Top rental

Kevin Allen of USA Today has a much referred to and cited piece about the top "rental" players this year, or those with only a year left on their contracts, no real reason to stay on the team they are on, and of some value for a playoff bound team. Mathieu was considered one of those kinds of players before the season even started, and despite this horrific year, he still ranks up there. Says Allen,
3. Mathieu Schneider (Atlanta): Many teams are looking for a puck-moving defenseman, and Schneider still has a big shot and knows how to move the puck effectively. He hasn't played sharply this season, but teams will factor in that he's with a struggling team. He seems like a good fit for Montreal. The Thrashers, looking to beef up their prospect list, will be looking for a younger player.
When I first read the part about not playing sharply, I had "ya think?!?" moment. Or, as Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy more eloquently states: "Saying Schneider hasn't 'played sharply' is like saying Mickey Rourke has had an 'interesting life.'" Wyshynski goes on to mention Mathieu's terrible +/- (currently -17) and his anemic power play production (only 3 PP points), both of which have given me fits the last couple weeks. But I'll try to take some solice in Allen's comment that "teams will factor in that he's with a struggling team."

I've always said (as have tons of others), that +/- is not always a fair stat. It is very much more a reflection of the overall team. Good teams have players with higher +/- numbers; bad teams have players with low +/- numbers. (Even Mathieu said as much when he set his huge streak of most consecutive games with a plus last year) Also, his power play minutes have plummeted in Atlanta, so that surely has something to do with the drop in PP production.

Hopefully something gives, and gives soon, because this is not fun. At least my Sharks are doing well.

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