August 22, 2007

Standings Predictions.

4Red Wings*99
11Blue Jackets70

5Maple Leafs99
Here are my current standing predictions. I tried my best to do it based on how different this year's team is compared to last years. Big changes in expected points are indicated by the arrows, for the most part team's point totals aren't expected to change much. I know a lot of people have predicted Boston to be the worst team in the east, but with their upgrade in net I'm doubt that will happen. Similarly, a lot of people see the Islanders as one of the worst teams in the east, but DiPietro is still there and while they have made a lot of changes the overall impact isn't very large.

I haven't put much if any opinion type information in the above tables. They are constructed completely based on the players that the teams have acquired and lost in the offseason.

I know there are a lot of problems with predictions (predictions are never very good), but I have constructed a NHL standings market. The goal is to get the most accurate prediction of the NHL standings. However in order to work I need a lot of people using it. More people involved means better the results.

NHL standings market is not really hard to use: simply take the number of points you are expecting a team to get this season and ask/sell a few points higher than that number (5 or so) and bid/buy for a few points lower. Someone will eventually take you up on that offer by buying your ask or selling to your bid. I've set up an initial set up based on my predictions. You don't have to ask/sell and bid/buy you can choose just one stock or do them all at once.

Many people may want to jump on the opportunity to bet against my "high" point expectation for the Islanders (I'm willing to buy at 100 points), so if you expect the Islanders to get fewer than 100 points this season simply ask for 100 on the Islanders.

August 18, 2007

Two signings go unnoticed.

Klemm and Smith have signed in the last few days, but there is no news relating to these two players. No trackers have the information including the Free Agency Tracker.

Klemm signed in Los Angeles for $500k and Wyatt Smith signed with the Avalanche for $500k as well.

August 15, 2007

Josh Green didn't even say good bye.

It's interesting, not a single article in any media about Josh Green's decision to sign in Austria. However, according to Cory Brolund from the "2007 NHL Free Agents" site, Green has signed in Salzburg, AUS. I never understood why the Vancouver Canucks didn't even try to give him a decent offer to keep him on the team.

Josh Green is a reasonably unknown hockey player. He got 2 goals and 5 assists in 57 games this season. What is interesting is that Josh Green was the NHL's best penalty killer (based on GA/Hr). Typically players will get about 6 goals against per hour, Josh Green had 5 goals against in 2 and a half hours (2GA/Hr). 2 of those 5 goals happened on 5 on 3's, meaning Josh Green had only 3 goals go in on him with 5 skaters to 4. Most players don't do as well at 5 on 5 as Josh Green did on the penalty kill. At even strength he allowed 13 goals against in 8 hours (1.6GA/Hr), which is significantly better then the average 2.4GA/hr. Of course Green had the support of Luongo, but even including that factor what Green did for Vancouver was remarkable. Had Green been nominated for best defensive forward for his accomplishments he certainly would not have disappeared to Europe in the off season.

Josh Green has 74 points in 322 games played and has averaged about 40 games played per season on many different teams. His contributions are obviously defensive, because teams wouldn't play him if his only contribution was his limited offense.

I'm curious how his loss will impact the Canuck's penalty kill, the 25 games he didn't play this season he was certainly missed.

He can still sign in North America if he wants, but there appear to be few takers.

August 14, 2007

Auld takes pay cut to try and prove that he is #1

Auld has signed where I expected him to sign: Phoenix. He signed for $600,000, a significant pay cut from last season. Phoenix had huge goaltending problems last season and the only remnant left from last season is Tellqvist. They now have one legitimate career backup [Tellqvist ] and two goalies who haven't been able to prove they are number one goaltenders on their previous team. Tellqvist may no longer be necessary however, there are often early season goaltending problems for at least one team and Phoenix will be nicely set up for a early season trade if that is the case.

August 8, 2007

Good unsigned players.

Every year it seems GM’s deliberately pass over certain players. Some players have chosen to sign in Europe instead and I will ignore them. I’m not about to debate their value or discuss who should sign them. I’m simply posting for the reason of wonder: why the heck aren’t teams interested in signing these guys:

1. Brent Sopel

Brent Sopel is at the peak of his career (30 years old) and cannot find a job. With 434 games played and 181 points (0.42). To put those statistics into perspective, Souray has 186 points in 506 games (0.37). I suspect Sopel is looking for more money than he’s worth. That being said, I’m surprised Sopel hasn’t conceded and accepted an offer.

2. Jeff O’Neil

31 year old Jeff O’Neil has 821 games under his belt (only 34 playoff games though) and has 237 goals and 259 assists totaling 496 points. Not bad for a guy who’s only played about 60% of his career. In 2000-2001 he scored 41 goals, lately he’s only got about 20 per season. He may be expecting too much in this year’s contract, but it’s certainly a surprise to see a young effective forward being left out of the game.

3. Danny Markov

31 year old Markov has done quite well for himself as a defensive defenseman. Many are shying away though due to the fact he got paired with Lidstrom last year. Markov has 538 games experience with an average of 10 games per playoff appearance. +47 in his career for many different teams. However Markov has had success with many different teams in his career and Detroit was simply another one. Word on the street is that Markov has given up trying to find a contract in the NHL and is being courted by Vityaz Chekhov, a Russian Superleague team.

4. Mike Johnson

32 year old Mike Johnson has been left high and dry, as he is likely looking for more money than he’s worth. A consistent half point per game contributor he’s worth signing at the right price.

5. Anson Carter

I’m not surprised he hasn’t been signed as he is likely looking for significantly more than he’s worth. However, if one looks at his record (421 points in 674 games) he may be well worth the risk.

It seems that the trend here may be that all these players are expecting a lot more than they’re worth. Once they concede to their true value it probably wont be hard for them to get a contract.

August 3, 2007

What would you do if you were Lowe?

A lot of criticism has flowed since Lowe signed Penner last week. To the surprise of no one, Burke conceded that the contract Lowe signed was a complete ripoff and not worth matching. The real question though was Lowe being stupid based on his current predicament?

A lot of people forget that Edmonton is possibly the worst place to play hockey in the NHL:
1. Climate is horrible
2. City isn't that popular
3. Team sucks (no chance to win cup).

Nylander refused to sign in beautiful Edmonton. Souray probably required a premium to play in Edmonton. And we don't know all the other players that have refused to sign in Edmonton. Edmonton could start next season without a replacement for Smyth, but obviously that team is much worse than a team that finds a replacement for Smyth, even if it's not perfect. If you're an Edmonton fan you should know they're not spending to the cap anyway and that any signing is better than not signing someone. Who would you rather have than Penner (who'd be willing to sign in Edmonton). Of course it's Lupul all over again. You wonder who they'll choose from Anaheim next season to overpaid.

What a lot of people don't get is that bad teams have to spend a lot of money to make themselves competitive in order to make themselves attractive to free agents. (free agents will choose a good team over a bad team all things being equal). Penner is part of that, but an extremely small part, but it's better than nothing.

Of course hind-sight is 20-20, Edmonton should have signed Smyth for about $5.5 at the end of last season, but of course management wasn't smart enough to know a good deal when they're staring right at it.