How to read the Cap Hit Peer charts

The new charts I’ve started sharing on twitter are a natural evolution from the old Salary Bands. I wanted a clearer way to show how a player has performed relative to his peers, while still keeping the important metrics front and center.

Rel Cap % Bands Explainer.png

1) X-Axis

Cap % Bands break up each year a player has logged over 500 minutes, and takes their Cap hit (AAV) and divides it by that season’s Salary Cap. This gives us a % of the Cap assigned to the player. The “Bands” are just breaking those cap hits into peer groups.

Since each year is evaluated separately, a player’s results in these bands could be an average. In our example, Tanguay’s percents look like this:

08/09- 9.3%
09/10 – 4.4%
10/11 – 2.9%
11/12 – 5.4%
12/13 – 4.98%
13/14 (none, likely missed the 500 minute cut-off)
14/15 – 5.1%
15/16 – 4.9%

So Tanguay has one year in the 9% band, one year in the 2% band, three years in the 4% band, and two years in the 5% band.

Now, with players who have shorter careers, typically their pay will increase with time, however that’s not a guarantee.

2) Y-Axis

The Y-axis is the standard deviations from the NHL Average of each individual Cap % Band. Basically the math looks like this:

(Player Average – NHL Average)/NHL Standard Deviation = Players’ Deviations from NHL Average

This is done for each of the Bands because as players are paid more, on average the results become better and better. Thus, we need new averages to compare against specific peer groups.

Note: Yes, I made sure that having a high deviation in any “against” stat – seen on the defender charts – is a good thing. Blue end of the gradient = good, red end of the gradient = bad

3) NHL Averages

For additional context, the averages the players are being compared to have been added to the chart.

As you can see, Primary Points per 60 goes up in nearly every band, but there are three significant jumps – from 2% band to the 3% band, from 5% to 6%, and from 7% to 8%.

Individual Scoring Chances per 60 follows a similar pattern, steadily increasing, but with a significant jump at the higher end of the scale.

Relative Scoring Chances For % starts negative, but shows a clear trend positive.

Now, Relative Zone Start % is not typically a good measure of “easy” or “hard” starts, at least in 5-on-5 play. However, these are all situation charts, as players are paid to perform on special teams, too.

For these charts, consider Zone Start % your guide to power play or penalty killing time on ice.

In our example here, Tanguay probably spent a lot of time on the power play when he was making 2.9% of the cap in 2010/11, but his two years in the 5% band probably saw him either mostly playing 5-on-5 or splitting time between PP and PK.

If you have additional questions, please let me know!

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