Is there an equivalent of a "Moneyball" for the NHL?
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04-11-2009, 08:51 AM
Originally Posted by
The question isn't "can we model hockey exactly we model baseball?"
The actual question is "can a statistical model of NHL hockey improve our organization's decision making" and the answer to that question is "yes" in my opinion.
Think of how high the error rate is in the NHL draft.
If you could decrease you're organizations error rate 15% in the draft that would be a valuable thing in the long run.
Sounds good in theory, but what traits are the best predictors of NHL success in 17-18 yr olds? You don't know exactly how much more a guy will grow, or how strong he'll get. Skating is probably one good metric as a comparison amongst peers. If you assume that all teams take the best player available (and usually that is the case) based on their career stats and physical attributes-- you get what we have today. A crapshoot after the first 6 or so picks. I guess what I'm saying is that if it were possible to improve, someone would have done it by now. It's the only time teams have access to players for free, and it remains the foundation for building teams. Maybe it's not so much the drafting, but the development. I think Detroit's success has been in finding players that fit a certain style or possess a specific set of skills, who then are developed in a very specific way.
Back to the baseball vs hockey modeling. I think you're bypassing the question. Is hockey a sport that can be modeled?
I hope this doesn't get lost, but hockey is much more a game of random events. There's simply too much going on the ice with too many variables (number of players, conditions, etc.). Baseball is somewhat static
in comparison to hockey