Monday, August 18, 2008

Updated Player Profiles On The Way

We're only a couple weeks away from NHL training camps beginning in earnest and I think the best way to predict the future is to evaluate the past. In doing so I will be updating and expanding my player profiles.

I probably won't be saying anything that hasn't been said before but I think the scale of the project hasn't really been taken on as of yet and I think that even if I don't have anything new to say I will be able to confirm some suspicions I (and others) have had.

My method was fairly straightforward but without explaining it some of my conclusions will be pretty questionable so here it is:

I took the EV numbers from the 07-08 season for all returning Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers and ranked them in all categories overall and positionally (except for corsi). If a player was ranked 1st either overall or positionally he gets a turquoise highlight of the cell, a red cell fill means that player was last place either overall or positionally.

Importantly, the rankings are based ONLY on the returning players. It was an arbitrary decision but I think there are a couple advantages. For instance, we can see what sorts of holes we're left with after the loss of players. In terms of the Flames, Huselius and Tanguay in particular left massive EV holes and because of this, Wayne Primeau is our third ranking returning forward in terms of opposition. That's bad. Secondly, I think it unclutters things. Since those players are gone their stats are noise, not target. We can pinpoint what they did well and what we need to replace, but either way we need to evaluate who will be best for what role now, and those ex players are useless for that.

I've also included incoming players for both the Flames and Oilers. Their rankings are based on their placement with their former teams in the 07-08 season, but their rankings include players that might have been traded from their team. This makes things a little ugly in terms of interpretations but it was purely a practicality thing. I really just didn't want to get into 6 different teams and figure out who was moved, what the roster looks like now, etc. Nonetheless, I think we can still infer some valuable information about their previous role and what they might be doing in the upcoming season.

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