Is there an equivalent of a "Moneyball" for the NHL?
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04-23-2009, 11:47 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Originally Posted by
I'm pretty sure I could find some batters with some pretty wild swings in their HR numbers. How about Brady Anderson's HR totals?
I would also point out that in baseball each player's stats are skewed by park effects. In hockey there are no park effects to deal with in the modern since all rinks are the same dimensions.
Again, the question isn't "can you model hockey perfectly?" the question is "can modeling hockey help you improve your decision making?" and I think the answer is "yes" to the 2nd question.
The idea isn't "well, can i find a 50 goal scorer" but rather "can I guess who is going to be a 50 goal scorer better than the other guy?"
The A's, the subject of Moneyball, wasn't trying to isolate the next 5 .320 30HR guys but they were trying to isolate those that were more likely to get there. Granted, no tool is really going to get you that but often it can be just as valuable as eyeballing a player. Similarly, they were able to isolate the ideal qualities that they could glean out of players (On-Base as a superior measure to Batting Avg or Slugging). They had an idea of how to read the statistical part of baseball better and they had an idea of how to identify talent.
Unfortunately, I don't think we can address the latter due to lack of data on those leagues not influenced by the NHL (I think some good work could be done with the AHL if they have the same equipment do what the NHL currently does). College baseball stats are everywhere.
I do think that the game itself can be re-understood given the right tools. I think current NHL talent that is undervalued can be found.
There are teams that must be wallowing in cash. My dream job would be, personally, to have a go at being a mathematical statistician for say the Leafs or the Rags. I say those teams because I have to imagine they have more money to spare on a lark such as a small stat analysis group. Especially with the Leafs history of floundering as they have. I'm shocked that with their potential resources that they haven't branched out. Surely that cup is worth an extra 500K USD/yr. for 4-5 statistical researchers.
Last edited by Patman: 04-23-2009 at
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