To start this off, I'm going to be talking about Alex Goligoski's high GVT rating.
I know what you're thinking. What the hell is GVT?
If you've ever heard Sabermetricians talk about Wins Above Replacement (WAR), well, Goals Versus Threshold (GVT) is is the hockey equivalent. The guys at Behind The Net put together a 10 part FAQ on advanced hockey statistics back in October of 2009 and included an explanation in the 10th and final part of the series.
GVT was developed by Tom Awad (links to his methodology are located in the aforementioned BTN link). In a nutshell, here's what it measures.
A player's GVT value is the sum of three things: his Offensive Goals Versus Average (OGVT), his Defensive Goals Versus Threshold (DGVT), and his Goaltending Goals Versus Threshold (GGVT). In recent years, with the introduction of the shootout in the NHL, a fourth component, Shootout Goals Versus Threshold (SGVT), has been added. Each of these factors is calculated independently. However, before calculating any GVT values, we must first estimate ice time.
As you can see, the common denominator in this metric is goals. Tom points out that this metric is not intended to measure ability or intangibles, so keep that in mind as you look as this spreadsheet.
Still, check out the stats after the jump.
|Rank||NAME||TEAM||GP||G/GAA||A/GA||Pts/SA||+-/Sv||OGIT||DIT||RPM||Val OG||Val D||Val S||Total GVT|
Behind the Net combines offense and goaltender portion of the metric and it's represented on this spreadsheet as Val OG. Val D is defense and Val S is shootout.
Also, I only included defensemen who have played at least 50 games this season.
In Val OG, Goligoski is ranked 19th. in Val D, he's ranked 8th.
Now one criticism that I read after the trade went down is that Goligoski is overvalued. That his 31 points come primarily because of the minutes he got playing behind Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik, and Paul Martin, to name a few.
So I checked out the leaders in offensive zone starts for defensemen. Simply put, this measures a percentage of shifts where a defenseman's shift starts with an offensive zone faceoff.
In this category, Goligoski is ranked 6th in the NHL with a percentage of 57%. So far, that point holds up.
But in 14th is Goligoski's former teammate, Kris Letang, with a percentage of 55%. And in 30th is Paul Martin with 52% of his shifts starting in the offensive zone.
What does this tell us?
Not much that we didn't already know about hockey. I'm sure if I had the time, I could probably go back and research Darryl Sydor's zone starts from the 90's and 00's and would find that the majority of his zone starts were in the offensive zone.
Because that's how you utilize offensive defensemen who, compared to some of his other mates on the blue line, are defensively deficient.
On the flip side, I'll bet Richard Matvichuk and Derian Hatcher's zone starts were mostly in the defensive end of the ice because...well...they're defensive defensemen!
Which I think is where a lot of critics of this deal are failing to see the point of the deal. We've written ad nauseam about the Stars' depth strength on the wings. And how they could really use a puck moving defenseman.
Well, they dealt from a position of strength to fill a need. Will that put them over the top and into a playoff position?
No. And I don't think anybody from this corner is really arguing that.
But the Stars clearly thought with this move that they'd be able to move Jamie Benn into James Neal's minutes to not only make up for Neal's absence, but probably overcome it. Not to mention, they also think highly enough of the rest of the roster, including Tomas Vincour, that he'll able to fill Benn's minutes pre-trade.
But only time can judge this trade.