Though it was completely tangential to @SteveBurtch’s line of thinking, his brief comments pondering the competitiveness between the middle of NHL lineups yesterday (which I can’t locate now, natch) got me thinking about whether the NHL and team management has gotten any more efficient or competitive overall the last decade. With 10 years in the books for complex Corsi data, and hockey’s seeming “Moneyball moment” fully here regardless of the quibbling on social and mainstream media, is the league getting any tighter?
When going through the final rankings there were several interesting things that only show up when the data is viewed holistically. Here are some of our big findings that didn’t make it into the rankings piece.
Alright, we’re only a little bit sorry we made you read our methodology post first, because we know what you really want is below. Still, we recommend you understand how we came to our ratings before you continue reading this post.
We’re sure you’ll disagree with us on some points, and that’s fine – despite our best efforts, these are still fairly subjective ranks. Still, try this exercise for yourself, and it’s possible your opinions will change.
Now, without further ado – all 31 GMs, ranked.
What makes a good general manager in the NHL?
It’s a hard question, plagued by subjectivity, by bias, and by lack of transparency. It’s complicated by league mandates like the expansion draft and the hard salary cap. It mixes the weight of process, results, and vision into one big stew, where it can be difficult to distinguish the meat from the sauce.
It’s a question, that unlike many others, is difficult to quantify with even the most advanced of stats.
And it’s one that the league has no desire to answer definitively, as that would only hurt the men currently in those roles.
Fortunately for you, Hockey Graphs loves tackling the hard questions.
In the following articles, we will attempt to rank all 31 of the NHL’s GMs, as objectively as possible, according to seven important criteria. They each painstakingly researched trade histories, draft selections, and salary cap management, coming up with a final score for each.
While this process still was subjective, in that these scores are not quantitatively derived, it was an extremely holistic process, and both of us were forced to confront some of our own biases.