Brian MacLellan has said the Caps intend to upgrade their third line this offseason. This is part of our series looking at free agents who the Caps may target.
It’s Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau‘s turn to get assessed as a free agent fit for the Capitals. Most recently of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Parenteau would be my personal pick to replace Jason Chimera as one of the wings on the third line. If you were on the #PAPtoDC bandwagon at the trade deadline then this is obviously the post for you.
Courtesy of Own the Puck
PA Parenteau has been a point producer since he officially broke into the league on the 2010-11 New York Islanders. In his first 3 full NHL seasons he put up 163 points in 209 games. After those first three years however, he has struggled to get back into a groove offensively due to injuries and occasional healthy scratches with both the Colorado Avalanche and the Montreal Canadiens. That is until this past season, when he put up 20 goals and 41 points for the rebuilding Toronto Maple Leafs, ranking him second on the team in scoring and first in goals. I really don’t think it’s a stretch to say that on a very good Caps team with a revamped, more offensive third line that Parenteau could repeat those totals for another two years or so.
There are really only a few small things that you can point out about Parenteau that could be considered “soft spots” in his game. He isn’t exactly the quickest straight line skater, but as we have outlined in the past free agent profiles just being fast doesn’t necessarily equate to playing fast hockey (looking at you, Jason Chimera). Parenteau also isn’t the strongest or biggest hockey player in the world, so he can get bounced off of the puck down low or in the corners. He also isn’t exactly a stalwart defensively, but I wouldn’t call him a liability. Injuries have hampered him in the past, but he has said publicly that his last season in Toronto was the best he had felt in three years, and that shows as he only missed five games.
Looking at Parenteau’s strengths, the first thing everyone talks about is his excellent offensive instincts. It’s one of those things that cannot be taught to a hockey player and when you add that to his great passing ability and good hands, you get points. He is a straight-up playmaker. Parenteau is also an experienced player when it comes to the power play, not that the Caps need help in that area, but it’s always nice to have other options to look towards if one of the units gets stagnant.
Out of the regulars in Toronto’s lineup last season, Parenteau’s score- and venue-adjusted possession numbers at even strength (52.7 percent) ranked only behind James Van Riemsdyk and Brad Boyes (another free agent candidate) and his relative possession (plus-3.6 percent) tells the same story.
If I were Brian MacLellan, PA Parenteau would be my first choice for one of the open third line wing spots. I think it will all depend on what kind of money Parenteau will be looking for and if he even wants to play anywhere other than Toronto, as he has stated that he’d like to return. His past contract with Toronto was a one-year deal, but I have a feeling that the first team that offers him a multi-year deal this offseason will be the one he eventually signs with. It’s up to the front office to decide that if a 3- or 4-year contract for a 33-year-old might be worth it if the short term gains that they want come to fruition. Count me in on the “yes please want” group.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.