The tremendous guys at war-on-ice.com recently revealed their version of an all-encompassing stat for hockey, WAR, and I spent some time playing around with it. The stat is still in “alpha” stage meaning there’ll be some kinks to work out and some additions, but so far the results look very promising. Here’s their methodology.
It’s easy to get hooked on a one number stat that aims to explain a player’s entire worth, and that’s exactly what happened to me. I was fascinated by looking at certain player’s throughout their career and comparing them to other similarly viewed players. Seeing how valuable each player was compared to his peers using just one number was pretty cool to me, and I got lost in it.
Naturally, I made some charts with these comparisons. I also live in a magical world where injuries don’t exist and neither do lockouts, so everything is prorated to 82 games. I also hyphenated prorate on every chart for some reason like an idiot, but it’s too late for that to change.
Obviously I would do this one. Crosby gets the edge here, but that was in a year where he only played 41 games. A shame he got injured in what would’ve been his best season.
Also really cool to see these two go toe-to-toe for the first five years of their career, although it’s a bit strange to see Crosby’s 120 point season be only worth roughly 2.5 wins. I imagine that the addition of playmaker WAR will help Crosby out there.
Crosby: +4.5 wins
Ovechkin: +4.1 wins
These two never get much respect, and while they’re not on their teammates level, they’ve still produced some spectacular seasons.
Malkin: +3.3 wins
Backstrom: +2.4 wins
For my money, these are the two best players in the lockout era not named Crosby or Ovechkin. Two very complete players that have been elite for a long time. When a stat makes Datsyuk look great it is probably correct. He actually has a higher average than Crosby.
Datsyuk: +5.0 wins
Thornton: +4.0 wins
Perennial Selke candidates for a reason. Toews had the best season of the three, but has dropped off since then. It’s interesting to see the three alternate with who’s best over the past three years.
Toews: +4.0 wins
Kopitar: +3.5 wins
Bergeron: +2.3 wins
Maybe Taylor Hall is the problem. Stamkos and Tavares have been exceptional though.
Stamkos: +3.8 wins
Tavares: +2.8 wins
Hall: +1.7 wins
These two are pretty much the same player, right? Have to imagine what either of these guys could do with an elite center on their line. I also wouldn’t make too much out of Kessel’s last season though. Would be interesting to get a split of the first half and second half of his season.
Kane: +2.3 wins
Kessel: +1.5 wins
I’m a little concerned that these two weren’t identical lines, but still very close.
D. Sedin: +2.8 wins
H. Sedin: +2.5 wins
This is now the twins segment of the post where I apparently highlight some dynamic duos. These two have been one of the league’s best over the past few years, but it’s funny that their best combined season (2013-14) was worth just 0.7 wins more than Crosby’s best season.
Getzlaf: +3.0 wins
Perry: +2.2 wins
Seguin was traded as a 2.5 win player and immediately turned into one that’s worth almost five. Smart move. Benn has been just so consistently good. This is the best current duo in the league in my opinion.
Seguin: +2.9 wins
Benn: +2.9 wins
Giroux is in a gentle decline right now, and it might be fair to say that Voracek is driving the bus in Philly these days. What a player he’s become.
Giroux: +3.0 wins
Voracek: +2.2 wins
These three have had a very similar pattern over the last four years, which is definitely interesting. Karlsson’s peak is during the year he missed most of the year with an injury and isn’t that just the worst? Could’ve been a great season.
Karlsson: +2.2 wins
Subban: +1.7 wins
Letang: +1.6 wins
Immediately noticeable from this chart and the last one: defencemen, even the best ones, have a much lower WAR than forwards. Chara and Doughty both peak at around 3.5 wins which isn’t very high compared to some forwards. That’s an interesting debate for sure.
Chara: +1.9 wins
Doughty: +1.5 wins
Keith: +0.9 wins
Alex Pietrangelo. What. The. Hell. Happened. Suter and Weber get overrated a lot, but Weber’s average WAR is about on par with the other elite d-men shown here. And he’s been fairly consistent too.
Weber: +1.5 wins
Pietrangelo: +1.2 wins
Suter: +0.5 wins
That’s it for me. If you want more just ask me or make your own. I don’t know, do what you want.