15 May 2016

NHL Awards 2015/16 - meet the contenders

The NHL continues to perform due diligence on its potential expansion, a necessarily lengthy process to ensure that, by the end of it, intercontinental drift has caused Quebec City's location in the Arctic Circle to make it unsuitable as a franchise destination (further complicated by FIFA's likely decision to award it a World Cup at that time).

As such, then many, many NHL fans residing in Las Vegas will have to remain satisfied by the city's hosting of the NHL's annual awards show, the only televised showbiz event where the average uneducated viewer is more likely to have heard of the attending Nate Prosser than the celebrity invited to sit next to him.

Anson Carter's emotional speech in 2015 after receiving a special award in recognition of being the last living player to have been traded for Jaromír Jágr

Here is the usual quick rundown of the main awards (those that are voted on) and those in contention:

Hart Memorial Trophy

Voted on by: Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association
Supposed to be awarded to: The player adjudged most valuable to his team
In practice, normally awarded to: A high-scoring forward, since goalies and defensemen "have their own awards", unlike high-scoring forwards

Jamie Benn (Dallas Stars)
While he might not be able to ridicule every single one of the pundits who predicted that he could not repeat last season's performance after coming off two hip surgeries, the Stars captain certainly mocks a bunch.

Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Lauded for his drive to make improvements in a different facet of the game each year, seamlessly adding "scoring like a third liner" to his armoury over the first six weeks of the season.

Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks)
Immense value to his team demonstrated by the vast improvement in its handling of the next serious criminal allegation against one of its players to come along, from mostly atrocious to pretty incompetent.

Ted Lindsay Award

Voted on by: Members of the National Hockey League Players' Association
Supposed to be awarded to: The most outstanding player in the NHL
In practice, normally awarded to: "Whatever means the lowest escrow"

Jamie Benn (Dallas Stars)
As a fifth round draft pick out of western Canada, was not considered a can't-miss prospect by any means, but against all expectations, once he headed south, he stayed there.

Braden Holtby (Washington Capitals)
Born in the city of Lloydminster, which unusually has a provincial border running through the middle of it, perhaps explaining teammate Mike Richards' refusal to come and visit.

Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks)
During the season, lives in Chicago's Trump International Hotel and Tower, a somewhat embarrassing association to carry for the extremely wealthy, poorly behaved, mulleted sociopath with questionable attitudes towards women.

Although aware his name now appears on the base of the Art Ross Trophy, an uncomfortable Jamie Benn characteristically refuses to look down

James Norris Memorial Trophy

Voted on by: Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association   
Supposed to be awarded to: The defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position
In practice, normally awarded to: The Canadian defense player who demonstrates throughout October the greatest all-round ability to be "due" in the eyes of 90% of the press

Brent Burns (San Jose Sharks)
The dominant offensive year from the blue line that everyone had been waiting for since first converted to a defenseman in his wookie season.

Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings)
Always destined for stardom, received a hockey stick for his first birthday and had skates by the age of two, enough to secure a second place Norris vote from Pierre LeBrun in the 1992/93 season.

Erik Karlsson (Ottawa Senators)
Last year's winner trying to defend the trophy, apparently by staying 200 feet away while Mark Borowiecki stands in front of it by himself.

Vezina Trophy

Voted on by: General Managers of all NHL clubs
Supposed to be awarded to: The goaltender who is adjudged to be the best at this position
In practice, normally awarded to: The goaltender who is adjudged to be the best at wins, GAA and clutch wins

Ben Bishop (Tampa Bay Lightning)
The giant goalie has had an interesting career path: First NHL appearance was caused by Sarah Palin's carpet, trade to Ottawa was a result of a kitchen knife accident, stolen by the Lightning due to Cory Conacher sustaining an impression of Martin St. Louis for a few months.

Braden Holtby (Washington Capitals)
Career progression has seen him move from a stint in the AHL to now matching the season wins record set by the Devils' iconic goalie, a sentence which is the first and only time anyone has considered the words "Hershey" and "shared with Martin Brodeur" in close proximity.

Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles Kings)
The subject of fierce debate between traditional hockey observers and the new analytics movement, the two-time Cup winner is a polarising figure, in that he tends not to occupy the middle ground between the posts.

Calder Memorial Trophy

Voted on by: Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association 
Supposed to be awarded to: The player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League
In practice, normally awarded to: The player selected as the highest point-scoring forward in what might be his third year of competition in the National Hockey League after what might be no or several years of competition in another professional league

Shayne Gostisbehere (Philadelphia Flyers)
Drafted four years ago while at college, an event now recognised as being the only positive thing to happen to a hockey player associated with a Union in 2012.

Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers)
Looking to become the first Oiler to win the Calder, a fact explained by Wayne Gretzky's ineligibility in his first NHL season and the team being completely bereft of opportunities to make high draft picks in almost 12 months.

Artemi Panarin (Chicago Blackhawks)
Nicknamed the "Bread Man" by his Blackhawks colleagues, on account of stories of how people in Russia would line up to see him at work.

KHL veteran Artemi Panarin (far left) was first courted by the Blackhawks while attending the 2015 awards ceremony as a guest of the Toews family

Frank J. Selke Trophy

Voted on by: Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association 
Supposed to be awarded to: The forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game
In practice, normally awarded to: The forward who is considered by PHWA members to be the best defensively, based on a balanced analysis of zone-starts, Corsi %, quality of competition, usage and shot prevention while shorthanded and penalty differential, though an insignificant minority might just look at reputation and plus-minus.

Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins)
Led the Eastern Conference with 389 defensive zone faceoff wins, a tally he will definitely shatter repeatedly in the years to come, according to Bruins GM Don Sweeney.

Ryan Kesler (Anaheim Ducks)
Led the league with 441 defensive zone faceoff wins, a tally he will definitely shatter repeatedly in the years to come, according to hopefully returning Ducks coach Randy Carlyle.

Anže Kopitar (Los Angeles Kings)
As the NHL's official announcement on the Selke finalists notes, the Slovenian's candidacy was boosted by a strong plus-34 rating, bringing his career mark of plus-79 just above the universally recognised threshold for elite defensive ability, Alexander Ovechkin's plus-78.

While taking it with his usual good grace, Patrice Bergeron enjoyed Brad Marchand's superglue-on-the-Awards-photoshoot-chair prank slightly more the first three years in which it happened

Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

Voted on by: Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association 
Supposed to be awarded to: The player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey
In practice, normally awarded to: The player who missed the most games through injury the season before, especially if injury caused by incident of vehicular donutshopicide

Pascal Dupuis (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Carved out a more than respectable career after only playing six games with the New York Rangers in the 2006/07 season, but pales in comparison with the accolades received by a player who joined that select group five years later.

Jaromír Jágr (Florida Panthers)
Among the many remarkable statistics about the legendary Czech, perhaps the most amazing is that when he was born, not a single one of his current Panthers team-mates had yet been born.

Mats Zuccarello (New York Rangers)
Recovered from a brain injury that required speech therapy, making it the second most painful thing to happen to a Norwegian in the NHL.

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy

Voted on by: Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association 
Supposed to be awarded to: The player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability
In practice, normally awarded to: The player adjudged to have had the fewest penalty minutes when the voters quickly skim down the list of top 20 scorers five minutes before the deadline to send in their ballot

Aleksander Barkov (Florida Panthers)
The Lady Byng typically awarded to more diminutive skaters, the young Finn being listed at 6-3, 212 lbs would likely make him the largest player to ever win the award, or at least the largest at the time of winning it, as a snacking Brett Hull reminds me.

Loui Eriksson (Boston Bruins)
Although not a consideration in the voting for the award, the impending UFA took no penalties at all during the playoffs for the team the rebuilding Bruins assuredly traded him to at the deadline.

Anže Kopitar (Los Angeles Kings)
The Kings' perennial top scorer, recently rewarded with a long term, $80m contract, featuring a full no-movement clause in the first four years, after which he will submit a list of seven cities with which he is willing for Dean Lombardi to arrange his arrest.

Jack Adams Award

Voted on by: Members of the NHL Broadcasters' Association 
Supposed to be awarded to: The coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team's success
In practice, normally awarded to: The coach adjudged to have coached either the most injured team or the team with the best PDO/shootout-fuelled record.

Gerard Gallant (Florida Panthers)
As a player for Detroit, averaged 37 goals and 236 penalty minutes a season over a productive four-year stretch in the late 1980s, ranking 10th on the Red Wings and 150th in the league in both categories at that time.

Lindy Ruff (Dallas Stars)
17 years after the career disappointment of losing a Cup final elimination game to a goal that should not have been allowed, has been working closely with Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen to ensure Stars games feature as many legitimate goals as possible.

Barry Trotz (Washington Capitals)
Played a part in the suspension of Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn while head coach in Nashville during an ultimately unsuccessful playoff series, so was a natural fit at the Verizon Center, the home of meaningless banners.

Whatever the outcome of the Jack Adams voting, Barry Trotz is considered the overwhelming favourite in the "Award Finalist Looking Most Like the Merged Faces of the Other Two Finalists" category

General Manager of the Year Award

Voted on by: General Managers of all NHL clubs and a panel of NHL executives, print and broadcast media 
Supposed to be awarded to: The top National Hockey League General Manager
In practice, normally awarded to: The National Hockey League General Manager Most Likely To Be Fired Within A Couple Of Years As A Direct Consequence Of Short-Term Moves That Led To Being A Finalist For The Award

Brian MacLellan (Washington Capitals)
With a playing career that featured a World Championship silver medal and time spent as a line-mate of Marcel Dionne, a Hall of Fame scorer who never played beyond the second round of the playoffs, the former assistant was considered to have impeccable credentials to guide the Capitals when hired as GM.

Jim Nill (Dallas Stars)
Along with NHL Hall of Famer Lanny McDonald and the rock band Nickelback, the Stars GM is one of the most famous exports of the small town of Hanna, Alberta, as well as being the second most respected musical export of the small town of Hanna, Alberta, behind NHL Hall of Famer Lanny McDonald.

Jim Rutherford (Pittsburgh Penguins)
The vastly experienced GM has been praised for his acceptance of the increasing role of analytics, but made clear when hired that he would still rely heavily on "Gut Decision", that being the name of the hot dog emporium close to Consol Energy Center now thought to be behind the impressive form of his key acquisition.

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Awards post archive:

24 May 2015

NHL Awards 2014/15 - meet the contenders

The NHL's annual awards show is universally recognised as the second most exciting Vegas-related event connected to the league in recent times, ranking somewhere between a season ticket drive for a potential expansion franchise and Jarret Stoll's next pool party.

Observers had the contest for the award for "Most Inappropriate Use of Team Logos" as being too close to call between the two main contenders

Here is the usual quick rundown of the main awards (those that are voted on) and those in contention:

Hart Memorial Trophy

Voted on by: Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association
Supposed to be awarded to: The player adjudged most valuable to his team
In practice, normally awarded to: A high-scoring forward, since goalies and defensemen "have their own awards", unlike high-scoring forwards

Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)
Looking to join a select group of Eddie Shore, Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky as four-time MVPs, which would likely precipitate an unprecedented surge in the number of Google searches by Canadian sportswriters for "What are the career plus-minus ratings of Eddie Shore, Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky?"

Carey Price (Montreal Canadiens)
Just like the previous goalie to win the award, managed to haul a low-scoring, Michel Therrien-coached Canadiens team to the heady heights of a second round playoff exit in six games to a southern US team.

John Tavares (New York Islanders)
The only other time an Islander won the Hart, a phenom Edmonton Oiler then won the trophy in each of the next eight seasons consecutively, which is going to put a lot of pressure on Auston Matthews if Tavares wins it next year.

Ted Lindsay Award

Voted on by: Members of the National Hockey League Players' Association
Supposed to be awarded to: The most outstanding player in the NHL
In practice, normally awarded to: "Whatever means the lowest escrow"

Jamie Benn (Dallas Stars)
His scoring title has been viewed as fortuitous by some, after collecting four points in the final game of the season, including a goal and an assist in the final seconds of a game already won, but as linemate Tyler Seguin frequently tells his landlord, there's no such thing as garbage time.

Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)
After successive underwhelming point-per-game, 50-goal (or pro-rated equivalent) seasons, bounced right back into the conversation as to the league's best player with a dynamic point-per-game, 50-goal season.

Carey Price (Montreal Canadiens)
While clearly deserving of plaudits for his own spectacular performances, Montreal's' 2010 playoff run and Team Canada's gold medal win in Sochi build a case that his teams are ultimately only successful when he faces no shots at all.

James Norris Memorial Trophy

Voted on by: Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association   
Supposed to be awarded to: The defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position
In practice, normally awarded to: Zemgus Girgensons

Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings)
Showed impressive dedication to his controversial view on the merits of possession metrics by leading the Corsi-deficient Kings to yet another deep playoff run.

Erik Karlsson (Ottawa Senators)
Occasionally pays tribute to fellow Swede and previous star player and leader of the Senators, Daniel Alfredsson, by wearing a jersey featuring his likeness.

P.K. Subban (Montreal Canadiens)
Recognised as the jewel of Montreal's bounty of elite players obtained in the 2007 draft, ahead of Max Pacioretty and the future rights to Michael Busto.

Vezina Trophy

Voted on by: General Managers of all NHL clubs
Supposed to be awarded to: The goaltender who is adjudged to be the best at this position
In practice, normally awarded to: Not a Canadian

Devan Dubnyk (Minnesota Wild)
Spent much of the 2013/14 season preparing for this awards race by being ranked several places behind Pekka Rinne and Carey Price.

Carey Price (Montreal Canadiens)
It is thought that nothing at all stands between Price and this award, which presumably means Chris Kreider is presenting it.

Pekka Rinne (Nashville Predators)
Has an outside chance of becoming the second alumnus of Oulun Kärpät to win the Vezina, although the phrase "alumnus of Oulun Kärpät" is usually mistaken as membership of an obscure right-wing cult when seen on Tim Thomas's Facebook profile.

Andrew Ference's previously impeccable green credentials came into question when he was found incinerating a suit and several thousand copies of this photograph after the 2014 awards show

Calder Memorial Trophy

Voted on by: Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association 
Supposed to be awarded to: The player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League
In practice, normally awarded to: The player selected as the highest point-scoring forward in what might be his third year of competition in the National Hockey League after what might be no or several years of competition in another professional league

Aaron Ekblad (Florida Panthers)
Has much in common with the only other player drafted first overall by the Panthers, Ed Jovanovski: Born in Windsor, Ontario; Defenseman nominated for the Calder; Busy doing the same thing as the Colorado Avalanche in June of his rookie season.

Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary Flames)
Clearly impressed more than fellow 2011 draftee of the Flames, Sven Bärtschi, evidenced by being kept around so he can be included in the package to soon be sent the other way in the blockbuster Tyler Biggs trade that Brian Burke is reportedly pushing his GM to make.

Mark Stone (Ottawa Senators)
One year after Shawn Thornton's failure, credited with finding a way to disguise intentionally squirting water at P.K. Subban from the bench to avoid being fined.

Frank J. Selke Trophy

Voted on by: Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association 
Supposed to be awarded to: The forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game
In practice, normally awarded to: The forward who is considered by PHWA members to be the best defensively, based on a balanced analysis of zone-starts, Corsi %, quality of competition, usage and shot prevention while shorthanded and penalty differential, though an insignificant minority might just look at reputation and plus-minus.

Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins)
As well as winning the Selke in at the 2014 awards show, was voted as the official cover athlete of NHL 15, bringing an end to the supposed curse of the cover athlete, that curse being "Why the f--- is Marty Brodeur on the front of NHL 14?"

Anže Kopitar (Los Angeles Kings)
Regularly demonstrates exemplary two-way play, despite seemingly being almost exactly the same height as the Stanley Cup, contrary to his official listing at 6'3".

Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks)
Respected in the hockey community for his ability at both ends of the ice and for his selfless leadership, and in the lazy meme community for his ability to not refer to LeBron James in post-championship interviews.

Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

Voted on by: Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association 
Supposed to be awarded to: The player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey
In practice, normally awarded to: The player who missed the most games through injury the season before

Devan Dubnyk (Minnesota Wild)
Beat the odds by becoming the first person in recorded history to have failure in Edmonton not result in a lifetime front office position.

Andrew Hammond (Ottawa Senators)
Despite reeling off a remarkable point-earning streak to start his NHL career, still fell short of Patrick Lalime's near-unbreakable record of playing three playoff series against the Maple Leafs.

Kris Letang (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Googling "Kris Letang stroke" either returns articles about the health problems he has overcome, which help to explain his candidacy for this award, or points you in the direction of pieces of fan fiction, which usually don't.

In preparation for the following season, 2014 Masterton Trophy winner, Dominic Moore, practices carrying an inanimate object around on his left-hand side for 10 minutes a night

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy

Voted on by: Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association 
Supposed to be awarded to: The player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability
In practice, normally awarded to: The player adjudged to have had the fewest penalty minutes when the voters quickly skim down the list of top 20 scorers five minutes before the deadline to send in their ballot

Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit Red Wings)
After winning this award every year from 2006 to 2009, famously fought Corey Perry in the 2010/11 season, with 61% of voters on hockeyfights.com declaring him the winner, the other 39% unable to vote after trying to punch Corey Perry themselves through their computer screen.

Jiří Hudler (Calgary Flames)
At one point this season, amusingly attended a Los Angeles practice at which he should not have been, an idea said to have been inspired by Dean Lombardi.

Anže Kopitar (Los Angeles Kings)
Followed a career low 10 PIM in the regular season by even more impressively and unexpectedly taking no penalties at all throughout the entire playoffs.

Jack Adams Award

Voted on by: Members of the NHL Broadcasters' Association 
Supposed to be awarded to: The coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team's success
In practice, normally awarded to: The coach adjudged to have coached either the most injured team or the team with the best PDO/shootout-fuelled record.

Bob Hartley (Calgary Flames)
Has a list of unique career achievements, including leading Ray Bourque to a Stanley Cup win, coaching an Atlanta Thrashers playoff game and managing to make John Tortorella slightly angry.

Peter Laviolette (Nashville Predators)
In the history of Carolina Hurricanes coaches, was sandwiched by Paul Maurice, which sounds very similar to the instruction given to Dustin Byfuglien when he gets hungry during a game.

Alain Vigneault (New York Rangers)
Apparently has a resemblance to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, though Medvedev is understood not to be willing to be closely associated with anyone with as toxic a reputation as Ulf Samuelsson.

General Manager of the Year Award

Voted on by: General Managers of all NHL clubs and a panel of NHL executives, print and broadcast media 
Supposed to be awarded to: The top National Hockey League General Manager
In practice, normally awarded to: The National Hockey League General Manager Most Likely To Be Fired Within A Couple Of Years As A Direct Consequence Of Short-Term Moves That Led To Being A Finalist For The Award

Bob Murray (Anaheim Ducks)
Current holder of this award masterminded further improvement in the Ducks this year, primarily by engineering a blockbuster trade of the Kings for the Flames as a second round playoff opponent.

Glen Sather (New York Rangers)
Understood to be so beloved by wildly popular Rangers owner, James Dolan, that he effectively has an agreement to stay in the GM job for life or until the Rangers next have a first round draft pick, whichever is the sooner.

Steve Yzerman (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Allied with some key acquisitions, managed to hold together an emerging roster despite not picking a single member of it for the Canadian Olympic team this year.

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Awards post archive (a.k.a. look at all the recycled material):

7 March 2015

NHL man-games lost and CHIP analysis - 60-game report

This is my fifth look for the 2014/15 regular season at which teams have been hit hardest by injury/illness by trying to place a value on the games missed by players.

The concept again - multiply each game missed by a player by his 2014/15 cap charge (including bonuses), then take the aggregate of these figures for each team and divide by 82. This indicator of value lost to a team by injury/illness is called CHIP (Cap Hit of Injured Players).

This analysis covers every team up to its 60th game only. (Following on from the 50-game analysis.)

For a more regular snapshot (i.e. weekly updates beyond the 10-game interval retrospectives), follow my critically acclaimed Twitter feed (@LW3H). CHIP rankings are also again being fed into Rob Vollman's Team Luck calculator on a weekly basis.

To accompany what goes here and there, a new member to the injury analysis family, if only the Jared Staal at this point, is at NHL Injury Dataviz. There can be found clicky stuff and bright colours, of the kind that keeps a growing Zac Rinaldo occupied during his 55 minutes on the bench and/or press box seat.

Alternatively...
Again, for a different indicator of player "value", I've also illustrated a similar metric based on TOI/G alongside the CHIP numbers.  Clearly, neither cap charge nor TOI/G are perfect measures of player value (whatever Anton Strawman might claim), since each have a number of limitations and inconsistencies, but they provide a decent comparison and the results do vary somewhat.

A quick summary of the alternative metric:
  • TOI/G replaces cap charge as the measure of value in the calculation
  • For goalies, TOI/G has been worked out as Total Minutes Played / Games Dressed For* - i.e. a goalie playing every minute of 75% of the games, zero in the rest, would end up with a TOI/G of 45 minutes (or close to it, once you factor in OT and so on).  [*Actually, "Games Played by Team - Games Missed by Goalie" - I'm not inclined to disentangle any three-goalie systems or minor-league conditioning stints.]
  • This arguably overstates the worth of starting goalies somewhat, but it's simple and you could equally argue that a workhorse goalie is the hardest position to replace, so it's fair for them to have a much higher TOI/G figure
  • Where a player hasn't played all year or where a player fairly clearly has a reduced TOI/G figure due to getting injured in their only game or one of very few games, I've used TOI/G from last season (or further back if necessary)
  • For each player, multiply games missed by TOI/G to get (for a more palatable name) Cumulative Minutes of Injured Player (CMIP)
  • Take the aggregate of CMIP for the team and divide by games played by the team to arrive at AMIP (Average Minutes of Injured Players) - it feels more understandable expressing this metric as an average per game (whereas CHIP is a running total)
[Click to enlarge any image]

The figures...
The table below shows:
  • Total CHIP for each team over the first 60 games of the regular season, as well as the distribution of CHIP by position
  • The player who has contributed most to the team's CHIP figure
  • The number of players with a CHIP contribution of over $250,000 (think of it as being equivalent to a $1m player missing 20 games or a $4m player missing five games)
  • AMIP for each team over the same period (e.g. an AMIP of 40:00 could be seen as the team missing two 20-minute per game players for every game this season)

CHIP figures in graphical form:


The same for AMIP (teams in the same order as the CHIP chart for ease of comparison):


Heat map representation of per-game CHIP, with "healthy" games (no players out) also highlighted ("retired" players under contract excluded on this chart):


The following is a ranking of teams by CHIP over Games 51-60 only, to further illustrate some of the biggest movers over the past 10 games:


10 second analysis...
  • After dipping below 60 man-games lost in the previous 10-game stretch, the Blue Jackets have decided to put their foot on the gas again (the gas subsequently catching fire and torching the whole franchise, only David Clarkson's contract surviving the fireball)
  • The Canadiens finally feeling a little injury pain (if still not much) has led them to pass the Kings in the CHIP standings, although the relatively cheap contracts for Tyler Toffoli, Tanner Pearson and Alec Martinez somewhat understate their value (as the respective AMIP values for the two teams suggests)
  • The Hurricanes following up an impressive 11 straight games with a full line-up with only Ryan Murphy being out (plus a single game for impending trade anchor, Tim Gleason) has predictably seen them focus intently on the playoffs (those in which the Erie Otters will be taking part)
  • A few big outliers at either end, but the CHIP ranking otherwise is pretty bunched still, so you could throw a blanket or an unwanted Oilers jersey over pretty much half the league
The next lists are the top 30 individual CHIP and CMIP contributions:



The upper end of these lists also double as the Maple Leafs' trade targets for the next 5-10 years and/or the Sabres goaltending candidates for the rest of the season.

Where does it hurt?
This is another update of the crude injury-by-location analysis. Again, I’ve just used the descriptions found in the player profiles on tsn.ca, so the figures will encompass all the inaccuracies and vagueness within them. It should give a broad indication, if nothing else, though.


Nathan Horton's injury still listed as "back" despite rumours of also suffering from breathing difficulties caused by repeated and vigorous hugging by Dave Nonis.

The crude rate of injuries (instances / total games played) now stands at 0.80. This compares to 0.80 per game last year (0.80 in 2012/13, 0.78 in 2011/12 and 0.76 in 2010/11), so as I seem to say every year, no real evidence to suggest there have been more injuries than normal, despite common perception.

Finally, another look at the Evasiveness Index.  This is basically the proportion of injury instances for each team that have been described as either "Undisclosed" or the helpfully pointless "Upper/Lower Body" in the same TSN profiles.  I have made no judgement about whether the many instances of "Illness" (i.e. concussion) or "Flu" (i.e. concussion) other than those contracted directly from Corey Perry should also be included,


Just like players with any ability, a sudden rush of injury disclosure escaping from the Coyotes.

Notes/Disclaimers
  • Figures exclude a few minor-leaguers / marginal NHLers (usually an arbitrary judgement on my part) who had been on the NHL club’s IR since pre-season. Generally, if a minor-leaguer gets called up and then injured in an NHL game, his games missed will then count towards the CHIP though.  Minor-league conditioning stints immediately after/during a period on IR tend to be included in the man-games lost figures (but can't guarantee TSN's figures are always consistent on this)
  • For the avoidance of doubt, suspensions and absences due to "personal reasons" are not included in the figures.  However, as per previous seasons, any "retired" player still under contract (Savard, Pronger, Ohlund) is still included. There are also one or two slightly less "retired" players not separately identified in the bar chart above (e.g. Souray, Peverley, Horton).
  • There are undoubtedly a few inaccuracies and inconsistencies in there - I do the best I can with the information out there. Corrections might well be picked up in subsequent updates
  • The cap figure obviously doesn't really correlate very well to the "worth" of a player in some cases, e.g. where players are seeing out an old (underpaid or rookie) contract or where players are horrendously overpaid and/or were signed by Paul Holmgren, Dave Nonis, Jay Feaster, Dave Nonis, Glen Sather, Dave Nonis...
  • Also, for any player traded where cap hit is retained by his old team, the cap hit used will only reflect that for his current team
  • Click HERE if you want a full team-by-team listing of games missed and CHIP/CMIP numbers by each player
  • Injury/games/TOI info courtesy of tsn.ca and nhl.com - man-games lost info more than likely does not exactly match up with the "official" figures released by individual teams (as teams don't have any sort of consistent reporting standards)
  • Cap info courtesy of what was capgeek.com (any info on retained shares from recent trades from nhlnumbers.com)

9 February 2015

NHL man-games lost and CHIP analysis - 50-game report

This is my fourth look for the 2014/15 regular season at which teams have been hit hardest by injury/illness by trying to place a value on the games missed by players.

The concept again - multiply each game missed by a player by his 2014/15 cap charge (including bonuses), then take the aggregate of these figures for each team and divide by 82. This indicator of value lost to a team by injury/illness is called CHIP (Cap Hit of Injured Players).

This analysis covers every team up to its 50th game only. (Following from the 30-game analysis - having never got round to posting the mid-season version up here.)

For a more regular snapshot (i.e. weekly updates beyond the 10-game interval retrospectives), follow my critically acclaimed Twitter feed (@LW3H). CHIP rankings are also again being fed into Rob Vollman's Team Luck calculator on a weekly basis.

To accompany what goes here and there, a new member to the injury analysis family, if only the Jared Staal at this point, is at NHL Injury Dataviz. There can be found clicky stuff and bright colours, of the kind that keeps a growing Zac Rinaldo occupied during his 55 minutes on the bench and/or press box seat.

Alternatively...
Again, for a different indicator of player "value", I've also illustrated a similar metric based on TOI/G alongside the CHIP numbers.  Clearly, neither cap charge nor TOI/G are perfect measures of player value (whatever Anton Strawman might claim), since each have a number of limitations and inconsistencies, but they provide a decent comparison and the results do vary somewhat.

A quick summary of the alternative metric:
  • TOI/G replaces cap charge as the measure of value in the calculation
  • For goalies, TOI/G has been worked out as Total Minutes Played / Games Dressed For* - i.e. a goalie playing every minute of 75% of the games, zero in the rest, would end up with a TOI/G of 45 minutes (or close to it, once you factor in OT and so on).  [*Actually, "Games Played by Team - Games Missed by Goalie" - I'm not inclined to disentangle any three-goalie systems or minor-league conditioning stints.]
  • This arguably overstates the worth of starting goalies somewhat, but it's simple and you could equally argue that a workhorse goalie is the hardest position to replace, so it's fair for them to have a much higher TOI/G figure
  • Where a player hasn't played all year or where a player fairly clearly has a reduced TOI/G figure due to getting injured in their only game or one of very few games, I've used TOI/G from last season (or further back if necessary)
  • For each player, multiply games missed by TOI/G to get (for a more palatable name) Cumulative Minutes of Injured Player (CMIP)
  • Take the aggregate of CMIP for the team and divide by games played by the team to arrive at AMIP (Average Minutes of Injured Players) - it feels more understandable expressing this metric as an average per game (whereas CHIP is a running total)
[Click to enlarge any image]

The figures...
The table below shows:
  • Total CHIP for each team over the first 50 games of the regular season, as well as the distribution of CHIP by position
  • The player who has contributed most to the team's CHIP figure
  • The number of players with a CHIP contribution of over $250,000 (think of it as being equivalent to a $1m player missing 20 games or a $4m player missing five games)
  • AMIP for each team over the same period (e.g. an AMIP of 40:00 could be seen as the team missing two 20-minute per game players for every game this season)

CHIP figures in graphical form:


The same for AMIP (teams in the same order as the CHIP chart for ease of comparison):


Heat map representation of per-game CHIP, with "healthy" games (no players out) also highlighted ("retired" players under contract excluded on this chart):


The following is a ranking of teams by CHIP over Games 42-50 only, to further illustrate some of the biggest movers since mid-season:


10 second analysis...
  • Even when discounting the $0.5m worth of Pronger inflation, still a Metro logjam at the top over the stretch since the mid-point of the season
  • Although at the other end, the Hurricanes have managed to go 10 straight with a full line-up (what it has been full of is another matter), with the Panthers, Rangers and Bruins (Savard apart) also being very healthy recently
  • Barring the NHL permitting its close personal friend Lou Lamoriello to suddenly double the cap hits of highly productive veterans, Ryan(e) Clow(e) and Bryce Salvador, hard to see Columbus being caught in the overall standings, especially with Bobrovsky now out again for a while
The next lists are the top 30 individual CHIP and CMIP contributions:



Where does it hurt?
This is another update of the crude injury-by-location analysis. Again, I’ve just used the descriptions found in the player profiles on tsn.ca, so the figures will encompass all the inaccuracies and vagueness within them. It should give a broad indication, if nothing else, though.


Henrik Lundqvist's current injury has been classified as "throat" rather than vascular, for what it's worth (around $8.5m and about 10 standings points), while anything to Brad Marchand gets filed under both "ass" and "nose".

The crude rate of injuries (instances / total games played) now stands at 0.82. This has dropped in part due to the All-Star break - recuperation time and simply no games to be missed - and compares to 0.80 per game last year (0.80 in 2012/13, 0.78 in 2011/12 and 0.76 in 2010/11).

Finally, another look at the Evasiveness Index.  This is basically the proportion of injury instances for each team that have been described as either "Undisclosed" or the helpfully pointless "Upper/Lower Body" in the same TSN profiles.  I have made no judgement about whether the many instances of "Illness" (i.e. concussion) or "Flu" (i.e. concussion) other than those contracted directly from Corey Perry should also be included,


Mikkel Boedker's recent spleen leak has destroyed Arizona's otherwise perfect record.

Notes/Disclaimers
  • Figures exclude a few minor-leaguers / marginal NHLers (usually an arbitrary judgement on my part) who had been on the NHL club’s IR since pre-season. Generally, if a minor-leaguer gets called up and then injured in an NHL game, his games missed will then count towards the CHIP though.  Minor-league conditioning stints immediately after/during a period on IR tend to be included in the man-games lost figures (but can't guarantee TSN's figures are always consistent on this)
  • For the avoidance of doubt, suspensions and absences due to "personal reasons" are not included in the figures.  However, as per previous seasons, any "retired" player still under contract (Savard, Pronger, Ohlund) is still included. There are also one or two slightly less "retired" players not separately identified in the bar chart above (e.g. Souray, Timonen).
  • There are undoubtedly a few inaccuracies and inconsistencies in there - I do the best I can with the information out there. Corrections might well be picked up in subsequent updates
  • The cap figure obviously doesn't really correlate very well to the "worth" of a player in some cases, e.g. where players are seeing out an old (underpaid or rookie) contract or where players are horrendously overpaid and/or were signed by Paul Holmgren, Dave Nonis, Jay Feaster, Dave Nonis, Glen Sather, Dave Nonis...
  • Also, for any player traded where cap hit is retained by his old team, the cap hit used will only reflect that for his current team
  • Click HERE if you want a full team-by-team listing of games missed and CHIP/CMIP numbers by each player
  • Injury/games/TOI info courtesy of tsn.ca and nhl.com - man-games lost info more than likely does not exactly match up with the "official" figures released by individual teams
  • Cap info courtesy of what was capgeek.com

23 December 2014

NHL man-games lost and CHIP analysis - 30-game report

This is my third look for the 2014/15 regular season at which teams have been hit hardest by injury/illness by trying to place a value on the games missed by players.

The concept again - multiply each game missed by a player by his 2014/15 cap charge (including bonuses), then take the aggregate of these figures for each team and divide by 82. This indicator of value lost to a team by injury/illness is called CHIP (Cap Hit of Injured Players).

This analysis covers every team up to its 30th game only. (Following from the 20-game analysis.)

For a more regular snapshot (i.e. weekly updates beyond the 10-game interval retrospectives), follow my critically acclaimed Twitter feed (@LW3H). CHIP rankings are also again being fed into Rob Vollman's Team Luck calculator on a weekly basis.

Alternatively...
Again, for a different indicator of player "value", I've also illustrated a similar metric based on TOI/G alongside the CHIP numbers.  Clearly, neither cap charge nor TOI/G are perfect measures of player value (whatever Anton Strawman might claim), since each have a number of limitations and inconsistencies, but they provide a decent comparison and the results do vary somewhat.

A quick summary of the alternative metric:
  • TOI/G replaces cap charge as the measure of value in the calculation
  • For goalies, TOI/G has been worked out as Total Minutes Played / Games Dressed For* - i.e. a goalie playing every minute of 75% of the games, zero in the rest, would end up with a TOI/G of 45 minutes (or close to it, once you factor in OT and so on).  [*Actually, "Games Played by Team - Games Missed by Goalie" - I'm not inclined to disentangle any three-goalie systems or minor-league conditioning stints.]
  • This arguably overstates the worth of starting goalies somewhat, but it's simple and you could equally argue that a workhorse goalie is the hardest position to replace, so it's fair for them to have a much higher TOI/G figure
  • Where a player hasn't played all year or where a player fairly clearly has a reduced TOI/G figure due to getting injured in their only game or one of very few games, I've used TOI/G from last season (or further back if necessary)
  • For each player, multiply games missed by TOI/G to get (for a more palatable name) Cumulative Minutes of Injured Player (CMIP)
  • Take the aggregate of CMIP for the team and divide by games played by the team to arrive at AMIP (Average Minutes of Injured Players) - it feels more understandable expressing this metric as an average per game (whereas CHIP is a running total)
[Click to enlarge any image]

The figures...
The table below shows:
  • Total CHIP for each team over the first 30 games of the regular season, as well as the distribution of CHIP by position
  • The player who has contributed most to the team's CHIP figure
  • The number of players with a CHIP contribution of over $250,000 (think of it as being equivalent to a $1m player missing 20 games or a $4m player missing five games)
  • AMIP for each team over the same period (e.g. an AMIP of 40:00 could be seen as the team missing two 20-minute per game players for every game this season)

CHIP figures in graphical form:


The same for AMIP (teams in the same order as the CHIP chart for ease of comparison):


The following is a ranking of teams by CHIP over Games 21-30 only, to further illustrate some of the biggest movers since last time:


10 second analysis...
  • The Blue Jackets were actually slightly healthier in this 10-game stretch than they were in games 11-20, which isn't saying a whole lot
  • The Canadiens were actually a lot less healthier in this 10-game stretch than they were in games 11-20, which also isn't saying a whole lot (with apologies to the Bournival household)
  • A full time gig at the Denver Post for anyone who can name more than four of the 12 Avalanche players who missed time in the most recent 10-game period
  • Anton Volchenkov's first puck bruise of the year means the Sharks are now the last team standing without a single injury on defense (Spoiler alert: this fact did not last much beyond game 30)
The next lists are the top 30 individual CHIP and CMIP contributions:



Where does it hurt?
This is another update of the crude injury-by-location analysis. Again, I’ve just used the descriptions found in the player profiles on tsn.ca, so the figures will encompass all the inaccuracies and vagueness within them. It should give a broad indication, if nothing else, though.


Despite the expertly handled mumpademic, illness absences still not a huge proportion of the total.

The crude rate of injuries (instances / total games played) remains at 0.88. This compares to 0.80 per game last year (0.80 in 2012/13, 0.78 in 2011/12 and 0.76 in 2010/11).

Finally, a first look for this year at the Evasiveness Index.  This is basically the proportion of injury instances for each team that have been described as either "Undisclosed" or the helpfully pointless "Upper/Lower Body" in the same TSN profiles.  I have made no judgement about whether the many instances of "Illness" (i.e. concussion) or "Flu" (i.e. concussion) other than those contracted directly from Corey Perry should also be included,


Despite repeated claims in the New York Post, the NHL and Coyotes ownership still assure everybody that they are not hiding anything.

Notes/Disclaimers
  • Figures exclude a few minor-leaguers / marginal NHLers (usually an arbitrary judgement on my part) who had been on the NHL club’s IR since pre-season. Generally, if a minor-leaguer gets called up and then injured in an NHL game, his games missed will then count towards the CHIP though.  Minor-league conditioning stints immediately after/during a period on IR tend to be included in the man-games lost figures (but can't guarantee TSN's figures are always consistent on this)
  • For the avoidance of doubt, suspensions and absences due to "personal reasons" are not included in the figures.  However, as per previous seasons, any "retired" player still under contract (Savard, Pronger, Ohlund) is still included. There are also one or two slightly less "retired" players not separately identified in the bar chart above (e.g. Souray, Timonen).
  • There are undoubtedly a few inaccuracies and inconsistencies in there - I do the best I can with the information out there. Corrections might well be picked up in subsequent updates
  • The cap figure obviously doesn't really correlate very well to the "worth" of a player in some cases, e.g. where players are seeing out an old (underpaid or rookie) contract or where players are horrendously overpaid and/or were signed by Paul Holmgren, Dave Nonis, Jay Feaster, Dave Nonis, Glen Sather, Dave Nonis...
  • Also, for any player traded where cap hit is retained by his old team, the cap hit used will only reflect that for his current team
  • Click HERE if you want a full team-by-team listing of games missed and CHIP/CMIP numbers by each player
  • Injury/games/TOI info courtesy of tsn.ca and nhl.com - man-games lost info more than likely does not exactly match up with the "official" figures released by individual teams
  • Cap info courtesy of capgeek.com

30 November 2014

NHL man-games lost and CHIP analysis - 20-game report

This is my second look for the 2014/15 regular season at which teams have been hit hardest by injury/illness by trying to place a value on the games missed by players.

The concept again - multiply each game missed by a player by his 2014/15 cap charge (including bonuses), then take the aggregate of these figures for each team and divide by 82. This indicator of value lost to a team by injury/illness is called CHIP (Cap Hit of Injured Players).

This analysis covers every team up to its 20th game only. (Following from the 10-game analysis.)

For a more regular snapshot (i.e. weekly updates beyond the 10-game interval retrospectives), follow my critically acclaimed Twitter feed (@LW3H). CHIP rankings are also again being fed into Rob Vollman's Team Luck calculator on a weekly basis.

Alternatively...
Again, for a different indicator of player "value", I've also illustrated a similar metric based on TOI/G alongside the CHIP numbers.  Clearly, neither cap charge nor TOI/G are perfect measures of player value (whatever Anton Strawman might claim), since each have a number of limitations and inconsistencies, but they provide a decent comparison and the results do vary somewhat.

A quick summary of the alternative metric:
  • TOI/G replaces cap charge as the measure of value in the calculation
  • For goalies, TOI/G has been worked out as Total Minutes Played / Games Dressed For* - i.e. a goalie playing every minute of 75% of the games, zero in the rest, would end up with a TOI/G of 45 minutes (or close to it, once you factor in OT and so on).  [*Actually, "Games Played by Team - Games Missed by Goalie" - I'm not inclined to disentangle any three-goalie systems or minor-league conditioning stints.]
  • This arguably overstates the worth of starting goalies somewhat, but it's simple and you could equally argue that a workhorse goalie is the hardest position to replace, so it's fair for them to have a much higher TOI/G figure
  • Where a player hasn't played all year or where a player fairly clearly has a reduced TOI/G figure due to getting injured in their only game or one of very few games, I've used TOI/G from last season (or further back if necessary)
  • For each player, multiply games missed by TOI/G to get (for a more palatable name) Cumulative Minutes of Injured Player (CMIP)
  • Take the aggregate of CMIP for the team and divide by games played by the team to arrive at AMIP (Average Minutes of Injured Players) - it feels more understandable expressing this metric as an average per game (whereas CHIP is a running total)
[Click to enlarge any image]

The figures...
The table below shows:
  • Total CHIP for each team over the first 20 games of the regular season, as well as the distribution of CHIP by position
  • The player who has contributed most to the team's CHIP figure
  • The number of players with a CHIP contribution of over $250,000 (think of it as being equivalent to a $1m player missing 20 games or a $4m player missing five games)
  • AMIP for each team over the same period (e.g. an AMIP of 40:00 could be seen as the team missing two 20-minute per game players for every game this season)

CHIP figures in graphical form:


The same for AMIP (teams in the same order as the CHIP chart for ease of comparison):


10 second analysis...
  • The Blue Jackets running limping away with this so far, while the goon-laden Canadiens have been extremely healthy
  • It goes without saying that the CHIP contribution from 16 games missed by Dave Bolland completely undervalues his true worth
  • Note that I've gone back to include injuries to a few players (Patrick Kaleta, Barclay Goodrow, Bo Horvat) that extended from pre-season, as they ended up not being returned to the AHL/CHL after coming off IR, so have been classed NHLers (Kaleta has obviously also glassed NHLers for several years already)
  • The AMIP comparison remains a bit volatile over the small sample size to date, tending to give more weight to defensemen and goalies. Josh Harding and the average minutes he played last year still skew the Wild number, given he looks unlikely to get any minutes at all from them this year.
The next lists are the top 30 individual CHIP and CMIP contributions:



Tough to see how teams can replace all those lost minutes from guys like Jesse Winchester, Matt Carkner and John Erskine.

Where does it hurt?
This is another update of the crude injury-by-location analysis. Again, I’ve just used the descriptions found in the player profiles on tsn.ca, so the figures will encompass all the inaccuracies and vagueness within them. It should give a broad indication, if nothing else, though.


The crude rate of injuries (instances / total games played) now stands at 0.88, as perhaps expected falling from 0.99 after 10 games, even allowing for the adjustments referred to above. This compares to 0.80 per game last year (0.80 in 2012/13, 0.78 in 2011/12 and 0.76 in 2010/11).

Finally, a first look for this year at the Evasiveness Index.  This is basically the proportion of injury instances for each team that have been described as either "Undisclosed" or the helpfully pointless "Upper/Lower Body" in the same TSN profiles.  I have made no judgement about whether the many instances of "Illness" (i.e. concussion) or "Flu" (i.e. concussion) other than those contracted directly from Corey Perry should also be included,


Arizona and Carolina at the top and the four teams at the bottom where they always tend to be. Still early, but the new regime in Vancouver seems to have led to a shift in their position. That'll change once Mark Messier takes over.

Notes/Disclaimers
  • Figures exclude a few minor-leaguers / marginal NHLers (usually an arbitrary judgement on my part) who had been on the NHL club’s IR since pre-season. Generally, if a minor-leaguer gets called up and then injured in an NHL game, his games missed will then count towards the CHIP though.  Minor-league conditioning stints immediately after/during a period on IR tend to be included in the man-games lost figures (but can't guarantee TSN's figures are always consistent on this)
  • For the avoidance of doubt, suspensions and absences due to "personal reasons" are not included in the figures.  However, as per previous seasons, any "retired" player still under contract (Savard, Pronger, Ohlund) is still included. There are also one or two slightly less "retired" players not separately identified in the bar chart above (e.g. Souray, Timonen).
  • There are undoubtedly a few inaccuracies and inconsistencies in there - I do the best I can with the information out there. Corrections might well be picked up in subsequent updates
  • The cap figure obviously doesn't really correlate very well to the "worth" of a player in some cases, e.g. where players are seeing out an old (underpaid or rookie) contract or where players are horrendously overpaid and/or were signed by Paul Holmgren, Dave Nonis, Jay Feaster, Dave Nonis, Glen Sather, Dave Nonis...
  • Also, for any player traded where cap hit is retained by his old team, the cap hit used will only reflect that for his current team
  • Click HERE if you want a full team-by-team listing of games missed and CHIP/CMIP numbers by each player
  • Injury/games/TOI info courtesy of tsn.ca and nhl.com - man-games lost info more than likely does not exactly match up with the "official" figures released by individual teams
  • Cap info courtesy of capgeek.com