With the trade deadline having come and gone, the Capitals have their final roster (call-up- and injury-related changes aside). Yesterday, we took a look at Tim Gleason; today, let's examine new addition Curtis Glencross.
At this stage in his career, Glencross looks like he can contribute middle-six-level offense, with 20-25 goals (while shooting for a high percentage) and about 40-45 points if he gets a regular shift on the power play. At 5-on-5, his rate stats have been declining, and he's never been much of a playmaker, but his numbers might come back up a little with the Capitals - this season, he's shooting four percentage points worse than his career average of 14.5%, and coming to a better team, he should have more chances to get his shot rate back up closer to two per game.
Glencross' last three seasons at 5-on-5, stacked up against the Caps this year. The players are in order of decreasing primary points—goals plus primary assists—per 60 minutes.
He also (at least, in the past) has added defensive value, if his usage is any indication. He has consistently seen the opponent's best forwards while on the ice - something which, as Jonathan Willis reminds us, made him a favorite of Caps analytics consultant Tim Barnes - and this season, Bob Hartley has continued to play Glencross like a power-versus-power forward, mainly alongside Sean Monahan and David Jones.
This doesn't mean that Glencross has done particularly well in those minutes. He's had some tough campaigns (partly a result of injury problems, perhaps) interspersed with decent ones. His 2014-15, so far, has fallen under the latter category.
Playing with the excellent defense pairing of T.J. Brodie and Mark Giordano has a lot to do with that, however—with those two on the ice, he hasn't really separated himself from his teammates (who aren't all that strong to begin with).
That said, Glencross' job with the Caps figures to be much easier if he's asked merely to support weaker defensive forwards in relatively easy minutes - which should be the case as long as he's not playing with Eric Fehr or Nicklas Backstrom, Barry Trotz's preferred checking options this year.
Ideally, Glencross is a complementary piece to a line that is relatively solid without him. It's questionable whether, say, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Troy Brouwer fit that bill, but if they don't, he could slide back onto the third or fourth lines, where he'd merely be asked to provide more of what the other players on that line bring. Judging from the price Brian MacLellan paid for him, though, it seems likely that the Capitals will give him an extended audition in the top-six (and the organization's comments regarding Burakovsky's AHL reassignment imply as much, as well).
On the special teams front, Glencross stopped receiving a regular PK shift a couple of years ago, but was still playing quite a bit on Calgary's power play, with mixed results. With Andre Burakovsky in Hershey, he should receive second-unit time on the Caps' power play and while he isn't exactly a terrific passer, he should still be better than some of the other left-handed passers Washington has put on the goal line this season. Over the last three seasons, he's taken a few more penalties than he's drawn, a habit that isn't desirable for a forward but which may not even cost the Caps a goal (considering how few games are left in the regular season and the improve Glencross should see in his penalty differential by playing for a better team).
In short, if Glencross fits in well, he could contribute toward an effective second line, but if not, he should still contribute on a third-line level. That may not be what the Capitals wanted out of Glencross - especially now that they've seen how the other conference crown challengers in the East loaded up prior to the trade deadline - but that's the reality of dealing for a 32-year-old forward with this sort of statistical profile.