NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 5, 2018

by | Aug 5, 2018 | News, NHL | 22 comments

Ducks re-sign John Gibson, Golden Knights avoid arbitration with William Karlsson. Details and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Anaheim Ducks had a lovely wedding gift for goaltender John Gibson on Saturday as he signed an eight-year contract, $51.2-million contract extension. The deal, which begins in 2019-20, carries an annual average value of $6.4 million. Cap Friendly indicates it also comes with a modified no-trade clause from 2021-22 through 2026-27. This deal will also make him the league’s fifth-highest paid goalie.

Anaheim Ducks re-sign goaltender John Gibson to an eight-year extension. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Ducks general manager Bob Murray said he and everyone in the Ducks’ organization believes in Gibson, who has a career record of 99 wins, 55 losses and 20 overtime losses, with a 2.29 goals-against average, a .923 save percentage with 16 shutouts.

While Murray points out the 25-year-old netminder is entering his prime, he’s also been hampered by injuries and his playoff stats (11-13 in 26 playoff appearances, a 2.80 GAA and .912 SP) aren’t as impressive as his regular-season numbers. If Gibson can avoid serious injury and can improve his postseason numbers over the course of his deal, it’ll be considered a wise investment by Murray. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights avoided salary arbitration with center William Karlsson by signing him to a one-year, $5.25-million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A worthwhile agreement for both sides. Karlsson, the final player slated for an arbitration hearing this summer,  gets a hefty pay raise over last season’s $1 million salary after tallying a career-best 43 goals. Meanwhile, the Golden Knights aren’t on the hook for very long if he fails to replicate that remarkable performance.

Basically, this is a “show-me” contract. Karlsson will once again be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer. If he proves he’s no one-year wonder in 2018-19, he’ll be in line for a lucrative long-term deal.

LIGHTHOUSE HOCKEY: Former New York Islanders forward Shane Prince has signed with HC Davos in Switzerland. 

THE STAR: Hockey analytics guru Rob Vollman says NHL teams still aren’t as invested in advanced stats. “I have had many, many discussions with many teams trying to persuade them to build an analytics department,” Vollman said. “It’s a tough battle.” The Toronto Maple Leafs are among the few clubs to have one. Vollman has published a book titled “Stat Shot: A Fan’s Guide to Hockey Analytics.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Overall, the NHL tends to approach new ideas with skepticism. It has a conservative mindset that is largely resistant to change. It’ll likely take a couple of teams with analytic departments like those suggested by Vollman to achieve significant on-ice success before other clubs begin emulating them.



  1. Why would a gm want an analytic department. If you take instincts, relationships, etc out of the equation why have a gm at all?

    • Kinda wondered about that myself since teams began embracing the concept. Sort of reminds me of the days when railway “firemen” (the coal shovelers) began agitation for the retention of their jobs when the lines began switching to diesel. At some point owners will start looking at the those GMs without analytic skills and think “it must be wonderful coming to work and being completely useless.”

      • George

        Are you telling me VIA Rail isn’t running on coal … dang!! Was looking forward to being a part time coal shoveler after I retire in a couple of years … LOL

        Love the analogy 🙂

    • 🙂

  2. Congrats John on 2 fronts; wedding & contract.

    Finally get to hear what William Karlson rec’d.

    This was one contract I had no idea what the outcome would be other than I was confident neither side wanted to actually go to Arb.

    Breathing room on both sides now. I think it’s a long shot that he repeats 40+ goals …. but if he does… huge contract ($’s and term) extension

    More than likely he drops to mid 30’s in goals but increases in assists to maintain close to a PPG pace ( i.e. his line spreads out the goal scoring ). With that scenario he should still be offered long term but less AAV than above

    Smaller chance he drops to 25-30 G and 60-70 points … can’t see him moved; but shorter/cheaper contract

    Really can’t see him scoring <25…. but then Vegas can cut him loose/trade…. not a big financial risk

    I like this "show me" contract as there is incentive for WK and at the same time he is being paid highly similar to his line-mates.

    Still would love to see an extra Karlsson on the Knights (west for EK is best for me) next season…. pieces there to make it work 🙂

    • Good for WK. He was 9th in forward ice time for CBJ prior season and 1st for Vegas.

    • I like Karlsson and he had a great season but he also had a 25% shooting pct and that is unsustainable. I think 25-30 goals playing on that line is what they can expect and that’s not bad. Vegas lost a lot of goals this summer it will be interesting to see how they can overcome that.

  3. Moneyball works.

    Moneypuck is suspect at best.

    The hockey guys are trying to hide under and ride along with the coattails of their baseball counterparts, but one game lends itself to such stats by virtue of it’s stop start nature and series of individual matchups and one is chaos on ice and does not.

    What hockey needs (and they are working on) is the NHL version of Statcast where real actual on ice performance is measured instead of goofy mathematical rain dances like Corsi.

    • MG

      No argument here that as it stands now the advanced stats in Baseball are a far greater predictor of future outcomes than in hockey. As you have pointed out … the Baseball static one play/pitch/swing at a time is easier to predict.

      Other sports suffer in comparison to Baseball . Don’t get me started on QB ratings (need only to cite the massive accolades that CFL QB alum Anthony Calvillo was bestowed …. yet QB rating never took into account that his lineman consistently gave him 10 steamboats to throw ; his receivers were excellent in being WIDE open; and their YAK yards huge. Cavillo’s QB rating artificially high over things he had absolutely no control over. Just sayin’

      I’m an old school guy and had been tepid on/reluctant to embrace, the advanced stats in hockey…. mostly because they are in their infancy stage and still working out the kinks.

      It’s improving rapidly though… and I’m looking forward to the upcoming more reflective/truer measurement of on ice performance that you have alluded to.

    • Which makes complete sense because hockey is much more chaotic than baseball, it’s faster and there is no way to account for every variable. There is no way to completely account for any situation because the outcome will be different every time.

  4. People are talkative this morning lol, come on Lyle wheres the rumors:)

  5. Listening to the local Sport Radio Troy Westwood mentioned how much he liked Brandon Tanev game until he looked at his fancy stats and noted that Tanev didn’t have the puck very often. He went on to say this is where watching the game your eyes are not telling you the full storey and he was no longer a big fan of Tanev.
    I said out loud to myself, you need more eyes balls or understand it’s hard to forecheck if you had the puck, it’s hard to throw a body check if you have the puck. The eyes didn’t lie, you just don’t understand the concept of forechecking. Making the player think twice, hurrying a pass, causing a turnover.
    You’re not always going to have the puck but that doesn’t mean you can’t be effective when you don’t.

    • Caper

      Troy Westwood is not a common name…. is that the same Troy Westwood that played with Ryan (and Jordan) Reave’s dad Willard?

      • Correct Pengy, the only reason I use a name is to personalize it.
        In the above it was more about how his perception changed of a player after reading his corsi stats.

      • Thanks Caper

        I liked both him and Reaves as players … I’m a bit g CFL fan

  6. The anti-advanced stats people just don’t get it. Advance stats is just another tool to build and evaluate your team or players. Having info or extra info is great however how you use that info still needs the smarts to make use or read that info whether that info is from advance stats or not.

    • Hi Ron

      I’m not sure about the others… but for me it’s not anti-stats. It’s more a cautious look at the advanced stats. They are helpful in some ways but can be misleading in other ways.

      Advanced stats in hockey is behind the curve (excuse the pun) in development compared to Baseball and as MG has pointed out, hockey is a much more dynamic and fast paced game.

      More and more advanced hockey stats are coming; more refinement of current advanced hockey stats are also coming. All will prove (IMO) a great deal more predictive than what we have now. I’m looking forward to this development.
      Until then, I will still weigh in on the “eye” test and subjective viewing to augment what the advanced stats are indicating.
      Don’t forget …. it takes some old farts (moi) some time to embrace change.

      To give you an indication of how old I am … my pre-teen hockey hero was Paul Henderson …. I had no care or idea what any of his advanced stats were…. the Toronto Star Front page of September 29, 1972 stayed pasted to my wall for years… I played hockey and football wearing #19

      I’ll get there …. 🙂

    • Advance stats is pretty much useless in hockey, to many variables at one time to work. Ask the panthers how long advance stats worked for them lol

  7. The same people who use fancy stats are the same people who say +/- has no use. Why because it’s not the new way?
    Personally I say use all the stats you need if it’s going to give your team an edge.
    +/- they say to many variable that can contribute to these numbers. Correct is your looking at a one game summary, the larger the picture the better the graph. It’s about the snapshot. Everyone will off an off game, playing with injuries or illness that may contribute to any down game or simply playing a better team or weaker team. But if you consistently are a negative player then that graph is what it is.
    If your playing on one of the elite faceoff player line, well that is going to increase your possession time, conversely playing with a center who is below 50% on the draws will have a negative effect on other line mates corsi.
    At the end of the day use any advantage to can to help improve your team but don’t rely on them solely.

  8. I think stats anylitics have a place but aren’t the be all & end all just part of the process.

    You have to see players play to fully value them as #’s don’t tell the whole story but you wouldn’t we wise not consider them in trying to evaluate a players abilities.

    I still struggle with the accuracy of such info. The NHL can’t track simple stats properly so how are they getting reliable data for all these other categories?

  9. I’m glad to see posters criticizing the analytics dogma. It’s my belief that analytics exists because it does for hockey scribes and disciples what Latin does for doctors, lawyers, and sorcerers – it convinces an awe-stricken audience that it’s listening to someone privy to supernatural information that, though it may be simplistic or irrelevant, is probably beyond the layman’s comprehension, and certainly too obscure to be questioned without risking looking foolish.

    Analytics is fine for creating hockey jobs and chats, but hasn’t proved to be nearly as good at predicting winning teams. If the Leafs are successful this season, it will have more to do with Tavares and Mathews than with Corsi and Fenwick.

  10. I completely agree about analytics being a variable stat, and just an additional piece of information, not an exact science. It has come a long way, and needs to go much further to be considered unilaterally when measuring a players worth. Im 31, which I think is relatively young, so it’s not just the old timers who are not keen on it. It adds depth and colour to the black and white of goals, assists, and PP points statistics, which can be helpful in evaluating a players actual performance and overall game. As it stands today it is just one more number to nitpick. When a team that solely uses them such as Florida and Arizona win a cup based on them, then I’ll change my attitude.