Remaining RFAs of Interest

Kent Wilson
January 08 2013 01:39PM

The lock-out interrupted a lot of things this year, not the least of which was free agency. Most of the big (and middle sized) fish were signed to some famously controversial deals last summer, but more than a few significant loose ends were left when the prior CBA expired in September.

The most significant of which is a collection of young, burgeoning restricted free agents, several of whom figure to be major cogs for their current clubs for years down the road. As of right now, however, a bunch of these guys remain without a deal and are therefore open to an offer sheet or two (new CBA permitting, of course).

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Alexei Kovalev returns to the NHL, maybe

Jonathan Willis
January 08 2013 10:21AM

Photo: Michael Miller/Wikimedia

On Tuesday morning, the Miami Herald’s George Richards reported that Alexei Kovalev, the veteran of more than 1,300 NHL games and a guy with more than 1,000 points, will be in training camp with the Florida Panthers.

What should be expected of him?

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Number Chains - January 7th Links

Josh L.
January 07 2013 04:44PM



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

Welcome to your first post lockout links. 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.

The NHL season reportedly is to get underway January 19th. Until then we have all sorts of hot stove action to discuss. Among the topics being thrown around today is the 2013 NHL Draft. At Hockey Prospectus, Corey Pronman released his midseason Top 50 rankings. His top three are as follows:

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Time On-Ice Studs: Finding Some Real MVP Seasons, 2007-08 to 2011-12

Ben Wendorf
January 07 2013 08:56AM



In previous posts, I have stressed the value of understanding NHLers' time on-ice as a percentage of available time (Time On-Ice%, or TOI%) rather than as a lump sum. I then found that TOI% at 5v5, 5v4, and 4v5 provide data points for a pretty nifty radar plot, what I've called a "Total Player Chart," and used those TPCs to depict player value.

Since then, I've also expanded Total Player Charts to include "Team Total Player Charts," or TTPCs, which demonstrate some other nifty stuff for looking at individual season depth charts for teams (such as the Vancouver Canucks in 2011-12), and looking at the evolution of player depth over time for teams (such as Vancouver from 2007-08 through 2011-12).*

I promised to come back and include some analysis of 5v4% and 4v5%, and for now there was one stone I felt was still left unturned: TOI% including all of 5v5, 5v4, and 4v5. By looking at individual TOI% performances over the last five seasons, and in particular those that are leading by this metric, you are undoubtedly looking at real MVPs, the players with the largest amount of their team's minutes.

An overwhelming majority of the time, they are also logging the most crucial minutes. Now, I've heard some whispers of apprehension about trusting that coaches will always put the best player out there. They won't always, but it won't be for lack of trying. Traditionalists who refute statheads by saying we should defer to someone who "watches" or "plays" the game (I've done both, probably more than them, but I digress) should have no problem with deferring to a coaching assessment. And if they don't, well who the hell are they, anyway? Stats folks have a right to be more skeptical, but are also beholden to the fact that coaches making the wrong decision will be a small part of the sample.

Suffice to say, it's no sure measure, but it's one of the best. 

*Incidentally, I draw attention to a critical distinction between the TTPCs in individual seasons versus multiple seasons as I present them. Explanation here.

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January 06 2013 05:04PM

What's that thing called when you break up with someone, both see other people and then decide you are going to get back together and have to pretend like the last 6 months never happened? Yeah. It's time for about 1000cc of that.

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