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Arbitration and Advanced Statistics

coming soon to an arbitration hearing near you...

One guy who would have benefitted from Advanced Statistics
One guy who would have benefitted from Advanced Statistics
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL-NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement defines the evidence that can be presented in a Salary Arbitration hearing. In Section 12.9 g (ii) it is spelled out:

The parties may offer evidence of the following:

(A) the overall performance, including National Hockey League official statistics (both offensive and defensive), of the Player in the previous season or seasons;

(B) the number of games played by the Player, his injuries or illnesses during the preceding seasons;

(C) the length of service of the Player in the League and/or with the Club;

(D) the overall contribution of the Player to the competitive success or failure of his Club in the preceding season;

(E) any special qualities of leadership or public appeal not inconsistent with the fulfillment of his responsibilities as a playing member of his team;

(F) the overall performance in the previous season or seasons of any Player(s) who is alleged to be comparable to the party Player whose salary is in dispute; and

(G) The compensation of any Player(s) who is alleged to be comparable to the party Player, provided, however, that in applying this or any of the above subparagraphs, the Salary Arbitrator shall not consider a Player(s) to be comparable to the party Player unless a party to the salary arbitration has contended that the Player(s) is comparable; nor shall the Salary Arbitrator consider the compensation or performance of a Player(s) unless a party to the salary arbitration has contended that the Player(s) is comparable.


On February 20th, the NHL will be adding Corsi, Fenwick, PDO, Zone Starts, etc. to the statistics available on NHL.com. Since these are now official statistics of the NHL, they are admissible in arbitration hearings under section (A). Given that we've known the relationship between Corsi (or Fenwick) and winning since about 2010, you would think that they would have been admissible under section (D).

So this summer, it won't just be end-of-season grades (cough!) that depend on Corsi. NHL salary awards will depend on "fancy stats", too.