From Alzner to Wideman, we're taking a look at and grading (please read the criteria below) the 2010-11 season for every player who laced 'em up for the Caps for a significant number of games during the campaign, with an eye towards 2011-12. Next up, Marco Sturm.
#18 / Left Wing / Washington Capitals
Sep 08, 1978
Contract Status: $3,500,000 cap hit in 2011-12; UFA thereafter
|Regular Season - Kings||17
|Regular Season - Capitals||18||1||6
Key Stat: Sturm shot 4.2% with the Caps this year in 27 total games.
Interesting Stat: Sturm took only three minor penalties in 18 regular season games with the Caps.
The Good: The late season addition of Marco Sturm was supposed to solidify the top 6 forward rotation, providing the Caps a forward who could fill in on the second line, or a dose of speed and defensive shutdown capability on the third line. Seeing that he was acquired for nothing - literally a waiver wire steal - the thinking was that any output he could provide on a deep post-season run would be gravy.
On the defensive side he was excellent. His 1.90 5-on-5 GA/60 (calculated over 18 regular season games) would place him fourth among forwards on the Caps behind Brooks Laich, Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom. He moved the
football up field puck up ice better than any of his teammates, finishing +3.32 in expected zone shift finish - tops on the team. His CORSI rating (which includes 17 games with the Kings) was a respectable +3.66, indicating that he was a solid player no matter who he was playing with. He was good in the locker room, good at the little things and willing to do whatever the team asked him to.
The Bad: Offensively, Sturm didn't produce much, nor did he finish. He put up 30 shots in 18 regular season games, and a 3.3% shooting percentage earned him exactly one measly regular season goal with the Caps. His seven regular season points (1G, 6A) in 18 games with the Caps came out to a 0.39 ppg average, below his career 0.54 ppg average. What made his lack of production more disappointing was that when he was on the ice, scoring chances tilted in the Caps favor 56.4% - and he still couldn't put points on the board.
He also couldn't find much traction in the line-up, shuffling between the second and third line, and finishing with 14:01 of ice time per game with the Caps, the lowest of his career. Ultimately, Sturm never really meshed with any centers. He didn't play poorly (finishing +0.1 in GAETAN) but he also did not have much of an impact on the performance of the team in the regular season or the playoffs. His lone playoff goal was a "too-little-too-late" score in Game 4 against Tampa, when the Caps were already cooked.
And so Sturm enters this pivotal summer - likely his last major payday as an UFA - as an intriguing prospect, a player who can provide solid-if-not-spectacular play when in the line-up, but an oft-injured one who has failed to play a majority of the games in two of the past three seasons.
The Vote: Rate Sturm below on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season - if he had the best year you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst year you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.
The Discussion: Should the Caps consider re-signing Sturm? If so, what is a realistic contract (amount and length) and what role should he play? What will it take for Sturm to earn a 10 rating next year?