Monday, May 20, 2013

NHL hall of fame inductees 2000-2012

Following my previous post I went over the modern NHL hall of fame inductees. I focused on the modern era of inductees 2000-2012.

Yes I know it's called the hockey hall of fame but I only care about the recently retired NHL players. So from the list I deleted Soviet, women's players, and old time veterans category.

This is the list from the 13 induction classes.

Joe Mullen
Denis Savard
Mike Gartner
Dale Hawerchuk
Jari Kurri
Bernie Federko
Clark Gillies
Rod Langway
Grant Fuhr
Pat LaFontaine
Ray Bourque
Paul Coffey
Larry Murphy
Cam Neely
Patrick Roy
Mark Messier
Al MacInnis
Scott Stevens
Ron Francis
Glenn Anderson
Brett Hull
Brian Leetch
Luc Robitaille
Steve Yzerman
Dino Ciccarelli
Ed Belfour
Doug Gilmour
Mark Howe
Joe Nieuwendyk
Pavel Bure
Adam Oates
Joe Sakic
Mats Sundin

That's a fine list and certainly any hockey fan would have heard of all of these and recognize them all.

One thing I noticed is the size of the list. In 13 years there were 33 inducted. That's over 2.5 per year. So for any given decade the NHL believes there are over 4 full starting units of Hall worthy players. Which leads to the big question.

Is it the Hall of Fame or the Hall of Very Good?

This is a question baseball has also struggled with. "Who is a hall of famer?" Well in my previous post I showed that it can be approached systematically which would strip off a lot of the subjective bias and popular "feel good" inductees. By setting a "quota" of say 2 active retired a year then the overall integrity of the Hall can be preserved while ensuring that no major injustices occur about anyone being left out. The NHL has chosen the more inclusive path.

The current process is the selection is done by committee and face to face in a group meeting. This creates a couple of issues which could lead to an expansionist trend in Hall admission. One is the "slippery slope" type argument. It goes something like, If Joe Mullen is in, then Bernie Federko is in, then Ron Francis is in, then Glenn Anderson is in. While there's some value in comparables in setting a bar, it can set the lower bound too low if one time a single bubble player gets through.

Another possible issue would be horse trading. Suppose there were two hypothetical HOF voters in the 2000s. One likes Ron Francis but is against Glenn Anderson. Another is the opposite, for Anderson but against Francis. It would be pretty easy for a side conversation something like this to occur. "I'll vote for Francis this year if you will vote for Anderson next year. Deal."

Now with a quota both of these weaknesses go away, as the line is drawn somewhere and perhaps somewhat arbitrarily some will be on one side and some on the other. But it would force hall voters to make tough and probably unpopular decisions but it would probably be for the best for the HOF.

I'm pretty sure 2.5 per year is too high for hockey and the NHL would be better cutting back to a range of 2 - 2.25 inductees per year. From the list above I could cut 4-7 names without trying too hard and the Hall would be no worse off.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

NHL hall of fame worksheet

An interesting subject my older son likes to discuss is who among today's NHL players will eventually make the hockey hall of fame. The interesting part to talk about is the players who are or might be on the bubble. Lock players like Martin Brodeur or Nicklas Lidström aren't interesting because they are basically already in. Players like Tim Thomas or Vincent Lecavalier are good because it's a bit more subjective where they will fit in.

I got thinking it could be looked at or projected more systematically. The way is by setting a "number" of active players who will make the hall of fame each season. Suppose the number is two. Then each decade 20 players will make the hall. Now that fits well with hockey as a starting unit is six players, goalie, two defence and three forwards.

So in a given decade it should roughly fall to three full units plus two floaters from any position should be about right. So 3 goalies, 6 defencemen, 9 forwards, and 2 worthy extras from any position.

Now from this start the guesswork can actually be largely be taken out using a spreadsheet and publicly available seasonal information. Create a spreadsheet for the 2000s decade which will be the players under discussion. Create slots for the 20 inductees by position.

Now for each season 2000-2001 through 2009-2010 get the major data from that season. The major trophy winners, all stars, scoring leaders (esp. 50 goals and 100 points), goalie leaders such as wins, GAA and shutouts, scoring leaders among defencemen, playoff leaders. also notable achievements such as the captain and starting goalie of the Stanley Cup winning team, and career milestones such as 500 goals, 1000 points, or setting a record or positional record.

By showing this category data side by side for the 10 seasons the leaders will quickly jump off. Use those to fill the slots by position. There's a bit of judgment involved as some players like Brodeur belong to the 1990s decade so leave them off. Still after going through it that would make it a lot clearer among the bubble players. This would be a good exercise for my son or any hockey fan interested in a do it yourself Hall of fame projector.

The main driver among these bubble players is the crucial "per year" number. In this example I set it at 2 which I feel is fair and no truly worthy player is left out of the Hall here (especially with the two extra floater slots). In my next post I'll use the actual NHL numbers and draw some conclusions.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Nova Scotia youth hockey checking ban

Recently a new rule has been added that no checking in Nova Scotia minor hockey through to the midget level.

Of course the IWK was all over it in favor along with the Comical Herald cheerleading. Allegedly this is about safety. But don't be fooled. This is part of a none too subtle agenda to feminize and wussify hockey. Here's all you need to know.

There's no checking in women's hockey.

Therefore there will be no checking in hockey.
And that's it. This ban applies to 17 year old midget players. It is preposterous that a 17 year old is considered "too young" or "too small" to receive a check or "might quit hockey" after going to the bench crying after getting hit once.

If this was about 11 year old peewee players then why not just make it on peewee? The reason it was extended to 17 year olds is to enable the next step which will be this.

"if 17 year olds are too vulnerable for checking then everyone is too vulnerable. thus we will ban checking in hockey just like the women did."

Friday, May 10, 2013

Keith Colwell Nova Scotia legislature fight

If Percy Paris is so obsessed with who represents Preston then why didn't he just run for the Preston district himself in the last election? Oh yeah, it's because he knew he couldn't beat Keith Colwell in a straight up election - even in an NDP landslide.

If Percy Paris is so obsessed with who represents Preston then why doesn't he challenge Colwell for the seat in the next provincial election? Oh yeah, the same reason he wouldn't run against Colwell in the last election. Colwell is a good man who has beaten other good men like Bill Dooks for that seat. It would take a good man to win that seat off Colwell, hence Percy is no match.

Colwell would have been better to just take care of business straight up fight the bully Paris instead of calling the police.

In the news reports coming from the Paris camp on Thursday I haven't seen the race card played that often since the OJ trial. Instead of being a man and taking responsibility for his actions Paris is apparently trying erect some some race curtain to hide behind. and lol at Percy trying to represent himself as a model of restraint afterwards. your actions speak for themselves Percy.

At the very next opportunity Colwell should stand in the legislature, look Percy straight in the eye, pound on his desk, and shout out "I REPRESENT PRESTON". Don't back down Keith and don't be intimidated. The voters already decided who represents Preston and if Percy wants that role then let Percy do the honourable thing for once and challenge you in the Preston district of the people he claims to represent.


edit: correct the name of Mr. Dooks

Thursday, May 02, 2013

some possibly bad golf putting advice

I have a golf calendar at work. I got it from my uncle who owns a successful business installing auto glass. On the May entry it states the standard line about putting to "don't come up short". This is of course because all putts that land short of the hole will not go in, while any putt that at least reaches the hole may sink.

Now that seems fairly intuitive but it may not actually be true. This is because in order to always reach the hole, you need to pace your shot so that it plans to land a little bit past the hole. This is of so that if your shot doesn't go as far as planned then by being short of target it will still reach the cup. Also among strong players faster putts travel on a truer line and so tend to sink more often.

Consider the following situation. A golf pro and a casual player (handicap 15+) face a 12 foot putt. What strategy should be used. Now for the pro it's clear to be aggressive and attempt to hit it into the hole, aiming say 2 feet past the hole (so the putt reaches the hole and with enough speed). For the pro this strategy makes sense for a couple of reasons.

The pro's putts will mostly land within say a two foot radius of his target landing point. So if he misses the putt then he will still be in good shape on the next putt.

The pro can efficiently convert longer 4-7 foot second putts. So if say the pro is unlucky and his first putt lips out and ends up 6 feet away this isn't terrible as the 6 footer is very makeable for the pro. So the correct strategy for the pro is to be aggressive and make a strong putt with enough speed to land past the hole.

Now for the amateur things are different. The amateur is not able to control his landing radius as well so his radius is more like 3 feet and many, but still fewer, of his putts will land in this primary radius.

Also for the amateur being left with a second putt over 3 feet is a disaster as the amateur converts far fewer of these 4+ foot second putts.

From here we can see that it is possible that the correct strategy for the amateur may not be the same as the correct pro strategy. It is not difficult to devise a realistic circumstance where the amateur should aim at the cup, not past it, and accept coming up short half the time.

Consider this situation. An amateur is facing a 12 foot putt.

if he aims to land right at the hole
  • 10% of the time he will be lucky and will sink the putt
  • 80% of the time his second shot will be within 3 feet
  • 10% of the time his second shot will be 4 feet or more

if he aims the putt a bit past the hole
  • 20% of the time he will sink the putt
  • 50% of the time his second shot will be within 3 feet
  • 30% of the time his second shot will be 4 feet or more

in all cases this is his conversion efficiency on second putts

  • within 3 feet he will convert 92% of the time and 3 putt 8% of the time
  • from 4+ feet he will convert 24% of the time and 3 putt 76%

Plugging this into a simple spreadsheet we can see that the conservative strategy has an expectation of  2.04 putts. The aggressive pro strategy has an expectation of 2.07 putts (despite 1 putting twice as often). Thus the correct play is to ignore the tv pro advice and accept often coming up short.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

The Gaiety Theatre

Ah where to start. Seems like we've been constantly bombarded with gay this, gay that, for how many years now. A break from having to hear about it would sure be nice.

Anyway same-sex marriage. I hadn't invested much time thinking about this subject. I guess by indifference I didn't care enough about it one way or the other to be against it. For some reason it occurred to me recently I realized that I am against it. Marriage is marriage is one male and one female and that's that. I'm not obligated to explain, justify or defend it. It's how I feel and I think I'm right.

Now if people choose to be in a same-sex relationship and live together, well that's their personal choice of course and it is not my concern. Realistically if they are living together as a couple then it seems proper they would receive benefits from work and such. So why deny actual marriage? I'll say it's for the good of society to keep marriage as traditionally defined. Thus I don't really feel to bad asking gays to suck it up and live with the disappointment and go without this marriage thing. It hardly matters anyway in Canada as the elites in power have made it the law and it's not going to be reopened. sigh, I just wish I didn't have to hear the drumbeat at least once every single day I turn on the radio or tv or open a newspaper.

Then that other thing. Trans washrooms or whatever. sigh, I heard the IWK put this in or something, our tax money at work. I'll have to remember that at telethon time. Anyway I'm also against these special washrooms. Boys go to boys washroom and girls go to girls washroom. A male is still a male regardless of how he thinks, dresses or acts. So suck it up and go to the boys bathroom.

Interestingly the more logical approach to the trans washrooms is to do what was done with marriage and throw it all wide open. So anyone can go to any bathroom of their choosing. Like marriage, do away with the concept of separate washrooms for men and women; no restrictions on gender. Funny I can't seem to think of a good argument against that. Still I will come out and say I'm also against eliminating gender specific washrooms.

Who knows maybe we will see it, and before you might expect. After all as recently as 1996 it was liberal Bill Clinton signed the Defence of Marriage Act; and up to late 2012 Obama was at least nominally against gay marriage. So who knows what's next on the agenda.