Number Chains – January 9th Links

Updated: January 10, 2013 at 5:43 pm by Josh L.



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

Welcome. 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.

Apparently Ilya Kovalchuk wants to stay in Russia, but can’t. Kovalchuk told Slava Malamud of Sport-Express the following (via Fire & Ice):

“I want to stay in St. Petersburg but I have contractual obligations in the NHL, which will be hard to break,”

Malamud later clarified that Kovalchuk meant that he would return for the 2013/14 season. You could take this quote any number of ways. The obvious route is to play the “enigmatic Russian” card. Of course Kovalchuk wants to break his contract. He’s Russian, isn’t he?

Maybe I’m crazy (a distinct possibility), but I don’t take it as Kovalchuk wanting to abandon the NHL. I see it as the quote of a man enjoying his time playing at home, lamenting the fact that he can’t continue to stay to finish what he started this season. This seems like a completely overblown story, especially considering the fact that Kovalchuk has 13 years remaining on his deal. He’ll come get his money.

More after the jump.

* The Dallas Stars are the latest team to offer an apology for the lockout.

* Fear The Fin looks at how the San Jose Sharks fared against the Pacific Division last year.

* Tyler Dellow published part two of his post attempting to answer whether or not the Oilers are playoff contenders.

* Pension Plan Puppets discussed the surprise firing of Brian Burke as President and General Manager of the Maple Leafs.

* We have two posts from Hockey Prospectus to finish us off today. John Fischer previewed the 2013 NHL Season. Rob Vollman wrote about underrated center Ryan O’Reilly.

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