You may have noticed ads for the new Moneyball movie around these parts, and this afternoon's hockey notes definitely take on that flavor.
After the jump, we have a review of that groundbreaking book and how the methods described therein might apply to the NHL, an analyst's view of the best & worst player moves of the summer, and an eye-popping contract extension for a young forward that pretty much goes against the Moneyball model!
Nashville Predators News
Smashville 24/7: 2011-12 Preview: Matt Halischuk
Halischuk has a long ways to go before I'd consider him a potential Joel Ward replacement, but fans get charmed by his "Hustlechuk" style.
Around the NHL
Moneyball: Baseball Statistics, Oakland, and Why Oilers Fans Should Care - The Copper & Blue
If anyone should care about the Moneyball approach to hockey, it's a team like the Predators, who are budget-constrained. A very timely article considering the movie that's getting ready to come out!
Driving Play: The Best and the Worst of the 2011 NHL Offseason
I think I agree with pretty much all of Matt's picks here, although the Niclas Bergfors signing should probably earn an Honorable Mention.
James van Riemsdyk signs six year contract extension - Broad Street Hockey
6 years and $25.5 million for a guy entering his 3rd year, after 35 and 40 point seasons? Wow. I'm just surprised that the term is so long here, as it presents risk on both sides of the contract. The team could end up with a bust, and JVR could leave a fortune on the table if he develops into a 60+ point player. On the Moneyball scale, this would probably be considered a poor move...
The NHL's Most Interesting Name: 1920s & 30s Part II - Arctic Ice Hockey
Oh, you Baldy Cotton fans will be excited about this!
Luc Robitaille vs. Kansas City’s desire for an NHL team - Puck Daddy
There are so many things that need to come together for a team to move into a given city (ownership, arena, market, opportunity, etc.), and K.C., while it may be ahead in one area, lags in the others.
Pass or Fail: The neon gloom of Reebok NHL Black Ice jerseys - Puck Daddy
First glance? Ugh! But upon further review, these are pretty interesting.
Know Thy Enemy: Chicago Blackhawks - Winging It In Motown
The Blackhawks added some beef to their lineup this summer, but will that really make them a better team?
Bounce-back seasons expected from key left wingers - NHL.com
A fantasy hockey-view of the leading lefties.
With all that Moneyball talk, this video seems appropriate... I know some fans would rather we just focus on the skills and abilities of players, and not so much on their salary cap hit!