0-2-2 in 22 games
Most often seen: Being a rough and tumble defender.
Contract status: Signed through 2014-15, $1.5M salary and cap hit.
Obligatory YouTube video of: Fighting New Jersey's Krys Barch:
Thoughts on 2012-13: Signed to a three-year contract last summer, the Islanders brought Matt Carkner to the Long Island blueline to give it some much needed toughness.
Over 22 games -- Carkner missed 20 due to a groin injury -- he racked up two assists and 46 penalty minutes. According to Hockey Fights, he had four fights and a 1-2-1 record (yes, they try and keep score of fights, it's cool).
So Carkner did bring toughness to the blueline, and could actually skate a bit, something the team hasn't had any sign of since Andy Sutton was traded. But was he effective?
His quality of competition was a -2, which was the lowest among Islander defenders. For comparison, Andrew MacDonald had the highest mark among Isles defenders with a .8. Carkners relative corsi was also third among Isles defenders, a 2.2, which is decent. So, he's decent against the worst competition. Going by a more traditional metric he was a -2 in +/-, which is the same as MacDonald, and remember MacDonald played against much tougher opponents.
So Carkner's toughness was certainly a welcome addition, although his future with the team may not be needed quite as much. With the team now employing Eric Boulton, Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck -- not to mention Colin McDonald, who doesn't really fight but does hit people a lot -- it's hard to say that he is explicitly needed. Travis Hamonic has also stepped up to be a "defender who hits people a lot" although Hamonic is also a much better defender. If either of the team's large defense prospects, Scott Mayfield or Andrey Pedan, make a case for the big club, Carkner could be further marginalized.
He gets points for bringing toughness to a blueline that sorely needed it but he was largely ineffective defensively.
Add your thoughts and post-season grades in the comments.