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My Kingdom for a Defenseman, part 9: Patrick Weircioch could be the kind of steal the Bruins need

Is Patrick Wiercoch good? Eh. Eh? Meh. Maybe? Yeah... Yeah, sure.

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back!

If you're just joining us, check out the rest of the series here.

As a reminder, in part 1 I identified 3 clues that can lead to a good UFA signing. They are:

1. We want a guy who's underrated, so his market value will likely be below his actual to-the-team value

2. We want a guy who's not that old on a relatively short contract

3. We want a guy who's playing style hopefully won't cause him to burn out quickly after starting his deal

These aren't requirements. They're more like helpful hints. None are necessarily deal makers, and the absence of one is not necessarily a deal breaker.

And now, let's take a look at a guy who's... good?


Hero chart -

How to actually read a hero chart

Yes, I know there's new hero charts. Yes, I know they're easier to read. No, I won't use them instead of the old ones because the new ones leave out a large amount of useful information. I will steal the performance tier probabilities part of the new charts because I like those.

More numbers -

So. Weircioch.

He was an RFA. The SNES didn't qualify him. Now he's going to be a UFA.

That's a thing.

The story of Patrick Wiercioch. Second round pick, played in the NCAA. He first played in the NHL in the lockout shortened season. He did pretty well. Looked like the SNES had a new young top 4 D in the making. Then things very slowly got worse and worse. Everything about his play got worse, really. By the eyetest, he seemed to be making more and more mistakes. His already strong fancy stats started to decline.

And, so, for only 2 million dollars, the SNES choose not to qualify him. Which is a little bit peculiar. The Bruins qualified a much worse young D in Joe Morrow for a little less than half of that. For 2 mil, getting a possible top 4 D during all of his prime years feels like a bit of a steal. Which begs the question, why not qualify him? I'm assuming that will serve as a giant red flag to other clubs, and keep his price well below 2 mil.

Other teams are now left with a choice. Even if you split the difference between what Wiercioch appears to be and what the SNES appear to believe he is, he's still a really good NHL D man who's worth less than 2 mil. In my opinion, I'd sign him to a 1-3 year deal for around 1.5 million. It's a low risk, high reward move. Worst case scenario, you end up with a better Joe Morrow. Best case scenario, you've got a young top 4 D.

But what do you think?