Graphic Comments: How To Get Away With Plunder

Graphic Comments
October 12 2016 03:44PM


So I was reading Thomas Drance's piece on the Canucks over at Sportsnet the other day and I couldn't help but play the video of Benning talking about the Gudbranson trade.

What really struck me was how he describe the trade coming together: 

" came together fast...they called us...they asked us about Jared...they brought up Eric's name..."

Now, if you've ever been involved in any kind of business negotiations, you might recognize this as somebody that took a very passive approach to making this deal. Florida clearly had the entire negotiation process mapped out. They decided how they wanted it to go, and pulled every trick in the negotiating book to make sure it did.

But listening to Benning talk, it suddenly became clear that the Panthers pulled off the perfect crime. Benning was had, and he didn't even know it.

So let's take a look at how you get away with plunder...

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NHLN Roundtable: Opening Night Hot Takes Edition

Cam Lewis
October 12 2016 01:17PM

Hockey is upon us. Let the NHLNumbers staff get you ready for 2016-17 with some discussion, predictions, and hot takes about the upcoming season. 

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NHLNumbers Season Preview: Power Rankings No. 5-1

Cam Lewis
October 12 2016 11:36AM

These are the true contenders. When picking a 2017 Stanley Cup Champion, there's a very, very good chance it's going to be one of these five teams. These are the teams who were part of the elite pack last year, and are coming into this season just as good, if not better, than they were when they left last spring. They have elite talent, rock solid defence, depth, and strong goaltending. These are teams 5-1 on the NHLN preseason power rankings. 

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100th Anniversary: What if the NHL still had four teams?

Mike Commito
October 12 2016 05:00AM

W e let our resident hockey historian, Mike Commito, run wild with his imagination this week. He's so excited about the start of the NHL's 100th season that he wanted to mark the occasion by redrafting the league so it's structure mirrored that of the first season in 1917-18. Big thanks to Shawn, Scott, and Megan for volunteering to be a part of this centennial draft experiment.

You may have heard that the NHL is celebrating it's 100th season this year. They've even brought Wayne Gretzky back into the fold to serve as the league's centennial ambassador. While we might want to forget the fact that this is really only the 98th season, after you discount the 2004-05 lockout and the shortened seasons in 1994-95 and 2012-13 you're still a couple shy, it's a momentous occasion and one worth commemorating.

When the National Hockey League was first formed in November 1917, there were only four teams: the Montreal Canadiens, the Montreal Wanderers, the Toronto Arenas, and the Ottawa Senators

Now, nearly a century later, the NHL is on the cusp of having 31 teams all across North America. Although there's still plenty of talent to go around, what would it look like today if there were still only four teams in the league?

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What is each team's probability of making the playoffs this season?

Sam Mercier
October 11 2016 03:00PM

As the fans of the Colorado Avalanche can probably attest, a team can ice a very similar lineup for two consecutive seasons, and yet finish at a very different position in the standings. On average, since 2005-2006, the season-to-season variation of the number of points obtained by NHL teams is of 11. A model of consistency like the Red Wings, which have not finished two consecutive seasons during the last decade with a greater difference than 10 points, represents the exception, not the norm.

When we spoke a couple of weeks ago, we quantified that approximately 40% of the season-to-season variation of the number of points obtained by an NHL team is attributed to that big and abstract concept we call luck. This luck factor includes everything that can hardly be controlled by teams, such as injuries, a bad schedule and missed calls by the officials. The remaining 60% of the season-to-season variation of the number of points is caused by a real change in the underlying quality of the team.

Now that we have split that luck vs quality contribution, there is one nice little thing we can do: from the number of points that each team obtained last season, estimate the probability that they will make the playoffs in 2016-2017. We will quantify that probability using a technique called Monte Carlo simulation.

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