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Faceoff: BMO's Doug Porter Turns "Moneyball" into "Hockey Cents"


April 10, 2012 - Toronto, Ontario And Chicago, Illinois

With the Stanley Cup Playoffs set to begin, a new report from Doug Porter, Deputy Chief Economist, BMO Capital Markets, ranks the National Hockey League's winners and losers in best value for their money during the 2011/2012 season.

The study, titled "Hockey Cents 2012," is an adaptation of Moneyball, a best-selling book and acclaimed film that examined the productivity ranking of Major League Baseball franchises.

"We considered how many points each team notched during the season per million dollars spent," said Porter. "Given that the NHL has a salary cap, there is not a significant divergence between overall payroll costs among the teams, so consideration was also given to how many points teams earned per million dollars spent in actual payroll costs this year," added Porter.

Mr. Porter noted that the cap total and payrolls can differ significantly, depending on how contracts are structured, if players are injured, and if a team is still paying for someone who has been traded or bought out of a contract.

Hockey Cents 2012

The Winner:

The Nashville Predators are the Hockey Cents champions this year. Nashville earned more than two points for every million spent, finishing with more than 100 points, even with one of the lowest outlays in the league. Nashville made it to the Conference semi-finals last year, and ended the regular season on a strong note.

Second place:

Close behind were the St. Louis Blues, who came close to winning the President's Trophy (most points in the season) on one of the lowest payrolls in the league, earning 1.99 points per million spent on the cap. After missing the playoffs last year and getting off to a shaky start to the most recent campaign, the Blues rebounded with an early-season coaching change and some unfamiliar names on the roster.

The winner from the Eastern Conference is the Ottawa Senators. After missing the playoffs last year, the Sens rebounded to make the playoffs, and just edged out the New York Rangers as the most efficient spending team in the East.

Honourable Mention:

Among other teams that made the playoffs, the Vancouver Canucks (winners of the President's Cup for a second season in a row), the Chicago Blackhawks, the Phoenix Coyotes, and the Florida Panthers all earned close to 1.7 points per million spent, well above average.

Among the teams that did not make the playoffs, the Colorado Avalanche and the Dallas Stars both earned a robust 1.79 points per million (more than the Senators or the Rangers).

Waiting for Next Season:

The Columbus Blue Jackets finished in last place in the NHL standings this year, and yet had an above-average payroll, earning little more than one point for every million spent. A flurry of high-profile free agent signings did not bolster the team's point total (injuries hurt), as the franchise continues to await its second Stanley Cup playoff appearance.

A trio of Canadian-based clubs finished just a bit above Columbus in ranking productivity value.

A full copy of the report is available at www.bmocm.com/economics.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly-diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $538 billion as at January 31, 2012, and more than 47,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

Contacts:
Media Contacts:
Peter Scott, Toronto
(416) 867-3996
petere.scott@bmo.com

Paul Gammal, Toronto
(416) 867-3996
paul.gammal@bmo.com

Lise Lapointe, Montreal
(514) 877-8224
lise.lapointe@bmo.com

Laurie Grant, Vancouver
(604) 665-7596
laurie.grant@bmo.com

Web: www.bmo.com
Twitter: @BMOmedia

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