2013-14 Season in Review: Tanner Glass

Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports

How bad was he? Pretty bad.

Age: 30

Contract: UFA this summer.

2013-2014 Stats

Games Played TOI/game Goals Assists Points CF% CF% rel TOI QoC% Zone Start % PDO
67 11:47 4 9 13 39.3% -11.7% 27.7% 38% 97.9%

Forward Partners

Corsi For % Goals For % 5v5 Ice Time
Craig Adams 39.0% 40.0% 305:28
Brandon Sutter 42.5% 44.4% 276:53
Joe Vitale 43.1% 25.0% 113:19

You can see that the coaches paired Glass up mainly with like-minded players. Vitale and Adams are similar bottom six plugs who are at a point in their careers where they're bringing nothing of value to the table. When these groups were on the ice together, they were generally terrible at puck possession and sometimes even worse when it came to goals. That 25% GF% for Glass and Vitale is next-level awful. Glass also failed to do anything meaningful with Sutter, despite Sutter being better than Adams and Vitale. The biggest indictment of his play, however, is that among the skaters who shared at least 100 minutes of ice time with Glass, every single one of them did better in terms of CF% away from Glass.

Imagine a Dumpster Fire, Now Think of Something Worse

Tanner Glass was really, really bad this year. His numbers at even strength don't lie. First, we can look at the goal-based metrics. At even strength, Glass had the third-lowest points/60 among regular forwards and had the second-worst goals/60 among the same group. And to top it all off, he had the second-worst GF% on the team this year. In fact, he was so bad at outscoring the opposition that his GF% ranks 347th out of 375 forwards who played 41 or more games this year (spoiler alert: Taylor Pyatt is last on that list).

If we move to possession numbers at even strength, we get a similar story. His Corsi differential per 60 minutes of play and his fenwick differential per 60 were dead last among regular forwards on the team. He routinely bled shots against, and amongst that same group of 375 forwards who played 41 games this year, Glass had the honor of sitting 370th in terms of corsi differential. The point at this juncture is clear: it's nearly impossible to get much worse than Tanner Glass. He's giving you replacement level play.

His performance on the PK was equally ugly. He was second-worst on the Penguins at limiting shots against while shorthanded, true for both fenwick and corsi measurements. And when it came to giving up goals while a man down, the only thing that saved Glass from being last in this category as well was an abnormally high save percentage from Marc-Andre Fleury.

No matter how you slice it, Tanner Glass never looked like a competent NHL player this year.

Gif of the Year

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Of course this is the only GIF we have of him.

Preseason Expectations

The expectations for Tanner Glass this year were not high, driven in part by the disastrous campaign he put together in 2012-2013. That year, he scored only one goal and one assist in 48 games. It was enough to convince nearly everyone that paying anything for this guy (let alone $1.1 million) was a mistake. And given the falling cap, we knew that Glass would have to play a regular role in the bottom six, meaning that he'd get ample time to prove whether we were wrong about him based on last year's performance.

Verdict

I don't think there's much disagreement here. Every metric we have (goals and shots) point to Glass as a terrible hockey player. Whether you look at even strength play or penalty kill situations, there is nothing that makes you pause and think "might we want to re-sign this guy?" The Penguins are blessed that his contract is up and they should let him hit free agency this year without a second thought. The bad news for Glass though is that he brings a "skill set" to the table that is being increasingly phased out of the NHL. Guys who deliver big hits and nothing else can be replaced with faster guys who can actually handle the puck through the neutral zone. This year, Brian Gibbons showed us that you don't need 4th line checking-energy guys to kill penalties well.

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