December 07 2012 02:48PM
This new, regular feature on NHLNumbers will share interesting stats-related posts from around the web almost every day.
Welcome to edition number 18 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.
Back in November Chris Stevenson of The Ottawa Sun introduced the hockeyworld outside of North Texas to the thriving megalopolis of Plano, TX. He begins his story with an amusing data point:
This suburb in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex could very well be home to the top pick in the 2013 NHL draft, giving Plano two first-round picks in the last three years.
That's potentially two more than, say, Montreal has produced in that time.
He goes on to describe the successful efforts made by the Stars organization, which spurred the growth of these young players:
Plano is a prime example of the growth of hockey in the U.S. A non-traditional hockey market, the arrival of the Dallas Stars in 1993 -- the year Noesen was born -- planted another hockey seed in the American west.
Recognizing they needed to grow a generation of hockey fans -- what better way than to get them playing the game? -- the Stars, led by president Jim Lites (he's back for a third term under new owner Tom Gaglardi as president and CEO) and then-general manager Bob Gainey started an aggressive program that led to rink building (there are now six Dr. Pepper StarCenters in the Metroplex), a program that reawakened the passion for hockey in older fans and started a love for the game among younger ones.
"The surprising part when we got there was there were a lot of latent hockey players from the Northeast, from Michigan, from different places in Canada who had put their skates away because they didn't think they had anywhere to play," said Gainey. "When we opened up the arena that we used as our practice facillity, one way to manage the ice and make some money was to run these rec leagues and they just exploded. There were a lot of people there already who had interest, but for lack of a way to express it had let it go."
And it continues to grow, despite what attendance figures would suggest. After the jump, a week's worth of hockey statistical-related content.
December 06 2012 06:43PM
Donald Fehr and Gary Bettman held dueling press conferences on Thursday night, and the news was not good. After initially suggesting both sides were close, Don Fehr announced that the NHL had rejected the players’ associations’ latest offer. Gary Bettman followed Fehr up, and announced that the NHL was removing all of the concessions placed on the table in the last meeting.
December 06 2012 02:10PM
Older goalies can still get the job done, but sometimes they need to sit down and rest for a bit.
Photo by rubyswoon via Flickr
This morning, Steve Burtch published a study arguing that goalies do not show any appreciable decline with age. The key plot was this one, in which the x-axis is the goalie's age and the y-axis is how many standard deviations above or below league average he was (for goalies with at least 30 games played):
It's clearly true that the observed performance of old goalies isn't appreciably worse than the observed performance of young goalies. The problem is that word "observed" -- we don't get to observe the performance of all goalies at all ages. JaredL previously looked at this issue and showed how few goalies continue to play heavy minutes into their late 30's. This creates what is called a survivorship bias.
December 06 2012 10:41AM
Writing about CBA negotiations is tricky - by the time your article appears, the winds may have totally shifted. This article may indeed look ridiculous tomorrow.
However, we stand today on Thursday, December 6 with the owners and players in talks for the third straight day, and while conflicting reports come out about the state of each side, it's been made clear that both groups are incredibly close on most issues.
It feels like the home stretch.
Fans on Twitter are getting a little excited. Of course, fans on Twitter don't make up the bulk of the NHL-going public - those who tweet about hockey are the die-hards. The league could lock out for 3 years and we'd follow all the court machinactions with the same passion we watch the games. What's going to get your Gordie Schmo and Wendel Six-Pack back in front of the TV watching Hockey Night in Canada?
December 04 2012 10:59PM
An NHL lockout is a cynical business, with two extremely rich parties fighting for a wicked pile of cash. The most recent edition has been particularly galling, with two sides seemingly able to agree on a myriad of issues but unwilling to bridge the small gap between them.
Given that, naturally I was cynical about the December 4 meeting between players and owners – without the presence of league commissioner Gary Bettman or NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr. I thought it likely to be an empty ploy without hope of succeeding. And to be clear: it hasn’t succeeded yet. But for the first time in quite a while, things are looking up.