Mark Spector of Sportsnet has confirmed the Edmonton Oilers will not renew the contract of statistical consultant Tyler Dellow. He becomes the second such consultant removed from his position in the last week, joining Matt Pfeffer, who was dismissed by Montreal. Ironically, both Edmonton and Montreal executed trades this summer that have been widely panned by statistical analyst types in the media.
Some may view this as a movement away from the use of advanced stats in the sport after seeing several clubs hire analysts in recent years. But I don’t see that as the case. It’s more likely that Dellow’s departure has as much to do with Peter Chiarelli not being the GM who hired him than an abandonment of advanced stats.
Pfeffer’s dismissal gained particular notoriety after a THN interview in which the former consultant seemed to suggest his vocal argument against the Weber-for-Subban deal might have led to his ouster. He also appeared to describe Weber as an “average” defenseman, a comment he would later explain via twitter was actually a description of Weber’s recent play based on one limited statistic.
Dellow was hired two summers ago, primarily at the behest of then head coach Dallas Eakins and assistant general manager Scott Howson. With Eakins long gone and Chiarelli now running the hockey operations in Edmonton, it’s probably not a surprise the club chose not to renew Dellow’s contract.