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.
* At Defending Big D I wrote about the Stars prospects NHLe.
* Via Kukla’s Korner we have a story from Bill Saporito of TIME about soccer gaining on hockey in popularity.
* Neate Sager posted two stories about hockey rink behavior. (Ed. Note: I accidentally initially spelled behavior with a u.) The first was about a Junior A team saying they will escort those who swear from their rink. The other was about a Pee Wee goalie being suspended after multiple racist comments.
* We finish today with a trio of posts from Hockey Prospectus. The first comes from Corey Pronman. He follows up with the top 12 picks from last years draft. Jonathan Willis wrote about the success of the Lightning through unconventional methods. Finally, Matthew Coller discusses a shortened 2012-13 season in the only true lockout post of this edition.