NHL and The Plus and/or Minus Ratings System

The plus and minus ratings used in the NHL have sparked my interest recently. While watching different NHL games, I have noticed this rating and wondered what it was. It is placed on the player’s profile while the game is in progress. So, when a caller on NHL Live! (broadcast on the NHL Network, and XM / Sirius Radio) asked Billy Jaffe what that rating meant during today’s (5/11/09 broadcast), I thought how cool….

According to Jaffe it is the rating given when a player is on the ice during even strength (no power plays)…in other words, each team has the same number of men on the ice for the play. It could be 5 on 5, 4 on 4, etc. If the player was on the ice and his team scores, he receives a positive rating. Conversely, if the player is on the ice when his team is scored against…he receives a negative rating.

It was mentioned that the more positive ratings you have, the more the player’s pay bargaining position increases. And, the same can be said about having a negative rating (their bargaining position would decrease depending upon how negative the rating was).

Here is something interesting…If a player is on the ice and just takes two strides and his team scores….he receives a positive rating. He would receive a negative rating if his team was scored against while he was on the ice for just two strides.

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