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Enhance Your Experience: Bring Back the Shift Chart

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As you may remember, MHH has completely sold its soul and is taking part in some sponsored posts with the theme "Enhance Your Experience". Last week, I recommended simplifying some of the more convoluted rules on the ice. This week, I'm stepping onto the soapbox to bang a drum about a topic that's near and dear to many of our hearts: Bring back the shift charts!

Don't remember shift charts? Shift charts were a report the NHL used to put out for each game showing a graphical representation of each player's ice time (example). Simple. Useful. Effective. For some reason, the NHL quietly stopped publishing these after the 2006-2007 season and that's a darn shame. Why did they get rid of them? I don't believe there's been any published explanation, but I wonder if it has to do with the fact that they changed the format for their TOI data at that time as well. Check out the 2006-2007 TOI report and compare it to one from 2007-2008. Could it be just a matter of not having the resources to update their shift chart generator?

Since the NHL still publishes their shift-by-shift statistical data, it's possible to to "roll your own" shift charts, like Vic Ferrari does at TimeOnIce.com. Those of you who remember me from my previous home know that I wrote a program to generate shift charts as well. But after one season, I ran into some technical difficulties and I haven't had the time to coax my limited technical know-how to fix the damn thing. Until then, I'll continue to plead with the NHL to bring the shift chart back. Please!