The NHL's 'smartest' spenders

Detroit Red Wings are among the smartest spending teams in sports according to Bloomberg Businessweek. (Getty Images)

Bloomberg Businessweek came out with its second annual rankings of the "smartest" spenders in sports on Thursday, and based on their metrics the Detroit Red Wings are at the top of the list in the NHL.

I'm always a little skeptical of these types of projects because they can sometimes produce some weird results, or favor teams that simply spend the absolute least amount of money and only put a mediocre product out on the field. Is that a team that's spending its money wisely? Or is it a team that's simply cheap?

Bloomberg used payroll data to figure out much teams spent per win over the past five seasons, then compared that data against league averages. But they've also added some other factors into the equation that take into account every win a team has over the .500 mark, playoff wins, and championships.

From Bloomberg:

This year, we’ve added bonuses for the victories that matter most: wins above .500, playoff wins, and championships. Our scale counts regular season wins once, with a half-win bonus for every win over .500. Playoff wins count for 10 percent of a season; championships for half a season. In their Super Bowl winning season in 2011, for instance, the New York Giants got credit for 9 regular season wins, plus a .5 game bonus for their ninth win—the one that put them above .500. Their 4 playoff wins earned them 6.4 more wins. And the Super Bowl victory 8 more, for a total of 23.9 “weighted” wins.

As far as the NHL is concerned, the top five teams (in order) are the Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers, and San Jose Sharks.

The bottom five include the Edmonton Oilers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Winnipeg Jets, Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders.

You can check out the rest of their rankings (for all sports) here.

If nothing else it at least seems to pass the common sense test as teams like the Leafs, Flames and Sabres are all in the bottom-10, not to mention the Blue Jackets. Don't forget that last year's Blue Jackets team spent over $61 million to be the worst team in the NHL. The Sabres and Flames were also in the top-five in money spent only to both fall short of the postseason.

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CBS Sports Writer

Adam Gretz has been writing about the NHL and taking an analytical approach to the game since the start of the 2008 season. A member of the PHWA since 2015, he has spent more than three years covering... Full Bio

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