Alright, I know y’all have been waiting with bated breath for the follow up post and more charts! Everyone loves charts!
Here are the NHL Salary Band Charts for all 30 teams for Defensemen with over 500 minutes. Again, this is historical salary data, not cap hit, from 2006-2015 in all situations, because penalty kill & power play time are important when signing a player. Because it’s an average of every contract a team has touched during this timeframe, usually there is more than one player per band, so it’s intended to be an overarching view of how GMs value Dmen, not a measure of whether a specific player is good or not (though you can pick out a couple players in the higher price bands. Hi, Ryan Suter!).
Unlike the forwards, there is very little consensus across teams on what Dmen should be paid for the kind of work they do, so the usage charts are all over the place.
To kick things off, here are the NHL averages:
A couple of quick notes:
1) FA60 & FF% Rel stand for Fenwick Against per 60 and Fenwick For % Relative (to when the team is playing without the player).
Fenwick is much like Corsi, only it tracks just Missed Shots and Shots on Goal (no Blocked Shots), which makes it a better measure for Defense, because a large part of playing defense is positioning. If you’re blocking shots, then you’re not doing a good job of suppressing shots in the first place. For FA60 you’re looking for a low number, for FF% Rel, you want a high number. Both are heavily influenced by how a player is used, so take that into consideration.
2) TOI% stands for Time On Ice %, aka the percentage of TOI a player recieved of the total amount of TOI available.
This (and Points) are the only real correlation to how Defensemen get paid, which tells me that GMs haven’t put a lot of thought (historically) into what makes for a very effective Dman, instead going with a Dman they can work to death.
3) You’ll notice that Zone Start % shoots up for the higher price bands, which indicates that GMs are willing to pay more for Dmen who can score, particularly on the power play.
4) Overall, Defensemen are paid less than Forwards. Several teams have no salaries past the $5-6m bands, so take the very high end band data with a grain of salt, as the sample size is much smaller.
Again, there are some unanswered questions from these charts:
1) How is this picture changing over time? Is there greater consensus now that analytics are becoming popularized?
2) Does landscape change during UFA/RFA years?
3) Does this change significantly if we pull out ELCs?
4) What is the impact of a single GM? What about different coaches?
So that said, here are all 30 teams, in alphabetical order by location, presented without commentary.
Arizona (includes time spent as Phoenix)
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
Winnipeg (includes time spent as Atlanta)