Contracts and Corsi

Even though the NHL season is in the midst of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it’s not too early to think about the off-season festivities of the NHL draft and free agency.  One of the unique features of the NHL is that it is the most cap constrictive sport.  This is in part because of three features: (1) the presence of a hard salary cap, (2) the nature of guaranteed contracts and (3) limited and no-trade clauses.  The combination of these three factors separate the NHL from other leagues, namely the MLB, NFL and NBA.  Other leagues have mechanisms for restructuring contracts, the lack of guaranteed money and/or soft salary cap restrictions.

How this translates to differentiate the NHL from other leagues is that the salary cap is the great equalizer, which can empower or impoverish a franchise with a few decisions.  Aside from the compliance buyouts offered in the wake of the previous CBA, there are limited options for a team to jettison a player signed to a bad contract.  Teams that sign players to long-term, big money contracts are held most accountable in the NHL, with limited options of movement that can hamstring a franchise for years.

Thanks to war-on-ice.com, I was able to analyze the relationship between Corsi values (shots taken for/against while on the ice/off the ice) and annual contract values for players.  First, I map the Corsi for (herein CF) and Corsi against (herein CA) values on a (x,y) plot.  The size of the bubbles (for each player) are relative to the value of their contract.

Overview

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What does different fantasy football scoring look like?

It’s the week before the Super Bowl and that means that fantasy football has been concluded for over a month.  The spell has been broken on the cyclical ritual of getting amped about your roster and then massively disappointed after the 1 o’clock games.  The off-season gives us the chance to reflect on the good and bad decisions made throughout the course of the season.

If you have managed a fantasy football for multiple years, the off-season gives you a chance to contemplate any tweaks that need to be done to league scoring.  I have long thought about changing from standard scoring to PPR, but it was a concern about what it would do to alter the weights of each position.  For fantasy football aficionados, the PPR vs. standard scoring remains a point of contention, in which both sides are stalwart in their defense of their scoring preference.  For those less familiar with this debate, there are a few important key points.

Standard fantasy football scoring is the set of default scoring preferences used by popular fantasy football platforms, such as ESPN, NFL.com and CBS.  Typical default settings look something like this:

Default scoring
Source:  http://www.nfl.com/fantasyfootball/help/nfl-scoringsettings

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Does the NHL Preseason Matter?

Another NHL preseason has been completed and the regular season is set to start tonight. Upon looking over the point standings in the preseason, it is shocking to see teams like Toronto and Columbus leading their respective divisions (albeit they played more games than other teams within their divisions).  This led me to search for a correlation between preseason and regular season success.  After mulling through the myriad amount of information available for other sports, namely the NFL, it led me to create my own.  Once collecting the data, I was able to run some common statistical tests using STATA.  Unfortunately, the relationship was extremely weak.  I produced a graph to illustrate the results below.  In order to account for the difference in the number of games played in the preseason, I measure success using a points per game variable.  This can be compared to the points per game each team earns in the regular season.

Sheet 1

Link: https://public.tableausoftware.com/views/Preseason_Regular_Points/Sheet1

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