coincidence or not, but Ladd and Buff both had a great game being paired up with Pahlsson.  It's also funny that once finally placed on a defensive line - Pahlsson gets his first goal as a Hawk.

Pahlsson was also brought in to win faceoffs.  The Hawks were at the bottom of the league at the trade deadline and... well, they're still near the bottom (24th overall) but that's not a stat you're easily going to go flying up the ranks with.  By himself, Toews has taken close to 1,200 draws this season - the fact that the Hawks have climbed up to 24th is worth noting.

In the 8 games he's played in so far, Pahlsson has a FO% of 54%.  The team overall has won 51% of the draws since he's suited up, which would have them sniffing at the top 10 if they'd played at that rate all season.

It's also hard to make a direct correlation but since Pahlsson's debut - Toews has a FO% of 57% and his overall average is up to 54.9% which is good enough for 10th in the league.

Having two centers who consistently win faceoffs is immensely valuable.  Teams like Detroit and San Jose both have two centers in the top 10 in FO% and with Pahlsson on the Hawks, they're edging closer to those ranks - Pahlsson is currently 19th overall.

He's also getting better with more games after returning from mono.  His first three games with the Hawks saw him winning 45%, 67%, and 40%.  In the last three games he's won 70%, 50% and 62%.

You can make an argument that Pahlsson could have won the Conn Smythe for the Ducks in '07, just ask Sleek.  If he continues to put the numbers on the draw (no reason to think he won't) and can be matched with teammates that compliment his role rather than detract from it, then Sammy is going to be huge asset for the Hawks after April 12th.

If there's anyone that still doesn't think the trade for him was a good idea - Chris Block will is going to find you and smack you in the face.

Lets also settle this once and for all:

Which is it?