Photo Credit: Montreal Gazette

Andrew Walker Watches Way More Hockey Than You Think He Does

Do you like to win arguments, but don’t trust any stats beyond goals and plus-minus? What if I told you that there’s a way that you can stay informed on every player, every goal, and every play in the National Hockey League so that you have the authority to back up your red hot takes?

Sportsnet 650 radio host and friend of the blog Andrew Walker shared this tip on how to stay up to date on the happenings all around the league, and it’s simpler than you think: he watches all the hockey.

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Wow. If that seems like a lot of hockey, well that’s because it is. I’d almost be hesitant to believe it, but how else would he know a good period from a previously out-of-market team when he saw it? Perhaps he just meant once in a while, or he was – oh.

I’m sure many of you are curious as to just how much hockey that is each day, so I took the liberty of crunching the numbers. It’s what I do after all. I ended up passing the final values off to my esteemed colleague Ryan Biech yesterday (which he tweeted here), but if you want to get into the nitty-gritty of it, here’s how it all breaks down.

Each hockey game, on an estimated average, ends about two hours and 40 minutes after its supposed start time. Now there’s intros and anthems, so we’ll cut about 10 minutes out right away. That leaves us with approximately 150 minutes of broadcast time.

Next, we’ll lop off 17 minutes for each intermission, and then six minutes of commercial breaks for each period (that’s three two-minute breaks). That brings us to a palatable 98 of broadcast time per game. Easy enough.

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However, there are 1,302 regular season NHL games each year. That works out to about 127,596 minutes of broadcasts to watch through, or 2,126.6 hours. Of course, that seems like a lot now, but there is a whole six months to fit it in.

The NHL regular season is exactly 180 days long, per the CBA. That means that, on average, you’d have to spend 11 hours and 49 minutes per day watching hockey. Hell, even if you managed to perfectly skip every single break in play, and watched exactly 60 minutes of every game (and for some reason skipped overtimes), you’d still be watching hockey for seven hours and 14 minutes every single day. Even Christmas! If that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is. And we haven’t even considered pre-season or playoffs.

Maybe I shouldn’t heap too much praise on this accomplishment – it is his job after all. Still, you have to admire the perseverance to his craft. It’s no wonder that Walker’s eye test is so keenly developed. That’s undoubtedly why he can see the tremendous value in players like Brandon Sutter and Erik Gudbranson when the stats folk fail to pick it up.

It’s also impressive that he manages to fit this in despite being on the radio for three hours each weekday, plus prep time (I assume there’s prep time), not to mention that he also apparently watches a lot of NFL and other sports, which he probably talks about on air. And on top of everything, he still has time to come up with great opinions on things like corn.

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I honestly don’t know how he does it. Myself, I barely have time to watch the Canucks and Comets and some other prospects, so I’m basically left watching goals and key moments (you know, highlights, like most people watch) of other NHL games. That’s why I’ve had to get comfortable with using a bevy of statistics to fill in the gaps. I just don’t have the ability to see every game, every season, and I certainly wouldn’t want to be claiming to do so if I wasn’t actually doing it. Then I’d look like a big fat liar.

Some of you might think that this post is bitingly sarcastic or even a veiled criticism, but I assure you that nothing could be further from the truth! I am a mature adult, and I have nothing but respect for people that treat others with respect, refrain from insulting their listeners, coworkers, or whoever doesn’t share their opinion, aren’t too quick to assume they understand the nuances and intricacies of a new market and culture, and who generally seem open to new ideas. As long as Andrew Walker ticks those very reasonable boxes, I can’t imagine why we’d have any sort of problem.

  • DJ_44

    This article is beyond immature. I am no Andrew Walker fan, but you wrote an article based on something he didn’t say. You have assumed he meant every minute of every game… He did not say that. He said he watches every game. That is easy to do…Roger game-center live or similar service. You can have multiple windows open.. Or multiple devices… And easily watch four games simultaneously. Especially with staggered start times….4 or 5 hours a night.

    If you are having to talk hockey for 3 hours a day five days a week…I would only assume one does this… How else could you have a semi informed opinion?

    Great leafs post game write-up by the way.

    • Billy Pilgrim

      I think this article *might* have been satirical. Walker deserves a few jibes. These are pretty mild.

      I would also suggest laying off on the missing post game write up. The content is free, and generally interesting. Given the over the top and rude comments that the CA writers routinely receive, I’m surprised they continue to provide the largely excellent content that they do.

    • GLM

      CA lives and dies with their views on advanced stats and analysis. To them if your stats are bad then you are in fact a bad player, they’re completely unapologetic about it, but it’s also not personal to them either.

      So, it should mean something for them to bury the hatchet and write a very respectful and professional piece on Dorsett’s career ending injury with no narrative. They even ending it with “It’s a sad day for the Canucks organization and Dorsett. There are more important things in life than hockey though and I think speak for everyone when I say that I’m just glad Dorsett will be able to enjoy those with his health intact.”

      So, for AW to take the cheap shot with “Double down on it. Where are the articles saying the #Canucks are better off now? Cmon…. cowards” shows just how petty and unprofessional he can be to prove a point.

      Imo CA’s more than in their right to roast this dude who’s coming after them, and who’s been making a complete ass out of himself in so many ways recently.

  • Steamer

    Using a negative – ‘more than you think’ – has become a staple cliche from this writer. Readers appreciate information presented in a professional, courteous manner; readers tend not to appreciate being ‘talked down to’ – it is demeaning
    & one cannot help but feel insulted when addressed as if the writer already knows our thoughts and opinions on a subject that – as often as not – is of little or no interest to many. Steering clear of cliches in writing – & NOT insulting your readers – are elements usually learned, honed and applied during high school – or at least by the time one aspires to write professionally.

  • Big D, little d

    The hilarious part of this is that Andrew Walker is following the same playbook that the current CA regime used to make this site what it is today. Creating outrage, fomenting arguments, goring sacred cows, all in the name of attracting listeners/generating page views. If you ignore the fact that they’re ostensibly championing different sides, it’s really hard to tell the two apart.

    I’m unsure if this article is intentionally turning a blind eye in order to stir the pot, or if Jeremy is truly unaware that he is participating in the very behaviour that he criticises.

  • TheRealPB

    I hate Walker, so I loved this article. I am sure he can grit his teeth through reading it. And send out some more inane tweets that always end with FULL STOP. I wish.

  • Heffy

    Gotta love AW’s method:
    AW: If you disagree with my point, you are stupid.
    Intelligent person: I disagree with your point, so are you calling me stupid?
    AW: No, if you agreed with me you wouldn’t be stupid. It’s your choice to disagree with me, so it is your choice to be stupid.

    Flashback to the schoolyard sandbox…
    AW: Why are you hitting yourself?
    Nice kid: I’m not, you are grabbing my arm and smacking me in the face with it.
    AW: Why are you hitting yourself…

  • Vintage

    Not saying i agree with @Andrewwalker, but this article is pretty petty.

    He’s right, viewers (or the promise of viewers) pay the bills, and like it or not, the Leaves have more viewers who are accustomed to watching HNIC at 7 EST. But oh how glorious it was to beat them on their own time, with all those millions watching.

  • The_Blueline

    Nice one, Jeremy.
    I hate people like Walker constantly ignoring rational arguments. But mostly, I hate Walker for all his has done to the Canucks. I will never forget.

    Also, it would be so easy to defend players like Sutter and Guddy without denying analytics as a whole. Just say they add value that cannot be measured by the existing models ( call them what you want). Done

  • Buula

    I couldn’t believe they had A&W on the intermission on Sportsnet. Worst intermission guests ever.. they need to bring back Vaulk with iMac and Murph or bring in one of you CA boys like Drancer getting on

  • TheNitsguy

    This is the most disappointing article I have ever read on CanucksArmy. For years I have come to find this site to be the most professional, well-informed blog in the Smylosphere. Even when you had differing opinions, it was backed up with a ton of evidence, and most importantly, kept it PROFESSIONAL.

    I come to this blog for its great analysis, not petty feuding. For this article to be coming from Davis is extra disappointing, as he is one of the best writers on this site. You’re better than this, Davis. Please don’t stoop to his level, writing this nonsense is a waste of your talent.

  • apr

    I had a lot of trepidation about Walker initially as I thought he would be like that CA blogger who was a Leafs fans and compared everything about the Nucks to the Leafs, but I really like him on Sportsnet and Twitter. A good add to the local media.