Number Chains - November 7, 2012 Links

Josh L.
November 07 2012 02:02PM

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

Welcome to edition number nine 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.

The NHL and NHLPA met for several hours on Tuesday and have further meeting scheduled for today. The rumor floating out there is the hope for hockey by December first. In the mean time, Mike Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune looked at the potential perks the NHLPA could receive in the next CBA. Among the perks are the following:

1) Joint NHL/NHLPA Health and Safety Committee with equal representation by the league and union;

2) Establishment of a "standard of care" and "primary allegiance" obligations between the team medical staff and players (this is directly due to the tragic Derek Boogaard situation that remains ongoing);

3) Offseason rehab activities would no longer be required in the team's home city;

4) Players have access to second medical opinions at the club expense;

Thanks to Puck Daddy for digging up that link. These are obviously not the sticking points keeping us from having hockey, but they're interesting nonetheless. The emphasis on player safety comes through again in spades. The players are obviously conscious of the concussion problem, and it's interesting to see the role they want the NHL to play in their health. These perks also won't be free, and I wonder how much impact the inclusion of these perks has had on the other negotiations. I imagine the owners would like these expenses to be counted as part of HHR.

After the jump we have some statistical goodness from Kent Wilson and Jonathan Willis, another crazy proposal by Jesse Spector, and other nuggest of hockey fun.

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Is the NHL Lockout Helping AHL Attendance?

Scott Reynolds
November 07 2012 08:53AM

Photo by 5of7 via Wikimedia Commons

One of the things that I was most curious about coming into the lockout was how minor league hockey would fare with no NHL games being played. On the one hand, you know that the league will be filled with better players, and in some cases (like Oklahoma City), the team will be able to market some of the best young players in the game. On the other hand, hockey will be even more under the radar generally, and fans generally don't care much for work stoppages. So is AHL attendance up or is it down so far this season?

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Hogging the Puck: Who's Doing It, and Who Should Be Doing It

Ben Wendorf
November 06 2012 02:36PM

Still building on the infant stages of my fantasy predictor work, I was looking across forwards with 20+ games the last five years and decided to add a metric where I took the shots attempted (technically, it would be like "Fenwick attempted"; shots plus missed shots) while a player was on the ice and determined what percentage of those shots were attempted by the player. This percentage of attempted shots (%AttSh) was my way of saying, "Okay, I don't care what line you're on, or where you start on the many of your line's shots did you take?" At the time, I was more interested in seeing if it was a stable metric for fantasy hockey prediction; if it was, I could consider it a marker of player behavior, or talent, and use it to predict how many shots a player might take. I was also interested in labeling people "puck hogs."

Full disclosure: I've played with puck hogs often in my life, and I've always been okay with setting people up (even though I have a pretty good shot). If you've ever played in an adult league, chances are you've played with a puck hog, and if you think you haven't - YOU ARE IT. So there.

Anyway, I was surprised to find that it actually was a pretty stable indicator of human behavior, and not much of an indicator of talent, making it an important adjustment for fantasy hockey but also fun to use for pointing fingers. So...who's hogging the puck?

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Time on Ice - Goaltenders

Scott Reynolds
November 06 2012 07:12AM

Photo by Michael Miller via Wikimedia Commons

There are a lot of things that can happen to a team over the course of an NHL season that will result in really poor results. As a fan of the Edmonton Oilers, I know that injuries and ineffectiveness can really cripple a team. Every now and again you might end up with Jeff Deslauriers as your regular starting goaltender, Sebastien Bisaillon taking a turn on defense straight out of junior, or Ryan Potulny among your team's leading scorers. There's no doubt some bad luck mixed in when this kind of thing happens, but in some cases, it's probably also bad planning. Over the next several days, I'm going to take a look at how many players NHL teams have used at each position in a given season in order to provide a more concrete idea for what's reasonable as far as adversity. I begin today by checking on goaltender usage.

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Where do most NCAA players in the NHL come from?

Corey S.
November 05 2012 04:06PM

By Wendy (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Last week, I looked at undrafted NCAA players and discussed how they can be a resource to teams looking for cheap organizational depth. I also looked at what schools these players came from and pointed out that there wasn’t one school superior at producing talent in that area, as the top school, Boston College, produced a total of six UDFA’s who blossomed into NHL players. However, something I did notice was that most of the UDFA players from the NCAA were coming from the WCHA conference and most of those who turned into NHL players came from either there or the CCHA.

What about NHL players in general, though? Is there one school (or group of schools) that is superior at generating NHL talent compared to their peers? One would assume so because there are more kids playing hockey in states such as Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, so we would expect there to be more draft picks and NHL talent generated from schools in those states. That assumption can be very misleading, though as there are many successful hockey programs out east that have also produced NHL talent.

To see which schools have produced the most NHL-ers, I looked at every NCAA player who was either drafted by an NHL team (entry & supplemental) or signed as a free agent out of college.

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