July 22 2014 09:28AM
I was wondering when the first NHL team would jump on Kyle Dubas, the young Ontario Hockey League general manager who has turned around the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds program since his arrival. The Greyhounds have redefined the way they look for talent through the draft and how they break down player performance.
I did not think it would ever be the Toronto Maple Leafs, but this is apparently that new world.
July 19 2014 12:00PM
Delta Corsi and Assessment of Individual Player Impacts on Possession Accounting for Usage
Statistical analysis of skaters in the NHL (and other hockey leagues) is a difficult and multifaceted process. At this point in the hockey analytics (or #fancystats) community one of the biggest problems with analyzing and assessing hockey play from a possession - and particularly defensive - perspective is tracking which players actually make a significant impact within a given system. Generally this has been tackled by assessing a player's results within the context of their usage, then comparing a variety of statistical metrics to those of their "usage" peers. The best tools available at this point are player usage charts (Vollman), which are now available in a few locations. Metrics have also been devised that consider expected goals (Parkatti) and expected shooting percentage (Pfeffer), and win contributions - i.e. Total Hockey Rating aka THoR (Schuckers and Curro).
The problem one typically finds with trying to analyze players in "context", is that eyeballing context isn't amazingly easy. We all know what tough minutes are generally speaking, i.e. facing top opposition; playing big minutes; starting in your own zone frequently; playing with weaker line-mates, etc. Unfortunately there are implicit assumptions and unfounded impressions floating around that very few people seem to have spent much energy on assessing. Work must be done to determine what combination of various factors have meaningful impacts, thus providing us with a context for interpreting each player's results.
July 18 2014 11:24AM
In this week's edition of the podcast we take a look at the awfully sparse list of free agents still there for the taking on the open market. In doing so Derek manages to compliment TJ Galiardi in a roundabout, backhanded manner, and we contemplate what exactly has happened to Devin Setoguchi in recent years. There was even, as promised, a discussion about the St.Louis Blues signing Chris Butler mixed in there somewhere.
Regardless of how anyone feels about the quality or entertainment value of this podcast, no one can dare say that we aren't asking all of the important, hard hitting questions here.
We then closed out the show by answering questions we received from you, our loyal listeners. Remember that in future weeks you can get involved yourself by including #AskMrFin in your Twitter reply. We always welcome input and participation, particularly during these dog days of Summer.
Nation World HQ
July 18 2014 09:12AM
The most boring stretch for any hockey fan is between now and early September. We do our best to scratch that hockey itch below.
July 14 2014 11:29AM
The Chicago Blackhawks signed Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to identical eight-year, $84 million contracts last week. They are the face of the Blackhawks so it made sense to re-sign them, but with a combined $21 million cap hit the new deals will limit the Hawks ability to add proven depth to their roster.
Of course the Hawks needed to keep these players, but even if the salary cap shoots up to $75 million in 2015/2016 Kane and Toews will eat up 28% of the total space. With that much of the cap eaten up by two players it makes it extremely difficult to add quality depth players, which is a necessity if you want to win the Cup.