Every once in a while, particular comments will pop-up in regards to plus/minus:
- and that there is why he leads his team in plus/minus - PBP / Colour commentator
- his plus/minus shows his defensive concerns - TV analyst
- but he has our team's best/worst plus/minus?! - website commentator
So, how meaningful then is it to be a team's leader in plus/minus? How meaningful is it to be the worst?
Goal percentage (goals for / all goal events) is slightly better than raw plus/minus, in that it can differentiate the difference between -20/+10 and -30/+20 and having different amounts of TOI.
Here is each defender's team ranking in 5v5 goal% of the top 7 leaders in TOI for the Atlanta Thrashers and Winnipeg Jets.
You can see that almost every player with multiple seasons has ranked near the top and bottom.
As Gabriel Desjardins -founder of Behind The Net, which eventually evolved into Arctic Ice Hockey- once said:
Someone asked friend of the blog Neil Greenberg how reliable individual +/- is. I think it's very reliable - in fact, you would do reasonably well signing the player who finishes dead last in the league in +/- every season provided he wasn't on an expansion team.
Bold emphasis added.