Who is the better fantasy own – Patrick Sharp or Thomas Vanek? Also, results of the Backes vs. Byfuglien battle!
Cage Match Tournament Results – Backes Wins!!
At the outset, thanks to everyone who voted in all the Cage Match Tournament battles over the past few weeks, and congratulations to David Backes, who can now wear the crown of best multi-cat player in all of the NHL! With this victory, Backes showed that he's THE guy to get if your league counts points, hits, blocked shots, PIMs, and shots. Look for another Cage Match Tournament in a few months.
But once again it's business as usual and what you've all no doubt been eagerly awaiting – a return to our weekly head-to-head Cage Match battles. We kick things back off with a battle of elite wingers, featuring Patrick Sharp against Thomas Vanek. Who will benefit your team more for the rest of the season and beyond? Look no further than Cage Match to give you the scoop.
Career Path and Contract Status
Before 2013-14, only three games separated their regular season totals (598 games for Vanek, 595 for Sharp), while Vanek held a healthy edge in career points, with 497 versus 405 for Sharp. But if you focus on just the past five full seasons the scoring gap vanishes, with Vanek having compiled 237 points in 280 games (0.8464 points per game) compared to Sharp's 270 in 319 (0.8464 points per game). Yup –the exact same regular season point per game average down to the ten thousandth of a decimal point!
Contract status is another story, as Sharp is signed through 2016-17 at a salary that peaks this season and next at $6.5M, before decreasing to $5.5M in 2015-16 and then $5.0M in the final year. Vanek's current deal expires at the end of this season, and with the rising Salary Cap and Vanek being one of the marquee UFAs to hit the open market, he figures to make somewhere in the neighborhood of $1-2M more than Sharp over each of the next few seasons. Therefore, all things being otherwise equal, Sharp holds an edge in salary cap keeper leagues.
Ice Time – Past Seasons and 2013-14
The key to focus on is here is whether some of their season-to-season points variations can be linked to Ice Time data, as often can be the case. Two important notes – Vanek's 2013-14 stats are divided into one section to cover his 13 games with Buffalo, and another for his subsequent games with the Islanders. Also, all 2013-14 stats for both players within this column reflect games played through January 4th.