Public Ballots May Be Changing Award Voting Behavior

My office was recently planning an offsite social event. During a team meeting, we brainstormed what activity to do together. Along with ideas like mini golf, hiking, and wine tasting, someone suggested karaoke. The team initially responded positively, so when everyone turned to me, I said “sure, that sounds fun”. Then someone put the options in a Google Form for us to all vote on privately. I opened it at my desk and immediately voted for karaoke dead last. I didn’t want to be a downer in public, but there was no way I was doing karaoke.

Being in public changes our behavior. It’s a natural trait and totally understandable. What’s interesting is understanding when and how it changes, and the NHL awards voting may have given us an opportunity to do just that. For the 2017-2018 season, the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) made their individual voter ballots public for the first time, and it appears that this may have affected how some writers voted.

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2015-16 Hockey Graphs Midseason Awards

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With the league returning from the completely predictable All-Star festivities (I didn’t see the game but can only presume that John Scott screwed the whole thing up, since that’s what Gary Bettman implied would happen), there’s no time like the present to look back at the first 50 games and take stock of the NHL season that’s been so far. And since the only thing better than arbitrary lists or rankings is many arbitrary lists or rankings, we here at Hockey Graphs have put together our picks for each of the end of season major awards.

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