Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/11/13 at 08:07 AM ET
As the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins prepare to do battle in the first game of the Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday, new research from two University of Chicago Booth School of Business professors indicates that National Hockey League teams depend more on group performance than individual stars, and that some teams may not be getting the best players for their money.
Chicago Booth colleagues Robert B. Gramacy, an assistant professor of econometrics and statistics, and Matt Taddy, associate professor of econometrics and statistics and Neubauer Family Faculty Fellow, along with Shane T. Jensen of the Wharton School, developed an alternative way to look at and rate NHL players.
NHL teams currently assign a plus-minus value to players, counting the goals scored while players are on the ice and comparing them with goals given up. This, the researchers argue, flatters some players' statistics, while undervaluing others. A player could theoretically score lots of goals but still have a negative plus-minus value if the opposition scored more.
To correct this imbalance, the researchers created what they call a regularized logistic regression model. They applied this new measure to data from four NHL seasons, 2007-11, and found that far fewer players stood out from their teams' average performances.
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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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