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Islanders Grades: P.A. Parenteau, journeyman revival story

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P.A. Parenteau went three years and four minor-league teams in between NHL games. He finally got another "shot" of sorts with the Rangers, but it was all of 22 games and it didn't take. (Thank goodness for their penchant for always buying the brand name: They signed Alex Frolov, which worked out great.)

All Parenteau did in that long minor-league interim was put up over a point per game in the AHL for Portland, Norfolk and Hartford. That he was able to translate that into a 53-point season in the NHL at age 27 shouldn't be a surprise, but I confess being taken off guard by the achievement. I wasn't even certain he'd make the 2010-11 team, much less eventually carve a permanent place on the top line after Jack Capuano took over. The performance saved him from trying his hand in Europe and earned him a one-year extension (including a raise, to $1.25 million) in February.

He also, it must be said, gave us juvenile adults a much-needed laugh at the end of a frustrating night against the Hurricanes.

The Data

GP G A P +/- PIM PPG TOI PPtoi Rel Corsi SOG PCT
2010-11 - P.A. Parenteau 81 20 33 53 -8 46 9 18:13 3:29 4th/13 161 12.4%

Brought in to be a right-handed half-boards fixture on the powerplay, he did that. Granted, the powerplay ebbed and flowed as most do, but in the end he served his purpose as a distributor there and even potted nine PPG himself. In the end he had 20 PP points -- but 33 even-strength points, too. He was no PP-dependent slouch, with 1.62 EV points per 60 minutes.

A bonus I didn't expect, and which I think some fans still don't recognize: Parenteau was a solid all-around player, too. While he spent most of the season with John Tavares and Matt Moulson, his Relative Corsi was tops of those three and trailed only the members of the FnGO line. In English: Relative to his teammates, the puck moved in the right direction when he was on the ice. (Granted, his line had the highest offensive zone shift starts on the team.) Not dominant, but not part of the problem.

His number of penalties committed (23 minors) was a little higher than you'd like, but as that night against the Canes (and the night before) showed, sometimes the fists were not aligned in his favor. Further, Parenteau was the best Islanders forward at drawing penalties by the opponent.

The Poem/Lyric

Steve Miller volunteered a diddy for this report card:

Well I've been lookin' real hard
And I'm tryin' to find a job
But it just keeps gettin' tougher every day
But I got to do my part cause I know in my heart
I got to play this sweet hockey game, eh

Well, I ain't superstitious
And I don't get suspicious
But the Rangers still have Colie's line
And I know that it's true that all the things that I do
Will come back to me in Campbell's time

So keep on fist'n me, referray
Keep on fist'n me, referray
Keep on fist'n me, referray
Keep on fist'n me, referray

I went from Q's Chicoutimi
All the way to Cincinnati
Portland, Norfolk, August-a
Hartford, Conn., where the Whalers are gone
So I could land me a pro gig, yeah

Keep on fist'n me, referray
Keep on fist'n me, referray
Keep on fist'n me, referray
Keep on fist'n me, referray

Don't get suspicious
Now don't be suspicious
But these refs they are no friends of mine
I've worked too hard for this job
To just get jobbed by these knobs
I'll shout it out when they cross the line

Now I had 53 points and 81 games
And I know respect's a two-way street
But now that I'm 28 and no Johnny-come-late
These refs best treat us like a team to beat

Please stop fist'n me, referray
Please stop fist'n me, referray
Please stop fist'n me, referray, referr-referr-referr-ray...

Note: As mentioned, Parenteau's penalties drawn/taken was actually a net positive, and he was hardly a whiner out there. But may reality never step in the way of poor art and even poorer comedy.

The Grade

Okay, the earlier report card on Matt Moulson may have suffered from our polling bug, but we'll carry on anyway. Evaluate Parenteau's season based on what your preseason expectations were. (For me, they were admittedly low.)


Parenteau's in an interesting spot. There are young (presumably) scoring wingers coming through the pipeline, and one day some will compete for a spot on the top line. Even if they prove better than Parenteau, his all-around game is not one I'd discard. If he duplicates last season's point total, do you extend him again? And if he doesn't, do you consider him for quality depth on any top-three line anyway?