One of the great advances in measuring the impact of injuries in the NHL has come from the United Kingdom. LW3H was born, raised and lives in the U.K., yet somehow he's developed an obsession with the NHL. And out of that obsession came the brilliant CHIP and AMIP, two metrics developed to help fans compare and understand the impact of injuries on each team in the league. He reports on these with regular updates and his blog, Springing Malik. He explains CHIP thusly:
The concept again - multiply each game missed by a player by his 2010/11 cap charge, then take the aggregate of these figures for each team and divide by 82. This indicator of value lost to a team by injury/illness is called CHIP (Cap Hit of Injured Players).
This year's final report is in and it should come as no surprise that the Penguins held the top spot with significant injuries to both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, but the details in the totals are worth a deep dive.
Even though the Oilers were 13th in man games missed, Edmonton was sixth in CHIP in 2009-10. They trailed the Penguins (Crosby's injury was $4.3 million alone), Rangers, Islanders, Wild and Devils. The Avalanche and Senators were right in behind the Oilers in 7th and 8th place, $74k and ~$700k back. The Pens and Rangers were both able to make the playoffs in spite of their enormous CHIP values, the rest were not.
- This doesn't bode well for Hurricanes. They were the healthiest team in the NHL last season and still missed the playoffs. 25 teams had a single player with a higher CHIP than Carolina's total CHIP. Joni Pitkanen was their largest CHIP at $488k, which was the lowest team-leading CHIP in the league. They lost only 64 total man-games to injury. Even with healthy, sturdy players, it's doubtful they'll stay that healthy.
- The Stars and Jets round out the top three healthiest teams and neither of them made the playoffs either. The Stars top CHIP value was Brad Richards' $951k and he's gone. The Jets' lost 200 man-games, but their leading CHIP was Jim Slater at $537k
- The Flyers won the division, but shouldn't be comfortable. Their four divisional opponents were all in the top five of total CHIP, totaling $51.3 million. Improved health alone will make those teams better, never mind roster moves or player improvement. If you're looking for a team to regress, the Flyers might be a good guess.
- Likewise, the Northwest should improve. Three teams finished in the top seven, and though the total CHIP wasn't as severe as the Atlanta, but the Wild, Oilers and Avs accounted for $31 million in CHIP. Calgary and Vancouver were in the top 15, totaling $17.1 million.
- Toronto was relatively healthy, both from a man-games perspective and total CHIP totals.
- LW3H breaks down the top individual totals as well. Andrei Markov took down the individual title, but both Crosby and Malkin were in the top 5.