20 April 2009

Ow, that really hurts!

Injury stats update - end of season awards!

[Explanatory note: I tracked these injury stats on a monthly basis for most of the 2008/09 season - this is the last of these updates, covering the whole season.]

This is the final update for the 2008/09 regular season looking at which teams were hit hardest by injuries by trying to place a value on the games missed by players due to injury/illness.

The concept again - multiply each game missed by a player by his 2008/09 cap charge, then take the aggregate of these figures for each team and divide by 82. This indicator of value lost to a team by injury/illness is called CHIP (Cap Hit of Injured Players).

The table below shows:
  • Total CHIP for each team over the 2008/09 regular season
  • Movement in ranking since 28 February
  • The player who has contributed most to the team's CHIP figure
  • The number of players with a CHIP contribution of over $250,000 (think of it as being equivalent to a $1m player missing 20 games or a $4m player missing five games)

Overcoming Philadelphia's season-long stranglehold ("Hey! That's never a stranglehold - it's just the usual anti-Flyers officiating conspiracy!") on top spot, St. Louis sneak in with a late surge to be crowned The Most Injured Team in the NHL 2008/09.

The continued absences of the Blues' Kariya and Johnson and (eventual) recovery of Philly's Briere proved crucial down the stretch. This, perhaps, makes the Blues' success at fighting their way into a playoff spot even more remarkable.

At the other end, the Rangers' almost freakishly-good fortune in avoiding significant injury absences essentially lasted all year. Not even an injury to Sean Avery due to throttling by opponent/teammate/coach/ex-girlfriend to speak of. Also mildly interesting to note that four of the six teams with the lowest CHIP missed the playoffs.

The second table is the top 30 individual CHIP contributions:

A minor surprise in the race here - Marian Gaborik looked like a lock to win all season, but his tissue paper groin managed to hold up long enough to fit in a brief stretch of games right at the death. Hence, this award also makes it way to the Gateway City by a sliver as Paul Kariya bests both Gaborik and Joe "Snowblower" Sakic.

  • Figures include (and are arguably distorted by) some players on long-term IR, such as Mike Rathje. They do exclude a few minor-leaguers who seem to have been on the NHL club’s IR
  • There's probably a few inaccuracies and inconsistencies in there - I did the best I could with the information out there
  • The cap figure doesn't really correlate to the "worth" of a player in some cases, e.g. where rookie bonuses are included this year (Erik Johnson, Zach Bogosian), where players are seeing out an old (underpaid or rookie) contract (Paul Stastny, Henrik Zetterberg) or where players are horrendously overpaid (Scott Gomez, Wade Redden)
  • I've stuck a full team-by-team listing of games missed and CHIP numbers by each player on the web HERE - knock yourself out...
  • Injury/games info courtesy of tsn.ca
  • Cap info courtesy of hockeybuzz.com