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Is there an equivalent of a "Moneyball" for the NHL?

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Old
09-10-2011, 11:47 PM
  #126
eldiablo17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
Samuelsson had already scored 23 goals with Detroit and looked to be a 20-25 goal guy (he scored 14 in a 53-game season and had another year of 19), so it's not like he was an unknown. If anything, give Detroit credit for taking someone who was looking like a skilled journeyman and benefiting from giving him minutes, linemates, and stability.

Did being behind Boyle mean that he wasn't a #1-caliber defenseman? That'd be like giving credit to a team for picking up Ryan Suter from Nashville because he's behind Shea Weber...everyone can plainly see what he can do.

Malhotra made $1.5 million in Columbus, left after not coming to terms on a contract extension, and the Jackets replaced him with Pahlsson at $2.65 million. It stands to reason that the Jackets were probably offering Malhotra at least $2.5 million per year, which would then put his moving on under the ol' "JR got some bad advice".

Malhotra being an exceptional defensive forward is nothing new; it was plain as day during his five years in Columbus. That no one else seems to have been aware of it isn't out fault, and it's not to Gillis' or Doug Wilson's credit. I'll also point out that his career high in points came in Columbus as well.
Again, you're missing the point, I am in no way arguing that these players were unknowns or no-good but that they were undervalued around the league.

2.5 million for Samuelsson was more than he was worth when he left Detroit... thats why he left Detroit and even admitted as much in interviews, for the money. He then scored 30 goals in Vancouver making him more than his contract was worth. Gillis went out and found an underused player (due to Detroit's great depth), and with this new opportunity he became underpaid.

By all means look up the thread from when Vancouver signed Malhotra but only one year removed from having to take a tryout Malhotra was widely considered slightly overpaid when he signed, even by Canuck fans. Now this signing brought more offensive opportunities to other players and had an effect on the team much greater than his 2.5 million dollar contract.

Ehrhoff was different because he was acquired in a trade but the idea remains. The Sharks had Boyle and the Canucks had no real puck-mover. He was devalued by the Sharks (just look at what he was acquired for) and more valued by the Canucks. He got more ice time on the top pairing and saw his two most productive years, including hitting the 50 point plateau.

The concept isn't about finding useless players that are actually good, it is about finding players that you (the GM) believe are better than the rest of the league does which is exactly what Malhotra and Samuelsson were. That is also why, despite the need for a top-6 forward, they didn't go for one of the 4 or 5 2nd line wingers this offseason... they were overvalued on the market. All the stats and Sabremetics aside that is exactly what Moneyball was about.

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09-10-2011, 11:49 PM
  #127
Wingman77
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Blocked shots for defensemen surely is an under rated stat in hockey

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09-11-2011, 12:03 AM
  #128
Mayor Bee
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Originally Posted by eldiablo17 View Post
Again, you're missing the point, I am in no way arguing that these players were unknowns or no-good but that they were undervalued around the league....

The concept isn't about finding useless players that are actually good, it is about finding players that you (the GM) believe are better than the rest of the league does which is exactly what Malhotra and Samuelsson were. That is also why, despite the need for a top-6 forward, they didn't go for one of the 4 or 5 2nd line wingers this offseason... they were overvalued on the market. All the stats and Sabremetics aside that is exactly what Moneyball was about.
(Turns around, looks at top of bookshelf....sees seven books by Bill James, two by Earl Weaver, and several more dealing with baseball and market inefficiencies. Places left foot down, right on top of where a copy of another Bill James book has fallen from the tower of my computer.)

No, I get the point just fine. I'm simply arguing that it doesn't apply in Vancouver's case with those three players. I'm arguing that Malhotra is no better than he was in Columbus, that Ehrhoff's superficial "undervaluing" was because he was behind a better player, and that Samuelsson's 30-goal season was an aberration.

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09-11-2011, 12:24 AM
  #129
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Shutouts are definitely overrated IMO, especially when comparing goaltenders with similar GAA. In that scenario, the shutouts would be an indicator of inconsistency.

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09-11-2011, 12:33 AM
  #130
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Moneyball is ********. It really isn't why the A's were making the playoffs. It wasn't that the were bringing in vets that other teams didn't want or value correctly. It was that they developed their prosects and they all peaked/hit the big time at the same time. Zito, Hudson, Mulder, Giami, Tejada, Damon were all players they drafted and developed. And then the let them sign with other teams saving money and getting new prospects to develop and that failed.

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09-11-2011, 12:53 AM
  #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eldiablo17 View Post
Again, you're missing the point, I am in no way arguing that these players were unknowns or no-good but that they were undervalued around the league.
I guess I would give Detroit and San Jose more credit in these instances.

Detroit found Samuelsson and got solid production out of him for $1.2 million. That's moneypuck. Gillis paid the guy $1.3 million more, for an extra ten points of production. Detroit clearly got the better value.

San Jose picked up Malholtra at what? $700,000 in training camp when no one wanted him. Thats money puck. Gillis acquired him the year after his profile had risen around the league and paid the going rate for top defensive centers. Not money puck.

San Jose was the first team to actively mine Germany and has found some players like Ehrhoff that were underated at the draft. They got a bunch of cheap years out of him as he developed, then were forced to trade him when he started making too many dollars. Money puck. Gillis traded for him after he was already developed, and getting paid well. I don't see what is so money puck about that.

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09-11-2011, 01:09 AM
  #132
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Not at all comparable. Hard to count on statistics in hockey compared to baseball.

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09-11-2011, 11:15 AM
  #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eldiablo17 View Post
Mike Gillis talked about using a similar approach to moneyball when he took office, what that exactly entailed no-one knows but he did refer to looking at a different set of criteria that may be overlooked.

He then went after a player like Samuelsson who had a career year in both points and assists, Ehrhoff who did the same, Malhotra's role far exceeds his price tag according to most Canuck fans, and most of his major acquisitions have been great ones outside of Ballard so far, so perhaps he's on to something perhaps not.

Gilliis spent to the cap, didnt he?

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09-11-2011, 11:20 AM
  #134
Buckets and Gloves
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I would imagine for hockey to look at situational stats...

ie "defensive/offensive zone face off percentage"... "scoring more on road/home/no difference"... "penalties when down in a game" ect...

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09-11-2011, 11:52 AM
  #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffrey View Post
The most overrated stats are the +/- and hits.

The most underrated are face-off win, and even-strenght goals
Not even close. Goals are such a small sample size and shooting percentage can be so random that goals is a terrible proxy to measure a player.

Corey Perry
Last 3 years, shot totals: 283, 270, 290
Last 3 years, goal totals: 32, 27, 50
Last 3 years, shooting percentage: 11.3%, 10.0%, 17.2%

Look at any player's goal total when they had a career high and it's almost assuredly their best year according to shooting percentage.

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09-11-2011, 11:53 AM
  #136
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I knew a former semi-pro hockey player who, himself, reffered to the +/- as being a "stupid stat". I can see why. While I wouldn't go as far as calling it stupid, it is certainly highly over valued and shouldn't reflect so much of a players worth.

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09-11-2011, 12:42 PM
  #137
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Originally Posted by hototogisu View Post
And if you ask my opinion, no, advanced statistics could never work in such a way for hockey. Are they useful when used in the proper context? Sure. But you can never define players and situations based on stats in hockey like you could in baseball.
Corsi has been used by NHL teams for decades now and that's considered an advanced stat. NHL teams don't readily admit to using Sabremetrics like MLB teams do, but that doesn't mean that they don't use them.

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09-11-2011, 12:58 PM
  #138
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I'm sure NHL teams do use Sabremetrics, but the stats seem kind of complex given that players are constantly shuffling on and off the ice and that the player combinations are usually key to the events. It's one of the things I love about hockey. You really gotta watch a player and know the game to construct a "value" in your own mind.

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09-11-2011, 01:28 PM
  #139
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Originally Posted by hatterson View Post
The point wasn't to win the world series per se. It was to do the best they could with what they had to work with.

Teams that use(d) Sabremetrics had significantly lower cost/win than teams that didn't use them.

It may not mean a world series, but it might mean the difference between 80 wins and 60 wins and 80 wins puts more butts in the seats than 60 wins does.
This, this, this. It's massively missing the point to claim that Beane's ideas didn't work because the A's never won a World Series. The point was that the general idea (find players who are undervalued because of X/Y/Z and then build a team around those sorts of players; OBP was just what happened to be undervalued at the time) could allow small-market teams to play above their payroll. If anything, the Twins have done it better than the As have, but either way the system remains valid.

As to whether a similar strategy could be seen in the NHL, I'm sure the statistical tools are there to allow for that - things like Corsi and the various iterations of QualComp, GA/60 (instead of +/- which is worthless except in comparison to teammates) and so on...

However, that in turn misses the point also. Moneyball was designed to allow a small-market team to compete with opponents with 3-4x more money devoted to player payroll. That isn't really a thing that happens in the NHL now. There are small market teams still, but the difference in payroll in the salary cap era is much less significant. While the principles of Moneyball can still be applied in general (i.e. find what's undervalued and then pursue players who are good at that thing), it wouldn't have the same impact.

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09-11-2011, 01:43 PM
  #140
Chalupa Batman
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Originally Posted by Tavaresmagicalplay View Post
The only real stat quality of teammates has an effect on is RBI and I guess something like walks since they can pitch around you more on a bad team.
Wow. You'll want to educate yourself on this topic before the next time you start discussing the influence teammates have on baseball statistics.

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09-11-2011, 02:18 PM
  #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffrey View Post
The most overrated stats are the +/- and hits.

The most underrated are face-off win, and even-strenght goals
A lot of hockey Sabrematicians have concluded that there's no correlation between face-off wins and winning games

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09-11-2011, 02:57 PM
  #142
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They should make a film called MoneyWang
it is about Garth Snow trying to find a way to win, but Charles Wang spends his money wisely on Tattoo parlors and NHL cupcakes to help his business-i mean team-win

Also, did anyone notice that one of the main characters in the film is Chad Bradford.
CHAD BRADFORD?!!!
Also Scott Hatteberg is a main character (I don't know what happened to him)

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09-11-2011, 04:03 PM
  #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffrey View Post
The most overrated stats are the +/- and hits.

The most underrated are face-off win, and even-strenght goals
Really? The Penguins wond the Stanley Cup in 2009 being the worst faceoff team in hockey.

Faceoff wins are overrated.

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09-11-2011, 04:32 PM
  #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraction Jackson View Post
This, this, this. It's massively missing the point to claim that Beane's ideas didn't work because the A's never won a World Series. The point was that the general idea (find players who are undervalued because of X/Y/Z and then build a team around those sorts of players; OBP was just what happened to be undervalued at the time) could allow small-market teams to play above their payroll. If anything, the Twins have done it better than the As have, but either way the system remains valid.

As to whether a similar strategy could be seen in the NHL, I'm sure the statistical tools are there to allow for that - things like Corsi and the various iterations of QualComp, GA/60 (instead of +/- which is worthless except in comparison to teammates) and so on...

However, that in turn misses the point also. Moneyball was designed to allow a small-market team to compete with opponents with 3-4x more money devoted to player payroll. That isn't really a thing that happens in the NHL now. There are small market teams still, but the difference in payroll in the salary cap era is much less significant. While the principles of Moneyball can still be applied in general (i.e. find what's undervalued and then pursue players who are good at that thing), it wouldn't have the same impact.
I would argue that in a hard cap system the ability to find undervalued players is just as significant as in a system with no cap.

If I know that a specific player is worth a certain number of team points over the team but because he doesn't have traditional stats that are as valuable (perhaps a low point or goal total) he's being paid $1.5M less than players who are stronger in traditional stats but contribute the same number of team points over a year, I can effectively free up $1.5M of salary cap space to use on other players

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Old
09-11-2011, 04:37 PM
  #145
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Hockey doesn't lend itself to statistical analysis.

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09-11-2011, 04:46 PM
  #146
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Hockey can be analyzed statistically but, not to the same extent as baseball. In baseball, everything can be quantified and measured. If you pay attention to some aspects of the game that others tend to ignore you can find undervalued players that will help you earn more wins.

In hockey, you cannot quantify everything that happens on the ice. You cannot put a measurement on defensive play nor can you rely on goaltending stats to tell you much about the quality of a goaltender. You can quantify offensive production but there are so many aspects of hockey you cannot quantify - you simply have to watch the players play. Thus, the whole "moneyball" concept does not transfer.

In hockey you can find undervalued players but it is more abstract how you do it. Experience, understanding and watching the players play is more effective than some advanced stat. In fact, advanced hockey stats like Corsi etc. do a great job of hindering understanding because their measurements are so skewed and inaccurate.

If a GM is using Crosi and +/- religiously to evaluate players, he will get burned on trades all day long.

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09-11-2011, 04:55 PM
  #147
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The Moneyball concept is so overrated.

The A's had 3 great (at the time) pitchers and never won a playoff series.

They play in a division with only 3 other teams and the Angels, Mariners and Rangers aren't exactly the Yankees n Red Sox as far as spending goes.

Other small market teams have had far greater success, Marlins, Twins, TB, Dbacks.

Moneyball is all hype and never delivered. Hope the movie flops.

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09-11-2011, 04:56 PM
  #148
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Kings rely on statistics for sure. Dean Lombardi has talked about it before, and I'm pretty sure he has referenced Moneyball specifically.

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09-11-2011, 04:56 PM
  #149
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As far as some kind of "sabremetric" being applied to hockey, i can only see it being useful when evaluating goaltending.

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09-11-2011, 05:02 PM
  #150
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I'm so glad we have a cap floor

Can you imagine the quality of the Florida Panthers if they didn't sign 1 UFA this off season?

In baseball the Florida Marlins once had a team roster of around 14 million which was half of A Rod's yearly paycheck.

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