Tuesday, May 20, 2008

SN Awards As A Predictor Of NHL Hardware

By now you've no doubt seen that Alex Ovechkin was named Sporting News Hockey Player of the Year (as voted by his peers) and that he and Mike Green were named to the publication's All-Star team.

You might have also seen that the Sporting News named Mike Babcock its Coach of the Year and handed Patrick Kane its Rookie of the Year (again, peer-voted). Does this make it any more or less likely that Bruce Boudreau and Nicklas Backstrom will be shutout when the NHL hands out its version of those awards in June? Let's take a look at some recent history:
  • 2007 SN Player of the Year: Sidney Crosby; Hart Trophy Winner: Sidney Crosby
  • 2007 SN Coach of the Year: Barry Trotz; Jack Adams Winner: Alain Vigneault
  • 2007 SN Rookie of the Year: Evgeni Malkin; Calder Trophy Winner: Malkin
  • 2006 SN Player of the Year: Jaromir Jagr; Hart Trophy Winner: Joe Thornton
  • 2006 SN Coach of the Year: Lindy Ruff; Jack Adams Winner: Ruff
  • 2006 SN Rookie of the Year: Alexander Ovechkin; Calder Trophy Winner: Ovechkin
  • 2004 SN Player of the Year: Martin St. Louis; Hart Trophy Winner: St. Louis
  • 2004 SN Coach of the Year: John Tortorella; Jack Adams Winner: Tortorella
  • 2004 SN Rookie of the Year: Michael Ryder; Calder Trophy Winner: Andrew Raycroft
  • 2003 SN Player of the Year: Peter Forsberg; Hart Trophy Winner: Forsberg
  • 2003 SN Coach of the Year: Jacques Lemaire; Jack Adams Winner: Lemaire
  • 2003 SN Rookie of the Year: Henrik Zetterberg; Calder Trophy Winner: Barret Jackman
  • 2002 SN Player of the Year: Jarome Iginla; Hart Trophy Winner: Jose Theodore
  • 2002 SN Coach of the Year: Brian Sutter; Jack Adams Winner: Bob Francis
  • 2002 SN Rookie of the Year: Dany Heatley; Calder Trophy Winner: Heatley
  • 2001 SN Player of the Year: Joe Sakic; Hart Trophy Winner: Sakic
  • 2001 SN Coach of the Year: Scotty Bowman; Jack Adams Winner: Bill Barber
  • 2001 SN Rookie of the Year: Evgeni Nabokov; Calder Trophy Winner: Nabokov
You get the point - there are some hits and some misses. Overall, the Sporting News was 11-for-18 as a predictor in the sample above, including 3-for-6 on Coach of the Year and 4-for-6 on Rookie of the Year. So odds are that they'll be wrong on either Coach or Rookie (they've only nailed 'em both in two of the six years), opening the door for either Boudreau or Backstrom to join Ovechkin as a big winner in Toronto.


hotdog88gt said...

Fail to see how you give coach of the year to a guy with a team that's expected to lead the league in points, a team with so much talent on board.

hotdog88gt said...

Kane should be the Calder winner. Had an amazing season given his size. Would be nice to see Nicky get it but Kane was very exciting to watch.

Daniel said...

The ROYs they got right were pretty clear cut in those years, though (Nabakov, Heatley, Malkin)...


Hazardous said...

Kane wasn't exciting to watch, unless you like watching crybabies play sports. But he'll get it because he had more points ('cause most everyone else is a goddamn point-whore and doesn't care to look at much else).

They can give Babcock credit for recovering from a 1-8-2 month of february, but that's pretty laughable in the face of inheriting a record as bad as the caps' on thanskgiving and turning them into a playoff-bound team.

Give Kane the Calder if you think points are all that's important, go for it. But if Boudreau doesn't get the Adams, something's broken.

~Mark said...

Forgive me here, but why do we care about the Sporting News again? As far as I can tell, this is an entity that is AWOL on the hockey landscape for most of the season, and I'm actually a little surprised they even give these awards.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong about them, but I can't tell you the last time I read an acclaimed story, or took a link to their site, in ... I think forever.

hotdog88gt said...

For a kid to go from the US under-18 team and one season in the OHL, and then put up the points he did is Calder Cup stuff. Again, would be nice to see Nicky win it.

I just read the bit on Mike Babcock from TSN. You gotta be kidding me. Goalie controversy? Teams would KILL to have that pair of netminders. What a bunch of crap. Boudreau should get the Calder given the Caps' record when Hanlon was fired. I agree the system is broken if Boudreau doesn't take that trophy home.

JP said...

We care about the Sporting News awards because they're voted on by the peers of the awardees (i.e. the players/coaches).