The Arizona Coyotes announced a pair of front office additions today, including one name familiar to fans. Joining the ’Yotes in the hockey operations department are Matt Perri, hired as Director of Analytics, and long-time NHLer Lee Stempniak as Hockey Data Strategist. While Perri will oversee the team’s analytics, Stempniak’s role is to translate that data into something that coaches and players can understand and use. In a capacity that is the first of its kind, Stempniak will combine his experience as a player in the NHL for 14 seasons with his Ivy League education in Economics from Dartmouth College to become a valuable communicator between analytics and those involved in the actual on-ice product. After elevating the “journeyman” role during his playing days as an effective player for ten different organizations, Stempniak may now be forging a new path for former players with a knack for analytics.
- Looking ahead to negotiating his next contract this off-season, young Vancouver Canucks star Elias Pettersson has switched agents, reports Patrick Johnston of The Province. Pettersson has joined CAA Sports and is now represented by super-agent Pat Brisson. Not only does Brisson’s track record lend some leverage to Pettersson’s side, but he is also the agent for Quinn Hughes, who will also be a crucial RFA for Vancouver this summer. Brisson will undoubtedly tie the two contracts together and ensure that both are well-compensated for a long time. In fact, the main beneficiary might actually be Hughes, who as a 10.2(c) free agent lacks the leverage of an offer sheet possibility, but gains the leverage of being linked to Pettersson. The two are the clear leaders of the Canucks and the club was unlikely to play hardball anyhow, but now Pettersson and Hughes are in even better shape this off-season (and so too will be Brisson).
- Pierre-Luc Dubois is now a member of the Winnipeg Jets and as such we may never get an answer as to why he was unhappy being a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Dubois requested a trade out of Columbus, but never gave any of his teammates, coaches, or management a valid explanation, something that head coach John Tortorella publicly resented even before Dubois’ departure. While some speculated that this past off-season’s contract talks were the cause, GM Jarmo Kekalainen refuted that idea on TSN 1050 today, again begging the question of what drove Dubois out of town:
That’s just flat out not true at all and he knows that, so I don’t know why he would say that or even insinuate something like that, because that’s not true… There was never any problem with the negotiation of this contract, it came to a conclusion very quickly and I thought what we signed was a fair deal for both sides…Once the player and the agent wanted to engage in the talks and we agreed on the length, it was a very easy process… It took all in all, I think 10 minutes to do his contract when we finally agreed on the length of the deal and we had everything from two years, to three years to eight years on the table… I wish that Pierre-Luc would tell the truth about why he wanted out. He hasn’t even told me; he hasn’t told his teammates or anybody else. It certainly wasn’t about contract negotiations; I can assure you of that.