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-   -   Adjusted Even-Strength Plus-minus 1968-2008 (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=591548)

overpass 01-05-2009 11:46 PM

Adjusted Even-Strength Plus-minus 1968-2008
 
See here for updated numbers through 2010 for active players.

The plus-minus statistic is often reviled by NHL fans as a useless statistic. This is understandable, as the stat produces numbers that are often inexplicable. Most importantly, a player’s team is a major factor in his plus-minus.

However, the plus-minus stat is not without merit. Most importantly, it aims to measure the most important part of winning – outscoring the other team. The only thing that matters in winning hockey games is outscoring the other team, whether by scoring goals or preventing them. Evaluating players based on scoring stats alone will more directly measure a player’s contribution to scoring, but will fail to capture other aspects of the game, especially defensive play. Plus-minus aims to capture the full impact of a player’s game, but it is a more indirect measure that can be influenced by a number of factors out of the player’s control.

The most important of these is the quality of the team on which the player plays. My adjusted even-strength plus-minus statistic attempts to remove this bias from the numbers and present a number that can compare players from bad teams and good teams on an equal footing. Specifically, the method of adjusting for team is to compare the team’s goals for and against while the player is on the ice to the team’s goals and against while the player is off the ice. Additionally, plus-minus includes shorthanded goals scored by both teams. This introduces a bias against players who play on the power play and in favor of players who play on the penalty kill. My adjusted plus-minus estimates on-ice shorthanded goals based on on-ice power play goals, as on-ice shorthanded goals for individuals are not available for most years, and removes them from the player’s record.

To calculate the adjusted plus-minus, I take the player’s on-ice total goals for and against as given. I calculate an expected plus-minus for the player, based on his team’s off-ice performance. The expected plus-minus is calculated using the off-ice performance regressed partially to even, as a player should be expected to play somewhat better than a set of bad teammates or worse than a set of good teammates. I then calculate an actual plus-minus, which differs from official NHL plus-minus in that it is normalized to a scoring environment of 200 even-strength goal per season and does not include shorthanded goals. I subtract the “expected plus-minus” from the “actual plus-minus” to generate an adjusted plus-minus number.

While this method removes many of the biases from raw plus-minus, it is still an imperfect method of rating players. First, most importantly, it is for even-strength play only. Second, a player’s linemates or defence partner may exert a major influence on a player’s numbers – see Milan Hedjuk for a prime example. Third, the on-ice/off-ice method of adjusting for team implicitly compares a player to the other players on his team who play the same position but on another line or D-pairing. If a player is on the same team as a great player, the off-ice baseline may not be a fair comparison. For example, Ted Green’s 1971 season has one of the lowest adjusted plus-minus ratings ever. When you realize that much of his off-ice baseline was set by Bobby Orr, the reason for the low rating becomes clear. Also, some players play more difficult opposition than others, facing the other team’s best players and taking more defensive zone faceoffs. These differences can also skew the numbers.

For the above reasons, please keep the following in mind when using these numbers to evaluate players
  • Adjusted plus-minus is best used to compare players who played in a similar role. For example, compare #1 defensemen who played the toughest ice-time on the team to other #1 defensemen, not to #6 defensemen who were sheltered by their coaches from the best players. For example, take Tom Preissing’s rating with a huge grain of salt.
  • Adjusted plus-minus is measured against a baseline of average, so it will tend to underrate players with a long decline phase or several poor years at the start of their career (Mark Messier) and give high ratings to players who retired young and didn’t play a lot past their prime(Bobby Orr, Eric Lindros).
  • Adjusted plus-minus is measured against a baseline of average, so it will tend to underrate players with a long decline phase or several poor years at the start of their career (Mark Messier) and give high ratings to players who retired young and didn’t play a lot past their prime(Bobby Orr, Eric Lindros).
  • Check to see who the player’s linemates were. Did he have a great player on his line? Charlie Simmer and Dave Taylor both have very high ratings, and likely owe much of it to Marcel Dionne.
  • Did the player play on a team with another great player who was on another line/D-pairing? If so, his adjusted plus-minus may be too low. Mark Messier in his Edmonton years is an example here, along with Ted Green. I don’t think there are too many cases of this kind, but there are certainly a few.
  • There may be a significant amount of random variation in a single-year result. For that reason, I would look at multiple years when measuring a player’s peak, and would not use this stat as definite proof that one player was better than another in a given year.

There are a lot of disclaimers there, but I still believe there is a lot of good information in adjusted plus-minus when evaluating a player’s career. Even after taking the above possible biases into account, there are still some very interesting results.

overpass 01-05-2009 11:46 PM

Glossary of Terms:

SFrac: Season Fraction. 1.00 is a full season. I prefer it to games played because it gives a 48 game season, a 74 game season, an 80 game season or an 82 game season the same weight.
$ESGF: Even-strength goals for, normalized to a 200 ESG scoring environment and with estimated SH goals removed.
$ESGA: Even-strength goals against, normalized to a 200 ESG scoring environment and with estimated SH goals removed.
R-ON: Even strength GF/GA ratio when the player is on the ice.
R-OFF: Even-strength GF/GA ratio when the player is off the ice.
XEV+/-: Expected even-strength plus-minus, which is an estimate of the plus-minus that an average player would post with the same teammates. The calculation is described above.
EV+/-: Even –strength plus-minus, which is simply plus-minus with estimated shorthanded goals removed and normalized to a 200 ESG environment.
AdjEV+/-: Adjusted even-strength plus-minus, which is even-strength plus-minus minus expected even-strength plus-minus. This is the final number.
The following three stats evaluate special teams play and are not related to adjusted plus-minus. I’m including them in the table for a quick reference to the player’s contributions outside of even-strength play.
PP% : The % of the team’s power play goals for that the player was on the ice for.
SH%: The % of the team’s power play goals against that the player was on the ice for.
$PPP/G: Power play points per game, normalized to a 70 PPG environment and with pre-1988 PP assists estimated.

Results
Here are the top 60 in career adjusted even-strength plus-minus, as well as the players in the HOH Top 100 and several others who were strongly considered for voting.

Rk Player SFrac $ESGF/G $ESGA/G R-ON R-OFF XEV+/- EV+/- AdjEV+/- /Season PP% $PPP/G SH%
1 Ray Bourque 20.30 1.17 0.85 1.37 0.96 -62 524 586 29 88% 0.45 58%
2 Bobby Orr 7.68 1.81 0.84 2.17 1.08 54 610 556 72 98% 0.67 63%
3 Jaromir Jagr 15.94 1.25 0.91 1.38 0.96 -39 454 493 31 68% 0.45 8%
4 Wayne Gretzky 18.82 1.43 1.11 1.27 1.01 35 469 434 23 82% 0.58 31%
5 Mark Howe* 11.70 1.13 0.75 1.50 0.98 -26 354 380 32 59% 0.24 42%
6 Eric Lindros 9.63 1.23 0.82 1.53 0.96 -38 339 377 39 68% 0.38 14%
7 Larry Robinson 17.34 1.31 0.82 1.60 1.33 331 697 366 21 49% 0.20 45%
8 Borje Salming 14.37 1.17 1.02 1.15 0.82 -194 172 366 25 62% 0.24 55%
9 Bobby Clarke 14.49 0.88 0.48 1.78 1.21 105 467 362 25 59% 0.36 40%
10 Al MacInnis 17.72 1.10 0.78 1.40 1.11 112 468 356 20 87% 0.49 39%
11 Dave Taylor 13.84 0.88 0.67 1.31 0.85 -112 235 347 25 47% 0.27 7%
12 Marcel Dionne 16.92 0.93 0.84 1.11 0.81 -210 127 336 20 77% 0.53 13%
13 Teemu Selanne 13.36 1.02 0.82 1.24 0.87 -124 211 335 25 74% 0.46 5%
14 Mario Lemieux 11.29 1.30 1.07 1.20 0.85 -130 204 334 30 94% 0.71 27%
15 Peter Forsberg 9.02 1.16 0.67 1.73 1.07 38 358 320 36 72% 0.51 21%
16 John Leclair 12.17 1.00 0.67 1.52 1.09 41 334 293 24 53% 0.26 1%
17 Mike Bossy 9.40 1.08 0.60 1.82 1.18 78 371 293 31 75% 0.49 5%
18 Bryan Trottier 15.96 0.94 0.63 1.53 1.16 118 410 292 18 54% 0.35 27%
19 Ron Francis 21.68 0.86 0.78 1.11 0.89 -123 166 290 13 73% 0.43 25%
20 Larry Murphy 20.35 1.06 0.88 1.20 1.02 21 298 276 14 65% 0.32 32%
21 Guy Lafleur 14.14 1.07 0.64 1.69 1.31 222 496 274 19 70% 0.40 4%
22 Zigmund Palffy 8.63 1.03 0.81 1.27 0.80 -113 149 263 30 71% 0.43 14%
23 Denis Potvin 13.27 1.18 0.79 1.50 1.23 166 419 253 19 87% 0.43 53%
24 Steve Larmer 12.88 0.84 0.64 1.32 0.95 -39 214 253 20 62% 0.32 24%
25 Nicklas Lidstrom 15.62 1.19 0.84 1.41 1.23 199 452 253 16 72% 0.42 54%
26 Brad McCrimmon 15.45 0.95 0.66 1.42 1.17 120 362 242 16 15% 0.05 36%
27 Keith Tkachuk 13.24 0.90 0.79 1.15 0.86 -120 120 240 18 67% 0.36 9%
28 Mike Modano 16.38 0.88 0.69 1.29 1.03 22 257 235 14 64% 0.37 27%
29 Brad Park 14.10 1.21 0.86 1.43 1.20 168 399 230 16 81% 0.35 43%
30 Scott Stevens 20.53 1.13 0.86 1.31 1.19 213 442 229 11 40% 0.16 56%
31 Brian Propp 12.65 0.85 0.57 1.49 1.10 62 288 227 18 54% 0.27 22%
32 Sergei Fedorov 14.96 0.92 0.68 1.33 1.07 62 288 226 15 59% 0.33 32%
33 Charlie Simmer 8.90 0.82 0.62 1.33 0.83 -74 148 221 25 61% 0.35 6%
34 Mats Sundin 16.32 0.97 0.85 1.14 0.94 -65 154 219 13 64% 0.36 25%
35 Joe Thornton 9.20 1.00 0.76 1.30 0.94 -34 180 214 23 66% 0.39 11%
36 Milan Hejduk 8.55 1.02 0.67 1.53 1.09 34 248 214 25 57% 0.34 13%
37 Gary Roberts 14.72 0.89 0.66 1.34 1.12 68 281 213 14 38% 0.18 11%
38 Craig Ramsay 13.44 0.72 0.48 1.51 1.10 55 267 212 16 13% 0.07 59%
39 Steve Shutt 11.66 0.95 0.52 1.82 1.43 195 407 211 18 38% 0.22 1%
40 Pierre Turgeon 16.28 0.90 0.72 1.26 1.04 26 236 210 13 62% 0.38 12%
41 Dmitri Khristich 10.30 0.79 0.60 1.31 0.91 -56 154 210 20 49% 0.24 13%
42 Michel Goulet 13.54 0.84 0.70 1.20 0.92 -56 151 206 15 55% 0.30 11%
43 Jarome Iginla 10.49 0.91 0.77 1.18 0.86 -88 118 206 20 62% 0.34 17%
44 Jean Ratelle* 13.04 0.99 0.65 1.53 1.26 155 358 204 16 60% 0.41 9%
45 Jere Lehtinen 9.38 0.82 0.51 1.61 1.10 36 237 201 21 43% 0.20 35%
46 Luc Robitaille 17.94 0.93 0.80 1.17 1.01 5 205 201 11 59% 0.35 4%
47 Ron Stackhouse 11.21 1.12 1.07 1.05 0.83 -147 47 194 17 46% 0.16 49%
48 Joe Sakic 17.07 1.02 0.88 1.16 1.01 3 196 194 11 78% 0.48 25%
49 Patrik Elias 9.09 0.89 0.57 1.57 1.12 49 241 192 21 57% 0.31 16%
50 Joe Reekie 11.46 0.84 0.69 1.21 0.91 -57 135 192 17 3% 0.01 42%
51 Simon Gagne 6.43 0.90 0.56 1.62 0.97 -16 175 191 30 51% 0.26 18%
52 Paul Kariya 11.42 0.98 0.84 1.16 0.90 -73 117 190 17 80% 0.46 16%
53 Theoren Fleury 13.66 0.98 0.81 1.19 1.00 -2 187 189 14 64% 0.35 23%
54 Jeremy Roenick 16.42 0.83 0.67 1.24 1.05 34 219 185 11 61% 0.34 20%
55 Alex Tanguay 7.43 1.08 0.71 1.51 1.10 39 224 185 25 48% 0.28 4%
56 Michael Nylander 10.35 0.78 0.62 1.27 0.91 -45 136 181 17 52% 0.25 3%
57 Chris Chelios 20.25 1.00 0.78 1.28 1.20 183 364 180 9 53% 0.23 58%
58 Mike Foligno 12.67 0.73 0.61 1.21 0.92 -54 126 180 14 38% 0.16 4%
59 Petr Svoboda 13.23 0.86 0.66 1.30 1.07 31 209 178 13 36% 0.15 24%
60 Chris Pronger 11.81 1.03 0.84 1.21 0.98 -7 169 175 15 66% 0.36 54%
61 Brendan Shanahan 18.63 0.86 0.70 1.23 1.08 75 245 170 9 60% 0.36 14%
70 Doug Gilmour 18.52 0.86 0.75 1.15 1.01 -3 160 163 9 58% 0.32 34%
90 Stan Mikita* 10.82 0.89 0.67 1.33 1.13 56 201 145 13 71% 0.44 25%
92 Denis Savard 15.19 0.82 0.71 1.16 1.01 -12 133 145 10 59% 0.36 13%
98 Gordie Howe* 4.81 1.01 0.74 1.37 0.90 -29 110 139 29 64% 0.33 16%
101 Jari Kurri 15.79 1.00 0.81 1.22 1.11 101 238 137 9 49% 0.29 26%
102 Steve Yzerman 19.03 0.99 0.84 1.19 1.11 97 232 135 7 68% 0.39 36%
104 Mike Gartner 18.05 0.85 0.76 1.12 1.01 3 137 134 7 52% 0.27 10%
105 Frank Mahovlich* 6.65 1.10 0.74 1.51 1.20 65 199 134 20 70% 0.39 26%
122 Jacques Laperriere* 5.67 1.45 0.94 1.53 1.31 112 232 120 21 35% 0.10 73%
127 Paul Coffey 17.79 1.28 1.04 1.23 1.20 238 356 117 7 78% 0.44 27%
129 Scott Niedermayer 13.80 1.05 0.81 1.30 1.23 162 278 116 8 62% 0.27 36%
130 Yvan Cournoyer* 9.92 0.98 0.60 1.64 1.53 194 310 116 12 62% 0.39 0%
135 Igor Larionov* 11.56 0.70 0.55 1.27 1.07 22 136 115 10 44% 0.27 12%
162 Bobby Hull* 5.07 1.11 0.77 1.48 1.16 38 138 101 20 78% 0.45 24%
169 Joe Nieuwendyk 15.80 0.79 0.62 1.29 1.22 140 236 96 6 55% 0.33 9%
171 Pat Lafontaine 10.89 0.91 0.85 1.07 0.95 -35 60 96 9 71% 0.42 11%
173 Peter Stastny 12.22 0.94 0.87 1.09 0.96 -23 71 94 8 71% 0.42 8%
188 Alex Delvecchio* 5.98 0.96 0.83 1.14 0.92 -25 65 90 15 68% 0.37 20%
195 Brian Leetch 15.17 1.14 1.07 1.06 0.98 -30 60 90 6 87% 0.47 49%
203 Adam Oates 16.82 0.91 0.85 1.06 0.99 -7 79 86 5 72% 0.39 27%
227 Phil Esposito* 13.36 1.15 0.92 1.26 1.22 183 260 76 6 82% 0.63 27%
228 Sergei Makarov* 5.57 0.94 0.73 1.27 1.06 11 87 76 14 47% 0.25 1%
229 Pavel Bure 8.91 1.04 0.96 1.08 0.96 -15 61 76 9 73% 0.37 27%
238 Dale Hawerchuk 14.90 0.86 0.85 1.02 0.93 -66 9 74 5 72% 0.44 12%
270 Norm Ullman* 7.68 0.93 0.82 1.13 1.01 1 69 68 9 45% 0.28 9%
285 Vyacheslav Fetisov* 6.84 0.91 0.68 1.35 1.22 65 130 65 10 27% 0.10 27%
310 Tim Horton* 6.03 1.17 1.02 1.15 1.06 16 77 61 10 29% 0.08 60%
324 Serge Savard 13.20 1.28 0.89 1.46 1.52 366 424 58 4 24% 0.08 58%
352 Henri Richard* 6.38 0.89 0.62 1.43 1.38 89 141 52 8 12% 0.08 3%
368 Darryl Sittler 13.79 0.89 0.82 1.09 1.06 31 80 49 4 53% 0.33 18%
400 Jean Beliveau* 3.43 0.96 0.65 1.50 1.27 43 88 44 13 64% 0.46 0%
752 John Bucyk* 10.08 0.87 0.64 1.38 1.49 181 196 15 1 74% 0.50 0%
828 Brett Hull 15.96 0.96 0.87 1.10 1.12 110 121 11 1 71% 0.43 15%
1835 Dave Keon* 10.56 0.71 0.71 1.01 0.99 1 0 -1 0 45% 0.22 36%
2086 Mark Messier 22.05 0.90 0.82 1.08 1.12 139 138 -1 0 56% 0.33 41%
2772 Gilbert Perreault 14.98 0.92 0.84 1.08 1.13 93 88 -5 0 70% 0.41 12%
3876 Vaclav Nedomansky* 5.26 0.46 0.62 0.76 0.84 -39 -67 -28 -5 53% 0.28 0%
4043 Guy Lapointe 11.15 1.23 0.87 1.42 1.63 360 324 -36 -3 64% 0.28 53%
4291 Bob Gainey 14.52 0.62 0.50 1.23 1.53 202 140 -62 -4 5% 0.02 45%

*played significant years before 1968 or outside the NHL

2011 Update

Here's a complete update of the numbers through 2011.

I have made a couple of changes to the method. First, I lowered the adjustment factor slightly, to the benefit of players who were on good teams. Second, I made a change to the way I estimate and remove shorthanded goals from the numbers, using actual SHP, which hurts a few players who scored a lot of SHP.

Top 50
Player SFrac $ESGF/G $ESGA/G R-ON R-OFF XEV+/- EV+/- AEV+/- /Season
Ray Bourque 20.3 1.16 0.85 1.37 0.95 -54 523 577 28
Bobby Orr 7.7 1.81 0.84 2.15 1.09 47 610 562 73
Jaromir Jagr 15.9 1.25 0.91 1.37 0.95 -49 444 493 31
Larry Robinson 17.3 1.31 0.82 1.60 1.34 285 696 411 24
Al MacInnis 17.7 1.10 0.78 1.41 1.12 98 467 369 21
Mark Howe 11.7 1.11 0.75 1.48 0.97 -20 347 367 31
Eric Lindros 9.6 1.24 0.82 1.52 0.95 -29 334 363 38
Bobby Clarke 14.5 0.87 0.48 1.79 1.20 93 454 361 25
Teemu Selanne 15.7 0.97 0.79 1.23 0.85 -121 237 357 23
Nicklas Lidstrom 18.6 1.18 0.84 1.40 1.18 164 517 353 19
Borje Salming 14.4 1.17 1.02 1.14 0.82 -169 172 340 24
Wayne Gretzky 18.8 1.38 1.12 1.23 1.05 64 404 339 18
Dave Taylor 13.8 0.88 0.67 1.31 0.84 -99 234 333 24
Peter Forsberg 9.0 1.12 0.66 1.69 1.09 37 340 303 34
Guy Lafleur 14.1 1.06 0.64 1.67 1.35 193 492 299 21
Mike Bossy 9.4 1.08 0.60 1.79 1.18 69 365 297 32
Bryan Trottier 16.0 0.93 0.63 1.49 1.17 104 400 296 19
John Leclair 12.2 1.01 0.68 1.49 1.07 38 333 295 24
Marcel Dionne 16.9 0.92 0.84 1.09 0.81 -171 110 281 17
Larry Murphy 20.3 1.06 0.88 1.20 1.02 20 298 278 14
Denis Potvin 13.3 1.18 0.79 1.49 1.23 145 420 275 21
Mario Lemieux 11.3 1.26 1.07 1.18 0.87 -96 176 273 24
Ron Francis 21.7 0.88 0.80 1.11 0.90 -106 157 263 12
Brad Park 14.1 1.21 0.86 1.40 1.20 144 400 256 18
Brad McCrimmon 15.4 0.94 0.65 1.44 1.18 107 362 255 17
Joe Thornton 12.1 0.99 0.75 1.32 0.97 -18 237 255 21
Scott Stevens 20.5 1.13 0.86 1.31 1.19 188 443 255 12
Brian Rafalski 10.2 1.10 0.78 1.41 1.05 27 266 239 24
Steve Shutt 11.7 0.94 0.52 1.81 1.45 168 404 235 20
Steve Larmer 12.9 0.83 0.64 1.30 0.94 -29 202 231 18
Patrik Elias 11.7 0.87 0.59 1.47 1.09 37 267 229 20
Sergei Fedorov 15.6 0.91 0.68 1.33 1.09 59 287 227 15
Brian Propp 12.7 0.84 0.57 1.47 1.12 56 277 222 18
Zigmund Palffy 8.6 0.99 0.81 1.23 0.80 -91 131 221 26
Alex Tanguay 10.0 1.02 0.72 1.41 1.06 25 244 219 22
Chris Pronger 14.4 1.01 0.83 1.22 0.99 -6 213 219 15
Jean Ratelle 13.0 0.98 0.65 1.51 1.27 135 353 218 17
Craig Ramsay 13.4 0.72 0.48 1.50 1.12 47 264 217 16
Charlie Simmer 8.9 0.82 0.62 1.33 0.83 -64 147 211 24
Alex Ovechkin 5.8 1.22 0.85 1.44 0.90 -32 176 208 36
Pavel Datsyuk 8.1 1.01 0.64 1.58 1.12 40 247 207 26
Gary Roberts 15.1 0.87 0.65 1.33 1.10 60 266 207 14
Milan Hejduk 11.1 0.96 0.72 1.33 1.03 13 217 204 18
Keith Tkachuk 15.0 0.92 0.83 1.10 0.87 -101 103 203 14
Pierre Turgeon 16.3 0.89 0.72 1.24 1.04 25 228 203 12
Jere Lehtinen 10.7 0.78 0.52 1.49 1.07 26 226 200 19
Henrik Sedin 9.9 0.85 0.58 1.46 1.05 19 219 200 20
Luc Robitaille 17.9 0.94 0.80 1.17 1.00 3 202 199 11
Chris Chelios 20.7 0.99 0.77 1.27 1.18 162 359 196 10
Daniel Sedin 9.6 0.82 0.55 1.49 1.04 15 210 195 20

Other players of interest
Player SFrac $ESGF/G $ESGA/G R-ON R-OFF XEV+/- EV+/- AEV+/- /Season
Joe Sakic 17.3 1.00 0.88 1.14 1.01 9 173 164 10
Cam Neely 9.4 0.90 0.73 1.23 0.93 -30 130 160 17
Sidney Crosby 5.0 1.18 0.88 1.34 0.89 -32 122 154 31
Brendan Shanahan 19.0 0.84 0.70 1.21 1.10 72 224 152 8
Doug Gilmour 18.5 0.85 0.75 1.13 1.00 0 151 151 8
Paul Coffey 17.8 1.29 1.04 1.23 1.21 206 357 151 8
Stan Mikita 10.8 0.89 0.67 1.33 1.12 51 198 147 14
Frank Mahovlich 6.6 1.10 0.74 1.49 1.19 56 198 142 21
Yvan Cournoyer 9.9 0.98 0.60 1.63 1.50 168 308 140 14
Steve Yzerman 19.0 0.98 0.84 1.17 1.10 88 225 136 7
Jacques Laperriere 5.7 1.45 0.95 1.53 1.31 97 233 136 24
Gordie Howe 4.8 1.01 0.74 1.37 0.90 -24 106 131 27
Jari Kurri 15.8 0.98 0.81 1.21 1.13 92 221 129 8
Denis Savard 15.2 0.80 0.70 1.13 0.99 -4 117 121 8
Rod Langway 12.4 0.91 0.70 1.29 1.20 95 210 115 9
Bill Barber 11.3 0.83 0.53 1.57 1.50 164 278 114 10
Scott Niedermayer 15.8 1.04 0.83 1.25 1.22 155 265 110 7
Serge Savard 13.2 1.28 0.89 1.44 1.52 318 425 107 8
Brian Leetch 15.2 1.14 1.07 1.06 0.97 -24 76 101 7
Igor Larionov 11.6 0.73 0.61 1.20 1.06 22 118 96 8
Phil Esposito 13.4 1.15 0.91 1.25 1.25 162 253 91 7
Alex Delvecchio 6.0 0.96 0.83 1.16 0.93 -21 65 86 14
Pat Lafontaine 10.9 0.91 0.85 1.07 0.95 -27 55 82 8
Sergei Makarov 5.6 0.93 0.74 1.26 1.04 11 87 76 14
Vyacheslav Fetisov 6.8 0.91 0.69 1.33 1.21 57 128 71 10
Norm Ullman 7.7 0.93 0.82 1.13 1.01 3 68 66 9
Henri Richard 6.4 0.89 0.62 1.43 1.35 78 141 63 10
Mark Recchi 20.6 0.89 0.84 1.06 1.03 24 87 63 3
Tim Horton 6.0 1.18 1.02 1.15 1.04 15 78 63 10
J.C. Tremblay 4.7 1.32 0.96 1.37 1.33 82 138 57 12
Jean Beliveau 3.4 0.96 0.65 1.48 1.29 38 88 50 15
Dale Hawerchuk 14.9 0.85 0.85 1.00 0.93 -50 -2 49 3
Darryl Sittler 13.8 0.89 0.82 1.08 1.04 27 75 48 3
John Bucyk 10.1 0.87 0.64 1.37 1.47 157 196 39 4
Guy Lapointe 11.1 1.23 0.87 1.41 1.66 313 324 11 1
Brett Hull 16.0 0.95 0.87 1.09 1.14 99 106 7 0
Gilbert Perreault 15.0 0.91 0.84 1.08 1.12 83 85 3 0
Mark Messier 22.1 0.89 0.82 1.08 1.14 127 118 -10 0
Dave Keon 10.6 0.69 0.71 0.97 1.01 4 -16 -20 -2
Vaclav Nedomansky 5.3 0.46 0.62 0.75 0.81 -32 -66 -34 -6
Bob Gainey 14.5 0.62 0.50 1.23 1.51 177 136 -41 -3

overpass 01-05-2009 11:47 PM

Analysis
  • Ray Bourque tops the list, and rightly so, I believe. Bourque was almost a latter-day Gordie Howe in his ability to consistently play at a very high level for a very long time, and he may have the most career value of any player since 1968.
  • Bobby Orr’s numbers are absolutely incredible. His on-ice impact was like no other player in hockey history. The fact that he played in an expansion and WHA diluted league must be taken into account, but even so I’m convinced that he’s the #1 hockey player on peak value.
  • Gretzky’s career numbers are surprisingly unimpressive. Fourth place isn’t bad, but one would expect more from the Great One. However, a season-by-season examination reveals that almost all of his positive value came in his Edmonton years, and he was barely above average in Los Angeles and New York. For this reason I see him as more of a terrific 8-10 year prime candidate than a 20 year Bourque or Howe type candidate, despite his high scoring throughout his career.
  • Jagr’s excellence can be obscured by his poor teams or the fact that he played in a low-scoring era, but his seven year run from 1995-2001 was incredible.
  • Lemieux is surprisingly low on this, but his per-game results are very good, he played a number of games before and after his prime, and he was possibly the greatest power play player in history.
  • Larry Robinson isn’t #1 as he is in unadjusted plus-minus, but still scores very well.
  • Others who look very good by this metric are Mark Howe, Lindros, Clarke, Salming, MacInnis, and Dionne.
  • Notice Dave Taylor and John LeClair in the top 20 as a couple of players who probably have large linemate effects.
  • Among players who were named to or considered for the HOH Top-100, Bob Gainey, Guy Lapointe, Mark Messier, Gilbert Perreault, and Brett Hull all have very ordinary numbers here.
  • Gainey and Lapointe are very difficult cases. As they spent their prime years on the best team of all time, it’s hard to know how well a teammate comparison works when the teammates are this good. Lapointe also put up terrible numbers after leaving the Canadiens, and a prime-only comparison would make him look better. These numbers may underrate Gainey, but I still feel he’s overrated – compare his numbers to contemporary shutdown left winger Craig Ramsay.
  • Messier suffers from two factors – he played on a team with Gretzky for years on a different line, and he had several terrible years at the end of his career. Remove these final years and adjust for the Gretzky factor, and his numbers are closer to Yzerman.
  • I think Perreault and Hull are just overrated – both weren’t among the scoring leaders as much as you might think and, if the numbers are correct, did very little other than scoring.
  • Finally, I’d like to push Eric Lindros and Mark Howe for the HOH Top-100 based on these numbers. Neither one had a long career, and other players did more on special teams, but very few were impact players at even-strength like these two were.

Master_Of_Districts 01-06-2009 12:10 AM

This is great stuff.

Very informative.

Not surprised to see the likes of Lehtinen, Elias, Ramsay, Modano etc on the list.

In my experience, two way forwards tend to be underrated, which is unfortunate considering that two way play often contributes as much (or more) to winning as scoring a ton of points does.

seventieslord 01-06-2009 01:11 AM

- WOW! When you sent me this spreadsheet and I played around with it, I hadn't noticed that it was adjusted for era. I noted that Orr's per-game average was almost double that of the next best, Lindros. Part of that, thought, was due to the higher-scoring era he played in. I had no idea this was already adjusted. Incredible how good Orr was.

- Good point regarding Gainey. It can be misleading to see him so low because he played against top lines all the time, and also because the benchmark for him was a team that was frequently first overall. That said, it did not stop Robinson from placing so high, and, I never realized before that the "good team, bad team" factor was accounted for. One look at this list should cast serious doubt on Gainey's seemingly automatic status of best defensive forward of all-time. Especially when you look way up the list and see contemporary Craig Ramsay.

foame 01-06-2009 04:54 AM

Can you post the numbers for post-lockout (Top 20 from 05-06 to 08-09)

It's really fascinating to see Howe top 10 in AdjEV+/- /Season

Selšnne does really well here, I think he got somewhat underrated last year, I can't seem to find stats for the Olympics but he has scored 20 goals in 25 games, so he must be pretty hign on the scoring list there.

overpass 01-06-2009 09:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by foame (Post 17174642)
Can you post the numbers for post-lockout (Top 20 from 05-06 to 08-09)

It's really fascinating to see Howe top 10 in AdjEV+/- /Season

Selšnne does really well here, I think he got somewhat underrated last year, I can't seem to find stats for the Olympics but he has scored 20 goals in 25 games, so he must be pretty hign on the scoring list there.


Top 20 in Adjusted Even-strength Plus-Minus, 2006-2008

Rk Player Years SFrac ESGF/G ESGA/G R-ON R-OFF XEV+/- EV+/- AdjEV+/- /S
1 Joe Thornton 2006-2008 2.99 1.12 0.65 1.72 0.83 -25 114 139 47
2 Dany Heatley 2006-2008 2.87 1.25 0.71 1.76 1.08 10 127 117 41
3 Pavel Datsyuk 2006-2008 2.88 1.13 0.54 2.09 1.18 25 140 115 40
4 Jaromir Jagr 2006-2008 3.00 1.09 0.67 1.63 0.94 -10 104 113 38
5 Alexander Ovechkin 2006-2008 2.99 1.18 0.94 1.25 0.75 -55 59 112 37
6 Sidney Crosby 2006-2008 2.60 1.09 0.83 1.32 0.78 -42 55 98 38
7 Teemu Selanne 2006-2008 2.29 0.97 0.50 1.94 0.95 -6 87 94 41
8 Nicklas Lidstrom 2006-2008 2.88 1.21 0.66 1.82 1.24 37 129 93 32
9 Jason Spezza 2006-2008 2.57 1.21 0.74 1.64 1.11 12 99 87 34
10 Tom Preissing 2006-2008 2.82 0.94 0.65 1.46 0.91 -14 68 83 29
11 Jonathan Cheechoo 2006-2008 2.77 0.88 0.56 1.58 0.95 -8 73 82 30
12 Simon Gagne 2006-2008 2.11 0.98 0.75 1.32 0.69 -41 40 82 39
13 Ryan Getzlaf 2006-2008 2.63 0.76 0.41 1.87 0.99 -4 75 81 31
14 Henrik Zetterberg 2006-2008 2.62 1.08 0.56 1.92 1.27 31 111 81 31
15 Daniel Alfredsson 2006-2008 2.73 1.14 0.71 1.61 1.15 20 97 78 29
16 Mike Knuble 2006-2008 2.78 0.87 0.69 1.26 0.77 -37 41 76 27
17 Marek Malik 2006-2008 2.26 0.97 0.56 1.74 1.02 2 77 75 33
18 Jason Arnott 2006-2008 2.78 0.99 0.66 1.50 1.05 3 77 71 26
19 Nathan Horton 2006-2008 2.87 0.93 0.69 1.35 0.92 -13 57 70 24
20 Jarome Iginla 2006-2008 2.85 0.99 0.70 1.40 0.98 -4 66 70 25

Here are the numbers for the 3 seasons from 2006-2008. They don't include the current season.
  • There are a number of linemates on this list, so some of these players may be on this list because of their linemates as much as their own play.
  • Peter Forsberg just missed the list despite the fact that he only played half the games in these three seasons, and Gagne and Knuble may be on the list in part because of him (although Gagne had very good numbers before 2006 also.)
  • Malik and Preissing rank very well by this method, as they do by raw plus-minus. While they may be underrated, I believe that both played a lot of minutes with their team's top offensive players, Preissing with the Heatley-Spezza-Alfredsson line in Ottawa and Malik with the Jagr line in New York, and this inflated their numbers.
  • This method ranks Ovechkin and Crosby more favorably than raw plus-minus, as both had relatively weak teammates over the past 3 years.
  • The list is fairly forward-heavy, and few defensemen have done well in these numbers in the past few years. Lidstrom stands out here as the only top defenseman to make the list.

I should also add that exact even-strength and shorthanded on-ice numbers are available for post-lockout season, but I haven't included them, but have instead estimated them as I have for all years 1968-2008. As a result, there are probably more accurate methods of player valuation available in recent years. The advantage of my method is that it is directly comparable over the last 40 years.

Gordie Howe does score very well. When you consider that those were his age 39-42 and age 51 seasons, I have little doubt that if adjusted plus-minus numbers were available for his whole career he would be at or very near the top of the list.

Corpuscle2 01-06-2009 02:14 PM

Question
 
Where do you get the "Percentage of Power Play Goals that the player was on the ice for" statistic?

Not doubtng it, but I would love to know the source. Having watched most of Bobby Orr's career, I believe that he was on the ice for 98% of the Bruins PPGs...

Thanks

seventieslord 01-06-2009 03:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Corpuscle2 (Post 17179549)
Where do you get the "Percentage of Power Play Goals that the player was on the ice for" statistic?

Not doubtng it, but I would love to know the source. Having watched most of Bobby Orr's career, I believe that he was on the ice for 98% of the Bruins PPGs...

Thanks

It would be found by simply dividing the player's PPGF (PPG that he was on the ice for) by the team's total PPG. Both numbers are readily available at places like www.hockey-reference.com.

Dark Shadows 01-07-2009 12:50 AM

Very nice work

arrbez 01-07-2009 02:06 AM

Maybe I'm just missing it on one of those many stat columns, but could you list the players who have the biggest percentage movement up or down after adjustment? It would be interesting to see who makes the biggest jump.

seventieslord 01-07-2009 10:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arrbez (Post 17195005)
Maybe I'm just missing it on one of those many stat columns, but could you list the players who have the biggest percentage movement up or down after adjustment? It would be interesting to see who makes the biggest jump.

I'm sure he can do that, but that begs the question: If you go from -10 to +30, what percentage did you go up?

Triffy 01-07-2009 11:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by seventieslord (Post 17197087)
I'm sure he can do that, but that begs the question: If you go from -10 to +30, what percentage did you go up?

The answer is -400%. That sounds like a wrong answer but there should be an explanation for it. I can't figure it out, though.

It's also problematic if your original +/- rating is 0.

Triffy 01-07-2009 11:19 AM

If there isn't another solution, that problem could be solved by marking the worst ever +/- rating as a 0 point. (Or actually, it should be 1 to avoid dividing by zero but let's just make it easier and mark it 0). That way there would be no minus ratings. Similar to the Kelvin scale.

So: let's pretend the worst ever +/- rating anyone has ever had was -50. Then if player A's rating right now is 0, his rating translates to 50.

If A's adjusted +/- rating is 30, it translates to 80 in the new scale (30-(-50)=30+50=80).

In the example, the player A had a percentual rise of (80-50)/50=60%.

Make me feel stupid. Tell me what the problem is in the system presented above.

seventieslord 01-07-2009 11:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Triffy (Post 17197436)
The answer is -400%. That sounds like a wrong answer but there should be an explanation for it. I can't figure it out, though.

It's also problematic if your original +/- rating is 0.

it's definitely a wrong answer. Because by that logc if you're -5 and go up to +30, you went up 800%. But it's a smaller jump than -10 to +30 is.

Triffy 01-07-2009 11:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by seventieslord (Post 17197620)
it's definitely a wrong answer. Because by that logc if you're -5 and go up to +30, you went up 800%. But it's a smaller jump than -10 to +30 is.

Actually, 700%. But yeah, you're right. That clearly doesn't work.

MadArcand 01-07-2009 11:34 AM

Very interesting. Nice to see how Francis places far above Hawerchuk and Oates, who tend to be heralded as his equals around here.

arrbez 01-07-2009 11:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by seventieslord (Post 17197087)
I'm sure he can do that, but that begs the question: If you go from -10 to +30, what percentage did you go up?

ok, maybe not a percentage...perhaps just the players with the biggest spread between actual and adjusted

seventieslord 01-07-2009 12:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Triffy (Post 17197669)
Actually, 700%.

Touche!

overpass 01-07-2009 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arrbez (Post 17195005)
Maybe I'm just missing it on one of those many stat columns, but could you list the players who have the biggest percentage movement up or down after adjustment? It would be interesting to see who makes the biggest jump.

I did a sort by Expected Plus-Minus (XEV+/-), which shows the difference between unadjusted +/- and adjusted +/-. Basically, expected plus-minus tries to answer the question "What would an average player's plus-minus be in this situation?" Here are the top 20 and bottom 20 in XEV+/-.

I also added a column on the right, which is expected plus-minus per season. This should come pretty close to the largest percentage movement. Actually what it should show is who has the worst teammates per season and who has the best teammates per season. Notice Bob Stewart, the subject of a recent thread, appears on here.

Player SFrac ESGF/G ESGA/G R-ON R-OFF XEV+/- EV+/- AdjEV+/- XEV+/-/S
Serge Savard 13.2 1.28 0.89 1.46 1.52 366 424 58 28
Guy Lapointe 11.15 1.23 0.87 1.42 1.63 360 324 -36 32
Larry Robinson 17.34 1.31 0.82 1.6 1.33 331 697 366 19
Dallas Smith 9.93 1.39 1 1.39 1.45 268 314 46 27
Paul Coffey 17.79 1.28 1.04 1.23 1.2 238 356 117 13
Jacques Lemaire 10.91 1.06 0.63 1.68 1.53 233 381 148 21
Wayne Cashman 13.01 0.96 0.66 1.47 1.41 227 321 94 17
Guy Lafleur 14.14 1.07 0.64 1.69 1.31 222 496 274 16
Scott Stevens 20.53 1.13 0.86 1.31 1.19 213 442 229 10
Bob Gainey 14.52 0.62 0.5 1.23 1.53 202 140 -62 14
Nicklas Lidstrom 15.62 1.19 0.84 1.41 1.23 199 452 253 13
Don Awrey 10.78 1.12 0.99 1.13 1.3 198 119 -79 18
Steve Shutt 11.66 0.95 0.52 1.82 1.43 195 407 211 17
Yvan Cournoyer 9.92 0.98 0.6 1.64 1.53 194 310 116 20
Bill Barber 11.33 0.84 0.53 1.59 1.5 187 294 107 17
Phil Esposito 13.36 1.15 0.92 1.26 1.22 183 260 76 14
Chris Chelios 20.25 1 0.78 1.28 1.2 183 364 180 9
Eric Desjardins 14.33 1.03 0.81 1.26 1.26 181 257 76 13
John Bucyk 10.08 0.87 0.64 1.38 1.49 181 196 15 18
Yvon Lambert 8.56 0.74 0.52 1.41 1.7 175 151 -25 20
Keith Tkachuk 13.24 0.9 0.79 1.15 0.86 -120 120 240 -9
Jack Lynch 4.81 0.73 1.21 0.61 0.68 -121 -189 -68 -25
Wilf Paiement 11.83 0.75 0.88 0.86 0.83 -123 -123 0 -10
Mike Christie 5.15 0.88 1.12 0.79 0.67 -123 -100 23 -24
Ron Francis 21.68 0.86 0.78 1.11 0.89 -123 166 290 -6
Dennis Hextall 8.66 0.77 0.94 0.82 0.79 -124 -122 2 -14
Vincent Lecavalier 8.66 0.9 0.99 0.91 0.77 -124 -65 59 -14
Teemu Selanne 13.36 0.95 0.76 1.24 0.87 -124 211 335 -9
Bryan Watson 9.12 0.78 0.96 0.81 0.77 -128 -131 -3 -14
Brent A Hughes 5.63 0.88 1.16 0.78 0.7 -129 -124 5 -23
Mario Lemieux 11.29 1.3 1.07 1.2 0.85 -130 204 334 -12
Bob Stewart 7.23 0.84 1.29 0.65 0.76 -137 -271 -135 -19
Guy Charron 9.26 0.66 0.86 0.78 0.75 -144 -158 -14 -16
Reed Larson 11.3 0.99 1.1 0.9 0.82 -146 -100 45 -13
Ron Stackhouse 11.21 1.12 1.07 1.05 0.83 -147 47 194 -13
Yvon Labre 4.65 0.73 0.98 0.74 0.58 -149 -98 51 -32
Walt Mckechnie 12.07 0.61 0.72 0.85 0.73 -176 -107 70 -15
Gary Croteau 8.65 0.56 0.87 0.65 0.61 -184 -218 -34 -21
Borje Salming 14.37 1.17 1.02 1.15 0.82 -194 172 366 -13
Marcel Dionne 16.92 0.93 0.84 1.11 0.81 -210 127 336 -12

seventieslord 01-07-2009 01:00 PM

Wow... an average player who played the time in Montreal that Savard did, during the same seasons, would be +366.

Dark Shadows 01-07-2009 01:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MadArcand (Post 17197780)
Very interesting. Nice to see how Francis places far above Hawerchuk and Oates, who tend to be heralded as his equals around here.

Take it with a grain of salt. John Leclair and Dave Taylor both finished above Francis, Taylor by a large amount, and neither of those players remotely come close to being as good as Oates or Hawerchuk or Gilmour or Francis, etc

FissionFire 01-07-2009 01:49 PM

Not sure why Gordie Howe didn't get a * but he should get one.

Am I the only one who finds it astounding that Mr. Hockey is 98th on the list? His ages were 39-42 and 51 during the seasons taken into account, yet he finished with an average adjusted season rating of +29. He wasn't exactly on great teams for those years either, making the playoffs only once in Detroit (in a 12 team league) and once at 51 with Hartford. These pretty much incorporat his worst statistical scoring seasons as well. Am I completely off-base to think that he'd be far atop this list if we had his numbers, especially during his prime? I think his average adjusted season could rival or exceed that of even Orr.

overpass 01-07-2009 01:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thornton_19 (Post 17199272)
Take it with a grain of salt. John Leclair and Dave Taylor both finished above Francis, Taylor by a large amount, and neither of those players remotely come close to being as good as Oates or Hawerchuk or Gilmour or Francis, etc

For those specific players, I'd take it with a grain of salt named Eric Lindros or Marcel Dionne.

Yeah, every stat needs to be interpreted, and this one does have some funny results (I'm not sure what to make of Dmitri Khristich or Joe Reekie in the top 50.) But I do think it's far better than unadjusted plus-minus, as the Francis example shows.

Quote:

Originally Posted by FissionFire (Post 17199879)
Not sure why Gordie Howe didn't get a * but he should get one.

Am I the only one who finds it astounding that Mr. Hockey is 98th on the list? His ages were 39-42 and 51 during the seasons taken into account, yet he finished with an average adjusted season rating of +29. He wasn't exactly on great teams for those years either, making the playoffs only once in Detroit (in a 12 team league) and once at 51 with Hartford. Am I completely off-base to think that he'd be far atop this list if we had his numbers, especially during his prime? I think his average adjusted season could rival or exceed that of even Orr.

I do think it's pretty amazing that Howe is so high on the list. As a general rule, players tend to become less effective at even-strength as they age, even if the power play skills remain. The body just breaks down and they can't win all the puck battles anymore. See Wayne Gretzky for a perfect example. The fact that Howe was an elite player by this measure at age 40 is crazy, I can't think of any other comparable player. I do think he would be at the top of this list if we had his numbers.

That said, he was playing on a stacked line for a couple of years there with Alex Delvecchio and maybe most importantly, a prime Frank Mahovlich. Those were also the years just after expansion, so it may have been easier to dominate, although I'm not sure that's a factor in these numbers.

I really can't see him matching Orr on a per-season basis, however. Orr was just on another level from everyone.

Edit: I'll add a few numbers here. From 1969-1971, Mahovlich had an adjusted +/- of +113 in Detroit. From 1969-1971, Howe was +104 and Delvecchio +88 with the same numbers. I think Mahovlich may deserve as much credit as Howe for these numbers, although maybe only someone who saw them play could say for sure.

I also added Howe's * in the table, good catch, thanks.

FissionFire 01-07-2009 02:24 PM

That's possible, although Howe did lead the Wings in scoring by a fair clip in 1968 without Mahovlich, and only Howie Young has a better unadjusted +/- on the team (and that team included Norm Ullman most of the year). In 1971 Howe was also finally breaking down some and retired after the season because of severe arthritis in his wrists that limited him all year. In 1970 Howe had a better +/- than Mahovlich by a decent margin as well. How was also still playing on the PK despite being 41. I'm sure Mahovlich had an impact, but I don't see him as the reason Howe's +/- relative to the team would be inflated.

As far as his prime +/- I think it would be much higher than you assume. Take 1952-53 for example. The team had 222GF and 133GA, a +89 margin. Howe finished that season with 95 points. He was on a stacked line there as well. I don't think it's outside the realm of reason to assume that his +/- that season was extremely high, even in relation to his teammates. Nobody on his team finished withing 24 points of him, leading me to believe he was double or triple shifted quite a bit that season (or he was scoring a ridiculous amount of unassisted goals). Sadly there will likely never be a way to know for sure, but I'd bet his adjusted +/- per season through his prime and even mid 30s was far higher than you might expect.


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