1. You seem to be under-valuing the importance of a defenseman who like you say is one of the best skating defenseman on the team ,
2. avg over 20/min per game leads the team with goals for defenseman and by the way in 62/games played this year he is avg more hits per game than grossman ,so he is also a very physical player.
1. we are the #3 scoring team in the league (we were #1 for a while), but #19 in goals allowed (we were #30 before Bryz's shutout streak). We dont need the "skating side" of Mez's game, this team is more then fine in the goal scoring department. This team needs nostalgic stay at home defensemen to clear that crease and help our GAA. Mez does not do that. Dont know how knowledgeable you are about hockey, but he's good at being a skating defensemen, which means hes good at moving the puck through the neutral zone and joining the rush... which means he's a good forward contributor. However, if you take that out of his game, this season, he hasnt been too good at cleaning house and coverage in our zone.
If you dont believe me, then watch some Goals against this season on NHL.com, I know what I am talking about here.
2. You really insist on using Skewed/irrelevant statistics for a hockey argument?:
-ALL top 4 defensemen average 20+ minutes a game. And he's 4th in active defensemen in minutes. 4th. Carle is 1st, so he must be the best on this team.
-Leading the team in goals as a defensemen has NOTHING to do with his performance as a defensemen on this team. Its just a bonus.
-Mez IS NOT a physical player, he may be 3rd on this team in hits, but he just takes common hits in the corner. A "physical defensemen" physically moves people out of the way.
If you want to just use stats, thats cool, why does he have the least amount of blocked shots of this teams top 6 defensemen? Matt Carle almost has double. Lesson here, do not bother with stats. Actually watch the games, and dont just realize what the announcers say. Actually watch the players. You'll see who has "it"