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Calling All Stat Heads!

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Old
08-04-2004, 11:57 AM
  #1
Big T
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Calling All Stat Heads!

Alright boys and girls. I've been reading the 'Is Kevin Lowe Overated' thread for a while and after listening to both arguements it came to me that there has to be a better way to solve this problem (without so many subjective observations as well).

Which brings me to the point. If we're gonna rank K-Lowe we have to rank him in respect to all the other GM's in the league. I can't think of a single way to rank how good a GM is at building for the future besides just getting as many peoples opinions and finding the average. But for past accomplishments the 'MoneyBall' way of ranking organizations seems to be the way to go. (I know, I steal a lot of ideas from there! )

Here's how I see it. To rank GM's you must somehow include budget into the equation. (ie: Pierre Lacroix can't be compared directly with Sutter since each has different budget 'realities.')

So the best way I see to rank GM's ability to squeeze the most out of his assets seems to be:

"How much does a given organization pay for every victory above the minumum?"

First of all, what is the minimum amount of salary possible? 25 players at $500K each?? (Just a guess. ) That would be an annual team salary of $12.5 Million. So every dollar a team spends above this amount must be factored in to the equation.

Next, what is the least number of games a team could possibly win? I'm talking the absolute minimum number of games a $12.5 Million team would win. What would the goal differential of this team be? ETC... Would it maybe win, say, 20 games?? (Again, a guess)

So if Team A spends $50 Million and wins 50 games, how much does it pay for each additional victory above the minimum? ($50 Mill - $12.5 Mill) / (50 games - 20 games) = $1.25 Million per additional victory.

Team B spends only $33 million and wins 45 games. The GM of Team B is obviously more effective in this case (despite having less wins) because he only pays $512K for each additional victory. ($33 mill - $12.5 mill) / (45 games - 20 games) = $512K

Now, if anyone wants to figure out the exact stats, we'll have a better idea of how good of a job our GM is doing compared to the others. (Sorry, I gotta get to work)

Thoughts???


T

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Old
08-04-2004, 01:05 PM
  #2
oilswell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big T
Thoughts???
What is a GM hired for? One thought is that the GM's job is to maximize the profit while minimizing financial risk, both short term and long term. In the Oilers' case, that might just be the case. I'm not sure how winning and cost/dollar spent would factor into it exactly. Clearly risk averse owners will have a different view from billionaires owning toys. The frugal ones might want the minimum cost team that is able to make the playoffs and is stocked with players the fans can identify with. (say).

Some GMs, though, are clearly hired to do their owner's bidding. Like signing big names for the NYR fans or spending like mad because your billionaire owners want to bankroll a contender.

Still, your cost per win is definitely one way to look at it. This prior thread might help on that quest?


Last edited by oilswell: 08-04-2004 at 01:09 PM.
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Old
08-04-2004, 02:17 PM
  #3
Big T
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Originally Posted by oilswell
Still, your cost per win is definitely one way to look at it. This prior thread might help on that quest?

Great way to look at things Oilswell! I'm not sure I'd agree with your sentiment on the Yankees, but the idea is definately right. If one were to do a similar comparison for MLB, I am quite certain you would find the Yankees very low in there efficiency. The Twins and the A's would be right near the top.

It really looks like the Preds and the Wild are playing a completely different game with how efficient they are managing their budgets. Really good stuff.

The method I proposed is just a different way to answer the same basic question. I'm not very good at doing such an analysis, but I'd love to see the results if anyone has time. Especially how these results compare to Oilswell's results in the other thread.


T

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Old
08-04-2004, 02:46 PM
  #4
Big T
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilswell
Summary

Hey, its still OK (and fun) to point to the Rangers and say money doesn't buy success. Or point to Minnesota and claim its possible to do a lot with a little. Yeah, well and good. But these are quite arguably the exceptions, and not the rule. Eliminate them, and you get "the rule": money generally buys points. I find it unreasonable to point to the exceptions to argue the system ain't broke.
I think we're drawing different conclusions from the study. Or looking at least loooking it in different ways. What I'd summarize is that the Wild and the Preds are much, much better allocators of capital than the Rags. If the NHL actually was a free market (as the NHLPA argues), the Wild or Preds would have long ago either killed NYR or simply bought them out. (since they are the more efficient business by far.) But, since it isn't a free market, all these teams can do is simply embarass such inefficent teams.

Given an unlimited amount of money, yes, you will have success. But only because the NHL is not a truly free market. Spend this much in an open market and you will mosr certainly taken over by another company.


T

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Old
08-05-2004, 01:52 AM
  #5
oilswell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big T
I think we're drawing different conclusions from the study.
I think so too, but frankly I don't really understand your conclusions. Don't worry, the fault is mine, I'm sure.

My conclusions were that there tends to be a fairly strong relationship between a team's budget and their success. Not much more, really.

Removing outliers that correlation accounts statistically for about 50% of the variations in records. The remaining differences are probably due in no small part to "luck" (injuries, goalies, drafts) and age of the team (expansion team's 1st rounders haven't hit pay dirt yet and are thus still cheap: the "windfall" mentioned here). The effect of the skill of the GM hides in the remainder of the variability, what little there may be.

FWIW the Oilers under Lowe have scored relatively highly.

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Old
08-05-2004, 03:07 PM
  #6
Big T
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilswell
I think so too, but frankly I don't really understand your conclusions. Don't worry, the fault is mine, I'm sure.

My conclusions were that there tends to be a fairly strong relationship between a team's budget and their success. Not much more, really.

Removing outliers that correlation accounts statistically for about 50% of the variations in records. The remaining differences are probably due in no small part to "luck" (injuries, goalies, drafts) and age of the team (expansion team's 1st rounders haven't hit pay dirt yet and are thus still cheap: the "windfall" mentioned here). The effect of the skill of the GM hides in the remainder of the variability, what little there may be.

FWIW the Oilers under Lowe have scored relatively highly.
Yeah, we're just looking at things a little differently. Though I do agree with your conclusion, that there is a significant correlation between money and success.

I'm looking at it in a different way though. Sure, all things being equal, the team with the most money should have the most success. But I'm trying to explain the outliers. The reason there are outliers, to my mind, isn't just a statistical anomoly. Those outliers are doing things in a drastically different way.

The Rangers, even with all of there money, are spending it incredibly foolishly. There lack of success, I believe, cannot be expalined away as just bad luck.

The same goes for the Wild. They are squeezing an incredible amount of success out of their limited resources. Much like the Oakland A's are squeezing an incredible amount of success out of their limited resources.

What are they doing differently???

and more importantly

What are they doing differently that the Oilers should be copying???

To my mind, it's not as simple as playing the dreaded trap. The Preds have had simliar success and play a more offensively minded game. (Than the Wild at least)

That the Oilers under K-Lowe are ranked so high tells me that they are already doing at least some things right and that Kevin Lowe is indeed a very good GM.


T


EDIT: Especially since Lowe does not have the benefit of high draft picks as an expansion team would.

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