Kukla's Korner

The Puck Stops Here

Joe Nieuwendyk`s Hall Of Fame Case

Today is the final of my four looks at the 2011 Hall of Fame inductees.  I have posted the Hall of Fame cases for Ed Belfour, Doug Gilmour and Mark Howe.  Today I look at Joe Nieuwendyk.

Nieuwendyk is a recent enough addition to my Hall of Fame lists that I have a blogpost from when I first considered him a Hall of famer and a career retrospective from when he retired.

In order to make Hall of Fame cases I am using the Keltner List, which was made popular by Bill James in baseball.  It is a list of qualitative questions that get to the heart of any player`s Hall of Fame candidacy.

Here is the Keltner List for Joe Nieuwendyk:

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Mark Howe`s Hall Of Fame Case

I am writing up the Hall of Fame cases for all of the 2011 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees.  So far I have written about Ed Belfour and Doug Gilmour.  Today I move on to Mark Howe.

In order to make the case I am using the Keltner List, which is a series of qualitative questions popularized by Bill James in baseball to make the case for potential Hall of Famers.

Here is the Keltner List for Mark Howe:

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The Dark Story Of Free Agency

The NHL is preparing for a lockout after the 2011/12 season.  This lockout may or may not occur.  Largely it depends on what happens during the NFL and NBA labor disputes and the public sentiment at that point.  The NHL is trying to engineer a public sentiment for a lockout using the mainstream media.  This is the same strategy that they used in the 2004 lockout. 

One of these stories was written by Ken Campbell.  He cites the fact that over $400 million was given to 58 players in the first day of free agency as a reason that the current hockey system is out of control and needs change.

The fact is that these contracts do not affect NHL profits on the league level one bit.  It is a smokescreen the owners have invented to show the need for a lockout.

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Doug Gilmour`s Hall Of Fame Case

Now that the majority of the free agent signings have occurred in a two-day frenzy, we can return to what we were talking about before interruption.  I was spelling out the Hall of Fame cases for the 2011 inductees.  I have already published the case for Ed Belfour and today move onto Doug Gilmour.

I think the best way to spell out a Hall of Fame case is using the Keltner List, which was popularized by Bill James in baseball.  I discuss it here.  It is a series of largely qualitative questions that cut to the heart of any hall of Fame case.

Here is the Keltner List for Doug Gilmour:

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Thoughts On Free Agency

I have stayed out of the way for the first couple days of the crazy free agent market in part to wait and see what would happen and in part because I was enjoying a nice Canada Day Weekend outside. 

My biggest reaction is that this is much ado about nothing.  A reasonable number of players changed hands and often at inflated prices.  Very little occurred that changed my opinions of how well teams might do next year.  Mostly it is depth players getting a lot of money.

The most highly regarded player wound up in New York City.  Brad Richards is a New York Ranger.  That is exactly what the salary cap system is intended to do.  Sure it was argued that salary cap would prevent one big market team from buying all of the free agents, but no team needs that.  They only need to sign the best free agent or two.  The most popular markets will get the best players and this helps them to win.  It is good for the NHL`s revenue when big markets win.

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How Good Was The 2010 All UFA Team

As teams will soon begin to bid on unrestricted free agents in earnest in a short time,  I took a look at what is out there yesterday with my 2011 All UFA Team.  To get an idea of what this team might look like this season, let’s look at last year’s team and assess how good that team would have been.  Here was last year’s team.  Of the 23 players, 19 played in the NHL.  Maxim Afinogenov, Pavol Demitra and Evgeni Nabokov played on in the KHL and Paul Kariya took the season off to attempt to recover from concussions and eventually retired.

Here are the 2010 members of the All UFA team with their statistics and salary cap hits from last season:

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2011 All UFA Team

The free agent frenzy begins in less than a day.  Every year, I like to make a 23 man roster of the best of the upcoming unrestricted free agent class.  Here is last year’s team.  This allows me to look at how good a team one can buy each summer.  Usually the All UFA Team signs for well over the salary cap and produces like a non-playoff team.  This goes to show that you must produce talent internally to win in the NHL today.  There is no quick way to buy a team.  Some of the players on the team may be only UFAs in name only in that they will re-sign with their current team if they stay in the NHL.  This is my pick of the best possible team that can be made of UFA players.

There still is time for a player or two on this team to sign with the team that holds his negotiating rights before noon eastern time on July 1st when the market opens up.  Should that happen, I will update the team.

Here is the 2011 All UFA Team:

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Ed Belfour’s Hall Of Fame Case

The Hall of Fame inductions for 2011 were announced yesterday.  Inducted were Ed Belfour, Doug Gilmour, Mark Howe and Joe Nieuwendyk.  Over the next few days I want to lay out their Hall of Fame cases.  Today I will start with Belfour.

Here was the career perspective that I wrote when Belfour retired.

I think the best way to lay out a Hall of Fame case is using the Keltner List.  This is a series of questions popularized by Bill James to make Hall of Fame cases in baseball.  Here is where I write about this list of questions and more about my Hall of fame standards.

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Hockey Hall Of Fame Inductions

The 2011 Hockey Hall of Fame inductions were announced a few minutes ago.  In are Ed Belfour, Doug Gilmour, Mark Howe and Joe Nieuwendyk.  Four players is the maximum number that can be inducted in a year and with a backlog of eligible candidates who had been overlooked in years past there are more than four players who were eligible today and should be inducted.  Surprisingly, no women players or builders were inducted, as both were expected.

The four players inducted today are all worthy candidates and I will write in the future about their specific Hall of Fame cases.  Ed Belfour is in his first year of eligibility.  Some thought he might be forced to wait a few years for induction because of some off-ice issues, but that is not the case.  I applaud the Hall of Fame committee for that decision.  After all if Belfour is good enough to make the Hall of Fame next year or the year after, he was good enough this year as well.

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Top 20 Adjusted +/- Ratings And Saves Percentages

In my first sabermetrics and hockey post of the summer, I listed the top 20 adjusted +/- ratings for 2010/11.  When looking into some of the top players we found that they had benefited from a high saves percentage on their team and a low saves percentage from their opponent’s team.  These saves percentages, though partially driven by the player in question, are very unrepeatable from year to year.  A much more repeatable number is the number of shots directed at goal or Corsi rating. 

In order to see how important saves percentages are to the players who got top adjusted +/- ratings, I thought I would list the top 20 adjusted +/- ratings along with the 5 on 5 saves percentages that existed for and against when a given player is on the ice.  His +/- rating benefits from a high saves percentage for his team and a low saves percentage for his opposition.

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About The Puck Stops Here

imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

Why am I blogging? I want to.

Why are you reading it? ???

Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com

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