FanPost

Ranking All Hockey Franchises: Regular Season Performance over the Last 10 Years

That title got your attention I bet, but producing something that factors in all possible variables is somewhat like herding cats. Some seem to go in the right direction but there are always a few that have other intentions. This is the most important time for any franchise but it got me wondering how well the Hurricanes really stack up against other franchises with success or the lack of it.

The measures that could have been used are much greater than one might imagine and are loaded with all kinds of “But If…..” valid counter-arguments. Let me give you an example but think about this first. The 10 year period look is a nice window because it captures some years prior to cap and is loaded more toward how have teams fared with the cap after the lock-out. We are trying to look at relative comparisons of performance and how franchises reacted with success or not to the cap both before and after is a telling indicator of performance.

This post is intended to look at Franchise performance and not individual management or player performance. One of the most important positions in any hockey franchise is the one who makes the decision, the General Manager. Naturally, if we answer the above title with a conclusion then it will also point directly at the GM. However, when I looked at all GM’s it became apparent that there is a a flaw with that assumption, Of the 30 GM’s and incredible 23 of those have been on the job only since 2006, or about 5 years ago. Of those 23 hired since that year, 13 of them have only been on the job since 2009, a little over 2 years. I knew coaches had short shelf lives but it was a little surprising that GM may not survive any longer than coaches on average. It very well may be that Owners may be more willing to pull the trigger on a GM than a GM is willing to pull the trigger on a coach. That look will have to be done another time.

The other issue I wanted to avoid was complexity. How can something be structured as a comparison which is blind but fair. A simple number crunching all can understand but has little retort. That took me a while to think through that and, as in most cases, the simplest became the logical. This comparison is just for the REGULAR season for the last 10 playing seasons (one lockout year so 11 calendar years total). Each year the teams sort themselves out during the regular season into a forced ranking which determines if the teams go to the playoffs or not. It also provides the first “seeding” for the playoffs. I will not look whether this is fair or not because over a 10 year period every team is treated the same way with this forced ranking. If you placed the final ranking into a spreadsheet and then look for the average 10 year ranking each franchise has achieved then these can be re-ordered and a simple comparison can be made. There are some surprises but there are also some confirmations about good teams. There appear to be groupings of several teams then a drop off until the next grouping appears. This is especially true for very good performing franchises and very bad performing franchises relative to all 30 teams. This does not account for any successes in the playoffs. It was tempting to try and add that but the complicating data that would result is not simple. Fair to say the race to the cup also yielded success to teams who are not at the top of this list.

The lower the number below in the far right column marked AvRK, the better the relative performance and this chart ranks all franchises from the best to worst. The Carolina Hurricanes are on the cusp of average, nothing more but nothing less as this chart implies. You can say that they are at the top of the bottom third or at the bottom of the middle third and both would be accurate. Average ranking of 18 with a mid point of 15 for all teams so not to far off from that middle point. Limited success is spread over 10 years but limited failure is also spread out over 10 years. For only this fan post success is defined as their final standings rank over the last 10 playing seasons. That does make some sense since so much money is spent by both franchise and fans for this entertainment during the regular season. Somehow I think the playoffs result might be able to be factored into this but this is a start anyway. Earlier in another fan post I looked at payroll, rankings and success. I am not sure where I am heading with all of this yet but it has been interesting.

Regular Season Final Rankings 10-Year Period
2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 Av.RK
Detroit 2 1 3 1 1 2 1 3 7 6 2.7
San Jose 11 5 23 3 11 5 2 1 2 5 6.8
NJ 3 10 4 9 8 7 6 5 6 23 8.1
Vancouver 15 13 6 7 17 8 21 7 5 1 10
Philly 7 7 5 8 9 30 11 9 18 3 10.7
Ottawa 4 14 1 6 2 9 13 22 13 26 11
Dallas 5 17 2 11 3 6 8 23 20 16 11.1
Boston 18 2 15 4 26 23 15 2 14 7 12.6
Colorado 1 4 7 10 13 14 10 28 12 29 12.8
Buffalo 8 20 26 18 5 1 18 18 11 15 14
Wash. 10 19 13 28 27 27 12 4 1 2 14.3
Ducks 26 24 10 22 12 4 5 17 17 9 14.6
Nashville 19 25 25 16 6 3 17 20 10 10 15.1
Calgary 20 22 22 12 7 13 14 10 16 17 15.3
Pitts 9 26 29 30 29 10 4 8 8 4 15.7
Montréal 24 18 20 13 15 19 3 13 19 14 15.8
St Louis 6 6 8 14 30 22 27 15 15 20 16.3
Toronto 14 3 9 5 18 18 24 24 29 22 16.6
Rangers 21 21 21 25 10 15 9 12 21 18 17.3
Chicago 22 9 17 29 28 26 20 6 3 13 17.3
Carolina 17 16 30 23 4 20 16 11 24 19 18
Minn. 25 23 12 19 22 11 7 19 22 21 18.1
LA 13 12 18 20 20 28 29 26 9 12 18.7
Phoenix 16 11 19 26 23 29 23 25 4 11 18.7
TB Bolts 29 27 11 2 16 16 30 29 25 8 19.3
Edmonton 12 15 14 17 14 25 19 21 30 30 19.7
Islanders 30 8 16 15 24 17 26 30 26 27 21.9
Atlanta 28 30 24 21 19 12 28 27 23 25 23.7
Florida 27 28 27 24 21 21 22 14 28 28 24
Columbus 23 29 28 27 25 24 25 16 27 24 24.8

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