Mark Spector of Sportsnet wrote today about the Oilers’ player evaluation failures, identifying it as the main cause of their ten-year playoff drought. Spector notes the decisions to let go of former Vice President of player personnel Scott Howson and analytics guru Tyler Dellow, and naming Keith Gretzky assistant general manager. Spector argues that Keith Gretzky has had a successful run as part of the amateur scouting staff for the Phoenix Coyotes and Boston Bruins. Bruins’ beat writer Joe Haggerty tweeted today pointing out that while his tenure with the Bruins was relatively short, Gretzky’s first pick was scoring forward David Pastrnak.
The article also defends General Manager Peter Chiarelli from the suggestion that Dellow’s release is a rejection of analytics. Saying that it was a “deliveryman issue,” Spector says that there will still be Oilers’ staff working in analytics. Those who remember Dellow’s writing before joining the Oilers will likely remember the trades of Jeff Petry, Martin Marincin, and Taylor Hall, and wonder how much input he’s had.
Here are more links from around hockey:
- Insuring players for international tournaments is a critical issue for league participation. Gary Lawless tweets today that should unsigned players like Johnny Gaudreau, Jacob Trouba, or Sean Monahan still be without a contract, they will be insured at the league and players association’s expense. Several players sat out the 2004 World Cup because the coming lockout delayed contracts, and complicated the insurance issue.
- TSN analytics writer Travis Yost makes the case today for a team to sign free agent forward Jiri Hudler. Hudler, 32, had 16 goals, and 46 points in 72 games with the Flames and Panthers last season, but had just one assist in six playoff games for the Panthers. Yost’s case, somewhat unconventional for an analytics writer, is based heavily on Hudler’s ability to improve his team’s shooting percentage.