You Can't Buy Talent, Except Sometimes You Can: The Best Free Agent Values Between 2005 And 2012

Brent Morris
October 31 2012 07:17AM



In July of 2005, the NHL and NHLPA put aside their differences to sign a collective bargaining agreement which would no doubt stand for all time.  With that eternal and faultless document came a salary cap, which was to be set at $39 million for the 2005-06 season and would move for subsequent seasons in concert with league revenues.  Coming along with the cap was a decreased age for free agency - it was set at 31 for 2005, but would decrease over time to cover all 27 year old players and players who'd accrued 7 NHL seasons.  

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NHLE Scoring Leaderboard 10/30

Josh L.
October 30 2012 03:24PM

Image via WikiMedia Commons

The international scoring race is something to behold. The scoreboards are filling up internationally, and thanks to the work of Gabe Desjardins we can compare the scoring rates across leagues. Using Gabe's NHL equivalencies I've put together the top scorers in all of the hockey world. All Major Junior, AHL, KHL, SEL, DEL, SMLIGA, and Swiss league scorers are considered. The NCAA wasn't included this time due to how few games they've played, but if the lockout drags on they'll be included in the near future.

The current world leading scorer is, you guessed it, Martin Ruzicka. Ok, maybe you didn't guess it. The full top 50 is after the jump.

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Number Chains - October 30, 2012 Links

Josh L.
October 30 2012 12:43PM

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

Welcome to edition number four 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.

Ken Campbell's latest column for The Hockey News delves into an idea ex-NHLPA czar Paul Kelly suggested for bridging the gap between the two sides in the labor struggle. The idea Kelly floated was to expand the league by two teams into fertile markets to grow the pie for everyone.

Not that anybody is asking, since he was kicked to the curb by his own dysfunctional constituents three years ago, but former NHL Players’ Association executive director Paul Kelly has some thoughts on what might ease the logjam. And it has to do with expansion, specifically to suburban Toronto (Markham) and Quebec City. As Kelly sees it, making expansion a part of the conversation when it comes to the new collective bargaining agreement could bring both sides closer to realizing their goals.

“If the NHLPA hasn’t raised it as a potential part of the solution, then it ought to,” Kelly said. “Maybe they’ve tried and had the door slammed in their face from what we’re seeing, but it really makes a great deal of sense.”

As Campbell points out in the story, adding two expansion teams would require the NHL and NHLPA to change the definition of Hockey Related Revenue to include expansion fees. It would also require the NHL to annoy the Maple Leafs and Canadiens by putting teams in their backyards, but as Campbell also points out that doesn't seem to be a sticking point with the Islanders moving to the Barclays Center, six miles away from the Rangers. The idea is simple, but also radical at this stage of the negotiations. It's at least interesting to consider.

After the jump the latest from Corey Pronman, Eastern European racists, and even more lockout news.

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Under appreciated players - Daniel Winnik, puck-possession forward

Cam Charron
October 30 2012 07:10AM

He's not an All-Star and his team gets out-scored more when he's on the ice than not, but as for third line depth talent the Anaheim Ducks could have done a whole lot worse this summer than when they signed Daniel Winnik.

Winnik's offensive talents are quite limited. In 366 NHL games, he has just 37 goals, but more troubling is that his career shooting percentage after 622 career shots is merely 5.9%. In essence, he's a defenceman. There aren't a lot of forwards who can sustain such long careers despite not lighting the lamp, and many of the forwards who do are hockey's pugilists. Daniel Winnik is not that thing, but he gets good ice-time minutes despite being not particularly effective offensively. Why? Because he's a very good defensive performer.

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On Picking Fourth Liners

Kent Wilson
October 29 2012 04:02PM


Justin Bourne recently wrote about the confusing, fuzzy line between players who make the show and others who plumb in relative obscurity forever on its edges. His notes on role perception, attitude, personality and effort as critical issues for guys at the bottom end of the rotation caused me to theorize a bit on the psychological underpinnings of the observed preferences of coaches and GM's for tough guys with team first attitudes.

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