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Player Grades: Luke Glendening

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Detroit Red Wings Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Player Profile

Born: April 28, 1989

Birthplace: Grand Rapids, MI

Acquired: UDFA, Signed July 18, 2013

Contract Status: 3yrs/$7.2M remaining ($1.8M AAV)

Preseason Expectations

It is very hard to come up with expectations for a player whose accomplishments do not often reflect on the stat sheet. Because of that it can be difficult to develop measurable expectations. In our season preview, KTBauer laid out our (WIIM) expectations as such

“Cut back his penalty kill time, keep him off the ice final minute of the game, and dammit stop matching him against top lines! I suppose he could be fine. He’ll probably be thrown on the defensive front line again, used as some sort of specialist.”

Player Stats

Scoring Goals Assists
69 11 8 19 17 8 1 2 2 7 0 1
Zone Starts (EV)
88 12.5 13:12 83 137 394 285 58 16 10 34 66
Corsi (EV) Fenwick (EV) PDO (EV)
CF CA CF% CF% rel FF FA FF% FF% rel oiSH% oiSV% PDO TOI/60
549 726 43.1 -7.8 444 504 46.8 -3.6 6.3 90.1 96.4 13:12
Even Strength Power Play Short Handed
TOI CF% Rel GF/60 GA/60 TOI CF% Rel GF/60 GA/60 TOI CF% Rel GF/60 GA/60
10:24 -7.8 1.6 3 0:04 11 11.5 0 2:43 -3.3 1 7.7

What He Did vs. Expectations

While he still saw a hair over 13 minutes a game, it is certainly not the 14 to 14:30 he saw in his first three seasons. Which means either the Red Wings have realized the limitations of Luke’s game or they have found others worthier of the ice time. Personally I see it as a little of both. With Dylan Larkin taking the steps he did this season, Henrik Zetterberg and Frans Nielsen missing a total of three games combined, Luke getting injured and missing several games and the Red Wings looking to see what Andreas Athanasiou had at center there was a bit of a log jam at center with Luke being the clear man out in those situations. This included a lot of late game offensive situations as, while he still was the best faceoff man on the team in terms of win percentage, the other three centers took far, far more faceoffs than him with Larkin emerging as the go to for keep offensive zone faceoffs (Glendening did still take a lot of the key, late defensive zone draws).

So his usage in terms of role and faceoffs seemed to level out to where it should be for him, but what about his penalty kill time? Sorry to say Luke was the second on the team in penalty kill ice time and that includes defensemen. Only Trevor Daley saw more time down a man than Luke. That is not to say he was completely awful at it though. Among the 7 players who average two minutes or more time on the PK (I included Larkin who averaged 1:59), Luke had the second best Goals Against per 60 minutes (GA/60) at 7.7 (Larkin was the only one better at 6.6). Of course the Red Wings had the 23rd ranked penalty kill unit in the league so that might not be saying a ton. Still, if they can improve the penalty kill going forward to where his numbers are the worst in that category instead of one of the best the Wings likely win more of those one goal games they lost this year.

Two areas where Luke certainly improved and did show up on the score sheet was goals and shot blocks. Despite averaging almost a minute and a half less that he had in the 2014-15 season, Glendening fell just one goal shy of his career high 12 goals and two points shy of his career high there as well. He did set a career high in block shots as well, blocking 83 along the way.

Of course, you cannot talk about expectations for a Red Wings players without at least mentioning his contract. At $1.8MAAV, it is probably a fair assessment to say the numbers Glendening put up this year need to be close to his playing floor than his ceiling.

Final Player Grade: B-

This was the hardest part to come up with for this article. On one hand, Luke Glendening is still a limited NHL player who sometimes is asked to do more than he is capable of accomplishing. On the other, he is the kind of guy every winning organization seems to have on their roster. Pesky, always plays with 100% effort and energy and willing to do whatever the coach asks of them. Initially I was going to give him a “C”, which to me means he meet expectations. But the more I thought about it the more places I saw where he exceeded expectations (if only by a bit). There even were some rumors that a few teams were looking at Glendening as a potential trade deadline target, which says a lot as well.

All in all, like a lot of the Red Wings current crop of veterans, Luke will be judged by the fans as much for his contract (which admittedly is not a great deal, from a cap/roster management standpoint, for the role he plays) as his play on the ice. For next season I think it is fair to consider his numbers this year to be his baseline and if he can meet that baseline again it will be a good thing for Luke and the Red Wings.


How would you grade Glendening

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  • 6%
    (17 votes)
  • 53%
    (137 votes)
  • 31%
    (80 votes)
  • 7%
    (20 votes)
  • 0%
    (2 votes)
256 votes total Vote Now