How to Build a Contender - Part 3: Cap Management

money puck
August 19 2015 10:58AM

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Photo Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports

In the first post of this latest 'How to build a contender' series, we provided an intro to War-on-ice's new Goals Above Replacement (GAR) statistic, and in Part 2, we looked at the impact of player aging on player and team performance over time

What we found in Part 1 was that GAR correlates very highly with goal differential and team points, and that the majority of teams that made the conference finals over the past five years scored very highly in terms of GAR. Putting this all together, if you're trying to build a contender, what you're really trying to do is put together a collection of players who are capable of achieve a very high team GAR. 

Because the goal of any organization should be to build a Stanley Cup winner, in Part 3 of our series, I thought I'd take a closer look into the roster composition of teams who had made it to at least the conference finals in the last five full seasons. 

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CanucksArmy Prospect Profile 2015: #13 Jordan Subban

Josh W
August 19 2015 08:04AM

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Banner Art by Matthew Henderson

In Mike Gillis' greatest and final draft class, the Canucks managed to snag the best and most cerebral of the Subban brothers in young Jordan.  While his short stature makes a lot of people question his play and the probability of his finding success at the NHL-level, he easily makes up for it in his hockey IQ.

There was a couple weeks where all of Canucks Nation was concerned about whether or not the Canucks would even get Jordan Subban signed to an entry-level contract, but then the Canucks finally inked Subban and within a day the issue was forgotten.  The hold up appeared to be on negotiations in AHL salary and bonuses, while Vancouver management wanted to treat him like a standard fourth-round pick.

Let's continue past the jump to see where Jordan Subban currently sits with the organization.

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CanucksArmy Prospect Profile 2015: #14 Ben Hutton

J.D. Burke
August 18 2015 10:30AM

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Vancouver Canucks prospect Ben Hutton, a defenseman who recently completed his collegiate career with the University of Maine Black Bears,  has been on a fascinating development track since being drafted in the fifth-round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

With immense offensive upside and plus skating ability, Hutton had an extremely successful collegiate career. The defender with the tantalizing offensive skill set parlayed this success into an entry-level contract towards the end of his last campaign with the Black Bears, and even had a cup of coffee in the AHL with the Utica Comets down the home stretch. 

Some would consider the 2014-15 season a plateau in Hutton's development. The deeper one digs though, the more positives there are to unearth. Hutton checks in at 14 in our organizational prospect ranking.

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How to build a contender - Part 2: the Impact of Aging

money puck
August 18 2015 07:38AM

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Photo Credit: Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Some of the most important work in the field of hockey analytics has focused on how player performance changes over time.  

In a salary capped league teams need to pay attention to, and understand how, the aging process impacts future performance, since these factors can and should influence contract decisions. A bad bet on a player whose performance is declining can cripple a team's cap structure for years to come. 

In part two of this series, designed to take an objective look at how contending teams are fashioned (read Part 1 here), we'll dig a bit deeper into the aging process and see what successfully constructed Stanley Cup winning machines can tell us about how contending teams navigate the age-old conflict with father time.

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Monday Mailbag: Compliance

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
August 17 2015 10:16PM

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As some of you may know, I've still got two weeks left at my "day job" before transitioning into writing full time. Hours are heavy, and responsibilities are unexpected. I expected to leave at 6PM today, and stayed back four hours to do mandatory annual compliance courses. Will they matter to me at the end of the month? No. Were they due three days before my last day? You bet.

So yeah, that's why this mailbag is a few hours late. On the bright side, overtime is nice. Let's get to the questions!

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