Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/18/14 at 08:05 AM ET
from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,
NHL teams pay out hundreds of millions of dollars in combined salaries every season, but putting a value on players remains an inexact science.
Let’s take, for instance, puck-moving defencemen. They’re prized for, among many things, the ability to make the so-called “first pass.” A deft first pass drives a clean breakout. A clean breakout keys a forceful rush. But if you asked an NHL GM to tell you which NHL defenceman’s first pass is most likely to generate a possession in the opposing team’s end, the GM would only be guessing at the answer. Is it Duncan Keith or Keith Yandle or Jake Gardiner? As it stands, there’s no way to give a definitive reply to that question and countless more like it.
Still, in the not-so-distant future it’s possible that a definitive answer will be available with a few taps on a tablet. At least, that was among the topics discussed at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference last month in Boston.
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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.
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