Name: Daniel Paille
Position: Left wing
Status: Arbitration eligible RFA — $1.125M cap-hit
Regular season, EV: 16.22% w/Steve Begin and Shawn Thornton
Regular season, EV: 15.85 % w/Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi
Regular season, PK: 74.47% w/Steve Begin
Playoffs, EV: 40% w/Bergeron and Recchi
Playoffs, PK: 81% w/Begin
The Good: Acquired from Buffalo just after Chuck Kobasew was sent packing to Minnesota, No. 20 fit into Claude Julien’s defensive system, whether it was on the PK or fourth-line duties.
An all-around, versatile player with a great deal of speed, Paille was one of the key anchors on the Bruins’ penalty kill units (1:59 of average PK time per game in the regular season and 2:27 in the playoffs) that ranked third overall in the league (86.4%) and first in the playoffs (90%). And minus the leadership and veteran qualities, Paille was certainly a suitable replacement for Per-Johan Axelsson.
The Bad: Paille had a bunch of scoring (breakaways) opportunities because of his quick speed throughout the season, but could rarely capitalize. Even when paired on the top-line, and/or with Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi, it was obvious that Paille lacked that scoring touch. Paille netted 10-10-20 scoring totals during the regular season (with 13:48 TOI and 16:01 during the playoffs) and just 0-2-2 in the playoffs.
Unfortunately for Paille, when PK wasn’t a factor in the games, neither was he. But accounting for a cap-hit of just north of $1M for a versatile bottom-6 forward who was a key cog to one of the NHL’s best penalty killing teams, Paille’s performance was certainly above average.
And as for his RFA status: I’d anticipate Peter Chiarelli holding on to Paille for a couple of more seasons for roughly the same amount of money.
Next report card coming up: No. 21 Andrew Ference