I pointed out on Twitter tonight that if I’m the Philadelphia Flyers looking to trade with the Blues for a goalie, I’d much rather have Jake Allen than Jaroslav Halak, but there’s a reason that Halak is available and Allen is not.
Halak has had some good years, including last season. But injuries plagued him in the lockout-shortened season, which led to Allen’s emergence with the Blues.
Halak does have one year left at a price tag of $3.75M while Allen as a restricted free agent only has to be qualified at roughly $830,000.
Allen is largely unproven as a No. 1, but at only 22 has plenty of upside. The Blues have the benefit of time to see if he can eventually push Brian Elliott out in a year or two. (It’s worth noting that Elliot has one year left at $1.8M.)
Now, it can be pointed out that Allen had the worst goals against average of the three but this can be partially explained by digging into the 5-on-5 analytic stats.
What’s interesting is that of the three Blues’ goaltenders, Allen was the only one with an Corsi For Percentage under 50 percent when playing 5-on-5. Meaning the Blues on average faced more shots against at even strength with Allen in net than when Halak or Elliott were in net. In fact the Blues out-attempted teams when the vets played. Allen also faced the most defensive zone starts, with six percent more draws than Elliott and 12 percent more than Halak, who had only 25 percent of faceoffs in the Blues’ end at 5-on-5.
(For the non-analytic minded, the Corsi rating is shots on goal+missed shots+blocked shots while a player is on the ice. There’s a Corsi-for and a Corsi-against. The CFP is the number of Corsi-for per 20 minutes divided by total Corsi chances per 20. In raw numbers for Allen, the Blues’ Corsi-for with him in net was 16.512 and the Corsi-against was 17.907. The equation is 16.512/(16.512+17.907)=0.480.)
The Flyers outside of Steve Mason have no NHL ready goaltender. Is Allen after splitting time between Peoria and St. Louis? He played well when he was with the Blues but again, unproven. If the Flyers bring him in he could split time with Mason and let this season be a true battle to determine their long-term No. 1 will be.
But seeing Allen in orange and black is likely to be a longshot at best as the Blues would keep him for the same reasons that Philly is likely to bring him in.