PPS System

The Adjusted Hockey project seeks to add context, a critical ingredient often lacking in traditional hockey statistics and conversations. Removing the noise of reputation and timing – both good and bad – we want to focus solely on the player’s on-ice contributions and achievements.

“Bobby Orr 001” by rchdj10 is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

The Inspiration

The initial inspiration for the PPS system comes from three places:

  • Bill James’ The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract (2001), specifically his player ratings. Using his ground-breaking Win Shares system, James famously ranked the top 100 players by position analytically.  The book shouted to me that hockey lacked data-driven historical player analysis.
  • Jay Jaffe’s JAWS methodology (Jaffe Wins Above Replacement Score), which culminated in his book, The Cooperstown Casebook (2017). Jaffe’s career evaluation system is now a part of the fabric of Baseball Hall of Fame evaluation today. His success encouraged me to create a system that could one day bring more objective Hall of Fame conversations to hockey’s public sphere.
  • Lastly, not from a book, but a website — Hockey Reference’s adjusted statistics and point shares. The concepts demonstrated that others have tried to contextualize hockey history through statistics on a credible platform. In these creations, I saw invaluable building blocks for a methodology to compare generations of NHL players.

The Factors

A player’s PPS score is the sum of five factors, or more specifically, four factors plus a trio of bonuses that comprise the fifth factor.

#1. Career Value

  • Measures: Output
  • Formula: Career adjusted point shares ÷ 1.5
  • All-time Leader: Wayne Gretzky (170)
  • To qualify: Minimum 1 game played

#2. Pace Value

  • Measures: Efficiency
  • Formula:
    • Skaters: [Career adjusted point shares ÷ career adjusted games played x 82] x 10
    • Goaltenders: [Career adjusted point shares ÷ career adjusted games played x 60] x 10
  • All-time Leader: Bobby Orr (175)
  • To qualify: Minimum 1 adjusted season

#3. Peak Value

  • Measures: Dominance
  • Formula: Best pace value over 7 consecutive seasons
  • All-time Leader: Bobby Orr (204)
  • To qualify: Minimum 3 adjusted seasons

#4. Timeline

  • Measures: League strength
  • Formula: [Career value + pace value + peak value] x [-10% x (102 – NHL Debut) ÷ 101]
    • NHL Debut: 1917-18 Season = 1 … 1966-67 Season = 50 … 2021-22 Season = 104
  • All-time Leader: Not applicable, as the timeline adjustment is a penalty based on debut season; the largest adjustment is Clint Benedict (-40), debuting in 1917-18
  • To qualify: Minimum 1 game played

#5. Bonus Value

A. Playoff

  • Measures: Post-season play
  • Formula: Fixed bonus system based on Stanley Cups calibrated to Era
    • Add or subtract 5-point increments based on individual impact
  • Maximum Bonus: Eras 1 & 2 = 40 points; Eras 3,4,5 = 30 points
  • All-time Leaders: Jean Beliveau, Patrick Roy (45)

B. International

  • Measures: International play
  • Formula: Fixed bonus system based on team results in best-on-best events
    • Eligible best-on-best events: ’72 Summit Series; ’76, ’81, ’84, ’87, ’91 Canada Cups; ’96, ’04, ’16 World Cups; ’98, ’02, ’06, ’10, ’14 Olympics
  • Maximum Bonus: Eras 1 & 2 = not applicable (no events); Eras 3,4,5 = 10 points
    • Ensures all Eras have access to 40 points, whether [40+0] or [30+10]
  • All-time Leaders: Over 100 players tied (10)

C. Award Shares

Further details on the methodology can be found here: https://adjustedhockey.com/pps-system/

The Example

The Visual

The Exclusions

Except for the international bonus, the PPS system includes only a player’s on-ice NHL results. While not quantified in the methodology, the following elements should also serve as qualitative factors in a player’s HHOF case beyond PPS:

  • Sportsmanship and character (attributes per the HHOF’s by-laws)
  • Non-NHL play (i.e., junior, college, other professional leagues, international play outside best-on-best formats)
  • Social impact
  • Pioneering and innovative influence
  • Signature moments, record-breaking, clutch play

The Name

Now, you’re familiar with the inspiration and inputs to the PPS system. The acronym, using my last name, is not as cool as “JAWS”, but acts as a double entendre — PPS (post-postscript) means “written after.”

The name subtly notes that the system seeks to add further context to a player’s career beyond what’s first written.

Era concepts, PPS System, Adjusted PS, Adjusted GP, Adjusted Seasons, NHL Award Shares from Adjusted Hockey;
League data information used herein was obtained free of charge from and is copyrighted by the Hockey Databank project. For more information about the Hockey Databank project, visit https://groups.io/g/hockey-databank/topics;
Points Shares and Adjusted Stats methodology from Hockey-Reference.com