Arbitration case file: What might Paul Byron's next contract be worth?

July 18 2015 11:00AM

The Flames have three restricted free agents who filed for arbitration, and of the three, Paul Byron is both the oldest, and the last to come up. His date is set for July 30, but hopefully, a deal can be in place before then; after all, not only is he the ideal bottom six player, but he's all we have left to remember Robyn Regehr by.

Byron wowed fans this past season by his ability to go on many breakaways, and his inability to score on all but one of them. (It was on Craig Anderson.) He wowed stats nerds with his impressive WOWY numbers, and he wowed grit lovers with his exceptional grit chart scores. In short: he's pretty great.

But throughout it all, Byron has only just recently made the NHL. That, combined with the number of injuries he's gone through, and it can make him seem inconsequential to the Flames' lineup. Is that really the case, though, when we're talking about a player who seems to do all of the little things right, and can fit in just about anywhere, from the first line to the fourth?

Of course the Flames should want to keep Byron. The question is, for how much?

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The Flames Back Off From "Low Numbers" Policy

Ryan Pike
July 17 2015 03:00PM

The unveiling earlier today of Dougie Hamilton and Michael Frolik to the assembled local media masses at the Saddledome raised a few eyebrows, but mostly for reasons pertaining to jersey numbers.

Hamilton was given his old #27, which he wore in Boston. Frolik's sweater was the subject of much speculation and rankle prior to its display; he wore #67 in Winnipeg and given Brian Burke's public distaste for high numbers, most figured he'd have to abandon his old identifier.

So when he was given #67 by Brad Treliving, the presentation included an explanation from the general manager, responding to a question from Sportsnet's Roger Millions regarding the high number given to the newest Flame.

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Arbitration case file: What might Josh Jooris' next contract be worth?

July 17 2015 02:00PM

The Flames kicked off their restricted free agency shenanigans by first qualifying 12 of their 15 possible restricted free agents. Of the 12, Dougie Hamilton immediately signed, Max Reinhart was traded away, David Wolf may not be coming back, and three filed for arbitration.

Of the remaining six players, four accepted their qualifying offers. Interestingly enough, the four - Kenny Agostino, Bill Arnold, Drew Shore, and Bryce Van Brabant - all played college hockey.

Josh Jooris was the only college RFA to not accept his qualifying offer. Although, considering he was the only one of the five to basically spend his entire season with the Flames - we can handwave those first five games he missed out on due to being unfairly cut late in training camp - it makes far more sense for him to go for a bigger contract. And he will, especially with his arbitration date set for July 28.

Jooris is a late bloomer who had a surprising rookie season. How much is that worth?

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How The Flames Are Trying To Raise The Bar Next Season

Ryan Pike
July 17 2015 01:00PM

The Calgary Flames shocked the hockey world in 2014-15. A rag-tag team beset with low, low expectations, the club instead scrapped, plugged, clawed, and occasionally lucked their way into enough wins to qualify for the post-season. For a group that was a 75-1 underdog to win the Stanley Cup when the season began, it was a pretty big feather in their collective caps.

But general manager Brad Treliving didn't spend his summer sitting on his laurels, and several of his off-season moves have seemingly been designed to ward off complacency within the organization by upsetting the proverbial apple cart.

  • If you're a goaltender? Suddenly you're one of three guys on one-way deals fighting for a pair of jobs.
  • If you're a defender? Dougie Hamilton joins the group, and suddenly ice-time is at a premium and roles are thrown into question.
  • If you're a forward? Congrats, you're fighting with Sam Bennett and Michael Frolik for ice-time on the wings or up the middle.

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Predicting Future NHL Scoring Success with NHLe Thresholds & Related Factors

Byron Bader
July 17 2015 12:00PM

NHL Equivalency (NHLe) is a formula used by some in the hockey analytics community to normalize scoring rates in different prospect feeder leagues. The object of finding a similar "score" for players across different leagues is to help project future NHL scoring/performance. It’s a method developed by Gabe Desjardins of a number of years ago and has been expanded upon by hockey analytics pioneers like Rob Vollman and Kent Wilson. Here's Gabe's original piece to give you a context if you're not fully versed in NHLe.

Previously, I looked at draft year NHLe and forwards drafted in the first round from 2005 to 2010. In that investigation, I found that of players who had scored a career 0.6 PPG or higher in the NHL (approximately 50 points or more a season) 22 of 32 in total had an NHLe of at least 34 in their draft year.  

In fact, of all the first round forwards who had an NHLe of 34 or more in their draft year, only five hadn’t scored at a rate of 0.6 PPG or higher in the NHL to that point, though all had already made the NHL. While draft year NHLe provides certain insights, I was curious how you could project future impactful point producers (0.6 PPG or higher) overall, beyond the 1st round and beyond a player’s draft year equivalency.  

The following analysis provides insights into the following questions:

  • Are there differences between players who score a high equivalency in their draft year compared to later on? 
  • Do elite scorers tend to hit certain NHLe thresholds (e.g., 30+ or 40+) more often and/or more frequently than average, replacement-level scorers and busts?
  • What impact does age have in hitting an equivalency threshold and future NHL success? 

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