Sens Sign Tyler Motte

The Sens signed winger Tyler Motte to a one-year deal (1.35; I say ‘winger’ because that’s largely how he’s been used in the NHL). It’s a move that puzzled the fanbase, but the local media applauded it for adding depth. While his cap hit is higher than his prior deal, his actual salary is lower than what he made last season (1.45). Motte is a former 4th-round pick (4-121/13; cf old predictions) is a marginal player who struggles to stay healthy (he hasn’t played a full season since 18-19). Here are his last four seasons (including PPG, TOI, and where he sat among forwards in scoring):

2018-19 Van 74-9-7-16 0.21 TOI 10:49 (10th)
2019-20 Van 34-4-4-8 0.23 TOI 10:28 (13th)
2020-21 Van 24-6-3-9 0.37 TOI 12:30 (9th)
2021-22 Van/NYR 58-7-8-15 0.25 TOI 11:43/10:08 (11th)
Career 269-35-27-62 0.23

The Rangers gave up a 4th-round pick to acquire him and he proved to be an irrelevant acquisition. From the numbers we can see that he’s a fourth-line player whose defensive/penalty-killer reputation comes via Travis Green when he coached Vancouver. The commentary is that he was brought in as insurance for players like Parker Kelly and Mark Kastellic, as well as to apply pressure to Alex Formenton, but the latter makes no sense to me as Motte can’t replace Formenton (completely different players in terms of talent). This kind of bottom-end acquisition is common for Dorion (he traded for Dylan Gambrell after all).

The only analysis I’ve seen of him is via Nichols, who points to Motte having had a career season in terms of his underlying numbers and shrugging his shoulders about whether it’s a fluke or not. What do I think? One good season out of six is an outlier until proven otherwise. I’m unconvinced he’s a necessary addition, however, he’s easy to move or bury, so the acquisition cost is low. Broadly it’s not a bad idea to have security in case prospects aren’t ready or don’t work out, albeit a contract like his can gum up the works if the roster isn’t handled properly.

This article was written by Peter Levi

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