Summer Skate: Key players to watch
Over the long hot summer, we look a players set to sizzle ... or struggle
The summer is getting hot icy hot, that is. Using the newly debuted projection system of Puck Prospectus, VUKOTA, Insider takes the temperature of players on every NHL team. In addition to this hockey heat index, E.J. Hradek supplies a name hardcore fans need to know in anticipation of training camps.
Starting with the Atlantic Division, we'll add a new team every day. Check back often; we're just getting warmed up.
|Pittsburgh Penguins||Roster | Stats||The Pens inked a smart-looking free agent, but a Stanley Cup hero could struggle.|
|Philadelphia Flyers||Roster | Stats||A pair of rookies could temper the decline of a long-time Philly star.|
|New York Rangers||Roster | Stats||The Rangers again spent big on a downward-trending star, putting the pressure on a young duo.|
|New Jersey Devils||Roster | Stats||The Devils' sole addition of note in the offseason has been the return of Jacques Lemaire to the bench.|
|New York Islanders||Roster | Stats||Even with the draft and signing of John Tavares, the New York Islanders are a long, long way from relevance.|
|Florida Panthers||Roster | Stats||Panthers pin hopes to young forwards, but one may have already peaked.|
|Atlanta Thrashers||Roster | Stats||Kovalchuk may finally get the help he needs.|
|Washington Capitals||Roster | Stats||Unless the Capitals' young defenders mature quickly, the team could spin its wheels.|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||Roster | Stats||A nightmare season has led to new hope -- starting with a rookie defenseman.|
|Carolina Hurricanes||Roster | Stats||A return to the later rounds of the playoffs will be made more difficult if a linchpin player takes a significant step back in 2009-10.|
|Detroit Red Wings||Roster | Stats||The Red Wings didn't make many moves, but are still loaded.|
|St. Louis Blues||Roster | Stats||The return of defenseman Erik Johnson's will aid the Blues' youth movement.|
|Chicago Blackhawks||Roster | Stats||The Blackhawks might not get all they hoped for out of signing Marian Hossa.|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||Roster | Stats||The Blue Jackets are on the rise, especially with the return of Derick Brassard.|
|Nashville Predators||Roster | Stats||Their young D continues to improve, but the Predators are still starving for goals.|
|Los Angeles Kings||Roster | Stats||Anze Kopitar is ready to turn things around in Los Angeles.|
|Dallas Stars||Roster | Stats||The Stars' talented wingers will have to compensate for a shaky Marty Turco.|
|Phoenix Coyotes||Roster | Stats||After working on his frame in the offseason, this could be top prospect Kyle Turris' time to shine|
|Anaheim Ducks||Roster | Stats||Big offseason moves as the Ducks poised to challenge again in the Pacific.|
|San Jose Sharks||Roster | Stats||As the division got tougher, the Sharks stood pat. Will it be enough to overcome another disappointment?|
Note: A mainstay of Puck Prospectus' metrics is "Goals Versus Threshold" (GVT). The stat blends an array of offensive and defensive figures to measure the value, in terms of goals, a player contributes above what a marginal player would over the course of the season. A marginal player is one that could be replaced with a player of equivalent skill, e.g., from the minors. For instance, Evgeni Malkin had an offensive GVT of +18.9, a defensive GVT of plus-4.5 and a total GVT of plus-23.4 for the 2008-9 regular season, meaning that Malkin was worth 23.4 goals more than a marginal player over the course of the season, or worth about 0.3 additional goals per game. In the team context, GVT refers to performance above an NHL average team. For the regular season, the Detroit Red Wings had a plus-30.8 offensive GVT, a plus-15.1 defensive GVT and a minus-21.5 goaltending GVT for a plus-24.4 total GVT. Therefore, at even strength, Detroit was 24.4 goals better than the average team.
VUKOTA: Keeping readers one step ahead of the competition, Puck Prospectus has developed a tool called VUKOTA.
Following in the tradition of PECOTA and KUBIAK, VUKOTA is Puck Prospectus' player projection system. Using a combination of fundamental and advanced statistics, VUKOTA compares current NHL players to comparable players throughout history to best project their next season's performance in goals, assists and points as well as GVT.
2009 NHL OFFSEASON
The writers of Puck Prospectus break out their new VUKOTA projection system to examine players trending up and sliding down on every NHL team. And in anticipation of training camp, E.J. Hradek dishes on an intriguing player that could have a big impact in 2009-10.
Note: For definitions of GVT and VUKOTA, click here.