Lists & Rankings

2012-13 Puck Money Methodology

The mandate of Puck Money is to illustrate which NHL players and franchises offer the best value to their teams and fans based on their salaries or payrolls. We have developed a ranking system based on putting the players and franchises on the same scale as much as possible. In order to rank them against the same criteria, players should have equal opportunities to perform and amass statistics. Therefore, players had to suit up for a minimum number of games to qualify for ranking. Players who did not meet the minimum number of games were not ranked. As well, forwards, defencemen and goalies use different skills so we applied different formulas to analyze these skills.

Statistics are from the 2011-2012 regular season and salaries are in U.S. dollars. Salaries were rated from lowest salary (most desirable) to highest (least desirable). On ice statistics are from and financial statistics are from

Eligible players

For all rankings, eligible players must meet the minimum requirement. Forwards must have at least 40 points. Defencemen must have played in at least 60 games. Goaltenders must have played in at least 35 games.


Players benefit from playing on a strong team and can be held back by being on a weaker team. In order to make them more comparable, we normalized the total points for forwards and defence and the shots against-saves ratio for goalies. This was done by measuring each team’s points and goals for performance in the regular reason as a variance from the average for the whole league. So a player on a team that over performed the league had his points reduced and a player on a team that under performed the league had his points increased.


Must have at least 40 points. Eligible players were ranked in these four categories: points, time on ice, plus/minus and salary. Salary is worth 20% of the final and the other three categories are each valued at 26.67%.

Example: Evgeni Malkin

Salary: $9.0 million
Points: 109
Normalized Points: 90
Time on Ice: 1,576 minutes
Plus/Minus: 18
Salary Rank: 135 out of 138 eligible players.
Point rank: 3 out of 138 eligible players.
Time on Ice rank: 34 out of 138 eligible players.
Plus/Minus rank: 15 out of 138 eligible players

Math: (135*0.2) + (3*0.267) + (34*0.267) + (15*0.267) = 37.80

Evgeni Malkin received 40.87 points which ranked him No. 11 most valuable out of 138 players.


Players with at least 60 games are ranked in these categories: salary (20%), points (15%), time on ice (15%) and plus/minus (50%).

Example: Duncan Keith

Salary: $8.0 million
Points: 40
Normalized Points: 36
Time on Ice: 1,990 minutes
Plus/Minus: 15
Salary Rank: 141 out of 143 eligible players.
Point rank: 30 out of 143 eligible players.
Time on Ice rank: 12 out of 143 eligible players.
Plus/Minus: 21 out of 143 eligible players.

Math: (141*0.20) + (30*0.15) + (12*0.15) + (21*0.50) = 43.65

Duncan Keith received 43.65 points which ranked him No. 21 most valuable out of 143 players.


Goaltenders must have played a minimum 50 games and are evaluated in four categories: normalized goals against (26.67%), time on ice (26.67%), goals against average (26.67%) and salary (20%).

Example: Marc-Andre Fleury
Salary: $5.5 million
GA: 153
Normalized GA: 186
GAA: 2.36
Time on Ice: 3,896 minutes
GA rank: 35 out of 35 players
GAA rank: 9 out of 35 players
Time on Ice rank: 10 out of 35 players
Salary rank: 28 out of 35 players

Math: (35*0.267) + (9*0.267) + (10*0.267) + (28*0.2) = 20.0

Carey Price received 20.0 points which ranked him No. 23rd most valuable out of 35 players.


The weighting of the Puck Money Fan Value Index is: overall standing (40%), playoff standing (20%), payroll (10%) and fan cost index (30%). The lower the score for payroll and fan cost, the more acceptable the team is to fans.

Fan cost index includes four (4) average priced tickets, two (2) small draft beers, four (4) small soft drinks, four (4) regular size hot dogs, parking for one (1) car, two (2) game programs and two (2) least expensive, adult-size adjustable caps. Source: 2010 Team Marketing Report.