Contract: UFA (made $550,000 this season)
Report Card Grade in 2013: N/A
Introduction: Claimed off waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins, Matt D'Agostini was supposed to be a solid addition to the Sabres fourth line, but was often forced into action on the second or third line in Buffalo thanks to injury or lack of talent. While he was obviously in over his head in those situations, D'Agostini gave his all out on the ice and performed well in certain areas. Let's take a closer look.
Key Stat: Of the Sabres who played more than half the season (41 games) in blue and gold, who do you think had the best 5-on-5 Corsi numbers? If you guessed anyone other than Matt D'Agostini, you need to get better at reading headlines. D'Ags had a Corsi of 46.0%, ahead of Matt Moulson, Zemgus Girgensons, Tyler Ennis, and, well, everyone else. But is that reason alone enough to keep him around for another season?
Thumbs Up: Helping his Corsi numbers were the 99 shots D'Agostini put on net, good for 10th on the team. D'Agostini was also tied for third-best on the team in penalty differential - don't say hard work never amounted to nothin', kids. Matty D also got some time on the power play this season, though it was mostly due to the Sabres own ineptitude than anything he did, but he did score two of his five goals with the man advantage. He's not afraid to block shots or hit, and his had twice as many takeaways as giveaways this season.
Thumbs Down: Remember those 99 shots from the previous paragraph? That was all well and good, but only 5.1% of them went in, a shooting percentage well below D'Agostini's career average. He also set a new low in +/- this year at -14, sporting a depressing -12 in road games (hey, at least someone likes playing at the FNC!) And as much as we all enjoy D'Agostini's work ethic, he simply doesn't have the talent to justify the second or third line spot he occupied thanks to circumstances in Buffalo this season.
Voting: We're grading on a curve this year, adjusting for the Sabres organizational ineptitude. So, using the good old grade school system of A, B, C, D, F, with A representing a great season (for the Sabres) C an average season, and F a very poor season (again, for the worst team in the league) grade Matt D'Agostini on his performance this year.