January 16 2013 12:16PM
Here are a few tables to get you going this year, whether or not Randy Carlyle improves a team's goaltenders. I used the same methods as I did for my similar pieces on Ken Hitchcock's and Dave Tippett's goaltenders, which found that goalies who played in those systems could expect a small increase in save percentages.
So I did the same thing for Randy Carlyle and here are the results. Basically, I looked at how goalies since 1998 through 2012 fared at even strength with Carlyle behind the bench and without Carlyle behind the bench. Given that Carlyle wasn't working with a full deck last season in Toronto, I excluded Toronto goalies from the study, but his Anaheim goalies from last season are included.
January 15 2013 11:07AM
From Flames Nation: Outside the Box: Sign Ryan O'Reilly to an offer sheet
Dave Nonis didn't sign any other teams' restricted free agents when he was the general manager of the Vancouver Canucks, but he felt the pinch when Ryan Kesler was signed to a $1.9M offer sheet in the summer of 2006. I never got the sense Nonis was too rattled, and kept quiet on the topic of offer sheets for his tenure.
Of course, opting to take the deal in the stead of two Philadelphia selections turned out to be the wise move. If Nonis failed to surround the Canucks with talent when he was the general manager, he certainly had a knack for locking up pieces eventually used by Mike Gillis to bring the team to within a game of the final.
But what about signing players to offer sheets? Toronto has all of their draft picks available save this year's 4th round selection, so they could sign any offer sheet to any restricted free agent available. There are a few interesting RFAs available, but the three most intriguing ones are Ryan O'Reilly, Jamie Benn, and Pernell Karl Subban.
January 12 2013 09:02PM
Above is the Toronto Maple Leafs' schedule for the month of January. As expected from yesterday's various tweets, the Leafs will open at the Bell Centre next week on CBC.
Toronto will play exclusively in the Eastern Conference this year, playing Montreal and Ottawa five times and Buffalo and Boston four times. The full schedule can be found here. They'll play nine back-to-backs, and, as our good friend b1kry points out, "7 dreaded MON or TUE games vs. SouthEast opponents".
For those of you stuck in the 1950s and can only watch hockey games via national television, Toronto play on TSN nine times and CBC 14 times.
January 12 2013 01:08PM
Somewhat unorthodox, but Brian Burke was granted the opportunity by the team to have a farewell press conference, where he spoke to the assembled media about the circumstances surrounding his firing, but for the most part thanked fans and ownership for the opportunity to work with the Maple Leafs.
But it's not a Burke presser unless there's some serious snark being turned. I transcribed some of the subtle, and not-so-subtle, zingers Burke used on the gathered media, via the video centre at the Maple Leafs website:
On the timing of his firing:
"I got a cold when I was in Russia and I wasn't able to shake it, so I apologize in advance. It would have been nice to get this notice before I went to Russia."
January 11 2013 04:26PM
Nate Silver has theorized that consensus builds models for better forecasts, but even moreso, having a financial stake in the outcome will force people to build better forecasts. Sports odds, by proxy, have a lot to offer.
Basically, sports odds represent the consensus forecasts of people willing to spend money, and they do it well. For a while, I was under the impression that perhaps popular teams got way more favourable odds than less popular teams due to the sheer volume of fans betting on them, changing the line. A quick look at records of Dallas Cowboys games against the spread showed me that, if that was ever a market inefficiency to be exploited by the betting market, it already has been.