Advanced Stats: Player Contribution

Not to be confused with politically correct, Player Contribution (PC), was developed by one of hockey’s first and brightest statistical analysts, Alan Ryder and is available on his site, www.hockeyanalytics.com.

I won’t and can’t get into the math of this metric but suffice it to say PC is Ryder’s version of Bill James’ Win Shares stat for baseball. It is designed to allocate the credit an individual deserves for a team’s overall performance.

Ryder generally divides his list by position since typically and understandably goaltenders rank much higher than skaters. On his site he points out that no other position in any sport carries the same level of importance to a team’s chances of winning or losing than a hockey goalie. The closest comparable would be a baseball pitcher.

During the 2009-2010 season (data for the 2010-2011 campaign is not yet posted), the top 15 players in PC were all goalies. Our own Henrik Lundqvist placed fifth overall with a PC of 205. Tomas Vokoun surprisingly led the NHL with a 253. Marian Gaborik was the top Rangers skater and the 14th highest rated forward, finishing with an 88 PC.

I agree that goalie is likely the most important position in the game but I think PC may favor netminders a bit too much. Guys like Johan Hedberg, Chris Mason and Brian Elliot all placed higher than Gabby for PC. That’s the 42-goal season Gaborik we’re talking about and I wouldn’t trade Gabby for all three of those goaltenders combined much less think any one of them was better than the Rangers star winger that season

That being said, I think PC is a step in the right direction and I can only hope Mr. Ryder continues to refine this metric.