August 07 2013 04:31AM
The Ottawa Senators will be the best team in the league, the Toronto Maple Leafs were the luckiest in the league last season, Alexander Mogilny is Steven Stamkos' closest historical match and Toronto is expected to be 28th in the league next season.
This is all buried within Rob Vollman's first self-published Hockey Abstract, available in print at Amazon or as a .pdf. No e-book version is available, but if you have a tablet or an e-reader that's comfortable loading .pdf files, you'll be fine. Vollman says the novella isn't a textbook, and it makes for a much easier read than anticipated, simply attacking the same problems in a different way rather than attempting to write a treatise between stat-oriented and viewing-oriented hockey fans.
Among the questions answered: "Who is the best defensive player?" "Who is the best goalie?" It's not anything groundbreaking in that regard, and fans who have been reading Vollman's work (he's a major player in the hockey analytics blogosphere) won't be blown away by too much new data, but it's a good reference point with how to attack these problems with the data we have in 2013. Hockey Prospectus' proprietary GVT "Goals Versus Threshold" ranking is leaned on heavily here, as is data from BehindTheNet.ca and HockeyReference.
August 06 2013 06:09AM
The second buy-out window for the Toronto Maple Leafs came and went, and it's good to see that Dave Nonis did not use it to use it on John-Michael Liles. He had the opportunity to give his team the short-term cap relief necessary to have the space to easily re-sign Cody Franson and Nazem Kadri, but at a severe price to the future.
So that didn't happen, but Al Strachan, the ex-writer sounding off on Gary Bettman last night, used an odd excuse to explain why Nonis has yet to up the Leafs' second best scorer and top defensive scorer from last season: it's all the cap's fault.
Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
August 03 2013 10:45AM
There's a grocery list of reasons to not like Tyler Bozak being in Toronto for five more years at 4.2 million dollars per. He's nearly incapable of scoring without Phil Kessel, the penalty kill improved when he was given fewer minutes, his possession stats below average, his faceoff advantage is negligible at best, he's the least productive player on his line by a mile, he's the least productive top-end faceoff taker in the league, he quantifiably has less chemistry with Kessel than the bulk of the competing Leafs centres over the years and several defencemen, and he cut his hair. I could keep going, but that's for another day.
Lets look on the bright side today. They kept Phil Kessel's best friend! After all, it doesn't matter how good you are if you keep the star player happy, right? Pay the man what he wants and let objectively better players go to stay under the salary cap. You're happy to have your best friend on the team back, right Phil?
August 02 2013 09:57AM
As we explored earlier this week, the Toronto Maple Leafs have a second buy-out window between now and about 9:00 a.m. Sunday morning thanks to the settlement of the Mark Fraser case coming early on Tuesday. They have a 48-hour window to decide whether or not to buy out a contract that could help them sign Cody Franson and Nazem Kadri, two players that will likely command $7-million between the two, that the Maple Leafs do not have salary cap space for.
The popular target is John-Michael Liles. Check our poll to the right, and a fair number of visitors to this site would prefer a buy-out on Liles, which would cost just $875K against the cap this season, although that balloons to $2.375-million in the third year of the buy-out, once deals for Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren expire but just about when it's time for Nazem Kadri to start negotiating a contract that will see the Leafs buy up some UFA years. Consider the contracts Dave Nonis gave to Joffrey Lupul and David Clarkson which are both unlikely to work out in the long run, there isn't a lot of room to mortgage more of the future now for today.
August 01 2013 10:32PM
It's still the summertime doldrums here at the Nation. With little news expected in the next few weeks before things heat up prior to the season starting articles involve projections, speculation, rumours and British people bombing down hills after a wheel of cheese.
And today we present an article on the new trash button and what it means to society. If you want an article about EV/60 or something else substantiative keep on truckin soldier. If you want to know why we created a trash button that will probably lead to fist fights in the comments section for all eternity read on.
This is an article about the business of the Nation and nothing more. You have been warned.