How important is neutral zone play?

Eric T.
July 09 2012 11:48AM



A couple of weeks ago, I laid out an overview of Broad Street Hockey's zone entry project. I described some of the cool things we've found and called for readers to join the project, but I didn't yet show any of the data to support my claims.

This article will be step one in that journey; we'll delve into just how much of a team's results are determined in the neutral zone.

Read Article | 21 Comments

Nation Radio - July 7, 2012

July 08 2012 10:59AM



With summer weather finally arriving on the ol' dusty plains here in Alberta, a lot of folks thoughts are probably turning to backyard barbecues and water parks and picnics and pin wheels and county fairs and whatever else folks associate with summer vacation.

Not us here at the Nation though. Our hearts and minds stay rooted at the rink - or, as it were, in spreadsheets, internet squabbles over player contracts and twitter flame wars.

This week, Lowetide snubbed the the inviting sun and instead talked contracts, drafts and free agency with a gaggle of guests including Jason Strudwick, Andrey Osadchenko and Jonathan Willis.

This is Nation Radio.

Read Article | 9 Comments

Are negotiations on this collective bargaining agreement going better or worse than they went in 2004?

Jonathan Willis
July 08 2012 09:50AM

The collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and NHLPA is slated to expire on September 15, 2012. The league and players’ association have until then to negotiate the details on a new agreement, or else the possibility exists that the 2012-13 season will not begin on time. How are things looking so far?

Read Article | 21 Comments

How would "The Gold Rule" affect the draft order?

Rob Pettapiece
July 06 2012 11:20AM



At the Sloan Sports Conference earlier this year, Adam Gold, a University of Missouri PhD student, proposed a way to change how the draft order is determined. Instead of using the reverse standings, he suggested using the number of wins or points generated after teams were eliminated.

This would, in theory, remove the incentives to tank once a team can no longer make the playoffs, while still ensuring that the worst teams (who are eliminated earlier) maintain their high draft positions. It got noticed - by Oilers fans and followers, to no surprise - and debated, but I wondered what would actually happen under such a system.

Read Article | 5 Comments

The Blueprint For Rebuilding Without Tanking

Josh L.
July 05 2012 01:03PM

Image from the Dallas Morning News

The Dallas Stars have been in a weird state of limbo for four years now. They've been one of those tweener mediocre teams since their last playoff berth after a decade of sustained success. Those teams generally have two directions they can go to get their franchises back on track. They can either tank and rack up the lottery picks or rebuild on the fly.

I used to lean towards the tankers. The closest thing I ever came to witnessing a full rebuild firsthand was the Stars dropping into the bottom five to draft Ric Jackman in 1996, and he had absolutely nothing to do with the immediate transformation of the franchise the following year. Needless to say, my thoughts on the topic weren't fully vetted.

I'm not going to spend the energy trying to convince you one way or the other on the broader topic of tanking vs. trying. I'm more interested in the trying to retool on the fly side of the equation. Joe Nieuwendyk and the Stars have been ruthlessly implementing change in Texas since the season ended. He has his detractors, but he's done yeoman's work with the Stars roster the past two weeks and for the organization as a whole since the Finals ended. The Stars are laying out a blueprint for rebuilding on the fly that is going largely unnoticed.

Read Article | 16 Comments