Blog 7: Correlation between LS-GAA and Cap hit

For this post I’m using Cap hits as part of my player evaluation. All the data comes from capfriendly.com. Unfortunately, I can’t just download a list of all cap hits, so I had to do some manual work to put in it all into one table. Therefore, you can download the table by clicking on Data under the menu, so you don’t have to do the same work. For now, it’s only cap hits from the 2019/2020 season, but I will add more seasons at some point.

So how do cap hits correlate with LS-GAA. Here’s a graph of LS-GAA as a function of cap hit. It’s data from the 2019/2020 season, and I have removed all ELCs (entry level contracts).

I think, the correlation between LS-GAA and cap hit is surprisingly small. The sample size is fairly small (just one season) and there’s no minimum ice time, so players with just a few games will have a LS-GAA close to 0 – there hasn’t been enough time to make an impact one way or the other.

If we instead look at LS-GAA per 60 minutes with a minimum ice time of 500, here’s the graph:

The correlation is still pretty bad, but if we only look at the forwards it’s better:

The following graph shows the performance (LS-GAA_60) of the forwards over the last 3 seasons, as a function of their current cap hit. It’s still without ELC’s and the TOI>1000 minutes.

Now, there’s a much better correlation between performance and cap hit, but it’s still pretty bad for goaltenders and defenders.

I will make this one a short post and postpone the part about player tiers for the next blog.

Conclusion:

  • LS-GAA among forwards correlates much better with cap hit than LS-GAA for defenders and especially goalies.
  • Either GMs are bad at evaluating players before they sign them or LS-GAA isn’t a good way to evaluate player performance. While I don’t think LS-GAA, GAR or any other statistical metric can measure player performances perfectly, I also don’t think GMs s are perfect talent evaluators.
  • There’s a mismatch between forwards and defenders/goaltenders, which means LS-GAA and GMs are more in agreement when it comes to forwards.
  • There’s absolutely value to be found even at lower cap hits.

Stay safe and remember to be kind

All raw data from http://www.evolving-hockey.com and http://www.capfriendly.com

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