Where is the Dallas Stars payroll paying off after 8 games?
In business, pay-for-performance is widespread. In sports, it is not quite as direct because of the influence of sports agents, player salary negotiation, collective bargaining and team salary caps. What insight could be obtained by calculating the ratio of salary to Time-On-Ice (TOI)? This is a crude measure of pay-for-performance. TOI is a reflection of what line the player is playing on which, in turn, is a reflection of the expected game impact of a player. If a player underperforms, he moves down a line or receives less TOI. The converse is also true. Similarly, goalies get more or less minutes based on their relative performance in games.
That being said, I embarked upon a pay-for-performance analysis of the Dallas Stars players after 8 games. The website, http://www.capgeek.com/stars/, provided me with the player salaries. Additionally, the same website provided data indicating the Dallas Stars rank 21st out of 30 in payroll. To obtain the TOI statistics, I referenced http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?gameType=2&position=S&season=20132014&sort=timeOnIce&status=A&viewName=timeOnIce. I then did the simple ratio calculations and made the observations about the forwards, defensemen and goalies ignoring the outlier players who played very few minutes.
Shawn Horcoff, at a salary of $4,000,000, is costing the team the greatest at $44,305 per TOI minute suggesting, so far, the team is not getting its money’s worth. Whitney, Benn, Cole, Seguin and Peverley are at $42,161, $42,158, $40,941, $36,925, and $33,322 per TOI minute, respectively. In the first 8 games, the first line of Benn, Seguin, and Peverley have paid off. All of these players have salaries over $4 million. Peverley makes $3,375,000. Whitney and Cole, both need to be more productive and have a greater impact to get more playing time. It has cost the Dallas Stars $9,205, $7,334, and $5,052 per minute to have Chiasson, Roussell, and Eakin on the ice, respectively. Clearly, the Dallas Stars seem to be getting their money’s worth from these players.
As could be expected, Gonchar and Goligoski have the highest cost per minute at $39,872 and $34,569 per minute, respectively. This number is sure to go up if they continue to be demoted to the second line. Their performance is not meeting expectations so far. Daley and Robidas are at $26,710 and $22,115 per minute, respectively, while Dillon and Jordie Benn are at $6,519 and $4,795 per minute, respectively. Both players have been a bargain so far this season.
For completeness, the goalies, Lehtonen and Ellis, come in at $40,849 and $11,833 per minute respectively. Relative to the other player calculations, it would suggest the goalie payroll is money well spent.