Goals Versus Salary (GVS), contrary to how it reads, is not simply taking a players cap hit and dividing it by the number of goals he's scored. Instead, GVS is one of the dreaded "advanced stats." GVS uses the all-encompassing the Goals Versus Threshold metric (explained here, here, and here) to take a player's total statistical contribution and weigh it against what one could get for the same amount of money. Rob Vollman introduced the concept after the 2009 season, showing then that Wade Redden was among the worst offenders that year (so you know it has some truth in it).
In this original article, Rob uses a value of 3 goals for every $1m as a guide. He states that a team average, full season GVT should be 120 goals, and he divides it by a league average $40m in cap space (based on 20 replacement players @ $500k and average cap number of $50m). Courtesy of capgeek.com and behindthenet.ca, it is easy enough to compare those numbers with that of the current year. Some behind the scenes calculations yields current values of $53.622,071 for the team average cap hit, and a projected average team GVT value of 121.77 (based on 35 GP). That gives us a factor of 2.79 goals per $1m for the season, or $358,233.32 per goal.
Adjustment factors in hand, let's look at the New York Rangers' GVS so far for 2010-11:
|Player||Salary to Date||GVT||Exp. GVT||GVS|
*Table is sortable by clicking the column headers.
Salary and GVT data calculated on Thursday before the TB game
As Rob V points out in his article, this measure does punish injuries mightily. This is evidenced by a number of players on the bottom of this list, including Derek Boogaard, Marian Gaborik, and Chris Drury. While unfair, money being spent on broken players is money not being spent on productivity. Thus, those high salaried players have created a situation where the Rangers have actually overspent for the performance on the ice thus far.
There are many positives to note away from the veterans. We can start once again with the constant cause for celebration, Brian Boyle. Not only has he been the most valuable forward to date (team high 5 GVT), but he is also the most cost effective, thanks to his bargain basement price tag of $525,000. His play to date has been worth over a $4m cap hit. He is a pending RFA, and unlikely to receive nearly that large a raise, so he presents considerable value long term, assuming this is the player he has become.
Yesterday's topic of conversation, Erik Christensen, is also atop the list here. He gets a nice boost in his GVT from his contributions on the shootout (1.1 of his 3.6 is SGVT), but regardless of where the value comes from, it is still value, and thus far his signing has been a good one. Our other top center, Derek Stepan, is obviously on his ELC, which is a good way to get some bang for your buck.
The last player to really focus on is one Dan Girardi. At the time of his signing, many were critical of the deal, saying it was entirely too much money for him. Thus far, he is proving those naysayers wrong, outplaying the contract by almost $1.5m (prorated to 82 games) to date.
As the year goes on, spending will change, player production will change, and we'll have a full season to evaluate each players' GVS. Given our many upcoming free agents, that value could certainly help to project what money should be available.