We have expanded our work to include a salary arbitration feature. Now in its beta test stage, our salary arbitration analysis pits our metric versus actual pay per performance, as well as a more sophisticated deep-dives into a variety of parameters. These include the AB score, the AB score/actual salary, salary versus points produced, points/AB, salary adjusted for AB score, pay rank league wide, AB rank, salary per AB rank, salary per point adjusted for AB score, pay rank minus AB rank, and pay rank minus salary adjusted for AB rank.
In all, we have rated these parameters by assigning a “pass/fail” standard to the top and lower deciles for each category. We then have tabulated for each player how many net passes less fails each has. According to this rank, with 10 being the highest, we are able to compare actual salary rank to the rank of the number of net screens passed to determine what an arbiter may conclude to be a comparable salary for a player who is in a contract year.
Sure, we could have just compared salaries of similar players to the one seeking a new deal. However, that is nowhere near as much robust to determining true value as is discovered when we add our metric and adjust actual points to what he really produces, costs, or contributes to his team. This to us is a much more telling overall picture in that intangibles are now quantifiable.
Not surprisingly, the best values in the NHL are typically found among high producing young stars who are still in their rookie deal period. Players like Brayden Point, Austen Matthews, Jake DeBrusk and William Nylander are the most valuable players in the NHL relative to what they are currently paid. This is sort of obvious, save for the idea that now we can pinpoint, accurately, what these players will likely command when their rookie deals expire and the associated cap hit. Whereas its is likely Matthews, Point, et. al., will command top dollar, it is far less apparent that the league will value players like Charles Hudon and Stefan Noesen (who score quite highly on our ranking) according to what we think their market worth to be.
That is the opportunity for teams around the league, especially for those who score poorly on our scale (NYR and MTL, see below). It is also why we are excited to be testing this aspect of our work currently.
If you are curious, the players other than those mentioned who are ranking highly on our list are, we believe NOT coincidentally, are those being targeted by the Toronto Maple Leafs. In fact, if we were betting men, we think Leafs brass are employing tools such as, if not wholly similar to, the ones we have developed and share with you at HFFA.
Witness, our top decile players include the following; Matthews, Nylander, and Marner. OK big whoop, that doesn’t prove Kyle Dubas is cheating off our paper. However, what about when you add Jooris, Ennis, Leivo and Dermott into the top 60? That is 12% of the top players on our most valuable list on one team.
Other notable teams (and number of intangibly valuable players) that are probably placing heavy emphasis on statistics such as ours; WSH 3, WPG 5, TBL 3, SJS 5, NJD 5, NSH 5, LV 5, LAK 3, BOS 4, CBJ 5 etc. Anyone see a pattern here? We do……its called minimize mistakes, make the playoffs……and finish at the top of the standings.
Don’t believe us? Well, we also tabulated the number of players who score in the bottom decile. BTW, here are the teams that have yet to adopt our philosophy, or if they have, need to shed some bad contracts for at least replacement ASAP – VAN 6, OTT 5, NYR 9 !!, NYI 6, MTL 8!!, DET 6, DAL 5, BUF 6, ARZ 4.
Our data strongly suggest that success in the NHL is directly predicated upon having players who represent both tangible, and intangible value well represented on a roster. Teams with no players of intangible value are destined for mediocrity or worse unless they adopt a philosophy of team construction akin to their peers who seemingly are effecting roster changes based (partially or wholly) on data similar to ours at HFFA. With the addition of our arbitration tool, we can now keep you posted on whether teams are moving in the right or wrong directions with their personnel moves. What a great summer this has been at HFFA so far!