This is going to be a very short fan post compared to some of my recent ones. But it's something that I thought was worth bringing to everyone's attention.
Nicklas Grossman is a defensive defenseman. He isn't expected to score goals, he isn't expected to fill out his stats column with helpers either. He is expected to play defense. A very good defensive defenseman is expected to play defense against tough competition with unfavorable zone starts, and still prevail.
That is what Grossman did in 2010-11 with the Dallas Stars.
Out of all defensemen who played 30 games or more, Grossman was fifth in CorsiRelQoC (a measure of the quality of competition he was up against). He was behind only the Detroit duo of Lidstrom and Stuart, and the Rangers duo of Staal and Girardi. However, out of that group of five, Grossman had the lowest offensive zone-start percentage (40.7%) and the highest CorsiRel (-2.0). The difference in CorsiRel becomes even more obvious if we try to balance the CorsiRel on the basis of zone start.
On the Balanced CorsiRel stakes: Lidstrom was -6.3, Staal was -3.6, Girardi was -7.5, Stuart was -11.8 but Grossman was 3.0. Grossman was the only one out of those five whose ability to drive play up the ice was ranked in the league's 3rd quartile. The fact that he wasn't in the top quartile isn't a huge knock on him, because of the fact that he was playing against some fierce competition. For the record, out of that group of five, his GAON/60 was the lowest in the group and his SAON/60 was also the lowest in the group.
Now we all know that Grossman isn't even close to being a Norris candidate, which is why I didn't go and compare him to every other defender in the league. All I'm saying here is that Nicklas Grossman, in 2010-11, played against some very tough competition, mostly started in the defensive zone, and managed to emerge from that in a better state than many much more well known defenders placed in a similar situations. He hasn't been as good this season, but he's shown enough to suggest that he might have something about him.
Also attached this poll because I don't think any of the masthead have made one of these yet for this trade.