November 06 2012 07:55AM
In his book The Signal and the Noise, author and statistician Nate Silver, who you've surely heard about the last couple of weeks, advises humans to become "less and less wrong" when making predictions. We need to gather as much information as possible to make consistently good forecasts, but, as importantly, Silver suggests that "you can benefit from applying multiple perspectives toward a problem".
A lot of the book deals with consensus and aggregation, and the way that market necessities aid humans in working together to solve problems. I thought it was interesting when, earlier this summer, a writer at Puck Prospectus named Rob Vollman, sent out a list of all the summer unrestricted free agent signings and simply asked a handful of statistical analysts to rate the signings.
October 30 2012 10:19AM
I still don't quite agree with Mike Gillis' draft strategy, but I do know this: If you're a fan criticizing Gillis for not selecting enough WHLers, understand that the Edmonton Oilers are doing exactly the opposite, and they haven't won a lot of games over the past several seasons.
The Canucks have never selected a player off the team in their own backyard, although the Canucks compelled the Giants to select Mario Bliznak and Jonathan Iilahti in the CHL import draft and Kevin Connauton moved to the WHL following his draft year. The Oil Kings, one of the top teams in the WHL, have featured several Edmonton Oiler-selects over the last few seasons, including Travis Ewanyk and Mitch Moroz.
The Oil Kings, who are owned by the Oilers, also picked up Martin Gernat and Kristians Pelss in the import drafts. The two of them became big parts in the Oil Kings' WHL Championship run last spring. They also wanted to select Keegan Lowe, an Oil King and son of Oiler executive Kevin Lowe, but the younger Lowe did not want to be drafted by Edmonton.
October 23 2012 09:06AM
An uncomfortable truth is that the Vancouver Canucks will probably need to shed a little over $6M worth of salary coming out of the lockout to account for a lower salary cap.
However, this does present an opportunity. While trading Roberto Luongo frees up some space, it's still probably not enough to bridge the gap unless the NHL permits teams amnesty with the new agreement (I'm optimistic that a deal will be done in the next month).
The pending Luongo trade has had the most digital ink spilled over it, but there's another Canuck who makes a lot of money and whose role has diminished in Vancouver. He also still probably has some value elsewhere. That would be Keith Ballard.
October 17 2012 11:05AM
Last week I took a look at what Milan Lucic was. If teams are trying so hard to re-create him, I think we need to learn exactly what Lucic is. I concluded the hulking former Vancouver Giant was a fundamentally-flawed hockey player, and the perception of his talent varies year-to-year which, creates a crisis of expectation. You just don't know what you'll get each year out of Lucic scoring-wise, but he's a tremendously-effective forward.
His beat-em down game, while ugly to watch, works. He's a plus possession player who helps his team generate shots and chances. It's the conversion ratio that's a little off. His PDO, which has ranged from 977 to 1045 throughout his career, is volatile and unpredictable. Is that what we can expect out of the great power forwards?
October 15 2012 04:19PM
Headshots are a Canucks Army feature where we link to the day's freshest news, and other assorted Canucks web-goodies. If you've written a blogpost, produced a tribute video, birthed a clever .gif into existence, or have a hockey related cause that you'd like to see promoted in this space - please e-mail Thom at email@example.com