The Hockey News writer Ken Campbell’s article, “Campbellnomics—The final standings,” is tangible proof that you can get statistics to say anything. The sole purpose of the piece is to discredit Henrik Sedin as a deserving Hart Trophy winner and to prop up his guy, Sidney Crosby.
According to the NHL, a goal is worth as much as an assist; they’re worth one point each. Campbell rejects this premise and instead offers his own pointing system. Rearranging stats and applying different weights to different types of points is a bit of a laborious process, but there is a method to the madness.
Campbell does not accept the fact that Henrik scored the most points in the NHL this season. That is why he feels the need to reopen the books, move some things around, and come up with stats that support his rankings.
According to his rankings, Henrik barely cracks the top 20, and is ranked No. 19 in the NHL. That should be evidence enough that his rankings are completely out of whack.
By definition, the Hart Trophy is given to the player judged to be the most valuable to his team.
My problem with this definition is that it is somewhat ambiguous and leads to libellous garbage like Campbell’s piece. Given the aforementioned definition, you could easily make a case for Rick Nash in Columbus, or Martin St. Louis in Tampa Bay; the award should just be given to the best player in the league, irrespective of his team—but I digress.
The term ‘Campbellnomics’ suggests some underlining economic theory; however, there is no theory here, or substance for that matter.
This is just a fun exercise with numbers undertaken by a sports writer in Toronto who is out of ideas. Whenever someone tries to pull the wool over your eyes like this, you need to question their motive.
Given the fact that Henrik won the scoring race, you would have to consider him the front runner for the Hart. However, his measly 29 goals are unacceptable for many, especially back East. Campbell would fall into that category, he simply doesn’t like assists.
Fortunately, goal scorers have their own award—it’s called the Rocket Richard Trophy. The Hart, as it is written, is about who has the biggest impact on his team.
Alex Ovechkin’s Capitals are too good for him to be considered. If you take him off the Capitals, they still walk through the East. The same can’t be said for Henrik and the Canucks in the West, or Crosby and the Penguins.
You could easily choose Crosby or Henrik for the Hart, but this pick would be completely subjective.
Moving numbers around to get a point across should be left for politicians; fabricating your own pointing system should be left for amateurs. This is not baseball, Mr. Campbell. Make your subjective choice based on their play and not the numbers, especially ones that you make up.
Check out Ken Campbell's article here: