The Habs' roster is already quite busy. They have an abundance of players that could fit in a bottom-six role, yet they still decided to invite Tomas Fleischmann to camp on a professional tryout, in the hopes that they can sign him to a reasonable contract.
He's not just there to provide competition for the rookies or the struggling veterans, he has a legitimate shot to make the team.
Habs have real interest in Fleischmann. Not surprised to see him on a tryout - and believe he has decent shot at sticking.— James Mirtle (@mirtle) September 12, 2015
Which leads us to the question: is Fleischmann a better option in terms of producing points on the third or fourth line than Brian Flynn, Devante Smith-Pelly, Jacob de la Rose, or Michael Bournival?
The short answer is: yes.
Predicted Primary Points (Predicted PriP/60) is based off of a multiple linear regression that takes into account factors such as zone starts, the pace of play, and the percent of team time on ice that a player takes. The 'Predicted Value' is an estimation of how a player should perform based on their usage factors, NOT their talent. The 'Delta' value is the difference between a player's actual scoring, and their expected. A positive 'Delta' value means that a player is 'outscoring their usage', so to say.
What about individual analytics? In this comparison by Spencer Mann, Fleischmann still comes off as the best option.
Of course, one of the factors we should consider is his age. At 31, Fleischmann is the oldest player among those being compared, and the truth is his prime years are behind him. That being said, despite a dip in individual production, his impact on linemates has improved in the last five years, as evidenced by this animated GIF of his recent HERO charts.
Fleischmann is no spring chicken. His point production has suffered over the last few years, and he missed several games as a healthy scratch during his tenures with the Florida Panthers and the Anaheim Ducks. But the fact of the matter remains that he can still contribute.
Fleischmann can be a solid third-line player, but an excess of bottom-six players may make his addition to the team a complicated situation. Ideally you want to develop your younger players, but the Habs only realistically have a three- of four-year window to compete for a Cup, and quality depth is always an added bonus for competing teams.
It remains to be seen how the Canadiens handle the lineup going forward, but don't be surprised if you find Fleischmann penciled in as the third-line left winger once the season begins.