Rob Vollman's Hockey Abstract
Statistical analysis is coming to hockey in a wave very similar to the one that hit baseball years ago. To prepare the baseball world for the boom in statistics, they needed a guide book that could act as a foundation, and that was Bill James' Baseball Abstract. Hockey, too, needs that guide book: a Hockey Abstract that can show how the sport can be viewed through that same type of objective lens that James brought to baseball. At last, it is here.
Hockey Abstract is not a textbook, but a guide for how to use analytics to study hockey. Ten questions are answered in a fun and informative way, including who is the best player, goalie or coach, which team will finish first next year, and which was the most lopsided trade in history. Each answer is built on the common foundation of certain key statistics and concepts that are explained in almost as many pages and chapters at the back.
Whether you use it as a reference for leading edge research and hard-to-find statistical data, including Vollman's famous Player Usage Charts, or whether you read it for his passionate and engaging story-telling, Hockey Abstract belongs on every serious hockey fan's bookshelf.
To arrange an interview, or to ask questions about the book, contact the author via email, vollman at hockey abstract dot com.
Radio and Podcast interviews are available on this site under the Listen link on the left hand side menu. Particular recommendation for the full hour on the Hockey Buzzcast.
Sunil Agnihotri of Hockey in Society also had a great interview with Rob Vollman entitled Beyond the Stats: An Interview with Rob Vollman. More recently Jeff Angus of Dobber Hockey had an interview themed around fantasy hockey, and Bob Zalabak of Too Many Men on the Site about the state of hockey analytics today.
All reviews are included here in chronological order, regardless of recommendation.
If any are missing please contact the author via email, vollman at hockey abstract dot com.
Keep up with the latest reviews by following Rob Vollman on twitter; @robvollmanNHL
Review: David Johnson of Hockey Analysis, July 29 (preliminary)
Review: Matt Horner of Five for Fighting, July 31
Review: John Fischer of In Lou We Trust, July 31
Review: Matt Wagner of Jackets Cannon, August 3
Review: Ross Bonander of The Hockey Writers, August 5
Review: Richard Spalding of Sabre Noise, August 6
Review: Daniel Wagner of The Score, August 6
Review: Kevin Baumer of Blue Seat Blogs, August 7
Review: Cam Charron of Leafs Nation, August 7
Review: Alex Calloway of Litter Box Cats, August 11
Review: Dirk Hoag of On The Forecheck, August 12
Review: Drag Like Pull of Pension Plan Puppets, August 14
Review: Dan Shrader of First Round Bust, August 18
Review: Peter Hassett of Russian Machine Never Breaks, August 19
Review: The Coach of Union Blue, August 21
Review: Kyle Alexander of Bolt Statistics, August 25
Review: J. J. from Kansas of Wingin' it in Motown, August 26
Review: Jaime Eisner of Five For Howling, August 26
Review: Josh Lile of Defending Big D, September 11
Review: Robb Tufts of St. Louis Game Time, September 11
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Buy Rob Vollman's Hockey Abstract today!