Kukla's Korner

Offensive Goals Versus Threshold

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

One goal in hockey sabermetrics is to have one number to show the value of a player above a replacement player.  The idea is that any team should be able to find players of a low enough level either by call-ups from the minors or by waivers or some other method.  The idea is to find the production level of a replacement player and then show how many more (or less) goals a player produced than that level.  The idea comes from the baseball idea of value over replacement player or VORP.

Tom Awad has done a significant amount of work to devise a system to try to approximate this.  Bear in mind that it is an approximation and cannot be used to get more than an approximate value for a player.  Tom Awad has written three articles on it here, here and here.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

2010 NHL RDO Camp Yields Mixed Message

Blog: KK Members Blog By Brian Halverson

NHL officials, general managers, and media members convened in Toronto Aug. 18-19 at the Maple Leafs’ practice facility in a veritable who’s who of league power players. They gathered to observe 33 projected top 2011 draft prospects competing in scrimmages designed to allow NHL Vice President of Hockey and Business Operations Brendan Shanahan and his staff to experiment with 28 prospective rule changes and variations.

Nearly all of these proposals are either too bizarre or radically progressive to ever be heard from again (one faceoff circle centered in each zone, draws conducted by whistle rather than puck drop), but a few caught the eye of those in attendance and the Twittersphere was abuzz with speculation.  Much of the discussion centered on potential changes to the icing rule in the quest for increased safety.

What caught my eye, however, was what I perceive to be contradictory philosophies employed in the support and/or rationalization of some of these proposed changes.

The debate over touch or no touch icing has been on the radar of this born and bred Minnesotan since Kurtis Foster’s leg was shattered in a March 20, 2008 collision with San Jose’s Torrey Mitchell as the pair chased down an iced puck at the Shark Tank. The event immediately brought the issue to the forefront of league discussion.


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Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: brendan+shanahan, brian+burke, hybrid+icing, kurtis+foster, lockout, nhl, rules, toronto

The Kovalchuk Problem: Part 3 - The NeverEnding Story

Blog: KK Members Blog By crownedroyal

The third part in this installment was supposed to be the last, as in any traditional multi-part story, but perhaps comparisons to even the Lord of the Rings trilogy would not quite do justice to the length of the Kovalchuk saga, and it may be better reflected in a four part series. Or more. At this point, who knows. Hence Falcor.

Here are some basic facts:


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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

All About The Shootout

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Kreiser of NHL.com,

Here’s a look at some of the best of the first five seasons of the shootout:

Does practice make perfect?—The Rangers, Oilers and Boston Bruins have been the most active participants in shootouts. All have taken part in 65, with the Oilers winning 39, tying them with Dallas and New Jersey for the most in the shootout’s five-year history. The Rangers are next with 37 wins, while the Bruins have won 31 and own a shootout-record 34 losses.

At the other extreme, the Carolina Hurricanes have been involved in only 37 shootouts—and won just 17 of them. Calgary has taken part in only 38 and has just 14 victories, the fewest of any team.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Fan Asks Gary Bettman For Answers

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By VooX

Gary Bettman was willing to talk to me, a fan not a journalist, and I appreciate that.  I really do.

Anyone who follows A2Y knows that the 19 are not kind to Bettman.  We call him Li’l Gary in derision.  We thank him and then call him an ass.  Grown-up stuff like that, and worse.  Much worse.

Gary still chose to let me interview him at the Shanahan Summit.  He didn’t have to, many others wouldn’t, but he did.

And if Gary Bettman chooses to speak with me again, and I hope he does, I want him to understand his interviews will always be given fair coverage at Abel to Yzerman.  Nothing will be taken out-of-context.  Ever.

Gary Bettman, and everybody else, will always be given a fair and biased forum at A2Y to voice their ideas, opinions, and rebuttals. We are passionate Red Wings fans, and extremely biased, yet will treat everyone fairly who comes to talk with us.  Once you had a chance to voice your opinion, the 19 will tell you what they think about it.  They always do.

After the jump, my interview with Gary Bettman.  Unedited.  I comment on the interview later, for now you will hear it as it happened.

If you do end up reading this: Thanks Gary.

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Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink

Playing In Europe

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Allen Panzeri of the Ottawa Citizen at Canada.com,

Players look to European leagues for many reasons, and the class structure there is as pronounced as it is in the NHL.

Some players are fading superstars attracted by the big dollars being tossed around, most notably by Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League.

Count among this group 35-year-old Pavol Demitra, who has left the Vancouver Canucks to play for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, 38-year-old Jaromir Jagr, who plays for Omsk Avangard, and 36-year-old Alexei Yashin, who plays for St. Petersburg.

Some are players such as Alexandre Daigle, the former No. 1 draft pick of the Ottawa Senators, who want to keep playing professional hockey but don’t want to break a sweat every night. After sashaying through six NHL and three AHL teams in an undistinguished 12-year North American career, Daigle has found happiness and success in Switzerland, where his skills are good enough to have made him a point-a-game player.


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Good & Bad Ideas

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,

I also say not all new (or old ideas) are good ones. At the risk of jumping the gun on everything that went on during the R&D seminar, here’s one man’s opinion of what might work, what might be the beginning of an idea that still needs work and what is flat out wrong or unnecessary now that the look-see has come to a close.

Looks good to me

Hybrid icing—The concept is a simple one, a linesmen or perhaps another on-ice official would be following what appears to be a routine icing play. As two opponents chase down the puck at or around the face-off dots, the official would be charged with calling icing if he determines the defender will get to the puck first. If it’s the attacking player, the play carries on. Ties go to the defender.

This is a reasonable compromise on the issue of no-touch icing which is something the NHL ignores at great risks to its’ players, while the rest of the hockey world embraces it as a sensible alternative to having two players crashing into the end boards going full speed at great risk of serious injury.


Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Burrows Continues To Rehab Shoulder

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Brad Ziemer of PuckWorld at the Vancouver Sun,

Winger Alex Burrows has spent the past several days in Vancouver doing some rehab work on his surgically repaired shoulder.

Burrows had surgery to repair a torn labrum back in early June. The Canucks aren’t saying when Burrows will be ready to play, but this type of injury generally requires anywhere from four to six months of recovery time.

“At this point he’s working through his therapy program, he’s progressing and he’ll be evaluated again closer to the start of training camp,” assistant general manager Laurence Gilman said Thursday.

The Canucks are not making Burrows available for media interviews.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+burrows

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I agree with no touch icing, others make no sense, hockey has been around for a long time and its fun as hell to play exactly the way it is

-Dustin Brown of the LA Kings on some of the rules at the R & D camp, via Twitter.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dustin+brown

Laviolette Wants His Team Ready To Play

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News,

From the hard times that we went through, we built the team to where we were almost invincible to adversity,” Laviolette said. “The amount of times that things were on the line and the fans seemed to get behind that, really get behind that. You could feel it. At least I could. You go through situations and you learn a lot about your team, and I think what we learned is that we’re OK with that.

“Not that we wanted to be put in those situations. This year I want a better path.’‘

Notice, he didn’t say easy. Just better. The team added depth on the blue line to help Chris Pronger and Kimmo Timonen , said goodbye to an expensive, oft-injured star in Simon Gagne, and replaced him with a cheaper suspect star in Nikolai Zherdev. Citing no upgrade in goaltending, the Hockey News ranked them fourth in the Eastern Conference behind Washington, Pittsburgh and New Jersey….

“I’ve learned, I’ve learned,” Laviolette said. “You can forget about last year. This group, whatever steps out on that ice, whatever steps into that locker room, they’ve got to figure out how to come together on the ice. It’s a huge part of winning….


Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: peter+laviolette

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