Analyzing Kings Trade Rumors: Is Robyn Regehr a fit?

USA TODAY Sports

Regehr's possession numbers aren't good.

We are less than a month away from the trade deadline and rumors are heating up. The hottest gossip on the Kings front is that there have been some talks between L.A. and Buffalo. The name that has come up the most has been Robyn Regehr. Regehr has the reputation of being a big, tough stay-at-home rearguard who can also kill penalties. In addition, he played for Sutter in Calgary and was one of his favorites. It seems like he could fill a need for the Kings whose back-end has lost the veteran presence of Matt Greene and Willie Mitchell. But is Regehr a worthy replacement?

We know that possession numbers (aka Corsi) correlate very heavily with goal differentials and winning over the long-term. Possession is also a thing emphasized heavily in the Kings organizational philosophy. So what do Regehr's numbers look like?

Possession - Defensemen with 200 Minutes + - Bottom 10 in the NHL

Defenseman Possession
AULIE, KEITH 43.8%
MURRAY, DOUGLAS 42.9%
PHANEUF, DION 42.7%
CARLE, MATT 42.5%
POTTER, COREY 42.3%
WHITNEY, RYAN 41.5%
REGEHR, ROBYN 40.8%
WEBER, MIKE 40.7%
HOLZER, KORBINIAN 40.5%
FOWLER, CAM 40.1%

In general, greater than 50% is good (you have the puck more than your opponents) and vice versa.

All stats in this post via Stats.Hockeyanalysis.com

Regehr is fourth worst in the NHL. Out of 187 defensemen, he ranks 184th in possession. But perhaps his numbers are being affected by getting really tough minutes on a bad team?

This next chart selects a group of defensemen that have been used similarly to Regehr. They have played against similar levels of competition while also playing with similarly skilled teammates. Higher "teammate quality" equals better teammates. Higher "opponent quality" equals harder competition.

(This one is sortable)

Possession Numbers - Defensemen w/ Similar Roles

Defenseman Possession Teammate Quality Opponent Quality
EHRHOFF, CHRISTIAN 53.6% 41.4% 50.6%
WIDEMAN, DENNIS 52.7% 48.0% 50.9%
SULZER, ALEXANDER 51.1% 46.4% 50.6%
AUCOIN, ADRIAN 49.8% 47.7% 50.6%
ERIXON, TIM 48.5% 47.2% 51.2%
HEDMAN, VICTOR 47.6% 42.1% 50.8%
KOSTKA, MICHAEL 47.0% 44.6% 50.7%
NIKITIN, NIKITA 46.0% 47.5% 50.7%
SALO, SAMI 46.0% 45.2% 50.8%
LYDMAN, TONI 45.9% 44.7% 50.8%
SCHULTZ, NICK 45.7% 42.5% 50.8%
HANNAN, SCOTT 45.3% 46.3% 50.6%
TYUTIN, FEDOR 45.1% 48.3% 50.8%
SMID, LADISLAV 44.8% 43.3% 50.7%
WEBER, SHEA 44.4% 46.8% 51.1%
LEOPOLD, JORDAN 44.3% 46.9% 50.9%
SEKERA, ANDREJ 44.2% 46.9% 50.6%
PETRY, JEFF 44.1% 44.1% 50.9%
BREWER, ERIC 43.9% 44.9% 50.6%
SCHULTZ, JUSTIN 43.9% 44.7% 50.8%
PHANEUF, DION 42.7% 47.2% 50.7%
CARLE, MATT 42.5% 46.7% 50.6%
POTTER, COREY 42.3% 43.6% 50.8%
REGEHR, ROBYN 40.8% 47.8% 50.6%
WEBER, MIKE 40.7% 48.1% 51.0%
HOLZER, KORBINIAN 40.5% 47.1% 50.6%

*for these "quality" stats I used oppcf% and tmcf%.

Hmm, that doesn't look good. Regehr is 3rd worst among this group. The midpoint for this group is ~45% and Regher's numbers are far below that.

Well, let's see...he has spent most of his time backing the Vanek/ Hodgson/ Pominville line. He's also spent a lot of time with Steve Ott. How has he affected their numbers?

Possession with Teammates - Forwards

Forward with Regher Without Regher Effect
POMINVILLE, JASON 44.6% 50.1% -5.5%
OTT, STEVE 28.9% 41.1% -12.2%
HODGSON, CODY 44.4% 50.5% -6.1%
VANEK, THOMAS 47.2% 49.3% -2.1%

Yikes. Regehr has been a big drag on every single one of those guys. His numbers with Ott would be funny if they weren't so sad. Basically, when he and Ott are on the ice, the Sabres never have the puck. Well maybe it's not Regehr. Maybe it's his defensive partners. What has his effect been on them?

Possession with Teammates - Defensemen

Defenseman Time w/ Regher with Regher without Regher Effect
SEKERA, ANDREJ 155:47:00 37.9% 49.2% -11.3%
MYERS, TYLER 104:55:00 44.3% 46.3% -2.0%

Geez. That's not good. He negatively affects them as well. And poor Andrej Sekera. His numbers are really being dragged down with Regehr. Wait...I wonder if this Sekera guy is available (more on that later)?

Well none of this looks good, but maybe at least Regehr is still useful on the penalty kill?

Shots on Goal Against per 20 Minutes of Ice Time - Penalty Kill

Defenseman Shots Against /20 mins
HARRISON, JAY 23.2
FAULK, JUSTIN 23.1
REGEHR, ROBYN 21.5
GLEASON, TIM 21.4
SEABROOK, BRENT 21.1
CARLSON, JOHN 21.1
MACDONALD, ANDREW 20.9
DALEY, TREVOR 20.6
BREWER, ERIC 20.5

Among the top 84 defensemen in penalty killing ice time, Robyn Regehr has been on ice for the 3rd most shots on goal against (relative to ice time). So no, he hasn't even been effective in that role.

Conclusion

The Kings should have absolutely zero interest in Regehr. In fact, they should hope he gets traded to a Western Conference opponent so that he would drag their numbers down and be able to exploit him in a possible playoff matchup.

Quisp asked recently, in a post over at McSorley's Stick, which Sabres should be most coveted by the Kings. We now know who should be the least coveted. Who should they be looking for instead?

Andrej Sekera is a very solid, young defensemen with a very amenable contract. He is not afraid of the puck, can play physical and plays in all situations. His possession numbers are much better than Regehr's, in spite of playing with far less skilled linemates. Also, as we saw above, his overall numbers are great when he hasn't been paired with Regehr-- especially considering how difficult his minutes have been.

The problem is he would cost a lot more. His value would probably be something like Derek Forbort plus a pick (although I'm sure they'd push hard for Toffoli or Pearson). Who knows if this would even be a possibility, but at the very least I would hope the Kings are inquiring on Sekera and are not seriously pursuing Regehr.

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