This is Part 5 of a 5 part series detailing my WAR model, Part 1 of the series can be found here, Part 2 of the series can be found here, Part 3 of the series can be found here and Part 4 of the series can be found here.
In the beginning of this exercise I set out to try and encapsulate the best estimate of a NHL player’s true value. An adjusted plus-minus system (XPM) was introduced to help contextualize shot attempt numbers. An box plus-minus system (BPM) was introduced to help contextualize metrics such as goals and assists. Ability to win faceoffs as well as to draw and not take penalties were also included.
“WAR is not meant to be a perfectly precise indicator of a player’s contribution, but rather an estimate of their value to date. Given the imperfections of some of the available data and the assumptions made to calculate other components, WAR works best as an approximation. WAR is trying to answer the time-honored question: How valuable is each player to his team? Comparing two players offensively is useful, but it discounts the potential contribution a player can make by saving runs on defense or special teams. WAR is a simple attempt to combine a player’s total contribution into a single value.
The goal of WAR is to provide a holistic metric of player value that allows for comparisons across teams and years and a framework for player evaluation. While there will likely be improvements to the process by which we calculate the inputs of WAR, the basic idea is something fans and analysts have desired for decades. WAR estimates a player’s total value and allows us to make comparisons among players with vastly different skill sets. “ (FanGraphs).
The final study will examine the repeatability and predictiveness of the WAR components.