As a pretty insignificant follow-up to the Best of the Decade series of analyses on the excellent Behind The Net, today's endlessly fascinating set of figures looks at the WPEF rankings over the last decade of (regular season) play in the NHL. As per those analyses, I've taken "decade" to mean the all games from the start of the 1999/2000 season through to the end of 2009 (plus a couple of games in 2010...because I was late starting on this).
[For the full, more-complicated-than-it-needs-to-be explanation behind WPEF, follow the LINK to the original blog on this.]
As a simplified explanation, WPEF (Weighted Point Efficiency Factor) is a measure of how well a player scores points taking into account:
- Number of minutes that player gets to play
- How those minutes and the points the player gets are split between even-strength, powerplay and short-handed situations (PP points being less valuable or well-earned than ES points, which are in turn less valuable than SH points)
The list below shows the ranking of all players with a WPEF in the decade of 0.65 or above (as a fairly arbitrary cut off point). I've excluded anyone who played fewer than 82 games over the period – it gets a bit distorted for low points, low minutes players.
The usual caveat - it's not perfect or complex by any means, but gives a pretty decent picture of a few players who picked up the tougher points with relatively limited minutes though.
- Although there have been several examples of players having an individual season with a WPEF above 1.00 (the best individual seasons from 1997/98 through 2007/08 are helpfully illustrated HERE), nobody managed to maintain it above 1.00 for the whole decade, though Peter Forsberg came especially close.
- As you might expect, the top end of the list is dominated by star offensive players. Where the single-season lists occasionally highlight relatively strong offensive performances from a few role players who don't receive as much ice-time (especially on the PP), sustaining this over several years seems unlikely (perhaps showing the performance to be anomalous in the player's career or the player develops into more of a star offensive player over time).
- Noticeable that several of the better offensive talents who have only been in the league two or three years make the list - will they sustain this as they get more playing time?
- Vladimir Tsyplakov receives due recognition for being the highest-ranked oddity, though his performance was barely over one season in the decade. Though if Rich Peverley drops off the NHL radar as quickly and unexpectedly as he emerged, he could arguably steal that award.