Something In The Way – C.I.’s ’15-’16 Season Preview: CatButt

The Hawks have a couple gluts on among their forwards. And let me first say I didn’t know you could pluralize “glut,” so I’ve learned something today. They are no rife with smallish, shifty, playmaking wingers in Panarin, Teuvo, to a lesser extent Tikhonov, and others. They also are kind of bubbling over with fourth line grunts, with Ryan Garbutt joining Andrew Shaw (despite what the Hawks tell you, that’s what he is), Andrew Desjardins, Ryan Hartman (who will get a look at some point), Marcus Kruger (he’s more than that but that’s how he’s used), if he ever gets healthy Phillp Danault might sneak a look, and if the Hawks feel like being dumb they might try and sneak a jobber onto the ice in Mashinter or Tropp or some other dude who gets easily distracted by shiny things.

We’ll start with CatButt today (yes, that’s what I’m calling him all year. Just deal with it). Needless to say, a lot of Hawks fans weren’t exactly thrilled with his acquisition, as he’s spent the past two or three years annoying the piss out of everyone in combination with Antoine Roussel and The Ginger Ninja Cody Eakin. He’s probably not going to get less annoying here, but at least it will be for the right cause?

Last Season: 67 games, 8 goals, 17 assists, 25 points, -9, 55 PIM, 50.1 CF% (-2.1 Relative), 50.5% Corsi Competition

CatButt suffered something of a market correction last year, as the year previous he put up 17 goals while shooting 10.3%, kind of way high for a 4th liner. Last season, that shooting percentage was cut in half and that’s why you get only 8 goals. He was also played a little higher up the lineup in Dallas than he will be here, as he, Eakin, and Roussel were basically the third line there, and perhaps the most grating unit in hockey.

While CatButt couldn’t carry the play at the team rate last year, he has in the past. He was +2.0% the year previous when the Stars were a playoff team, and for the past two years he’s basically been buried in terms of zone starts, only getting about 42% of his shifts started in the offensive zone. Though as we know how the Hawks use their 4th line when Kruger is leading it, that probably won’t change much here.

CatButt did also halve his penalty minutes last year to 55, and the Hawks do crave discipline so that’s an encouraging sign that he could still be a constant ass-rash and yet not end up in the clink consistently.

This Season’s Outlook: That’s a little harder to pin down. Based on what happens on the top three units, the 4th line could return to the Shaw-Kruger-Desjardins look of last spring and there’s simply nowhere to put CatButt. However, he is versatile and we know how the Hawks love that, and he can give you some shifts at center if you really need it. And if you really need it, you probably have much bigger problems. CatButt can also kill penalties, but the Hawks have another long list of forwards who can in Toews, Hossa (though it might be prudent to get Hoss off the PK to save some legs, but I’ve been saying that for four seasons now), Anisimov, Teuvo has seen some time doing it in camp, Shaw has in the past, Kruger, Desjardins. Let’s just say it’s not a unit screaming out for his help.

Still, with Shaw likely to find his way to fall upwards into a wing spot somewhere higher in the lineup (very depending on what becomes of Bryan Bickell), CatButt could probably slot into his left-side spot on the 4th line and still make for a decent unit. Certainly better than most teams can toss out there from that line. Or the same scenario of Shaw is traded to make some cap room (don’t rule it out, there’s a reason they have this collection of grunts).

  • Sarcastic Mike

    Looking at general fanager, Shaw already makes $2.5m ($2.0m cap hit) this year as an RFA.
    The question then becomes, assuming normal role & production, what kind of salary would he be in line for next year as an RFA again? One would have to assume at least $2.5-3.0, which could make him an attractive offer sheet candidate.
    This does not bode well for his long term future as a Hawk in a salary capped league. The real question is if Stan will be willing to ship him off mid-season a la Ben Smith or if he will wait until after the season if a deal doesn’t come up before the start of this season.

    • Lionel Hutz

      Tend to think Shaw is a goner as well. Plenty of other guys in the league like him. Not all of them got hit in the face with a shot before hoisting the cup though.

  • Wadded Beef

    Paille makes Garbutt expendable if you’re willing to shoulder the “bad optics” of trading one of the peanuts you just got for Sharp.

  • Bannerman

    Would a team want Shaw bad enough to give up the picks to get him via offer sheet?

  • Sopel the catfish

    And the comments get scrubbed

    • WookRN

      So, since we can’t talk here, if anyone wants, I have a FB chat group of Hawks fans, mostly here in Iowa. Mostly newer viewers, but hey, it’s Iowa.

      If anyone wants in on that, so we can continue to talk without being judged, again its
      Sure, it’s not anonymous, but don’t be a dick, hasn’t seemed to have been an issue for most of us on here yet.

      • 60MinutesBaby60

        No FB account for me. (Or twitter.) But appreciate the alternative offered.

        Too bad about this place – the puck acument IS stellar but uber PC attitude stifling. We get it guys – rape is bad.

        • WookRN

          It’s not the PC thing. It’s calling us assholes for NOT ridiculing the accused. And if you do, it’s scrubbed and locked.

    • GoldenJet

      Kinda funny that they’ve left this one thread open as a little testing ground of appropriateness….scrubbing what they don’t like. One of the things I liked about this place was that it wasn’t filled with “rah rah” types and civil disagreement could happen with a touch of good natured ribbing and name calling.

      This over moderating to the point of taking their ball and going home is about as childish as can be.

      • WookRN

        Thing is, we haven’t BEEN inappropriate. And the scrubbing was a commenter that got scrubbed was referencing his personal family and friends that were victims, and that we aren’t just frat boy apologists. That’s what got scrubbed. The only name calling allowed is to be targeted at 88.

        Maybe we should just comment on this post the rest of the season, maybe it’ll fly under the radar….

  • Sopel the catfish