There was a good discussion about GVT on twitter shortly before game three tonight. It all started with a tweet that used GVS to say that Mark Streit has been worth about $4.8M/year over the past few years, and that his new contract is consequently a little too risky.In response, the point was raised that GVT is a flawed stat, so flawed that it has very limited uses - uses that don’t include high-level approximations of player salary like this.
The primary design flaw of GVT was felt to be that some of the values in the calculation were “arbitrary”, though that word was perhaps a shorthand way of saying that the designer (Tom Awad) chose them based not on firm, objective calculations, but rather ones that included a significant measure of reasoned opinion. In that regard, GVT is clearly unlike most other statistics, and was a focal point of the discussion.
To that point, the main defense for the continued use of GVT was that no statistic is without flaw, and that having those flaws doesn’t make them useless. GVT was even compared with baseball’s WAR, which is seen to have similar flaws, but nevertheless serves its purpose sufficiently well to achieve relatively widespread use.
To these points, the main counter-argument is that while statistics don’t need to be perfect, they need to be much closer to perfection than GVT. Why? The main concern was that GVT’s flaws were more serious than those of other statistics, and/or were harder to explain to others, and therefore more prone to misuse and wrong conclusions. Furthermore, the concern was that analysts using GVT would fail to mention its proper context and shortcomings and use it as a crutch, and as “discussion enders” instead of “discussion starters”. There was also a concern that all of this would keep some people away from the field of statistical analysis.
Since this part of the discussion was primarily opinion-based, the consequences were largely in the hands of how the analyst actually uses GVT, and ideas that potentially required from than 140 characters to sufficiently explain, there wasn’t much to add.
There was one other side-discussion that also briefly took place. The other criticism of GVT was that its use of goal-based data (goals, assists, adjusted plus/minus) renders it less accurate than if it had used shot-based data. However, this criticism was likely not targeted at this particular application of GVT (the Mark Streit tweet), which used five years of data, at which point the difference between goal-based and shot-based data would be minor.
But more than that, taking advantage of some more modern advances, like penalties, shooting percentage, player-specific team-on-ice metrics (and so on) could produce a superior version of GVT (although one that could only be applied to modern-day NHL, never to other leagues, nor to 20th century NHL seasons). This being true, how come such a statistic hasn’t already been designed? There was a feeling that a superior alternative to GVT could be easily designed, but since it would likely still fall short of the “near-perfection” bar, that such design efforts were best focused elsewhere.
Promisingly, there was an obvious consensus that a basket of player usage and shot-based statistics could much more accurately measure a player’s value than any single high-level, all-in-one statistic like GVT, but the primary disagreement was whether or not that meant that GVT should be used at all. Of course, the point could probably be conceded that it would be difficult to use such a basket of statistics in a 140-character tweet approximating the value of Mark Streit’s contract.
In a Jason Gregor piece in the Edmonton Journal, top college forward prospect Corban Knight, currently property of the Florida Panthers indicated,
“After my season finished, we had talks with Florida and negotiations took place, but it turned out it wasn’t going to work out for both parties. We told Florida we were going to wait until free agency (Aug. 15) or a trade,” explained Knight.
Knight was an honorable mention in my top 50 drafted prospects when I ranked them in January 2013. Here is my write up on Knight,
Date of birth: 09/10/1990
Statistics: 41 GP, 16 G, 49 P (Univ. of North Dakota-WCHA)
Acquired: Fifth round, 135th overall in 2009 by Florida
Year in Review: Knight finished off his college career with an exclamation mark, as he was one of the best two-way players in the country and was named a Hobey Baker finalist for best college player.
The Good: Knight is a great puck possessor who displays puck skills to go along with very good hockey sense at both ends. He may not be the flashiest player in the world, but the talent is unquestionably there and he can consistently show top-end playmaking skill as a passer. Knight is also a hard working, aware defensive player and a face off ace who drew hard assignments for North Dakota and was still one of the best offensive players in the country.
The Bad: Knight doesn’t have a glaring issue in his game other than his skating is roughly average. While he moves fine he won’t blaze past anyone.
Projection: He could be a good #2 center who logs tough minutes.
If there is one area wherein the Bruins have a distinct advantage over Chicago in the upcoming Stanley Cup finals - at least in so much as the playoffs have been concerned - it is offense from the blueline.
Through three rounds of playoffs, there have been 74 goals credited to defensemen. 17 of those 74 were scored on the power play and the remaining 57 were potted at even strength. Of all 16 teams in the playoffs, none can come near the 15 blueline goals scored by members of the Boston Bruins. In fact, no other team has more than eight goals from the backline, with the Penguins and Kings tied in the bridesmaid spot.
That advantage, of course, may not play out in the Finals. Regression can be, and usually is, swift, and four of the six Bruins who have scored (McQuaid, Krug, Redden and Boychuk) have shooting percentages in excess of 10%.
As a point of reference, only six Blackhawks skaters (all forwards), have scored on at least ten percent of their shots. Further, during the regular season, both combatants received 23 goals from their respective bluelines.
To summarize, although the Bruins will pose the toughest challenge yet to the rampaging Blackhawks squad, were I a betting man, I would be in agreement with Timo and pick the Blackhawks to add another banner to the rafters of the United Center in the next 10-14 days.
A number of prospects drafted in 2011 went unsigned, but a few could get picked again in the 2013 draft. Frederik Andersen is a good example of a player like that. He was a 7th round pick by Carolina in 2010, was picked by Anaheim in the 3rd round in 2012, and has emerged as a top goaltending prospect.
Brenden Kichton, Defense, 5th round pick in 2011 by NYI (Spokane-WHL):
Kichton was named the WHL Defenseman of the Year in his overage year after being a runner up last season. The former Islander prospect was my #13 prospect in the NYI system last summer, an organization that I ranked 2nd and classified as very deep. A report by Arthur Staples said Kichton turned down an offer from the Islanders.
Kichton is a very talented offensive defenseman. He’s been above a point per game in the WHL for the last three seasons. His skating is solid with notable above-average puck handling and puck moving abilities. He also displays a fine on-ice work ethic. The issues with Kichton are he’s a tad undersized and his defensive game remains underwhelming. He has top four defenseman upside, but if his own end play never comes around, he could potentially be a specialist.
Ranking: Mid 3rd round
Alan Quine, Left Wing, 3rd round pick in 2011 by DET (Belleville-OHL):
Quine was considered a toolsy player at the time of the draft who was a bit of a project. He had mono at the start of the season but then right around midseason after he was traded to Belleville everything started to click for him.
Quine is a player with above-average to high end speed and puck skills with a fair amount of competitiveness. He’s small and his defensive coverage certainly needs a fair amount of work. However this is a player who if he pans out has the tools to be a top six forward if he can play in a pro level coaching system and handle the physical game. He’s shown this season in the OHL that he has the ability with the puck to make all sorts of plays. My suspicion is due to how close Detroit is next year to the 50 contract limit played a part into the decision to not sign Quine.
Ranking: Late 2nd/early 3rd round
Zach Yuen, Defense, 4th round pick in 2011 by WPG (Tri-City-WHL):
Yuen is a solid, safe low upside prospect but one who does have a decent chance to be an NHLer. He played a ton of minutes in the WHL this year in all situations, but at the top level he projects more as a 3rd pairing defensive defenseman. Yuen skates at an above-average level, shows a fine level of work ethic, and tends to make good decisions with his reads. He’s limited with the puck. He’s not a horrible offensive player, but certainly not an NHL power play option down the line but can make a decent first pass.
Yuen was my #12 prospect for the Jets in the rankings I posted last summer.
Last night, I was a guest on 670, The Score, with Laurence Holmes, discussing how the Blackhawks overcame the Red Wings in the 2nd ROund and what to look out for in the Western Conference finals against the Los Angeles Kings.
In the first segment, hosts Matthew Coller and Timo Seppa examine the recent firing of Rangers head coach John Tortorella and ponder the potential replacements. Then, they are joined by Hockey Prospectus author Rob Vollman to discuss the playoffs to date, and look ahead to two fantastic Conference Finals, Pittsburgh vs. Boston and Chicago vs. Los Angeles.
NHL teams have up to and including June 1 to sign prospects drafted in the 2011 NHL Draft who have played in Europe (but outside Russia) and Major Junior. Scouts I have talked to have indicated that previous year CBA rules apply to the European prospects drafted in the previous CBA. As in teams have two years as opposed to four years to sign a player. I have not heard any official confirmation on this, but this is what industry sources have told me.
There are no first round picks that need to be signed. Second round picks still unsigned are LAK goaltender Christopher Gibson, FLA defenseman Rasmus Bengtsson and PHX winger Alexander Ruuttu.
G Lars Volden
C Colin Jacobs
D Alex Lepkowski
W Gregory Hofmann
G Matt Mahalak
W Alex Broadhurst
G Johan Mattsson
D Dillon Donnelly
C Joachim Nermark
W Alan Quine
G Samu Perhonen
D Rasmus Bengtsson
W Iiro Pakarinen
G Christopher Gibson
W Michael Schumacher
W Olivier Archambault (agent says he was not extended a contract)
W Daniel Pribyl
C Brent Andrews
D Simon Karlsson
New York Islanders
D Brenden Kichton (rejected contract offer and will re enter the draft)
Last night, I appeared on Chicago’s Score 670 with host Laurence Holmes to talk about the state of hockey analytics, the importance of puck possession and the second round series between the Blackhawks and the Red Wings.
To listen, click here.
Segment starts around the 26 minute mark.
Hosts Matthew Coller and Timo Seppa break down the first round playoff series in the Eastern Conference before bringing in long-time Hockey Prospectus authors Rob Vollman and Jonathan Willis discuss their preview articles for the four Western Conference matchups. It’s a square table, folks. Buh-dump-bump.