It’s no secret that I’m a big proponent of advanced stats. I feel like they add to the game and they’ve changed the way I view players’ effectiveness.
Some of the earliest developers of advanced stats are the guys over at hockey prospectus. Their sister publication, Baseball Prospectus, basically started the advanced stats revolution (outside of the Oakland A's) with this article. What I’m saying is that these guys know their stuff.
Every year HP publishes their hockey annual-also known as the farmer’s almanac of hockey. I’ve purchased a copy the past two years and I’m a pretty big fan. Now, just because the book mentions things like GVT and VUKOTA doesn’t mean the average fan can’t enjoy it; as the team write-ups are quite detailed and every team has a player-by-player breakdown. These tell you what to expect for the teams and players in the upcoming season using past performance, as well as other things.
I found myself quite enamoured with the Flames section-written by Editor Emeritus, Kent Wilson-as it basically reaffirmed my thoughts on the team going into the season. It’s interesting to see the projections HP have come up with and create an argument in your mind as to why the projection might be wrong…or why it might be right.
If that’s not your thing (and if it isn’t, what gives?), there are articles in there that explain Corsi methodologies and what’s needed to introduce these types of stats to the community at large. They’re written by guys like Tom Awad and Gabe Desjardins, so they’re guaranteed to be good.
Of course the projections (specifically VUKOTA) aren’t perfect, as they use history and don’t really take into account a player’s current team. Other then that, though, I don’t really see why you shouldn’t be plunking down 10 bucks for the 400+ pages offered.
If you'd like to purchase a copy (and I strongly recommend that you do) click here.
Full disclosure: one of the contributors to the Hockey Prospectus Annual-Ryan Poplichak-is also a contributor here. I bought and paid $9.90 for my own copy of the PDF, but one was offered to me for free. Timo Seppa (the Managing Editor at Hockey Prospectus) asked me to write a review of sorts and this is what I came up with.