One of the better "feel-good" stories of a Sharks season that at times didn't feel very good at all was Brad Winchester joining the team in training camp on a professional tryout without the guarantee of a contract before not only just earning a spot on the team but becoming one of the few Sharks to appear in each of the club's first 55 games, even enjoying a brief stint in the top six.
Winchester didn't contribute on special teams and really didn't have much use at even-strength during the limited minutes he played. Despite being extremely sheltered, as is typical of most fourth-liners, he was barely able to keep his head above water in raw Corsi and was quite a bit worse than his teammates at driving possession. Winchester also took twice as many minor penalties as he drew, regularly exposing the Sharks' weak penalty kill.
Brad Winchester Statistical Overview
|Season||GP||TOI/60||Corsi Rel QoC||DZone%|
|2011-2012||67||7.63 (12th)||-1.286 (12th)||45.2% (10th)|
|-5.3 (9th)||968 (12th)||1.17 (9th)||1.9 (1st)||0.8 (7th)|
Rankings are among Sharks forwards who appeared in at least 40 games this season. 12 qualified.
FTF Grade: D. Ultimately, Winchester just wasn't a significant piece of the team, neither a net positive nor an overwhelmingly negative Ben Eager-like drag on the Sharks' fortunes. Which may have been passable considering he was entrenched in his role as a fourth-liner but his lack of impact combined with the failures of the Sharks' third line forced Doug Wilson's hand at the trade deadline to improve his team's bottom six with a myriad of moves that forced Winchester out of regular rotation and led to a vastly improved fourth line in terms of possession and outscoring. Winchester was an undisciplined player who didn't do much to help the team win and played himself out of the lineup. He shouldn't be brought back next season.