Player Name/position: Daniel Winnik, LW
Overall Grade: B
Contract Status: 2 years, $3,600,000. Winnik made $1,800,000 during the 2013 season, with a cap hit of $1,800,000. He will become a UFA at the end of the 2013-14 season.
2013 Stats: 48 GP, 6 G, 19 A, 16 PIM, plus-13
Playoff Stats: 7 GP, 0 G, 1 A, 7 PIM, minus-4.
Offense: Winnik began the season as an offensive juggernaut, and spent some time among the league's leaders in goals and points. Five of his six goals were scored in his first four games as a Duck, eclipsing his total from 21 games as a Shark last year (3). Although heavily skewed by his unbelievable start, his .39 points per game beat his previous career best of .33 set in his rookie season of 2007-08 with Phoenix. He eventually came back down to earth (as everyone expected), but it was fun while it lasted. Even after his scoring cooled off, Winnik still provided some very effective sandpaper out on the ice.
Defense: This is the real reason why Bob Murray acquired him during the 2012 offseason. In the regular season he trailed only Francois Beauchemin in shorthanded TOI per game (2:32). The beauty of Winnik on the PK doesn't just end at clearing the zone, it's really all about his ability to skate it out and maintain possession in the offensive zone. Though he only scored one assist in seven playoff games, he (along with Andrew Cogliano and Saku Koivu) were very effective in shutting down Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk early in the series against Detroit.
Highlight of the Season: Enjoy this video of Winnik scoring against Vancouver in his Anaheim debut.
Expectations for Next Year: At 28, Winnik has hit his ceiling, and we can't rely on him as a consistent offensive presence. Yet, he is a gritty, veteran defensive presence who is capable of being matched up against the opposition's best offensive players. If we can sign him for a reasonable amount after his current contract expires, I'd like to see him stick around.