by Mike Chen on 02/25/09 at 08:50 PM ET
Like many of you, I found the site HockeyBuzz Hogwash to be a pretty jolly laugh. Longtime readers know that I’m no fan of Dwayne “Eklund” Klessel, and I still shake my head in wonder when I see people pay money for his “rumors.” Still, someone paid Miss Cleo money, so there’s a sucker born every minute.
One of the neat things about HockeyBuzz Hogwash is their success tracker. As the Forechecker pointed out, even a broken clock is right twice a day; the Hogwash tracker shows that Dwayne’s accuracy rating is about 3%.
Now, let’s think about this logically:
-There are 30 teams in the league, so one team has 29 trading partners. If all things were equal, that means there’s a 3.4% chance that a player can get moved to any of the other 29 teams.
-There’s also the possibility that said player could stay with his current team. 29 options + 1 no-move option = 3.3% equal chance of any team.
You don’t have to be a stats major to figure out the obvious: that literally means that Eklund’s success rating is slightly less than picking a team out of a hat. I mean, you really have to try to be that bad, kind of like bowling a 20 when bumper lanes are on.
Here’s the other thing. We know that usually about 22-23 teams are in playoff contention around this time of year. So let’s say that there are on average seven sellers and 27 buyers. Well, that means if all teams were equal, the chance of going to any buyer would be 3.7%. Now, you factor logic (who needs what), cap space, division/conference movement, no-trade clauses, and tradeable assets, and really, couldn’t just about any hockey fan come up with 5-6 logical destinations for a moveable player on a non-playoff team?
Let’s look at last year, shall we? We knew that Brian Campbell and Marian Hossa were available. We knew that the Sharks needed a puck-moving defenseman and the Penguins needed a winger for Sidney Crosby. On anyone’s list of logical destinations, San Jose and Pittsburgh would have been on the short list of 10 or so teams that would land those respective players.
If you put a dartboard up and listed the 10 teams that you think would make the short list for Brian Campbell, when you threw a dart, you’d have a 10% chance of landing on any of those. So you toss the dart, it hits San Jose, and it makes sense, then you post a rumor that says, “San Jose is heavily pursuing Brian Campbell to fit their puck-moving defenseman need”.
So even if you’re just using a teeny tiny bit of logic and then throwing things at the wall, couldn’t you come up with at least a 10% success rate? I’d think so, and if anyone with a dart board and too much time on their hands wants to try (Forechecker is doing something similar with a random generator), let’s see if you could do better than Dwayne’s 3% success rate.
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