Montreal (CP) -- The National Hockey League today released a new set of statistics aimed at putting into better perspective the offensive and defensive contributions of every player in the league.
The statistics, based on games up to Nov 13, showed some of the biggest stars are running into minus figures--more goals scored against them when they are on the ice than they are scoring themselves.
Each player was credited with an automatic plus each time his team scored when he was on the ice. Conversely, each player was given an automatic minus each time the opposing team scored when he was on the ice. Figures include only goals scored when both teams were at full strength.
On this basis, defenceman Albert (Junior) Langlois of Montreal Canadiens had a +17 for the best record in the league. He was on the ice for 31 Montreal goals and only 14 by opposing teams.
Gadsby Was Lowest
Defenceman Bill Gadsby of New York Rangers had a -14, lowest in the league. He was on the ice for only 8 goals scored by Rangers and 22 by the opposition.
The figures do not take into consideration assignments of players to certain duties. Some players perform on a forward line that nearly always opposes top scoring units of other clubs. Some players are also assigned to checking roles and others are sent on the ice in offensive roles.
Elmer Vasko and Pierre Pilote, Chicago Black Hawks defencemen, had the next best records, with +14 and +13 respectively.
Marcel Pronovost of Detroit Red Wings had a +12 while Norm Ullman and Parker McDonald of Detroit and Carl Brewer and Bob Baun of Toronto Maple Leafs all had +11.
President Clarence Campbell of the NHL said "no star player should have a minus record unless he is assigned to special duties."
Gordie Howe, Detroit's great right-winger, had an even record. Bernie Geoffrion of Montreal had a minus one.
Among other stars who had a minus record were Andy Bathgate, Andy Hebenton and Dean Prentice of New York; Bronco Horvath, Johnny Bucyk, Vic Stasiuk and Don McKenney of Boston Bruins and Ed Litzenberger and Eric Nesterenko of Chicago.
Dickie Moore of Montreal, who has scored 21 goals and leads the league in scoring with 32 points has a +9.
Toronto, which has allowed the least number of goals so far, had the best overall team record. Only two Leafs--Larry Hillman and Billy Harris--had minus figures.
New York and Boston had the worst records. Only two Bruins--Jerry Toppazzini and Charlie Burns--had plus records and all but three New York players had minus records.
does anyone know any more about this, or know how to find the other numbers?
The stat had been privately kept by teams in the 1960s, but this is the earliest I've seen of it publicly released.
In Total Hockey , there's an article about the evolution of statistics by Ron Andrews where he talks about finally convincing the NHL to release these numbers to the public; but in there he said the first year they were put out was '63-'64 (Pilote had the highest mark that season).
Where to find them? The best bet would probably be old issues of The Hockey News from that era if they can be tracked down. I really wish THN would put their archives online like Sports Illustrated did. I would love to see some of those numbers. Especially curious about Orr's +/- in '66-'67.