This Is Not My Beautiful Wife

With the news just dropping that Johnny Oduya is also going to be seeing Dallas regularly from a DC-9 at night, it’s probably high time we take a look at what is now his replacement, Trevor Daley.

Before we do that, a final word on Oduya’s departure. Up until Saad’s trade, I really had no hope that Oduya would be returning. And not much of a desire for it either. The Hawks had squeezed out what has to be almost all of his plus-play the past couple years, he’s 34 and there are limits to what he gives you. While he would have been a great place-holder while Johns learned the ropes and up until Johns took his role, I didn’t think that was completely necessary.

But then Johns was dealt, and in came Daley, and as you’re about to see playing Daley in the top four has the potential to be a real, real problem. The sanctuary of the known that Oduya provides suddenly seemed very reassuring. And now we’re about to be tossed into a pretty choppy sea with no guarantee of port.


Trevor Daley

5′ 11″ 195 lbs, 31 years old, $3.3 Million

As you probably know by now, last year was not kind to Trevor. Which is weird to say about someone who blew their career highs in goals and points out of the water. Daley potted 16 goals when he had never managed more than nine in a season, and 38 points when he’d never had more than 27. Even the 22 assists were a career high. However, as you probably know by now when you see this kind of spike, it has something to do with things out of Daley’s control. So that 14.6 shooting-percentage would be the blinking red light, as it’s over twice his career average. Reduced to just even-strength and Daley shot 10% which is outlandish for a d-man. Fucking Erik Karlsson shot just 7.6% last year at evens, and that’s just a touch above average for him.

When you get into the possession stats, it gets pretty damn ugly. Daley managed just a 45.9% share last year, which was almost 10% behind the team rate (Dallas was actually a pretty good possession team last season undone by their goaltending). Adjust it for score and it doesn’t really get any better. The previous season, Lindy Ruff’s first full season in Dallas, Daley was actually ahead of the team rate with an overall percentage of 51.8%. What’s really alarming about last season, or one of the thing that’s really alarming, is that Daley actually got the better of it in terms of zone starts, with a +2.2 relative to the team. He didn’t the year before, so that’s somewhat encouraging.

Going back through his career, it’s kind of the same story as he dragged behind the team’s piss poor possession stats, playing bigger minutes and against tougher competition than he could handle on a bad Stars team.

Yes, Daley and his usual partner Alex Goligoski faced the stiffest competition there was, and neither one of them should be doing that. Additionally, they’re a really odd pairing because both are rush type d-men and there would seem to be a lack of balance between them.

However, what scares the utter piss out of me is when you get into Daley’s WOWYs. He spent the most time with Goligoski, and when together they had a 47.3 share. However, when they were apart, and Goligoski had three times as much time without Daley as he did with, Goligoski’s Corsi percentage leapt up eight percent to a near dominant 55.1. Meanwhile, Daley’s got worse without Goligoski, down to 44.7.

It’s kind of the same story up and down the lineup. Daley played with Jokipakka almost as much as he did with Goligoski, and Jokipakka’s Corsi jumped six percent without Daley. Jason Demers saw his go up eight percent. Jamie Benn, the forward Daley was most behind, saw his GO UP 11%. Cody Eakin (whom the Hawks really should have been targeting) saw his go up 5%.

The story is kind of the same the previous year. Goligoski was better away from Daley, though at least that season Daley was better away from Goligoski as well. Two years ago Daley spent  most of his time with the rotting corpse of Stephane Robidas, and they got shelled together to the tune of a 39.1 share. And then Robidas’s share jumped 12% away from Daley, though Daley’s jumped 10% away from Robidas.

So clearly, there are some issues. Watching Daley, and he’s a player I’ve always liked to watch which might come as a shock to you, he’s already going to be the most aggressive Hawks d-man Opening Night. He never, ever turns down a chance to get up and join the forwards, though not always the right choice leaving a ton of space behind him.

However, this narrative that he’s similar to Oduya and they were the same player before Oduya got to Chicago and received Q’s Magic Dust is bordering on utter bullshit. Remember, Oduya was an Olympian in 2010. He was a dominant possession player in New Jersey (aided by their shot-suppression ways, admittedly) who suffered along with the Thrashers and Jets when they were simply terrible. Oduya bested a 54% share in New Jersey three times, and Daley has never even dreamed of getting there. Oduya also came with an already polished defensive game, whereas Daley shows up with one that has vomit stains corroding every inch of it.

Yes, Daley has never played with a partner of either Hammer’s or Seabrook’s quality, the two partners that make the most sense (which is why you can expect him with Keith to start the season, or Rundblad and you’re EKG will flatline by Halloween). They’re certainly more in line with what Daley needs out of a partner than Goligoski. But the problem is it’s obvious that Daley needs to be sheltered in terms of zone starts and competition, and that’s hard to do on a top four unless Q is going to pair Hammer and Keith and basically turn them into a hockey version of The Suicide Squad, taking every defensive zone start and hardest competition possible. That’s also not going to ease an minutes burden after the spring’s run to glory, and both 2 and 4 could be a fucking puddle by the time March rolls around.

This isn’t to say Daley has no hope. If any of the Hawks free safety d-man can provide him the cover he needs (and they’re going to have to be Ed Reed back there) he certainly can make things happen in the offensive zone. If Q can somehow straighten out his defensive zone game (and he did this with Brian Campbell when he had no choice) then he could be more effective. But you are not going to like the process along the way. Daley runs around, chases the puck, can get overpowered because he’s just not that big, and his awareness in his own zone can sometimes look like that kid who played right field on your little league team. He’s like a good curry, exciting at both ends.

  • Cliff D

    “He’s like a good curry, exciting at both ends” New nickname for Daley has to be Curry!

    • Ned Braden

      God yes that is the best line I’ve read in ages.

      • 60MinutesBaby60

        The quip about the kid in right right before weren’t too shabby needer.

        (I was one of those late inning inserts myself HA. The truth hurts but – after many years of psychiatric counseling – the scarring is healed enough I can chuckle about it. (Not lol mind you but chuckle.) 😉

    • recoil

      Sam wins the Internet for today.

  • amontesawesome

    1 month ago we had Bob Hope, Johnny Cash, and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Saad, no Oduya, and

    • Jim

      We still have our Warren Buffett and Bill Gates

  • Jim

    It seems like at the worst a wash between Oduya and Daley. Fels know 100X more about hockey than I do, most of what I know I’ve learned on this site over the years. But if you look at in percentages, assigning a value for skating/defense/offense and aggregating it, I don’t think there exists more than a 10% dropoff if any. And I have to say I believe in the Hawks system. Vermette, for example, had to adapt to being a defensive center, and it took him a while. But we can all agree on the results. With Daley, there may be cursing in November, December, but come April that might turn around.

    • CurvedBlade

      I agree. Let’s wait and see… discuss this again after the circus trip.

      I love this site and the service Sam and friends provide, but Sam tends to react to things emotionally. Remember, last season was over a few times, but we did pretty well parade wise. Daley will be different once he adjusts to a defense first system. Either that or he’ll be out.

    • Dan Hughes

      Vermette was a defensive center his entire career. Not much to adapt to

  • B.I.G. Forever

    So you don’t think this was a good move……Or do ya?

    I’m here all week folks.

  • TitanTransistor

    I’m interested to see how he does. Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst.

    I’m not going to go all ‘3 cups in 6 years, so stop complaining’, because if every post on this blog was ‘everything is fine, we won!’ it would be a pretty boring and uninsightful blog.

    But, I new last year was kind of a ‘last-ride’ for the core as we knew it and that 2011-style pain was coming. That’s what made that particular cup win, gruelling as it was at times to watch, so satisfying. It was their last shot, and they pulled through.

    So I can handle a season of watching Blackhawks games through my fingers and hoping they crawl into the post-season.

  • HawkIPA

    Well if it was between Kruger and Oduya, the Hawks made the right choice. Now sign Kruger, please. Hawks still have until October to jettison Bickell/Versteeg.

  • Jane Doe

    FWIW, Luca Sbisa was an olympian in 2010, too.

    Talking about Oduya Blackhawks B.C., what were *his* comparable stats those years he “suffered along with the Thrashers and Jets”? I get Dallas hasn’t been as bad *overall* as those teams, but there defense has been pretty piss poor recently, only finishing in the top half of the league in GA once in the past 7yrs whle also posting two 23rds, a 26th and 27th (last year).

    And, yes, I understand he was a huge hole in that sieve. But, if Oduya can produce in a system like NJ and then suck along with the rest of Jashers’ teammates, I find it hard to believe it’s utter bullshit, playing with the Hawks and, along with some of the offensive chops he brings, that Daley can’t come close to replacing the 2-years-older, departing Johnny O. Close, not completely, but close.

  • Sopel the catfish

    There is something else that we don’t know yet about Daley that everyone seems to be overlooking as far as being an Oduya replacement. He appears to have a similar complexion, but does he have as good of a six-pack?

    • seabsrat

      Sopel slaying the comments section just like you did all season long.

    • recoil

      Inquiring minds want to know…

  • recoil

    I’ve had similar thoughts about how they will use Daley. On one hand, he’s not a Top 4 guy, so do we think TVR can develop into a Top 4 guy this season and be counted on, then Daley may not be too bad as a bottom pairing guy. However, this means he will have Rundblad or someone of that ilk as his partner and that’s downright scary.

    The flipside is we shoe-horn him into the Top 4 and pair him with Hammer or someone who can cover for him, and that might be OK.

    Going to be interesting to watch this season, that’s for sure.

    • jordyhawk

      That’s what I see too. TVR paired with Hjammer leaving Daley and Runblad as the nightmare pairing. But that assumes Q is willing to skate Runblad which he might not. Johns or Paliotta might have bumped Runblad but that option no longer exists. Pokka is a longshot. Maybe we sign a Sopel/Brookbank type because right now there’s a rather steep decline on the depth chart and that’s assuming TVR is healthy and ready to play the really tough minutes.

    • seabsrat

      I have high hopes that TVR can develop into a 2nd line D-man. I think he fared pretty well, overall, considering he was thrust into playoff hockey after the injuries. He made mistakes and he lost some battles along the boards that he probably should have won, but I feel he has a ton of potential if he can stay injury free.

      • 60MinutesBaby60

        The fly-in-the-ointment re the optimistic TVR projection is that ugly word no one wants to type – starts with an “i” and ends with “y.” Twice last season and I believe even another serious one prior to.

        Ansimov too – same concern different.

        One more either guy and a couple “bad breaks” kinda become a trend. Time will tell and I hope like hell neither guy’s name gets associated henceforth. (Bows head in solemn prayer to PuckGods)

    • Hockey Newbie

      If the plan is to make Daley a Top 4 pairing, how do the pairs go. Since he has mobility, he is not paired with Dunc, but is he matched up with a player like Seabs or Hammer? I am thinking he gets paired with Hammer so, if for no other reason. the TCI can still use the trademarked ebony and Ivory line, no?

  • MikitaForever

    Does anyone else consider that Bickell may end up on LTIR due to his vertigo?

    • Sopel the catfish

      I’ve personally filed that one under “possible, but not probable”.

  • Pilotefan

    Daley will be a work in progress, for awhile. Anyone who reacts to Perry in the crease by playing bouncy ball with his head does have a certain charm.
    Out of the Bickel/Versteeg dump will emerge next season’s Sopel. Q will get his blankie.

  • T.M.

    i thought a WOWY was a good-looking naked women. is it a hockey stat too?

    • TitanTransistor

      If this is an honest question, it’s an acronym for ‘With Or Without You’.

      It’s basically just a filter/context for other points and possession stats, allowing you to compare how player’s impact each other’s play (or who is actually driving play, and who is benefitting by proxy).

      • 60MinutesBaby60

        T/y for this I fancy myself semi-literate in hockey-ese but confess WOWY wasn’t in my fancy_stats acromyn list yet.

        PS – I’ll never “hear” that U2 song quite the same now. 😉

      • Hockey Newbie

        Thank you as well. I was not going to ask as I already ask too many “newbie” questions as it is.

  • SuperHawk27

    I’m excited to have Dailey. Should help give the bottom pairing some stability, and Keith/Seabs/Hammer some rest throughout the season.

    • 60MinutesBaby60

      If you’re paying 3.3 for a 3rd pair skater somebody in HR definitlely effed up. “Paging a Mr. S. Bowman, can you please pick-up the white courtesy phone?.”.

      • By the grace of Hossa

        good point.

  • Oldfarthawkfan

    David Rundblad was a plus 17 and a corsi of 57% during the season. Based on statistics, signing him for $1 mil. is a steal, and he should be our #4 defenseman. I know I am old school, but just saying someone sucks on defense because of stats can be misleading Is Daley any worse in his own zone than Leddy is? And we all thought that he was going to be the Oduya replacement, except he also became too expensive. I agree with TT down below, this is going to be another reloading year, but the team did get younger (even Dano is younger than Saad), and it could be a frustrating first 20 games or so. But we all know what this core is capable of.

    • 60MinutesBaby60

      So this deal effectively turns into 2 de facto trades
      1) Oduya for Daley and
      2) Sharp for Garbutt and – not inconsequentially – what? 2-3 mill$ in cap space? SMH.

      PS – I’ve been chomping at the bit to use SMH in a comment. Strangely
      un-satisfying tho.

  • MachineSlayer42

    “He’s like a good curry, exciting at both ends.” Thank you for the laughs!

    • 60MinutesBaby60

      If not the imagery. 😉

  • arlingtonrob

    First of all…Daley is the same size as Oduya and 2 years younger.
    Second…Daley was generally asked to be a top pair defender in big D.
    Third…now Daley will be a #4 behind Keith, Seabs and Hammer and there was nothing comparable in big D.
    Fourth…almost no one expected much but bottom pair minutes from Oduya when he arrived in 2012. How did that turn out?

    I’ll without judgement on Daley until Q and Co. are done fitting him in.

  • rhodes

    Welp, no more swede pairing. So, we can’t use “ebenholts och elfenben” anymore. shit.

    • Sopel the catfish
    • By the grace of Hossa

      I think it’s time we learned some Russian.

      • 60MinutesBaby60

        Где белые женщины в?

        • rhodes

          Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

  • HossasPierogi

    Blackhawks brain trust must be higher on remaining young D than we may guess (including Rundblad) if they jettisoned Johns etc. I think a top six w Keith, Seebs, Hammer, Daley, TVR and Rundblad is an excellent start for a post-cup year. If lengthy injuries are avoided, it should only get better.

  • By the grace of Hossa

    Does this mean we have to listen to Edzo’s Oduya jokes again?

    • Sopel the catfish

      Only when we play Dallas, and every time Daley plays since Eddie will compare them.

      • By the grace of Hossa

        Hopefully Konroyd gets most of those games.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    TD is probably only here for a season or two, till our young blue liners in Rockford develop.

    … wait….

  • 60MinutesBaby60

    My – not as smart as I think i am – take on this trade is …

    If it’s a success Daley will be Rundblad without the jumpiness.
    If it ain’t, by All-Star weekend, Crow is gonna be this guy:

  • Hockey Newbie

    Once again … great musical reference by the TOS. I was hooked, regardless, after reading the title. Oh and the content wasn’t bad either …

  • Matt

    I’m hoping next year is finally the time where we see some trials and experimentation during the regular season.

    You mentioned that Daley and Rundblad would be a scary pairing. Honestly, who even cares that much? They’d get a lot of offensive zone starts, and if they screw up, the regular season is the time to find that out. Give Daley, Rundblad, and TVR lots of ice time. Let’s get them prepared for the playoffs. Really, the scary part is that the Hawks just aren’t as deep on D next year, but that was always going to happen. People clamored for Oduya but he’s 33 and looked pretty rough during the regular season.

    I also can’t help but think that some veteran d-man with decent defense skills will sign a camp tryout deal with the Hawks. Feels like an offseason pinch is happening this year.

    Finally, here’s what I don’t like about the Daley analyses: 1) we can’t ignore his offense. Sure, D is worse. But O is better. Even on a lower shooting percentage he’s an offensive upgrade over Oduya. That’s a trade-off. 2) THE HAWKS WON THE FREAKING JENNINGS TROPHY LAST YEAR. It’s not like they’re going to all of a sudden give up oodles of goals. I would expect their D to be worse but their O to be better. Again, tradeoff.

  • Bannerman

    Late to the party (as usual). I think we’ll see Daley paired with TVR. Roszy was quick to join the forwards last season so TVR should be used to having to bail out his partner that got caught pinching/ in the offensive zone. That means a Marlboro 72 reunion and Hjammer with Rundblad at least to start the season.

  • juniorgilb

    There will be many moments in the season ahead when many Blackhawks supporters, even you Sam, will wish that Oduya was still with the team. He played great and fit extremely well once again after returning from injury, and Trevor Daley is facing a high bar to do close to as well.

    • 60MinutesBaby60

      Man I think I’m doing a 180 on Daley (after already having done one since first hearing of the trade – I didn’t like it) – so …

      Was unimpressed by it initially then “kinda” bought into it b/c hell I’m a Hawksnut and EVERY guy on the roster is > avg good, but now again not digging it because
      1) Daley’s uber-stinko literally last in the NHL RelCorsi% stat (or whatever fancy stat it was) and
      2) Found out the dude had hip surgery. This is NOT good. Your first “push” comes from that socket and if it’s now <100% the speed that is this guy's advantage may no longer be there.

      All I can say is …
      Klas Dahlbeck we hardly knew ye.
      And I'm still not counting out Ville Pokka or – supposedly Bowman's "guy" – Gustafsson


      • lizmcneill

        Apparently the surgery he had is minimally invasive and should reduce the future incidence of hip and groin injuries. We’ll see.

  • Publius Federalist No 10

    If Bowman can get Bickell and Versteeg’s Cap hit off the books, and maybe even Shaw’s he could have a little over $7,500,000 in cap space to sign Kruger and pick up a Free Agent Defenseman. The three that come to mind are

    • Publius Federalist No 10

      HAHA that posted before I was done somehow, sorry. The three that come to mind for me are Schlemko, Ehrhoff, and Franson.

      • Matt

        Schlemko should come cheap anyway. I think he was on waivers last year.