Pittsburgh Penguins: Top Five Offseason Mistakes to Avoid This Summer

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Apr 21, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center

Antoine Vermette

(80) celebrates scoring a goal during the first period against the Nashville Predators in game four of the first round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

3. Don’t Discount Analytics

A lot of NHL GM’s get caught up on small sample sizes and overvalue certain players.  Don’t be that GM, Mr. Rutherford.

While advanced stats are fairly new to the sport, they’re very telling about a player’s true performance vs. their perceived value.  Certain players have reputations that simply aren’t backed up by anything tangible, and they continue to get paid high salaries and consume unwarranted ice team because of the “eye test”.

Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t believe that you can tell everything about an individual by looking at a HERO chart.  If you want an example of someone that disproves that theory then take a look at Chris Kunitz and his outstanding possession numbers but no production.

But, more often than not in the NHL, players are overvalued based on a reputation or past successes (ahem, Rob Scuderi), and with the proper analysis of their underlying numbers you’ll clearly see differently.

The Chicago Blackhawks traded a first-round pick and defenseman Klas Dahlback for Antoine Vermette.  When the playoffs began, Vermette was a healthy scratch and a large disappointment.  Analytics would have shown that he wasn’t living up to his reputation.