Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Reader Infographic

I received a very interesting infographic from a reader the other day via email. What is an infographic, you say? Well, the definition as per reads "Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge. These graphics present complex information quickly and clearly". The image to the left shows an infographic illustrating the average salaries of each positional player on a hockey team. It tells you what each player makes as an average salary according to his line and position. Pie charts, bar graphs, and street signs are all infographics themselves, so these are something you see everyday, but hardly know it.

So when I received this infographic from Ron S., I had to check it out. The unofficial title of the infographic is "Atlantic Division players to avoid drafting in a fantasy draft", so let's just see who Ron thinks should be avoided in the Atlantic Division when making up your fantasy hockey team.

If you want to see the infographic a little better, please click here. I have to give Ron full kudos for making up that infographic as well. It looks like a lot of work went into it.

The problem I have with the infographic is that there is a lot of subjective conjecture on it. Zach Parise, Mark Streit, Ruslan Fedotenko are all to be avoided because of past injuries? Sure, it's a concern, but Parise and Streit will get top-billing minutes on their teams, and Fedotenko is a serviceable plugger that coach John Tortorella likes.

Ryan Callahan should be avoided because of a broken hand and leg, yet Ron thinks he'll play in 77 games this season? I'd take Callahan in a New York minute if he's available after the third round. Chris Pronger might play in 50 games, but he's a workhorse. If "last year's broken hand could still be an issue", do you think the former Hart Trophy winner would risk playing in the preseason?

Briere, Jagr, and Malkin? All are playing on their top lines right now, and all are scoring at a pace that make them top scorers in the league. You can't just say "maybe" when giving an opinion. Infographics don't allow for maybe because they show you something. A stop sign isn't a "maybe you should stop". It's telling you to stop without any hesitation or compromise.

While the work on the infographic was great, Ron's reasonings for why the graphic shows Player X playing in only Y number of games needs to be tighter. I'm sure Ron's going to catch some flak over his predictions, so if you'd like to comment, keep it clean, be respectful, and remember that this is one man's opinion.

I do want to thank Ron for putting his work out on a forum such as this, and I want to encourage him to keep working at awesome stuff like this. Infographics are a powerful tool, and the world of hockey could use more of these.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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