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By Robert Vollman, ESPN Insider
October 15, 2014
 
The 2014-15 season began without enforcers like Jay Rosehill, George Parros, Frazer McLaren, Colton Orr, and Kevin Westgarth on NHL rosters. Pundits like Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe and Mike Milbury of NBC Sports have recently argued in favor of finally removing this role from hockey. On the other hand, a recent interview with Herb Gould of the Sun Times featured a passionate defense of the continued use of enforcers by Daniel Carcillo of the powerhouse Chicago Blackhawks. Does it still make sense for NHL teams to have an enforcer in the lineup?
 
By Robert Vollman
October 11, 2014
 
Never take pre-season predictions seriously. No analyst has access to all the information they need, and even if they did make a perfectly accurate prediction, things change so quickly in the NHL. Injuries, front office moves, coaching decisions, and puck luck, can all make a solid prediction completely obsolete a few months later. Predictions are great for entertainment value, to help establish baseline expectations, and to understand why certain teams are viewed the way they are, but they are not to be taken too seriously.
 
By Robert Vollman
October 11, 2014
 
In Part II of his Pre-Season Standings Projection column, Vollman looks at the consensus picks in the Western Conference.
 
By Robert Vollman, ESPN Insider
October 8, 2014
 
When neither Columbus nor Minnesota opted to select Martin St. Louis at the 2000 expansion draft, and no one claimed Tampa Bays future all-time scoring leader off waivers, Calgary bought out his contract and released him. While none of the NHLs current discards are going to live up to the this famous example, there are definitely a handful of potential diamonds in the rough, like Ville Leino and Peter Mueller.
 
By Robert Vollman
October 4, 2014
 
Players like James Neal, Jiri Hudler, and Brad Richards may have had their scoring totals temporarily boosted last year, and for three very different reasons. Playing alongside incredible linemates, riding favorable shooting percentages, and being assigned a heap of advantageous ice time can pump a lot of hot air into practically anyones scoring totals.
 

Most Popular Articles

By Robert Vollman, ESPN Insider
February 17, 2011
 
What can be learned from the NHL's vast history that can help reduce the chances of lopsided deals? Using GVT we can compare players of all types, and across all different eras, helping us find the five most lopsided deals of the post-expansion era. Find out in this record-setting ESPN Insider exclusive.
 
By Robert Vollman, Hockey Prospectus
January 9, 2013
 
A great use of statistical hockey analysis is to find underrated players, like Colorados Ryan OReilly. While a certain portion of his undeniable talent can obviously be picked up by simply watching him play, the full extent of his highly-disciplined defensive talent and possession-driving playmaking abilities can be more fully grasped when studying the underlying numbers.
 
By Robert Vollman, ESPN Insider
July 7, 2011
 
It's been a busy summer for many teams. The Philadelphia Flyers underwent a major overhaul, shipping off Jeff Carter and Mike Richards to make room for Ilya Bryzgalov and Jaromir Jagr. The Minnesota Wild and San Jose Sharks traded stars -- Martin Havlat for Dany Heatley -- and the New York Rangers won the Brad Richards sweepstakes. These teams all have one more thing in common: None of them made the biggest overall impact this summer.
 
By Robert Vollman
March 1, 2011
 
While discussing Dustin Byfugliens contract recently, a question from fat_daddyo came up about how to measure GVT (and by extension marginal wins) against salary/cap hit and see if a particular player is playing up to their contract. My initial response was to use GVS: Goals Versus Salary.
 
Robert Vollman, Hockey Prospectus 
May 17, 2010
 
What save percentage constituted a Quality Start this past season, who led the league in Quality Start Percentage, why Jaroslav Halak is one of the most improved netminders this year, how did Vesa Toskala perform even worse in 2009-10 than in the previous season, why Carey Price and Tim Thomas should feel upset about the offenses of the Canadiens and Bruins, and why Antti Niemi and Pekka Rinne should be thankful for the way the Blackhawks and Predators offenses played with them in net this season.
 
Robert Vollman, Hockey Prospectus 
October 21, 2011
 
To get a sense of how many points a player will score when moving from the AHL to the NHL, everyone has generally used the 0.45 rule of thumb. Multiply their AHL scoring by that magic number and you can get a fairly accurate picture of how they will do in the NHL. Lately, we have been taking a deeper look at AHL-to-NHL translations, and seeing if we can improve on this simplistic approach.