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Thursday, March 5, 2009

What IS The Trade Deadline, Really?

So what does yesterday's Trade Deadline mean, really? It is undoubtedly a day of high anticipation both north and south of the American and Canadian borders. It generates lots of radio and cable/satellite/internet time. And for that air time, it generates good publicity for The Great Game.

Nevertheless, On Goal Analysis' (OGA's) believes the Trade Deadline comes too late in the season.

One reason we believe this is that by today's Deadline, we say 13 of 16 teams who will be in the Playoffs have already clinched a berth and 11 of 14 teams who will finish their season no later than 12 April have already been decided. (That's 80 percent of the Playoff picture.) In relation to yesterday's events then: six teams are probably most in need of executing a trade in order to MAKE the Playoffs; 13 teams may need something to change in order to bolster their chances of 'going deep' in the post-season; and 11 teams might need to make a change to - best - improve their team's future, and - OK - improve the financial health of their team. Said another way, only six teams can really change the course of their events by what happened yesterday. We are simply too far down the road toward the Playoffs for most of them to impact the true course of events with new players that can contribute to Wins.

At OGA, we analyze what in The Great Game directly impacts the goal of regular season play - making the Playoffs. We therefore offer a Trade Deadline measuring stick. From now through the Playoffs, we will take the opportunity to periodically provide analysis of how a traded player/players is/are contributing to the "W."

For teams that are already Chasing Stanley, acquisitions are likely to disrupt team chemistry before they provide ant steady, calming affect. So an inability of the new player to notch a Goal, Assist, Fight or Shutout on the stat sheet and his team losing 3-of-5, 7-of 10, and 10-of-15 after the trade are our indicators of an unproductive trade.

For teams that are In The Curve, a traded player should have a hand in directly contributing to team Wins about 60% of the time. A Goal, Assist, Fight or Shutout in the official stats when the team Wins a game is the first part of our measure. That will be paired with a second measure of the new team winning 3-of-5, 7-of 10, and 10-of-15 games prior to the Playoffs and 60% or more of Playoff games through at least one series. Meet those requirements and we'll call that a productive trade.

For those teams at Tee Time, unless the trade miraculously pulls them up out of the cellar, the true impact will not be felt until next season so those teams' activities will not be tracked.

The Colonel will be watching and provide you with analysis, so stay tuned to this site for more in five games...

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