The Best of the Nation – 10.14.12

Across the Nations this week: the fantasy world some bloggers are living in, what the lockout is doing to careers, the value of a starting goalie, full team previews for every club in the NHL, how a trade 25 years ago is still powering the Pittsburgh Penguins, and much more.

Graphic Comments. The Nations’ resident master of the Venn diagram and the pie chart pokes at the land of unicorns where many bloggers are currently living. [Canucks Army]

How many NHL’ers will never play again? The problem with an NHL career is that, with few exceptions, it’s short. A full-season lockout will end the careers of some NHL’ers, and the short one we’ve seen so far arguably already has. [Oilers Nation]

The value of a starting goalie. Many statistically-inclined people have argued that in a salary cap world it makes sense to invest money in places other than net. Is that true? [NHL Numbers]

The solution: revenue sharing linked to a luxury tax? Cam Charron suggests that some sort of luxury tax (in concert with a hard cap system, rather than replacing it) might be the best way to avoid this endless string of lockouts. [Leafs Nation]

Alex Edler, Jason Garrison injured. Just to prove that even with a lockout there’s no reason defencemen can’t get hurt: two key members of the Canucks’ blue line are currently on the shelf. Edler’s injury sounds serious. It’s as if someone’s trying to provide the league’s other 29 teams with a reason to end the lockout right NOW. [Canucks Army]

Canucks fans: stille the worst (sometimes). A teenaged Justin Bieber fan defaces the Rick Rypien memorial wall. Digital mob with torches and pitchforks goes after the perpetrator. [Canucks Army]

Individual Points Percentage. Which players drive the play offensively? One method is to look at how many points a player recorded vs. how many goals he was on the ice for – a guy who picked up a point on a high percentage of the goals he was on the ice for was either a) driving the play, b) quite lucky or both. Here are the numbers for forwards from the 2011-12 season. [NHL Numbers]

Nation Profile: Mark Messier. This is the first piece in what will be an ongoing series, stretching across every Nation site – profiles of notable icons from each team. [Oilers Nation]

The full 2012-13 team preview series. Wondering about the state of your favourite (or second-favourite, or most-loathed) team? NHL Numbers has just finished a series examining the fortunes of all 30 teams for this coming season in depth. [NHL Numbers]

Trade Chains: Craig Simpson. In 1987, the Pittsburgh Penguins traded Craig Simpson to Edmonton. Over the years, the return for that trade has become a bunch of useful players: Paul Coffey, Rick Tocchet, Ken Wregget, Luc Robitaille, Sergei Zubov, Alexei Kovalev and others. Which current Penguin is a direct descendant of that trade? [NHL Numbers]