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Re: [hockey-databank] Re: 2/1/07 database release

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  • Ralph Slate
    ... That s my peeve -- if score sheets once existed, they were presumably more accurate than newspaper accounts. I can _maybe_ see it for the 1917-18 season,
    Message 1 of 11 , Feb 2, 2007
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      Stu McMurray wrote:
      > Bob Duff recompiled the NHL stats at the request of the league for the
      > 1917-18 through 1925-26 seasons. There are no gamesheets for these
      > seasons. I have seen first-hand at the NHL office in Toronto that they
      > have nothing for those first few years. In fact, there are a few sheets
      > missing here and there for all seasons up until the early 1950's.

      That's my peeve -- if score sheets once existed, they were presumably
      more accurate than newspaper accounts. I can _maybe_ see it for the
      1917-18 season, although I think that recreating assists is wrong,
      because they weren't awarded/compiled that season, and since they are
      subjective, this is revisionism.

      The Hockey Summary Project should tell you this. Look at what Pete Anson
      did with boxscores from the Hockey News -- he can't match the official
      stats.

      I would like to see Duff do his thing on a season where gamesheets are
      available -- using the exact same methodology, and then see what he
      comes up with. If there is more than a 1% difference, then I say the
      methodology is simply revisionism based on flawed accounts.

      Ralph
    • Stu McMurray
      Ralph wrote-- That s my peeve -- if score sheets once existed, they were presumably more accurate than newspaper accounts. I can _maybe_ see it for the
      Message 2 of 11 , Feb 3, 2007
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        Ralph wrote-->
        That's my peeve -- if score sheets once existed, they were presumably
        more accurate than newspaper accounts. I can _maybe_ see it for the
        1917-18 season, although I think that recreating assists is wrong,
        because they weren't awarded/compiled that season, and since they are
        subjective, this is revisionism.

        Stu writes-->
        There were no score sheets until 1926-27. The NHL relied on newspaper
        accounts. There was no radio coverage back then either. The newspaper
        accounts were the only written record of the games. I am sure they had
        errors but they would be the most accurate account of the games simply
        by default wouldn't they?

        On a side note I found that the majority of the missing sheets for the
        years 1927 to 1952 were from the Chicago home games played on Sundays.
        For some reason these game sheets had a hard time making it to the NHL
        office in Montreal. At the bottom of each sheet it stated that "This
        report should be checked, signed and dispatched to National Hockey
        League, 922 Sun Life Building, by the quickest means possible."
        Apparently the pony express out of the mid-west wasn't reliable when it
        came to delivering hockey reports. <g>

        ===

        Ralph wrote-->
        The Hockey Summary Project should tell you this. Look at what Pete
        Anson did with boxscores from the Hockey News -- he can't match the
        official stats.

        Stu writes-->
        Agreed, but we knew going in that the numbers would be off because THN
        was well known for typos. We used THN as a starting point for our data
        entry because that is what I had access to on a wide basis. I think we
        found that it could be off by 20% or more per year from the official
        stats <gasp> and the penalty totals were always hopelessly way off.

        ===

        Ralph wrote-->
        I would like to see Duff do his thing on a season where gamesheets are
        available -- using the exact same methodology, and then see what he
        comes up with. If there is more than a 1% difference, then I say the
        methodology is simply revisionism based on flawed accounts.

        Stu writes-->
        I have no doubt that the difference would be more than 1%. My
        experience with the HSP and working with THN summaries tells me so.
        Don't get me wrong, I hear you and agree with what you say except as it
        relates to those first 9 years of the NHL where the league itself
        relied on the newspaper accounts. That's the rub, in my view. The
        newspaper accounts were all there ever was back then. There couldn't
        possibly be anything more accurate (or flawed) because nothing else
        existed.

        Stu



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      • Karkoski James
        ... Hi Stu, the problem with this is that, as you have noted below, until recently the NHL has been more than happy to sanction stats that weren t correct for
        Message 3 of 11 , Feb 4, 2007
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          On 2007.2.3, at 12:28 PM, Stu McMurray wrote:


          > The NHL commissioned and accepts Duff's work as official so who are we
          > to say otherwise?


          Hi Stu, the problem with this is that, as you have noted below, until
          recently the NHL has been more than happy to sanction stats that
          weren't correct for decades, so I don't think that we are in a position
          yet to just simply accept what they offer as "officially correct."


          >
          > There is no detailed methodology published because this was an inhouse
          > project of the NHL and not private "publish or perish" research.


          I'm kind of bothered about the NHL simply sitting on these old
          scoresheets and making you go into their office to check your
          information against them. Why don't they just release them? Or compile
          them themselves and release it? I really don't understand this "must be
          locked away in a file" attitude towards this old information. Unless,
          the NHL historical stats are a "pile of garbage", as Morey Holzman dubs
          it. And if it is garbage, then why wouldn't the NHL want to clean it
          up??


          >
          > My personal pet peeve has always been seeing Mike Neville show up in
          > the 1917-18 stats. An early researcher made a mistake from a newspaper
          > account of a game and the error wasn't corrected for years. Even the
          > NHL guide used to include him in their retired player roster, showing
          > his first NHL season as 1917-18. The error was corrected based mainly
          > on Bob Duff's research.(not to mention the fact that Neville would have
          > only been 13 years old at the start of the 1917-18 season!)
          >


          In fairness, the NHL only published the last name Neville and awarded
          him one goal. Someone somewhere added the first name "Mike".
          I agree with you about there being no Neville, and I think I told you
          about my theory on it, that given the way information was orally passed
          on by telephone to the wire press services, the name "Noble" was heard
          to be "Neville" by the person in the wire office and so it was printed
          in newspapers across the nation.
          >


          >
          > I would love for Bob to write a paper in the SIHR Journal outlining his
          > trials and tribulations in re-compiling the early stats of the NHL. It
          > would go a long way to answering many researchers questions.
          >

          I agree, he should. It should have been done a long time ago.


          On 2007.2.4, at 01:08 AM, Stu McMurray wrote:

          > Stu writes-->
          > There were no score sheets until 1926-27. The NHL relied on newspaper
          > accounts. There was no radio coverage back then either. The newspaper
          > accounts were the only written record of the games. I am sure they had
          > errors but they would be the most accurate account of the games simply
          > by default wouldn't they?



          Yes and No on the accuracy. Yes because they are all there is. No,
          because it is a problem we have been down the road with the GP because
          the NHL didn't start compiling games GP until 42-43. The different
          books who compiled them have a lot of different numbers on them. I
          think it is save to argue that as soon as we start researching G, A &
          PIM, there is going to a deluge of different numbers from different
          people on these numbers because the newspapers will provide different
          numbers. The question is, do we want to go down this road?? Again, the
          NHL can avoid this in the years after 26-27 by releasing the summaries.


          James
        • slater@alum.rpi.edu
          ... I tend to agree with this sentiment. ... The larger question in my mind is, which seasons never had game sheets vs. which seasons have the game sheets been
          Message 4 of 11 , Feb 5, 2007
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            >Hi Stu, the problem with this is that, as you have noted below, until
            >recently the NHL has been more than happy to sanction stats that
            >weren't correct for decades, so I don't think that we are in a position
            >yet to just simply accept what they offer as "officially correct."

            I tend to agree with this sentiment.

            >I'm kind of bothered about the NHL simply sitting on these old
            >scoresheets and making you go into their office to check your
            >information against them. Why don't they just release them? Or compile
            >them themselves and release it? I really don't understand this "must be
            >locked away in a file" attitude towards this old information. Unless,
            >the NHL historical stats are a "pile of garbage", as Morey Holzman dubs
            >it. And if it is garbage, then why wouldn't the NHL want to clean it
            >up??

            The larger question in my mind is, which seasons never had game sheets vs. which seasons have the game sheets been lost or discarded? My impression is that game sheets existed for some of the seasons currently being revisited.

            If game sheets once existed, and the NHL compiled official statistics from them, then I think the bulk of the stats for those seasons is closed, with the exception of items not tabulated (such as games played or player splits).

            If no game sheets ever existed for the first season, for example, then I think that it's OK for that season to be revisited, provided that the research is sound. By sound, I mean that multiple sources should be used, and the results should be documented so that they can be re-checked and validated by others.

            >In fairness, the NHL only published the last name Neville and awarded
            >him one goal. Someone somewhere added the first name "Mike".
            >I agree with you about there being no Neville, and I think I told you
            >about my theory on it, that given the way information was orally passed
            >on by telephone to the wire press services, the name "Noble" was heard
            >to be "Neville" by the person in the wire office and so it was printed
            >in newspapers across the nation.

            Thanks for clearing this up; I am comfortable awarding this goal to Mike Noble. This is similar to the AHL inclusion of a goalie named "Jardine" in 1936-37, with Philadelphia, when their regular goalie was "Gardiner". If you just think about it, it's a clear typo.

            >>
            >> I would love for Bob to write a paper in the SIHR Journal outlining his
            >> trials and tribulations in re-compiling the early stats of the NHL. It
            >> would go a long way to answering many researchers questions.
            >>
            >
            >I agree, he should. It should have been done a long time ago.

            Same here. Even if this is "work for hire" if the NHL and Duff want to be taken seriously, they need to tell people what they're doing instead of just saying "trust us...".

            Ralph Slate
            http://www.hockeydb.com
          • Stu McMurray
            ... How would you have the NHL release the gamesheets?? I mean, it s not going to be a commercial venture that will generate profit, right? So what benefit
            Message 5 of 11 , Feb 17, 2007
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              James Karkoski wrote:

              > I'm kind of bothered about the NHL simply sitting on these old
              > scoresheets and making you go into their office to check your
              > information against them. Why don't they just release them? Or
              > compile them themselves and release it? I really don't understand
              > this "must be locked away in a file" attitude towards this old
              > information.

              How would you have the NHL release the gamesheets?? I mean, it's not
              going to be a commercial venture that will generate profit, right? So
              what benefit does it serve them to go to the trouble to compile and
              publish their sheets?? Let's face it, there are only a handful of us
              that are really interested in this type of thing. (my wife calls it my
              "affliction" and tells me in mock anger to "get a life" on a regular
              basis <g>)

              Nothing is "locked away". Benny has always been helpful to me when I
              have gone to the Toronto office. He lets me work alone in the records
              room to do my research and I have been allowed to photocopy sheets and
              take them with me. On the way out I stop by his office and we talk shop
              for awhile. My experience with the NHL, specifically in the Toronto
              office, has always been a positive one. Way better than what Ralph has
              reported with his discussions with Frank Polnaszek.

              Stu




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            • Tangotiger
              ... I used to work in the same building as the NHL, when they were in Montreal. And for a few years, I would ask for the end-of-year full stats (including
              Message 6 of 11 , Feb 18, 2007
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                --- Stu McMurray <stumcmurray@...> wrote:
                > Nothing is "locked away". Benny has always been
                > helpful to me when I
                > have gone to the Toronto office. He lets me work
                > alone in the records
                > room to do my research and I have been allowed to
                > photocopy sheets and
                > take them with me. On the way out I stop by his
                > office and we talk shop
                > for awhile. My experience with the NHL, specifically
                > in the Toronto
                > office, has always been a positive one. Way better
                > than what Ralph has
                > reported with his discussions with Frank Polnaszek.

                I used to work in the same building as the NHL, when
                they were in Montreal. And for a few years, I would
                ask for the end-of-year full stats (including full
                plus/minus: TGF, PGF, TGA, PGA). Ercolani didn't know
                me from a hole in the wall, but he went out of his way
                to produce it for me, and have it ready for me for
                pickup.

                Allowing Stu to make copies of the scoresheets is more
                than enough. If someone wants to volunteer to digitize
                them, by scanning them, that might be the next step.

                Tom


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              • flyershistory
                I just found out about this group and see my name mentioned :) I can give results from my Quaker exercise using actual NHL game sheets. There are a number of
                Message 7 of 11 , Apr 2 6:19 PM
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                  I just found out about this group and see my name mentioned :)

                  I can give results from my Quaker "exercise" using actual NHL game
                  sheets. There are a number of discepancies between NHL official game
                  sheet compilations and official stats.

                  I'm a little under the weather right now, so it will be a few days, but
                  it will further show how "off" the early official stats probably are.
                  There were 2 or 3 games where the official game sheets for the Quakers
                  were missing.

                  Any suggestions on how you'd like to see these stats ? In a CSV file ?

                  Peter
                • dsreyn
                  CSV sounds good to me. Thanks, Doug
                  Message 8 of 11 , Apr 4 5:45 AM
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                    CSV sounds good to me.

                    Thanks,
                    Doug

                    --- In hockey-databank@yahoogroups.com, "flyershistory"
                    <flyershistory@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > I just found out about this group and see my name mentioned :)
                    >
                    > I can give results from my Quaker "exercise" using actual NHL game
                    > sheets. There are a number of discepancies between NHL official game
                    > sheet compilations and official stats.
                    >
                    > I'm a little under the weather right now, so it will be a few days, but
                    > it will further show how "off" the early official stats probably are.
                    > There were 2 or 3 games where the official game sheets for the Quakers
                    > were missing.
                    >
                    > Any suggestions on how you'd like to see these stats ? In a CSV file ?
                    >
                    > Peter
                    >
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