THN Analytics: comparing NHL greats with new historical data

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Bruce Bennett)

For many decades, the comparison of great NHLers has primarily been in the hands of storytellers, a case of trophies, or a rudimentary set of statistics. The concerted efforts of a community of researchers, The Hockey Summary Project, has helped open us up to much finer details of these players’ careers, and granted us the opportunity to create new points of comparison.

One big area of comparison, that transcends things like era scoring effects and rink counting bias, is looking at the proportions of shots and assists taken in the games the player participated (% of Team Shots and % of Team Assists – or %TSh and %TA, respectively). Quantifying contribution this way gets us a lot closer to how important a player can be to a team’s possession performance. Why shots and assists rather than goals? For one, the idea is to better capture how a player contributed to possessing the puck; going beyond goals (which are still counted as shots) gives us more evidence the player was an important part of the team’s puck movement. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Blueliners plentiful in upcoming UFA crop

Marc Staal (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

ESPN.com’s Craig Custance recently listed his top-20 NHL unrestricted free agents for 2015. What’s notable about Custance’s list, apart from the lack of genuine superstar talent in next summer’s UFA market, is that it’s dominated by defensemen.

The notables include Anaheim’s Francois Beauchemin, Boston’s Adam McQuaid, Carolina’s Andrej Sekera, Chicago’s Johnny Oduya, Pittsburgh’s Christian Ehrhoff and Paul Martin, Toronto’s Cody Franson,Washington’s Mike Green, the Rangers’ Marc Staal and the Islanders’ Johnny Boychuk. Read more

Rumor Roundup: To make room for young guns, Panthers veterans could be up for grabs

Fleischmann Kopecky featured

NHL teams shopping around for veteran depth should get in touch with Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon. According Sun-Sentinel.com’s Harvey Fialkov, a team source claims the Panthers want to ship out some “unnamed veterans” to make room for youngsters Vincent Trocheck, Rocco Grimaldi and Quinton Howden.

Fialkov believes forwards Tomas Fleischmann, Tomas Kopecky and Sean Bergenheim are the likely trade candidates. The trio were part of Tallon’s mass acquisition of veteran talent during the summer of 2011. They become eligible for unrestricted free agency in July. Fleischmann could interest clubs seeking a skilled scorer while Kopecky and Bergenheim could prove worthwhile additions for those seeking checking-line help. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Post-Thanksgiving shakeups could come for struggling franchises

Lecavalier

As the American Thanksgiving weekend approaches, the NHL trade market has slowly returned to life. The past two weeks saw the Dallas Stars and Montreal Canadiens swing a couple of deals, including one in which the Stars shipped defensemen Sergei Gonchar to the Canadiens for forward Travis Moen. Factor in last week’s meeting of NHL GMs in Toronto and there’s growing speculation more deals are on the horizon.

A recent six-game losing skid has the Edmonton Oilers the hot topic of trade chatter. Pascal Dupuis’ blood-clot diagnosis could add urgency to the Pittsburgh Penguins search for a scoring winger, while the San Jose Sharks recent slump has generated talk of a possible roster shakeup. Read more

Could Marc-Andre Fleury catch Martin Brodeur for No. 1 on all-time wins list?

Ken Campbell
Marc-Andre Fleury (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

The words “much-maligned” and the name Marc-Andre Fleury so often go together that those who don’t follow hockey closely might have the idea it’s actually part of his name. The Much-Maligned Marc-Andre Fleury. Hey, at least it beats the likes of Pilot Inspektor Lee or Moxie CrimeFighter Jillette or Blanket Jackson.

The much-maligned one made his mark on history Monday night when he stopped 27 shots in the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 overtime victory over the Boston Bruins. In doing so, Fleury became the 31st goaltender in NHL history to record 300 career wins. Fleury accomplished the feat in his 547th career game, which makes him the third fastest to 300 in NHL history behind Jacques Plante and Andy Moog – yeah, Andy Moog. And at 29 years and 361 days, he’s also the third youngest in NHL history to reach the benchmark, behind Martin Brodeur and Terry Sawchuk. Read more

Struggles, streaks, and scoring: 10 unexpected stats at the quarter point of the season

Jakub Voracek's amazing start means fantasy players could get a king's ransom for him in a trade. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

There are always early season surprises. That’s just the nature of hockey. A lucky bounce here and there, and you have Jon Sim fighting for the lead in preseason scoring, which is something that has actually happened in the past.

Over the course of the year, however, these things tend to even out. At the quarter mark of the season, trends are starting to develop. Of those trends, you’ll notice some are related, while others, not so much. These are the ten most unexpected stats at the quarter-pole. Read more

Pascal Dupuis out six months, career in jeopardy after blood clot in lung

Jared Clinton
Pascal Dupuis

In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Penguins announced winger Pascal Dupuis will miss at least six months with a blood clot in his lung.

The 35-year-old native of Laval, Que., was diagnosed with the clot on Monday after Dupuis said he was feeling discomfort in his chest. Team doctors said they were lucky that Dupuis came to them and that they could catch the clot before any serious damage was done. Read more

Hockey’s 10 richest contracts, in honor of Giancarlo Stanton’s monster MLB deal

Shea Weber

On Monday, Major League Baseball’s Giancarlo Stanton signed the richest contract in North American sports history. At 13-years and $325 million, the Miami Marlins outfielder stands to make more money than the average Canadian or American could earn in one hundred lifetimes.

In fact, here’s how it breaks down. Those earning the average 2014 income in Canada (USD$42,719) and USA ($51,371) would have to spend 7,608 and 6,327 years in the workforce, respectively, in order to match Stanton’s monster deal. Something tells me that might be unattainable.

There was a time – around the formation of the World Hockey Association – when Bobby Hull and the WHA’s Winnipeg Jets made waves with a $1 million dollar signing bonus. And in 1998-99, Sergei Fedorov made $14.5 million, the most ever at the time, which was more than the entire Nashville Predators roster made – combined. The days of both these contracts are long gone. These are the most lucrative contracts in the history of the NHL, all coming during the salary cap era. Read more