Number Chains – November 5, 2012 Links

Updated: November 5, 2012 at 1:41 pm 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 eight 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.

Welcome to another hockey-less week. That may not be the most original introduction to a post, and I have little doubt that reading it several times is annoying, grating, and tiresome. But, such is the lockout in general. Speaking of the lockout, “news” broke this weekend. On Saturday the NHLPA and NHL met for several hours. I’ll let Bill Daly and Steve Fehr expound:

“We had a series of meetings yesterday (Saturday) and exchanged views on the most important issues separating us,” wrote Daly in an email to TSN on Sunday morning.”We plan to meet again sometime early this week.”

Fehr sent out a release later Sunday morning saying that he agreed with how Daly summed up the session.

“Hopefully we can continue the dialogue, expand the group, and make steady progress,” said Fehr.

The secret meeting in the secret location supposedly went well, and both sides will be meeting again tomorrow. Whether or not any actual progress was made is anyone’s guess, but at this point it’s foolish to get your hopes up one way or the other. The emotion swings aren’t justified at this point.

After the jump, Larry Brooks gets emotional (angry?) about the owners role in the lockout, JW muses about Anton Lander, and a few other tasty treats. 

* In Sunday’s New York Post Larry Brooks torched the owners. Among the highlights of the article are several references to the “owners lockout” and the canceller-in-chief (Gary Bettman…if you didn’t catch the not-so-subtle jab). As if you needed further clarification, Brooks definitely points his finger at one side:

By the way, you know what’s hilarious? The notion the players deserve blame for this, for having had the audacity to hire someone who would diligently represent their interests — that’s what’s hilarious.

The column isn’t all owner smashing. Brooks proposes a fix to the escrow issue:

I would suggest a large part of the solution would be to decrease escrow — and thus the amount necessary to fund make-whole — by altering the way the floor is calculated.

Percentage-of-the-gross is a guaranteed shortcut to a dead-end in a league where 90 percent of the money is generated locally and in which the payroll of smaller market teams is dictated by the dramatic annual increase revenue of a handful of monster franchises


In 2006-07, the second year of the system but the first season for which the numbers were established by actual revenue and not an estimate, the $28 million floor was 63.6 percent of the $44 million cap. No one complained about that.


If the cap reaches $88 million — and it will at 50-50 before all that long if revenues continue to increase at historical rates—then the $72 million floor will represent 81.8 percent of the ceiling.

Forcing teams to hit the floor increases escrow and complicates make-whole. The answer is to set the floor at a percentage rate of the cap — say, 65 percent rather than the $16 million hard number — which would thus minimize escrow and diminish the make-whole gap to a workable number.

* Bruce Garrioch wrote about the thawing relationship between the NHL and NHLPA.

* A guest post was written for Canucks Army by Fy Virani, an individual with an insider story to tell about the weird CHLPA story.

* Jonathan Willis took a look at the job security of Anton Lander.

Outside of rehashing the same two stories over and over it was a pretty slow weekend. Happy Monday.

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