• On Carlyle and Hall

    by  • April 25, 2013 • Hockey • 17 Comments

    The disappointing thing about a short season if you’re the kind of fan who enjoys the pain of others is that a hot chunk of a season doesn’t really have time to melt away. The exciting thing about a short season if you’re the kind of fan who enjoys the pain of others is that some bad teams have looked good and some good teams have looked bad (and, sigh, some bad teams have looked bad) and there’s the possibility of CRAZY DOINGS over the course of the summer.

    Which brings me to the Toronto Maple Leafs. As James Mirtle reports:

    - Leafs coach Randy Carlyle had a shot at the media about his team’s horrible shot differential on Thursday morning, joking that “we outshoot a team last night and lose so… what are you guys going to write now?” (We’ll leave that one without comment for now…)

    Funny thing about that. Entering this season, Carlyle was 134-91-33 (a .583 points percentage) in games in which his team outshot the opposition and 133-98-27 (.568) in games in which they got outshot. That’s smaller than most teams – if I recall correctly, a team that outshoots the opposition has about a .050 edge in points percentage over the long haul. This year, teams that outshoot have a points percentage of 0.576 while teams that are outshot have a points percentage of 0.535. It’s a small but persistent edge. It would likely be bigger if score effects were take into account – I’ll leave that for someone else to address. The Leafs are 5-7-0 when outshooting the opposition and 20-9-5 when getting outshot. I’ll leave it to the reader to figure out whether that’s a trend to bet on next year.

    The Leafs didn’t just outshoot Tampa – their edge in possession meant that they didn’t throw an awful lot of hits. The National Post’s Michael Traikos reports that Carlyle wasn’t happy about this: “When this hockey club is on its game,” said Carlyle, “it’s over 50.”

    I kind of wrote what I think is the definitive thing that I’ve seen about hitting and out-hitting earlier this year. The conclusion was simple: teams win more games when they get outhit.

    I hope that the Leafs brief playoff appearance is worth it. If the organization thinks that it has a recipe for success based on out-hitting and getting out-shot, this summer and next season could be awful lot of fun for those of us surrounded by their fans.

    * * *

    While there’s a lot of things that seem to be unrelentingly the same in Edmonton (“If it’s the end of the season, it’s time to talk about draft position and tanking”), some things are much, much different than they once were. A decade ago, a young star Oiler forward chased bonuses in his ELC and it was a subject of some discussion. This was particularly true because the EIG was cash-strapped, the bonuses were large and the player in question, Mike Comrie, was playing with a partially healed broken hand. As Bruce McCurdy tells us:

    His production numbers went way south, as he managed just 20 goals and 51 points, both barely enough to trigger performance bonuses that totalled $3.5 million. His unbecoming -18 convinced some of shoddy defence, his career high 90 PiM included some bad penalties that hurt the team, and some accused Mike of cherry-picking for personal targets ahead of the team. Another contract dispute loomed on the horizon, and Comrie wore the black hat in the eyes of many, including some with a platform in the local media.

    A decade later, as the Oilers play out the string, nobody seems to have mentioned that Taylor Hall is in line for some pretty serious bonuses. A few years back, Dan Tolensky posted Evgeni Malkin’s ELC, which set out his bonus structure. Presumably, it’s pretty standard for first overall draft picks and Hall has the exact same structure.

    There are two sets of bonuses. The first are pretty standard and relatively easy to achieve. They max out at $850,000 and are for things like scoring at least twenty goals. Those numbers will be pro-rated this year and I’d assume that Hall will max those out. The really big money lies in achieving one of the second set of bonuses. In Malkin’s case, he was to receive $2MM for achieving the following:

    *Finishing top five in Hart Trophy voting or Selke Trophy voting;
    *Winning the Conn Smythe;
    *Being named a First or Second Team All-Star at the end of the season;
    *Finishing among the top ten forwards in goals, assists, points or points per game, amongst those who played at least 42 games.

    Hall’s not going to finish top five in Hart or Selke voting. He seems unlikely to win the Conn Smythe. I think he’s unlikely to make either the First or Second All-Star team. Those teams are voted by the PHWA – Hall may have $2MM on the line in a vote conducted in an utterly opaque fashion by a voter group that is not publicly identified and, in the NHL’s lesser markets, includes all sorts of people who may not know very much about hockey.

    If Hall wants to avoid placing a potential $2MM bonus in the hands of a group of people who wonder about things like “Why isn’t Ben Eager in the top six?”, he’d best get himself into the top ten forwards in goals, assists points or points per game. He doesn’t really have a shot at finishing top ten in goals – he currently has 15 and might need to score 7 in the Oilers final two games to get there.

    Hall currently has 30 assists, good for 15th amongst NHL forwards. He’s two assists out of tenth, although it might take four assists in the last two games for him to get there. Personally, I’m hoping that he gets a breakaway on an empty net at some point tomorrow or Saturday, if only so we can see him desperately looking around for someone to give the puck too. He’s 17th in points – two points out but, again, he’s got a lot of guys to leapfrog in order to get into the top ten. If these were his only two routes to the bonus, his kneeing suspension on Cal Clutterbuck will probably find a spot in the history books as the most expensive kneeing suspension in history.

    There’s one other route though: pts/gm. I would assume that it will take 21 games for a player to qualify, which is important, because it bumps Joffrey Lupul off of the list. Hall is sitting twelfth. Before play tonight, the group immediately ahead of Hall looked like this:

    6. Alex Ovechkin – 1.15
    7. Ryan Getzlaf – 1.09
    8. Eric Staal – 1.09
    9. Chris Kunitz – 1.09
    10. Thomas Vanek – 1.08
    11. Phil Kessel – 1.07
    12. Taylor Hall – 1.05

    As of this writing, Phil Kessel has scored a pair of goals in Florida. This is probably Hall’s most realistic route to the bonus, so it’ll be fun to watch the last two games, pay attention to how much Krueger pays him and whether Hall’s cheating for offence or not. He’s got a $36MM deal in his pocket but $2MM is $2MM – that’s a lot to play for in the last two games.

    Email Tyler Dellow at tyler@mc79hockey.com


    17 Responses to On Carlyle and Hall

    1. Mike
      April 26, 2013 at

      Between that tangle with Boll that might have cost him the Calder, and the kneeing suspension, he’s pretty much his own worst enemy.

      • daryl
        April 26, 2013 at

        Without debating the boll fight or kneeing suspension, I would much rather have the guy that does those two things than the guy who doesn’t to meet performance bonuses in his contract.

        • Tyler Dellow
          April 26, 2013 at

          I completely agree, although I never want him to fight again.

        • Mike
          April 26, 2013 at

          No disagreement from me, but the fact that he might have a financial incentive to ease up on that part of his game is interesting.

          I remember NYR offering Lindros a contract that was mostly incentives for games played. Seems logical, until you watch him avoid contact all season.

      • Dubs
        April 26, 2013 at

        It was Dorset, not Boll.

    2. Pingback: Spectors Hockey | NHL Blog Beat – Friday, April 26, 2013.

    3. Lee
      April 26, 2013 at

      He seems unlikely to win the Conn Smythe.

      Pithy Tyler. Pithy : )

    4. PunjabiOil
      April 26, 2013 at

      Well 3 points tonight for Hall, I think that puts him in the top 10.

      If the PPG is indeed a criteria, it’s best for him to sit out tomorrow under the guise of a flu.

      • May 6, 2014 at

        Hi Anette!Today, one year ago on 5.5.2012 I saw you live for the very first time at the concert in Nfcrnberg. It s so sad that you aren t at the band anmoyre and as you left, I was so terribly sad and sometimes I am still. Because Nightwish with you meant everything to me, everything. Nowadays, I don t care any mor for the band. Nightwish with you was one of the first metal bands I listened to, and for me, metal was Nightwish at that time, but only because of you. But I believe that everything has its sense and I m so glad that we still can write you here and read from you here. And I m so sure that I will see you again :)Have a nice evening now and please take always good care of yourself :)Hugs,Pascal

    5. Jerodd
      April 27, 2013 at


      How do you account for good teams over the years not taking Oilers seriously and playing their B game.

      Wouldn’t this pad the stats for the Oilers.

      • dawgbone
        April 27, 2013 at

        Do teams do this?

        • Jerodd
          April 27, 2013 at

          There are certain games you circle during a 82 game schedule, the only time Edmonton is circled is for an easy game.

          Teams definitely get up for certain teams in the regular season, and not by design certain teams you just show up for.

          • dawgbone
            April 27, 2013 at

            The NHL is competitive enough that you don’t get much chance to write these games off against certain teams.

            Sure you might choose to start your backup and give your starter an extra day or two of rest, but that’s about the extent of it.

            Every team tries to win every game, whether or not they are capable of it is another story. Sometimes it’s just not your night, but the suggestion that teams look at Edmonton as an easy 2 points doesn’t exist in the NHL.

            And teams may get up for games against certain teams, but it doesn’t mean they play at that level. Edmonton hasn’t had more teams take a night off against them than other teams have.

            • Jerodd
              April 27, 2013 at

              I disagree, it is an 82 game marathon you pick yours spots, you play better against better teams it is natural. I remember last month Vancouver came to Edmonton and got blown out , they didn’t take them seriously they played a couple days later and Vancouver schooled them. I not cherry picking but teams play harder for top tier teams. Edmonton has not been a threat for years

          • Garnet
            April 28, 2013 at

            I don’t know how you’d measure the other team’s effort, but I suspect that the Oilers have seen a lot of backup goaltenders over the last few years. Not always true – some teams, I think, get the backup action where they figure they can win anyhow (like vs. the Oil), and some do it strictly on a chronological basis (no. 1 goalie doesn’t play back-to-back games, or a backup starts once a week). To whatever extent we’ve seen extra backups, it’s depressing, because it means the Oilers’ awful record is actually inflated a bit.

            • Jerodd
              April 28, 2013 at

              This reminds me of betting horses, some guys have every single stat on on horse and still can’t win. Some have a few stats and wins.
              Stats are good until they are not . There must be some type of happy medium.
              Teams due take Oilers lightly sometimes, I guess if you are a GM you have to take this into account

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            May 31, 2013 at

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