Number Chains - October 30, 2012 Links

Josh L.
October 30 2012 12:43PM

This new, regular feature on NHLNumbers will share interesting stats-related posts from around the web almost every day.

Welcome to edition number four of the rebooted Number Chains. In this space you will be able to find the best analytical hockey writing from around the internet on a close-to-daily basis. Subject matter will include statistical evaluation, financial analysis, contractual issues, and (sometimes) closely-related tangential works. If you have something you would like to submit for a future edition (your writing or that of someone else) feel free to send it to me via Twitter @JoshL1220 or leave a comment.

Ken Campbell's latest column for The Hockey News delves into an idea ex-NHLPA czar Paul Kelly suggested for bridging the gap between the two sides in the labor struggle. The idea Kelly floated was to expand the league by two teams into fertile markets to grow the pie for everyone.

Not that anybody is asking, since he was kicked to the curb by his own dysfunctional constituents three years ago, but former NHL Players’ Association executive director Paul Kelly has some thoughts on what might ease the logjam. And it has to do with expansion, specifically to suburban Toronto (Markham) and Quebec City. As Kelly sees it, making expansion a part of the conversation when it comes to the new collective bargaining agreement could bring both sides closer to realizing their goals.

“If the NHLPA hasn’t raised it as a potential part of the solution, then it ought to,” Kelly said. “Maybe they’ve tried and had the door slammed in their face from what we’re seeing, but it really makes a great deal of sense.”

As Campbell points out in the story, adding two expansion teams would require the NHL and NHLPA to change the definition of Hockey Related Revenue to include expansion fees. It would also require the NHL to annoy the Maple Leafs and Canadiens by putting teams in their backyards, but as Campbell also points out that doesn't seem to be a sticking point with the Islanders moving to the Barclays Center, six miles away from the Rangers. The idea is simple, but also radical at this stage of the negotiations. It's at least interesting to consider.

After the jump the latest from Corey Pronman, Eastern European racists, and even more lockout news.

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Under appreciated players - Daniel Winnik, puck-possession forward

Cam Charron
October 30 2012 07:10AM

He's not an All-Star and his team gets out-scored more when he's on the ice than not, but as for third line depth talent the Anaheim Ducks could have done a whole lot worse this summer than when they signed Daniel Winnik.

Winnik's offensive talents are quite limited. In 366 NHL games, he has just 37 goals, but more troubling is that his career shooting percentage after 622 career shots is merely 5.9%. In essence, he's a defenceman. There aren't a lot of forwards who can sustain such long careers despite not lighting the lamp, and many of the forwards who do are hockey's pugilists. Daniel Winnik is not that thing, but he gets good ice-time minutes despite being not particularly effective offensively. Why? Because he's a very good defensive performer.

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On Picking Fourth Liners

Kent Wilson
October 29 2012 04:02PM

 

Justin Bourne recently wrote about the confusing, fuzzy line between players who make the show and others who plumb in relative obscurity forever on its edges. His notes on role perception, attitude, personality and effort as critical issues for guys at the bottom end of the rotation caused me to theorize a bit on the psychological underpinnings of the observed preferences of coaches and GM's for tough guys with team first attitudes.

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Number Chains - October 29, 2012 Links

Josh L.
October 29 2012 12:58PM

This new, regular feature on NHLNumbers will share interesting stats-related posts from around the web almost every day.

Welcome to edition number three of the rebooted Number Chains. In this space you will be able to find the best analytical hockey writing from around the internet on a close-to-daily basis. Subject matter will include statistical evaluation, financial analysis, contractual issues, and (sometimes) closely-related tangential works. If you have something you would like to submit for a future edition (your writing or that of someone else) feel free to send it to me via Twitter @JoshL1220 or leave a comment.

We begin the week with a musing by Ken Campbell about what life in the NHL would be like if Bain Capital had successfully purchased the league during the last lockout.He brings up an interesting point:

For starters, the money it would have taken to purchase the NHL would have been chump change for a private equity company as large as Bain. It would have been a small part of something much bigger, which would mean that the owner would not have lived and died with every struggling franchise. And as the owner of a single entity with 30 subsidiaries, the NHL would have been in the same situation as a lot of other large businesses. Any company with that many tentacles have branches that do spectacularly well, others that break even and some that lose money. But as long as the business as a complete entity is making money, and we know that it is because every year the league trumpets its record revenues, things would be a lot more stable than they are now.

The entire fabric of the league would be markedly different today, but who is to say things would be better? It's an interesting thought, and the piece is certainly worth a read, but the ramifications of Bain actually being successful in their attempts to by the NHL don't seem particularly pleasant.

After the jump we get into some Ryan Suter back tracking and some goodies from Hockey Prospectus.

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Stats are ruining hockey

Eric T.
October 29 2012 07:23AM

Sabermetrics! Fun!
"It's a triumph of number-crunching over the human spirit -- and it's about time."

It's something I think we've all heard, that stats are ruining the game. It always struck me as nonsense.

After all, a fan could easily watch every game on television, read his hometown newspaper every day, talk to the guys at the bar all the time, and never once encounter a non-traditional statistic. If you really hate hearing about non-traditional hockey stats, it seems like your strongest rational claim is that stats are ruining the arguments you like having in certain circles on Twitter and blog comment sections.

Surely they aren't actually hurting the product on the ice, right?

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