Sunday, October 07, 2007

Searching for Moneypuck

What if in trying to decide whether to bid for Souray or to take a pass, you had an ace in the hole? Your organization employs a Ph.D-level statistician who provided you with insights into Souray's value that were unavailable to your NHL competitors.

What if those statistics indicated to you, for example, how Souray performs vs. other NHL defencemen in high-pressure situations when the game is on the line?

What if they told you there's a small European defenceman on the market who could win you more games by providing some of Souray's scoring punch while doing a much better job defensively? Or if they told you Souray's many penalties are far more costly than you ever imagined and his tough play much less valuable?
Moneypuck's one of those ideas I think we're going to hear more and more of now that the NHL has a salary cap — especially if it ever goes down and forces teams to cut payroll.

There's been some incredibly interesting work done online with developing new hockey metrics that measure players' effectiveness defensively (and in other situations when they don't have the puck), something that hopefully will continue. At some point, it'd be great if the kind of material available at Behind The Net was provided by the league itself.



At 1:13 a.m., October 08, 2007, Blogger Lowetide said...

James: And don't forget the minor leagues, Europe and junior. Everything about midget.

At 12:34 a.m., October 09, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The idea of a sabermetric concept for hockey is interesting, but ultimately, futile, I think. Baseball is a zero-sum game, so it is easy to track almost every possible outcome for every player and quantify it. Hockey is far too fluid for that kind of precision, but it will be interesting to see what kind of stats people invent, and how reliable they are.

That said, did the Canadiens really need a PhD to tell them that Souray's brutal defence and bad penalties overshadowed his offence? Yikes!

At 4:50 p.m., April 23, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ESPN has been doing a bit on this topic as well. This is the latest on on the value of faceoffs.

Pretty interesting stuff.


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