Staturday Weekly Column #4: 2020-21 Leafs Roster Improvements by Goals Above Replacement Model

Kyle Dubas went into this offseason with a ‘no holds barred’ mandate of getting this team over the hump in this upcoming season. Using short-term contracts to veterans, low-cost contracts to the team’s young RFAs, and new contracts to exciting European talent, the Leafs’ roster appears to have improved significantly. We’re ever so close to seeing this new team in action, so it’s gotten me curious to see the significance of these transactions.
To answer the question of “how significant?”, we can use the Goals Above Replacement model developed by EvolvingHockey that we discussed in an earlier edition of Staturday.
Basically, EvolvingHockey put a bunch of statistics into a box, and figured out how many goals that would be worth, relative to what a “replacement level” player (i.e. a call-up from the minors just filling in) could do.
As a manager, Kyle Dubas will be hoping that each of his players has a positive Goals Above Replacement (GAR) season in 2021. But we don’t just have to hope; we can actually attempt to predict whether this will happen or not.
See, EvolvingHockey also developed an Expected Goals Above Replacement (xGAR) model to predict the results of …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

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