Hockey Prospectus 11/12: The New Normal

Robert Cleave
October 13 2011 11:22AM


  (link to buy)

Amazon Link

(Full disclosure: A few weeks ago, Timo Seppa asked me if I was interested in reviewing the latest iteration of Hockey Prospectus' annual for the Nations' audience. I accepted a free PDF copy of the book for review purposes, with no other compensation offered. I'm not trying to make myself out as particularly noble, though. Had Timo offered me a giant vat of cash in exchange, I'm fairly certain that I would have accepted it - RC)

When does the revolutionary assimilate into the mainstream? That's the question that I've been asking myself over the last few years as the statistical analysis movement occurring in hockey blogging circles has become increasingly accepted by the game's insider cohort. We've gotten a few signs this summer that the pace of acceptance is quickening, with Calgary's hiring of Chris Snow and the amusing series of deflections Doug WIlson felt compelled to resort to when he was interviewed by Fear the Fin amongst them.

That noted, most season previews still are infused by a sense of the traditional, so a book like Hockey Prospectus' 11/12 annual that grounds itself in the modern approach is operating in a space that remains somewhat uncluttered. This year's edition, nearly 500 pages in length, is HP's third attempt to create a season preview imbued with the modern sensibilites of the hockeysphere.

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Under the Radar Prospects Part I

Jeff Angus
October 13 2011 09:49AM

Though Vancouver hasn’t had much success at the draft table with regards to defensemen in the past decade (save for 2004 and Alex Edler), they have accumulated a decent list of young blue-liners in recent years through the draft and free agency. Though the argument could be made that, recently drafted or signed prospects haven’t had time to allow for the “shine” to wear off yet...

Looking at the current defensive roster, there are two defensemen drafted by the team (Edler and Bieksa), and five acquired through free agency or trade (Hamhuis, Ballard, Alberts, Salo, Rome, and Tanev). Drafting young talent is always important, but lately the organization has placed an importance on scouring overage prospects to sign, as well.

I am going to speak about two young defensemen who the organization acquired this past summer – one signed from Sweden, and another picked in the 5th round of 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

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More On PK Specialists

JP Nikota
October 13 2011 09:14AM

When I last wrote about this issue, fellow LeafsNation contributor The '67 Sound rightly pointed to two issues in the study: 1) Sample size is something of a problem, and 2) Corsi numbers would probably be more accurate, as the stat represents an increase in sample size in and of itself, since it's counting shots instead of goals. I'll admit it: I was getting lazy.

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What is the Penalty for a Cap Floor Violation?

Thomas Drance
October 13 2011 07:41AM

The following piece of analysis on the potential penalty for a violation of the "cap-floor" was written by Beantown Canuck, a Canucks fan who is supposedly a lawyer. Beantown Canuck likes to bug people about the Canucks and hockey on twitter when he's not busy bugging people about the Canucks and hockey at Nucksmisconduct, which is what he does when he's not busy at work. Originally from Vancouver, he later lived in Boston but moved to New York a few years ago and as far as he's concerned Boston ceased to exist as of June.

By Beantown Canuck

So a funny thing happened in the NHL on October 12th. The Dallas Stars, along with every other team in the NHL, opted to forego the opportunity to grab Eric Nystrom from the Minnesota Wild on re-entry waivers. Had they done so, Dallas would have only been on the hook for half of Nystrom’s salary and half of his salary cap hit for the remainder of his contract, meaning they would have only had to pay him $700,000 a season for the next two seasons. And yet later that very same day, Dallas traded the always coveted “future considerations” to Minnesota to acquire the very same Eric Nystrom, and as a result will be taking on 100% of his $1,400,000 per season salary and cap hit. Wait… what?

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Flyers Best Canucks 5-4, Recap and Scoring Chance Data

Thomas Drance
October 12 2011 10:01PM

Unfortunately, the Flyers beat the Canucks in both the silly-face competition and in the game tonight.
Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

In what was billed as a battle between two absurdly over-paid goaltenders, the Philadelphia Flyers and the Detroit Red Wings model of team building were the winners this evening. In fairness to Bryzgalov, who was excellent despite the four goals allowed, and Luongo who was in no way excellent, the defensive breakdowns in this game were more then mere breakdowns. Both team's defensive structure and discipline were in full-blown Three Mile Island mode tonight. Though this made for an entertaining contest, it probably took a couple of years (in aggregate) off of the life expectancy of the respective head-coaches.

In contrast with recently waived uber-pest Sean Avery, it was a sloppy first that cost the Canucks this evening. The Canucks came out flat and took four minor penalties (two of the "soft" variety, and two of the stupid variety) in the games opening eleven minutes. By the time the first period was half over, les boys from Vancouver were down 2-0. It was eerily reminiscent of Monday night's game against Columbus, as the Canucks were undisciplined and lackadaisical out of the gate.

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