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Greatest +/- accumulated by forwards !

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Old
03-14-2005, 04:58 PM
  #1
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Greatest +/- accumulated by forwards !

over the years Defenseman generally have a better +/- ranking due to the fact they control the back end and prevent being scored on, but how do the forwards rank in the top 10 greatest +/- seasons of all time. Right now i can go research it but im too lazy to look it up so if anyones gotta reasonable amount of time ... plzz feel free to show some stats.

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03-14-2005, 04:59 PM
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Rick Middleton.

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03-14-2005, 06:00 PM
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Off the top of my head I know that Gretzky has had a + 99 and Lafleur a + 89 once but have no clue about anything else.

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03-14-2005, 06:14 PM
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Hockey Outsider posted these in an earlier thread.

Wayne Gretzky 1985 : 98
Guy Lafleur 1977 : 89
Steve Shutt 1977 : 88
Bobby Clarke 1976 : 83
Wayne Gretzky 1982 : 81
Bobby Clarke 1975 : 79
Bryan Trottier 1979 : 76
Wayne Gretzky 1984 : 76
Jari Kurri 1985 : 76

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03-14-2005, 06:21 PM
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Here's a list of all the forwards who were at least +60 in a season.

Wayne Gretzky 1985 : 98
Guy Lafleur 1977 : 89
Steve Shutt 1977 : 88
Bobby Clarke 1976 : 83
Wayne Gretzky 1982 : 81
Bobby Clarke 1975 : 79
Bryan Trottier 1979 : 76
Jari Kurri 1985 : 76
Wayne Gretzky 1984 : 76
Bill Barber 1976 : 74
Guy Lafleur 1978 : 73
Reggie Leach 1976 : 73
Steve Shutt 1976 : 73
Ken Hodge 1971 : 71
Pete Mahovlich 1976 : 71
Phil Esposito 1971 : 71
Wayne Gretzky 1986 : 71
Bryan Trottier 1984 : 70
Bryan Trottier 1982 : 70
Jacques Lemaire 1977 : 70
Wayne Gretzky 1987 : 70
Mike Bossy 1982 : 69
Guy Lafleur 1976 : 68
Mike Bossy 1984 : 66
Mike Bossy 1979 : 63
Michel Goulet 1984 : 62
Don Luce 1975 : 61
Jean Ratelle 1972 : 61
Vic Hadfield 1972 : 60
Wayne Gretzky 1983 : 60

Note: I obtained this data from a second-hand source. Some errors may be present.

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03-14-2005, 06:39 PM
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The obvious thing that jumps out at you when looking at that list is that it`s entirely 70s and 80s; nothing at all from the last 15 years. While most would blame that on the decline in scoring, the real reason is that there`s more parity today than ever before- despite what the pro-owners fans in the lockout debate claim.

Very often when someone is presenting an argument for Bobby Orr being the best player ever they`ll bring up his plus/minus. For example they`ll mention how he was once +124 and compare it to recent seasons when nobody got over +40. The only flaw in that argument is that in those years that Orr had those high marks there were usually about ten other players with marks higher than today`s players get. I`m not trying to knock Orr( who may be the greatest player ever), but like all statistics,+/- has to be put into proper context.

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03-14-2005, 06:49 PM
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Just a note, Orr's record isn't official. I don't mean that as a slander in the least, just that +/- wasn't tracked at the time. It was something the Bruins were recording, not the NHL. As such, his name isn't in the record books.

I don't know who has the highest +/- among forwards, but I suspect Wayne's +500-something is right up there. Despite him being a minus player for most his career...

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03-14-2005, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCD
Just a note, Orr's record isn't official. I don't mean that as a slander in the least, just that +/- wasn't tracked at the time. It was something the Bruins were recording, not the NHL. As such, his name isn't in the record books.
Hmm. I'm not sure about that. The stats needed for plus/minus (even strength and shorthanded goals for and against while the player is on the ice) were recorded for every single player in the NHL, from 1968 to present. Plus/minus is available for every player from 1968-present.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCD
I don't know who has the highest +/- among forwards, but I suspect Wayne's +500-something is right up there. Despite him being a minus player for most his career...
Top 25 career plus/minus leaders (not including 2004):

Larry Robinson 1,384 730
Bobby Orr 596 597
Ray Bourque 1,612 528
Wayne Gretzky 1,487 518
Bobby Clarke 1,144 506
Denis Potvin 1,060 460
Serge Savard 1,038 460
Guy Lafleur 1,126 453
Bryan Trottier 1,279 452
Brad McCrimmon 1,222 444
Mark Howe 929 400
Steve Shutt 930 393
Scott Stevens 1,597 390
Mike Bossy 752 381
Al MacInnis 1,413 373
Brad Park 1,113 358
Dallas Smith 773 355
Jacques Lemaire 853 349
Guy Lapointe 884 329
Craig Ramsay 1,070 328
Bill Hajt 854 321
Bill Barber 903 316
Brian Propp 1,016 310
Andre Dupont 800 299
Jean Ratelle 1,022 299

Gretzky has the highest plus/minus mark by a forward ever, and has the 4th highest plus/minus mark ever.

With that said, plus/minus is a very team-dependent and era-dependent statistic. And it doesn't entirely measure defense (since you get a plus for scoring).

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03-14-2005, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider
Hmm. I'm not sure about that. The stats needed for plus/minus (even strength and shorthanded goals for and against while the player is on the ice) were recorded for every single player in the NHL, from 1968 to present. Plus/minus is available for every player from 1968-present.



Top 25 career plus/minus leaders (not including 2004):

Larry Robinson 1,384 730
Bobby Orr 596 597
Ray Bourque 1,612 528
Wayne Gretzky 1,487 518
Bobby Clarke 1,144 506
Denis Potvin 1,060 460
Serge Savard 1,038 460
Guy Lafleur 1,126 453
Bryan Trottier 1,279 452
Brad McCrimmon 1,222 444
Mark Howe 929 400
Steve Shutt 930 393
Scott Stevens 1,597 390
Mike Bossy 752 381
Al MacInnis 1,413 373
Brad Park 1,113 358
Dallas Smith 773 355
Jacques Lemaire 853 349
Guy Lapointe 884 329
Craig Ramsay 1,070 328
Bill Hajt 854 321
Bill Barber 903 316
Brian Propp 1,016 310
Andre Dupont 800 299
Jean Ratelle 1,022 299

Gretzky has the highest plus/minus mark by a forward ever, and has the 4th highest plus/minus mark ever.

With that said, plus/minus is a very team-dependent and era-dependent statistic. And it doesn't entirely measure defense (since you get a plus for scoring).
The Big Three are up there; but then again so is Bill Hajt. Where's Wayne Babych?

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03-14-2005, 07:38 PM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider
Top 25 career plus/minus leaders (not including 2004):

Larry Robinson 1,384 730.
Now that might be an unbreakable record. I just don't see the conditions ever existing again to have a player have such an incredible career +/-. That's the equivalent of 15 +50 seasons

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03-14-2005, 11:14 PM
  #11
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+/- always strikes me as a bad stat to judge players by, since it's so team-dependant. every single year there's great players in the negatives because they play for a bad team (Chris Pronger: -1).

i was thinking, does it make sense to compare the player's +/- with the teams +/- for the year? IE: Pronger was -1, but the Blues as a team were -11, making Pronger a +10 in comparison. i know it's still not perfect, but i think it gets a little closer to reality

am I over-looking any problems with this system?

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03-15-2005, 12:11 AM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arrbez
+/- always strikes me as a bad stat to judge players by, since it's so team-dependant. every single year there's great players in the negatives because they play for a bad team (Chris Pronger: -1).

i was thinking, does it make sense to compare the player's +/- with the teams +/- for the year? IE: Pronger was -1, but the Blues as a team were -11, making Pronger a +10 in comparison. i know it's still not perfect, but i think it gets a little closer to reality

am I over-looking any problems with this system?
I agree, plus/minus is very team dependent. You may find this article interesting, which attempts to improve plus/minus and remove distortions: http://www.puckerings.com/research/plusmin.html. It's quite similar to your idea.

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03-15-2005, 01:32 AM
  #13
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Driven by boredom, I've done some work with adjusted plus/minus.

There are a two major problems with the plus/minus statistic. First, it's team dependent. Second, it's era-dependent. I want to adjust for this.

To adjust for a player's team, I compare the player's PM to their team's PM (ie even strength and shorthanded goals for minus even strength and shorthanded goals against). Then I divide it by 5 to show that at any given time, 5 players are on the ice. (I just realized I should probably divide it by less than 5, maybe 4.8 or 4.9, because only 3 or 4 players are on the ice when shorthanded. Oops.)

Then we subtract the team's PM from the portion of games a player plays in. Example: in 1972 Bobby Orr was +86 and the Bruins were +142. 142/5 = +28.4. Orr played in 76/78 games (97.4%), so we subtract 97.4% of the team's PM rating from his personal PM. +86 - (28.4*.974) =58.3. [We only remove the % of games a player is in the lineup for since we don't want them to be rewarded/penalized for their team playing poorly/well when they're not playing.] Ideally I would like to break this down by ice time but I don't have enough data.

Also it's easier to accumulate high or low PM stats in high-scoring years. I adjust PM stats based on how high scoring the year is to a base of 6.5 (average goals per game since '68). So there were 6.13 goals per game in 1972, I multiply Orr's adjusted +58.3 by 6.5/6.13 = 1.06 to get +61.8. This is Orr's final adjusted PM stat.

Career leaders (not counting '04):

Bobby Orr 596 445.9
Larry Robinson 1,384 377.2
Ray Bourque 1,612 318.9
Bobby Clarke 1,144 307.8
Wayne Gretzky 1,487 282.9
Mark Howe 929 270.0
Borje Salming 1,148 241.7
Denis Potvin 1,060 237.7
Scott Stevens 1,597 236.8
Brad McCrimmon 1,222 223.9
Bryan Trottier 1,279 212.8
Al MacInnis 1,413 204.8
Eric Lindros 639 199.4
Brad Park 1,113 197.2
Dave Taylor 1,111 195.3
Guy Lafleur 1,126 191.3
Mike Bossy 752 191.0
Serge Savard 1,038 188.7
Craig Ramsay 1,070 176.7
Brian Propp 1,016 169.0
Bill Hajt 854 164.0
Jaromir Jagr 950 160.7
Joe Reekie 902 158.8
Dallas Smith 773 158.0
Jacques Laperriere 435 153.6
Andre Dupont 800 152.8
Terry Harper 795 143.0
Steve Larmer 1,006 141.6
Jimmy Watson 613 140.3
Chris Chelios 1,326 137.6
John LeClair 798 135.1
Peter Forsberg 541 134.8
Jim Schoenfeld 719 131.3
Rod Seiling 844 129.5
Petr Svoboda 1,046 128.3
Mario Lemieux 879 128.2
Jere Lehtinen 510 127.9
Steve Shutt 930 125.4
Charlie Simmer 712 124.6
Jean Ratelle 1,022 123.7
Keith Carney 729 121.7
Mike Modano 1,025 121.4
Sergei Fedorov 908 119.3
Don Luce 894 118.4
Jeremy Roenick 1,062 118.0
Rod Langway 994 116.5
Chris Pronger 642 116.5
Gary Roberts 957 116.2
Steve Sullivan 517 115.4
Bill Barber 903 114.5



Top 50 Single Seasons (not counting '04):

Bobby Orr 1971 Boston Bruins : 84.7
Larry Robinson 1977 Montreal Canadiens : 76.3
Bobby Orr 1972 Boston Bruins : 61.8
Wayne Gretzky 1985 Edmonton Oilers : 61.3
Bobby Orr 1974 Boston Bruins : 58.7
Dallas Smith 1971 Boston Bruins : 56.3
Bobby Orr 1975 Boston Bruins : 56.1
Jacques Laperriere 1973 Montreal Canadiens : 55.6
Rick Smith 1972 California Golden Seals : 53.6
Mark Howe 1986 Philadelphia Flyers : 53.5
Bobby Orr 1969 Boston Bruins : 53.3
Bobby Clarke 1976 Philadelphia Flyers : 52
Bobby Clarke 1975 Philadelphia Flyers : 52
Brad McCrimmon 1986 Philadelphia Flyers : 51.2
Peter Forsberg 2003 Colorado Avalanche : 51.1
Milan Hejduk 2003 Colorado Avalanche : 49.9
Charlie Simmer 1980 Los Angeles Kings : 47.1
Rick Smith 1978 Boston Bruins : 45.6
Frank Mahovlich 1969 Detroit Red Wings : 45.5
Wayne Gretzky 1982 Edmonton Oilers : 45.1
Jari Kurri 1985 Edmonton Oilers : 44.7
Bobby Orr 1970 Boston Bruins : 44.7
Bryan Trottier 1979 New York Islanders : 44.6
Peter Popovic 1996 Montreal Canadiens : 44.5
Gary Bergman 1969 Detroit Red Wings : 44.4
Gordie Howe 1969 Detroit Red Wings : 44.4
Guy Lafleur 1977 Montreal Canadiens : 44.4
Bryan Trottier 1984 New York Islanders : 44
Steve Shutt 1977 Montreal Canadiens : 43.4
Brad Park 1978 Boston Bruins : 43.3
Chris Pronger 1998 St. Louis Blues : 43.3
Wayne Gretzky 1987 Edmonton Oilers : 43.1
Jean Ratelle 1972 New York Rangers : 42.5
Alex Delvecchio 1969 Detroit Red Wings : 42.5
Bill Barber 1976 Philadelphia Flyers : 42.1
Phil Esposito 1969 Boston Bruins : 41.7
Alexander Karpovtsev 1999 Toronto Maple Leafs : 41.5
Ian Turnbull 1977 Toronto Maple Leafs : 41.4
Brian Engblom 1982 Montreal Canadiens : 41.4
Serge Savard 1973 Montreal Canadiens : 41.2
Reggie Leach 1976 Philadelphia Flyers : 41.1
Denis Potvin 1979 New York Islanders : 41
Mike Bossy 1984 New York Islanders : 40.9
Murray Baron 1996 St. Louis Blues : 40.5
Chris Pronger 2000 St. Louis Blues : 40.3
Borje Salming 1977 Toronto Maple Leafs : 39.7
Dave Taylor 1980 Los Angeles Kings : 39.6
Serge Savard 1975 Montreal Canadiens : 39.4
Brad Park 1972 New York Rangers : 39.4
Wayne Gretzky 1984 Edmonton Oilers : 38.8

The lists actually aren't very different from the unadjusted list, but it lets us see that stars that played on stacked teams in high-scoring eras aren't quite as impressive as unadjusted stats show us. (Except for Orr. He should get a national holiday).

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03-15-2005, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider
Hmm. I'm not sure about that. The stats needed for plus/minus (even strength and shorthanded goals for and against while the player is on the ice) were recorded for every single player in the NHL, from 1968 to present. Plus/minus is available for every player from 1968-present.
I could be wrong. I could have sworn that +/- wasn't recognized as an official stat until the early 80's. They had the means to track the numbers previously, just didn't have the NHL statisticians do it. It was a team stat (tracked by the various team statisticians) and not the NHL ones. I can't find anything that backs up my story though. Just something I recall hearing once upon a time.

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03-15-2005, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCD
I could be wrong. I could have sworn that +/- wasn't recognized as an official stat until the early 80's. They had the means to track the numbers previously, just didn't have the NHL statisticians do it. It was a team stat (tracked by the various team statisticians) and not the NHL ones. I can't find anything that backs up my story though. Just something I recall hearing once upon a time.
I don`t have anything to back this up either, but even though it wasn`t officially recognized until `82-`83 all the teams kept track starting in `67-`68 with the results published in THN about four times a year (several of the original six teams had kept track for years before that, but the results were never publically released). I believe JCD is correct that the teams and not the NHL were responsible for tracking it, so the idea of a team official fixing the numbers to make a certain player look good may have been possible in theory, there`s no proof that it ever was ( although while doing research on past seasons there are a few marks that look very suspicious.)

A similar situation is shots-on-goal. It was ( and maybe still is ) solely at the discretion of the hometeam`s scorekeeper, and there have been accusations that some teams inflate their own shot totals while being being stingy with the opponents. Once on HNIC years ago, the home team (Vancouver i think) was badly outshot after a period and during the intermission Don Cherry said that the guy keeping track of the shots should give the home team a break and not make them look bad. He then said that when he became Boston`s coach they had a guy like that, so after a year Cherry had him removed and put someone in charge. Sure enough, in the Hockey Compendium the Bruins shots against were a lot lower in `75-`76 than `74-`75. While doing that may make your team look better, it also inadvertantly makes your goalies look worse.

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03-15-2005, 10:58 PM
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The first award for having the best +/- was awarded in 82-83, but the stat was being kept before then.

One way of evening out +/- for teams is by tracking how much of the teams GF and GA a player was on the ice for. This stat was kept back in the late 70's early 80's.

Orr was on for 179 of Bostons 319 GF (399-80ppg) in 70-71, or 56.1%, and 55 of their 154 GA (207-53ppg), or 35.7%. That would make him +20.4.

Robinson in 76-77 was on for 56.1% and 44.8 for +11.3. He missed 3 games which would need be accounted for, I didn't here.

Gretzky in 84-85 was 57.5 and 40.5 for +17.

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03-16-2005, 06:06 AM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM67
The first award for having the best +/- was awarded in 82-83, but the stat was being kept before then.

One way of evening out +/- for teams is by tracking how much of the teams GF and GA a player was on the ice for. This stat was kept back in the late 70's early 80's.

Orr was on for 179 of Bostons 319 GF (399-80ppg) in 70-71, or 56.1%, and 55 of their 154 GA (207-53ppg), or 35.7%. That would make him +20.4.

Robinson in 76-77 was on for 56.1% and 44.8 for +11.3. He missed 3 games which would need be accounted for, I didn't here.

Gretzky in 84-85 was 57.5 and 40.5 for +17.
That`s the way i keep the stat, but you also have to put in an adjustment because it favours players on weak teams. For example if two players both have equal rankings, the player on the better team deserves more credit because the stat ranks you as compared with your teammates, and that standard is higher on a good team than on a bad team. For example, in `77 when Robinson (the Norris winner that year) was + 11.3, Mike Christie of the Cleveland Barons was far ahead because the standard he was judged on was far lower. The formula i use (completely arbitrary) is ((EGF/ (EGF+EGA)) - (EGA/ (EGF+EGA))) /5. That number is then added or subtracted from the players adjusted ranking.
The good thing about this system is it eliminates the problem of the player with the most ice time on a bad team always having the worst +/-

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03-16-2005, 11:26 AM
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The reason defensemen have higher +/- ratings is because they are on the ice for a longer time during a game. A powerhouse team is going to have a great goal differential. Thus, the players to benefit the most from this are the defensemen.


Last edited by David Puddy: 03-16-2005 at 11:49 AM.
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03-16-2005, 04:11 PM
  #19
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Also it's easier to accumulate high or low PM stats in high-scoring years. I adjust PM stats based on how high scoring the year is to a base of 6.5 (average goals per game since '68). So there were 6.13 goals per game in 1972, I multiply Orr's adjusted +58.3 by 6.5/6.13 = 1.06 to get +61.8. This is Orr's final adjusted PM stat.
Actually, it's easier to acquire higher higher plus/minus in years where the standard deviation of goal differential is higher. I would adjust for the standard deviation of goal differential (subtracting power play goals, I guess) rather than the amount of goals scored.

Nice idea for a stat, though.

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