blank'/> THE PUCK REPORT: January 2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013

2013 NHL Regular Season Mileage

Ever wondered how many miles each NHL team will travel during the abbreviated 2013 regular season offering? Well, once again statistical wiz Dirk Hoag did the math. His figures are posited in a Puck Report preferred format below.

MIN: 31,345--------'WPG: 27,431
VAN: 29,117----''''-'-FLA: 25,059
CGY: 27,539-----''-'''TBL: 20,592
EDM: 26,500-----'''-CAR: 19,912
COL: 26,125-------'-'WAS: 17,763
Avg: 28,125------''-'Avg: 22,151

DAL: 29,248----'-'--TOR: 19,049
LAK: 28,132------'--MTL: 16,612
PHO: 28,089----'---BOS: 16,597
SJS: 24,748-----'----BUF: 15,749
ANA: 21,007----'----OTT: 15,173
Avg: 26,245---------Avg: 16,636

DET: 27,471-----'-''-PIT: 16,894
CHI: 24,931---------PHI: 14,648
NSH: 23,811----'''--'NYI: 12,159
STL: 22,691-------'-'NYR: 12,048
CLB: 22,380------'''-NJD: 11,659
Avg: 24,257--------'Avg: 13,482
Avg: 26,209--------Avg: 17,423

During this abbreviated 99 day 48 game regular season, the average NHL team travel is 21,816 miles with the West jetting an average of 8,786 more miles than the East and the Northwest Division logging over twice the regular season average mileage of the Atlantic Division.

In terms of teams, the Minnesota Wild lay claim to the most traveled team clicking 31,345 miles (nearly three times that of the New Jersey Devils and twice that of and any two Atlantic Division teams combined), with the Dallas Stars and Vancouver Canucks close behind.

In addition to counting clicks, Hoag's Super Schedule tallies team's back-to-back games showing an average of 8.6 such occurrences per club this season with the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks enduring the most (12) and the New York Rangers the least (6).
Life is a skyway, I want to private jet on it all night long.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

2012-2013 NHL Highest Salary & Cap Hit By Position

Since the NHL salary cap was introduced in 2005, clubs have kept a close eye on two key player payroll markers - cap hit and salary. Cap hit corresponds to the dollar amount applied towards team salary cap whereas salary connotes a player's actual take home pay.

The chart below presents 2012-2013 NHL player cap hit and salary figures for the top ten players in each position as published by Cap Geek.

2013 NHL Player Cap Hit By Position

E. Staal8.25Doughty7.0Ward6.3

2013 NHL Player Salary By Position

M.Richards 8.4Seabrook7.0Fleury5.5

The 2005 CBA permitted a player's cap hit and salary figure to diverge dramatically in the same season and over the course of a multi-year contract. Thus, despite Weber ($14m) being paid the most this season, it's actually Ovechkin ($9.538m), who costs the most consuming more of his team's $70.2m cap limit than any other player.  The 2013 CBA limits this cap-circumvention loophole providing that no multi-year contract can fluctuate more than 35% year-to-year on salary amounts and 50% from the lowest salary year to the highest salary year.  

Another interesting facet of modern player contracts are signing bonus payments.  In terms of signing bonuses (as opposed to performance bonuses), five players will earn over $5m of their total compensation in the form of a signing bonus this year (Weber $13m, Myers $10m, Parise $10m, Suter $10m, B.Richards $8m). The genius of structuring player compensation as a bonus is that the earnings are not subject to escrow withholdings and are payable during lockouts.  

In terms of length of contract, 14 players currently have contracts lasting more than 10 years.  The 2013 CBA curbs this practice limiting the length of new contracts to 7 years unless a player is resigning with his current team in which case it's 8 years.  

As for injuries, teams must still pay a player's salary while injured though the cap hit does not count against the club. In the curious case of Boston Bruins physically healthy goaltender Tim Thomas' decision to sit out this season despite having a year remaining on his contract, the opposite is true. Boston will suspend Thomas sparing them payment of his salary, however, Thomas' $5m cap hit will count against club.

A listing of the highest paid players in the NHL since 1990, along with the teams responsible for cutting their checks, can be found here.

* See also 2014-2015 NHL Highest Salary & Cap Hit By Position.
* See also 2013-2014 NHL Highest Salary & Cap Hit By Position.
* See also 2012-2013 NHL Highest Salary & Cap Hit By Position.
* See also 2011-2012 NHL Highest Salary & Cap Hit By Position.
* See also 2010-2011 NHL Highest Salary & Cap Hit By Position.
* See also NHL Highest Paid Players By Year.
* See also Rethinking NHL Player Salary Structure.
* See also NHL Minimum Wage & Maximum Wage By Year.