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Halfway Through 2015-2016 Brian MacLellan's Decisions Look Good

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Taking a look at production from some old Caps and some new ones.

Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday night was (rightfully) about Alex Ovechkin, as the city and the franchise took a night to celebrate the man who has reinvigorated Washington, DC's zest for hockey.

The celebration of Ovechkin's 500th goal pushed some recent and exciting news out of the limelight: that Brian MacLellan had taken a flyer on then-unemployed Mike Richards. There's plenty of cause for debate (and Becca does so here), but why not also take BMac's recent track record into account?

Specifically, let's have a look at the production of some skaters in key roles on this year's Capitals squad, versus the production of some other skaters that MacLellan either gave up or let walk.

We can boil it down pretty simply: the Caps picked up two new wingers (T.J. Oshie and Justin Williams), and welcomed an organizational project back into the lineup (Dmitry Orlov) while letting two tenured wingers (Troy Brouwer and Joel Ward) and one defenseman (Mike Green) exit the organization.

Based on these players current salaries or what they demanded in the open market, MacLellan saved the Caps about $3.5 million against the cap.

So how have Williams, Oshie, and Orlov compared to Brouwer, Ward, and Green?

At a glance, Ward's having himself a nice year out in San Jose, while Brouwer is off to a bit of a slow start, and Mike Green isn't putting up anywhere near the numbers the Wings probably envisioned when they handed him $18 million over three years. But Oshie and Williams, both playing in all 42 of the Caps' games to date, have out-produced Ward and Brouwer, and Orlov has essentially matched Mike Green's offensive output.

As a note, Green has played in six fewer games than Orlov, but he's also picked up seven of his fifteen points on the power play, where Orlov doesn't get much opportunity.

Let's take a look at their raw production aggregated.

The new guys are certainly more productive, though the Caps haven't necessarily lacked raw production over the years. More often when the Caps have struggled, it's been at fives. So first, lets understand how much 5v5 TOI these guys average per game.

By and large, these guys are seeing comparable amounts of five-aside ice, with the most notably discrepancy being between Green and Orlov. But their even-strength production is anything but similar.

The season is only halfway through, and certainly the performances of these players are impacted by their circumstances -- roles, linemates, systems, etc. But it's also the responsibility of a general manager to understand circumstance as it relates to value. In reviewing some key decisions that Brian MacLellan made in the summer of 2015, it's tough to find much fault. When you boil it down, it sure looks like he's getting the Washington Capitals more, and he's getting it for less.