This was just a spit in the dark; having a little fun exercise on my part. The results were interesting enough to share. This does not attempt to jump headlong into the significant number of variables associated with determining the value of an NHL dollar spent. I refuse to do regression analysis. I have said I am more concerned with how payroll is spent, not necessarily how much. But when I thought about my statement I realized I could not answer the question "How much is enough?" if someone asked. I still do not know the answer but it appears other NHL GM's don't either. But to be fair, there is a lot of time left in the season and of course these rankings will change. And......I am not entirely sure this measurement is appropriate anyway.....but that is OK until I find some better measure.
I vaguely remembered there was a study on this many years ago but I have not been able to locate it. So…..just for kicks here is a simple look at the results of a comparison exactly at the halfway point of this season only. It attempts to show how all NHL teams have approached that same question and if their answers are yielding something positive.
Statistics are funny and sometime can be used to prove anything you want to prove. However, it you look closely at this list you will find some surprises.
Quick primer……the comparison number is expressed as a plus minus in the last column. The larger the plus number the less a team spends relative to their current NHL standings rank with all 30 teams. The larger the minus number will express how far below their ranking stands relative to their spending. A large plus is good and a large minus is bad or theoretically anyway. The team with the lowest spending level and the highest ranking just says that team is the most efficient spender of all other NHL teams when ONLY spending and standings are considered. That team can be easily spotted below. This is a simple view and not meant to praise or condemn any team. However, it does give you a relative look at what is happening. Call this a snapshot if you will. Can you buy a Stanley Cup???? Maybe you can....or maybe not.....or just maybe you don't really have to…….
Top five teams for positive spending verses rank: Nashville, Ottawa, St. Louis, Detroit, 3 tied for fifth
Top five teams for worse minus spending verses rank: Buffalo, Columbus, Montreal, Washington, and Calgary
Can't seem to line up the first line in the chart.....but that first line is all Washington