Kukla's Korner Hockey
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from Travis Yost of TSN,
One of the big reasons hockey analytics have really exploded in recent years is their ability to forecast mean reversion well in advance of the rest of the industry.
The two most prominent examples of that were the 2011-12 Los Angeles Kings and the 2012-13 Toronto Maple Leafs. That Kings team was marked as a sleeping giant by many who were paying attention to their underlying numbers, arguing that their middling performance in the standings wasn’t quite indicative of their true team talent. On the other side, you had the 2012-13 Maple Leafs – a team marked as unfathomably lucky and bound for long-term failure.
Simple understanding of what is and isn’t repeatable talent can go a long way in forecasting future success/failure, and it’s one of the big reasons why so much attention is paid to stats like Corsi%. Controlling possession at even-strength correlates well with winning long-term and, most importantly, is a repeatable skill. Scoring on a high percentage of shots also correlates well with winning, but it’s prone to major fluctuations and exhibits very little repeatability over long samples.
Alternatively: a team with great Corsi% can bank on having a great Corsi% in a follow-up year.
from Scott Powers of ESPN,
The Case For
On the one hand, Hossa's offensive numbers are almost good enough to get him in. He's produced 486 goals and 570 assists for 1,056 points in 1,172 career regular-season games. He's had 13 seasons of 25-plus goals. In the playoffs, he’s had another 144 points in 194 career games. But Hossa is much more than just an offensive player. What makes him special is his defensive game. He’s one of the game’s premier two-ways forwards and is especially respected for his backchecking ability. He’s been in the top 10 in takeways six times since the 2005-06 season and was 11th this past season. On top of that, he’s a winner. He’s won three Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks.
The Case Against
One of the arguments against Hossa is he's deemed a good player, but not exactly a great one. He’s been in the discussion for awards, especially the Selke, but he has never won one.
WHO: Gary Bettman/NHL Commissioner; Don Fehr/NHLPA Executive Director; Zdeno Chara/Boston Bruins; Sidney Crosby/Pittsburgh Penguins; Anze Kopitar/Los Angeles Kings; Henrik Lundqvist/New York Rangers; Ryan McDonagh/New York Rangers; Evgeni Malkin/Pittsburgh Penguins; David Pastrnak/Boston Bruins; Tuukka Rask/Boston Bruins; Brandon Saad/Columbus Blue Jackets; Steven Stamkos/Tampa Bay Lightning; James van Riemsdyk/Toronto Maple Leafs.
WHEN: Wednesday, September 9, 2015, 1:00 p.m. ET
WHERE: Air Canada Centre
from Kristen Odland of the Calgary Herald,
“Let’s get going here,” the Calgary Flames general manager was saying on Wednesday at The Hamptons Golf Club. “We’re ready. I think when that calendar turns over to September, these last few days seem to creep by. But we’re ready to go. We’re eager to get going....
“You can definitely sense an excitement in town,” said Treliving who is entering his second season as the Flames’ GM. “But I don’t think it changes anything for us.”
Well, one thing has changed.
Especially after Calgary’s surprisingly impressive 82-game campaign and even more surprisingly impressive post-season.
“Last year at this time, people were questioning whether we could walk and chew gum at the same time,” Treliving said. “Last year at this time, the only belief was within the four walls (of the Flames dressing room). The expectation for us is going to be no different here.
“We also have to temper the comments outside. Regardless of what people think, you have to go out and do it. That’s the challenge for our group.”
“Where we’re sitting right now from a hockey franchise standpoint, we’re better poised as a franchise because of the talent we have and how long they’re locked up, than we ever have been in the history of the team. When you look throughout the League, there’s probably not another team that’s set up for the next five to eight years to be as consistent as we’re going to be. Hopefully we catch the magic in that run and win the Stanley Cup, but at least compete for it year in and year out…[Predators General Manager] David [Poile] has done an incredible job, and the business side is coming around to give him those resources.”
-Sean Henry, President of the Nashville Predators. Henry spoke at a luncheon yesterday and the Predator's website has more from him.
from Joe Smith of Lightning Strikes at the Tampa Bay Times,
It's not that easy. First of all, the market is not nearly the same as it was last summer, not with the salary cap staying relatively flat this season (up from $69 to $71.4 million). And with the Canadian dollar dropping 23-percent since Valentine's Day in 2013 (now trading around 75 cents), there's a lot of uncertainty on what the cap will be like in coming years.
"It's really difficult right now to plan with this cap crunch," said NHL Network analyst Craig Button, a former Flames general manager.
That's the tough task ahead for Yzerman, who'd love to lock up Stamkos while also preserving the core of what he hopes will be a perennial Stanley Cup contending team. Even the Blackhawks, a model franchise with three Cups in five years, lost key players Brandon Saad, Patrick Sharp and Johnny Oduya this offseason, not being able to afford them all. And, like most strong teams, Yzerman's group will only get more expensive in coming years. Forwards Alex Killorn ($2.5 million cap hit this season) and Nikita Kucherov ($711,000) will be restricted free agents next summer. Braydon Coburn's $4.5 million hit could come off the books then, as will Mattias Ohlund, who continues to be on long-term injured reserve. But if Stamkos' cap hit, let's say, increases $3 million per year (to the Toews and Kane $10.5 million annual average), there's not a lot of wiggle room, especially with Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Victor Hedman among those needing new deals (and likely big raises) in two years.
"For the Lightning, $1 million is very significant," Button said.
from Marty Klinkenberg of the Globe and Mail,
It will be highly coveted, and the card company promises it will be a challenge to find. There hasn’t been a player of such magnitude to enter the game in at least 10 years.
“We have been planning on this since Connor was 14,” says Chris Carlin, senior marketing manager for California-based Upper Deck, the NHL’s lone licensed trading-card partner. “This type of player comes around very seldom.”
There is speculation Mr. McDavid’s rookie card will be worth $250 to $300 straight out of the pack. Mr. Carlin says the buzz is beyond anything the company experienced with Sidney Crosby.
“Connor is not just attracting interest from hockey, he is attracting sports fans, investors, gamblers and speculators,” Mr. Carlin says. “We have card dealers telling us that people are calling and saying they want to buy a case this year instead of a box. Everyone wants a piece of Connor.”
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
The owners of the Pittsburgh Penguins are asking $750 million (U.S.) for the team, but face long odds of finding a buyer who’s willing to pay that much because of the flagging North American economy and uncertainty over the future of the Canadian dollar, sports investment bankers say.
A $750-million transaction price would mark a record for a U.S.-based NHL team, said Drew Dorweiler, a Montreal economist who has been hired by the owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Manchester United and other sports teams to estimate their franchise values.
“It does seem a bit steep with the economy and for that market,” Dorweiler said. “Pittsburgh is certainly not one of the largest cities in the U.S.”
via the Calgary Flames,
After hearing Madi's story, Joe Colborne decided to surprise her for her birthday.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com