Number Chains – October 26, 2012 Links

Updated: October 26, 2012 at 11:50 am by Josh L.

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

 Welcome to edition number one 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 feel free to send it to me via Twitter @JoshL1220 or leave a comment.

We begin today with a look at Tyler Dellow’s calculations aimed at defining the real financial gap between the NHL and NHLPA. He took the time to crunch the numbers of the NHLPA’s three proposals from last week in an effort to pin down how big the financial gap between the two sides is at this point. Those of you looking for hope in the wasteland that is the Lockout should take a trip to the link and focus on this statement:

When you get right down to it, the difference between the parties sure seems to be getting awfully small: even at 5% growth, the worst possible, the PA has presented an offer that appears to be about $487.4MM away from what the NHL wants financially over a six year period. That’s $81.23MM per year (and it shrinks if growth is higher!) $2.71MM per team. Do the Oilers NEED to have Kevin Lowe AND Steve Tambellini AND Craig MacTavish? They used to get by with one GM. Now they’re probably paying three guys GM money.

Less depressing non-Lockout posts after the jump…

* Andrew Berkshire of Habs Eyes On The Prize recently summed up the site’s project to document how every goal scored by Erik Cole, Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec, Lars Eller, David Desharnais, and Rene Bourque found it’s way into the net. This study led to some interesting observations. Among them:

  • 34.1% of the goals scored by these six players were individual efforts.
  • 52.6% of the goals were scored off the rush.
  • Because I’ve only looked at 6 players on one team, I’m not sure how indicative this is of the Canadiens overall scoring, however just going off of memory (flawed I know), I think this split is indicative of how the Canadiens scored overall last season.

* Over at Backhand Shelf Justin Bourne published a long post about the difficulties of making the NHL and commented on the various reasons why super-talented players end up failing. The reasons listed by Justin aren’t statistical, but they add supporting detail that helps explain why some production will never translate to the NHL. His final observation is one that, I think, we would all do well to remember from time to time:

Sometimes we get frustrated that our favourite prospects don’t come through, but there’s more to it than you see, and behind-the-scenes politics plays a big part, as much as we love to pretend it’s a meritocracy. Just because you’ve got a lot of hope coming out of junior or college doesn’t mean it’s going to be an easy road to the NHL.

* From September we have Corey Pronman’s Top 100 Prospects List brought to you by Hockey Prospectus. Recently Corey wrote about the top prospects currenty playing in the NCAA.

* Finally today we have an off topic short essay from Gabe Desjardins at Arctic Ice Hockey about San Francisco Giants fans. I think we can all relate to his feelings about the casual fan, and his thoughts are spot on.

In case it’s not obvious, San Francisco is full of transplants from elsewhere in the country and the world. My neighborhood is O.G. – we’re talking gold satin 49ers jackets and the elderly flashing gang signs on the bus – and still almost everyone is from somewhere else. And instead of living the life of suffering that all worthy sports fans endure before their team finally ekes out one championship, all of these casual sports fans get to tune in in October every few years to see if the Giants win the World Series.

It’s like everyone now likes a band that I liked when they were unknown and uncool. I cannot share in their joy; I can only think of Dave Chappelle’s Playa Hater’s Ball and the man who called the cops on his drug-dealing neighbors not because it was the right thing to do, but just because he was jealous of all the money they were making.

Speaking to you as a man who almost a year ago today was standing in front of a TV holding my radio to my ear to hear Eric Nadel tell me the sweet words that the Texas Rangers had won a World Series (only to watch Nelson Cruz misplay a simple fly ball), I find myself relating more to those sentiments with every passing day. With the lockout going on it’s nice to be able to aim bitterness in a different direction for a change. The entire post is, as always, worth a read.

Stay tuned for more riveting analysis from the world of hockey in the next edition of Number Chains.

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