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ExtraSkater.com founder one of three to join Leafs analytics department


elvis15

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Some of you who use the site might have noticed it's been down for basically a week, well this is why.

Maple Leafs hiring ExtraSkater.com founder, creating analytics department

Ever since it debuted, the hockey stats site ExtraSkater.com has been a mandatory destination for fans seeking a user-friendly, easy-to-understand approach to advanced analytics like corsi ratings.

This season, its founder will bring that insight exclusively to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

According to multiple sources, Darryl Metcalf is one of three advanced stats analysts that are in the process of joining the Leafs to work in newly created positions dedicated to hockey metrics. Cam Charron, a blogger that most recently worked with Yahoo Sports Canada, is among that group, as is Rob Pettapiece, a blogger who worked with Yahoo Sports' Buzzing The Net junior hockey blog.

Queries to Metcalf and the Leafs for comment were not returned.

Toronto made a significant splash in advanced stats earier this summer, hiring former Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds GM Kyle Dubas, a leader in the advocacy for advanced stats use by hockey managers, as their assistant GM under Dave Nonis. It’s expected this new department will report to him.

Metcalf and Charron join other big names hired this summer by NHL for advanced stats. Sunny Mehta, a former pro poker player, was hired by the New Jersey Devils. Tyler Dellow, a veteran hockey blogger, was hired by the Edmonton Oilers. Eric Tulsky of SB Nation was also hired by an undisclosed NHL team.

The hiring of Metcalf, however, would be a coup for the Leafs.

Not only is his site one of the most respected in the hockey world, it’s also one of the most popular … for other NHL teams. Our loss as hockey fans – the site will cease operation – is Toronto’s gain, as all of that site’s analysis and calculations will be kept in house.

Expect official titles to be announced when the department is finalized.

I've certainly used it, and the other thing of note is one of the two other people hired is Cam Charron, a blogger who's contributed to Canucks Army regularly, as well as other sites.

As well as knowing of Charron, I bring that up because of this:

Mike Martignago@MikeMartignago

I believe the kids say "oh snap!"

BvbLECJIAAAeo6Y.png

Oh snap indeed...

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Not entirely sure what these guys CV's are in terms of math background but i wouldnt hire anyone without at least a solid understanding of linear optimization and at least vector calc would prefer a fullon stats & math degree. Hopefully for the leafs sake these guys actually have math backgrounds to be able to quantify and compile proper metrics of this could get ugly real quick.

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Lol at the Leafs staff, bloggers and hockey site gurus?

This just in ********* Leafs hire EKLUND as AAGM ********

ha ha. I can't wait to see how that works out.

They aren't really in any position to be making decisions so its really not that big of a deal or a story. Hiring stat guys is not a bad idea, they are just going to be used to compile stats. I don't see anything wrong with that, any information that you can gather is good. Whether the Leafs have the front office to make practical use out of this remains to be seen. The only reason this is making waves is because its Toronto, a number of successful teams have already stocked up on guys capable of compiling stats.

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Anyone got the feeling that the NHL is absorbing these guys as part of their so-called 'war on advanced stats sites?'

Referring to this: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/puck-daddy/nhl-about-to-wage-war-against-advanced-stats-sites-190007978.html

The NHL isn't liking the "unauthorized harvesting of content" and wants to keep numbers to themselves pretty much, or at least make it more difficult for advanced stats nerds to get their data.

Now with all these blogger hires, you'd think this little agenda has definitely been taken to the next level.

But is the NHL going to start getting more nerdy with their stats themselves?

"As long as there's still a conflict over which stats can be used in arbitration hearings, I don't expect NHL.com to add a lot of details."

Frankly, the fact that TO or Edm or any other NHL team weren't already using analytics... It's freakin' embarrassing. And quite unbelievable.

And TO creating a whole department dedicated to it? Lol. Why? It's really a one-person job.

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Basically they'd be a glorified step above data entry from what I'd envision of the role. And as far as hiring all the talent to keep the stats in house, you can bet for every one that has (or had) a website devoted to it, there are 10 more guys sitting in their basements wishing they'd thought of the idea first.

Someone will come up with a website about the same as ExtraSkater.com (there's already BehindTheNet.ca and others that have been around for some time) to replace it, and the NHL teams can't hire them all. Or maybe they can, but then that's a win win for anyone with enough brains to publicly blog about advanced stats with any reliability.

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Basically they'd be a glorified step above data entry from what I'd envision of the role. And as far as hiring all the talent to keep the stats in house, you can bet for every one that has (or had) a website devoted to it, there are 10 more guys sitting in their basements wishing they'd thought of the idea first.

Someone will come up with a website about the same as ExtraSkater.com (there's already BehindTheNet.ca and others that have been around for some time) to replace it, and the NHL teams can't hire them all. Or maybe they can, but then that's a win win for anyone with enough brains to publicly blog about advanced stats with any reliability.

That might be were the NHL starts putting the hammer down as far as numbers harvesting goes, if i read into that yahoo article correctly.

Watch the BehindTheNet.ca guy be hired as well...

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That might be were the NHL starts putting the hammer down as far as numbers harvesting goes, if i read into that yahoo article correctly.

Watch the BehindTheNet.ca guy be hired as well...

Brb then I will go make a site and try to get hired as well. It will be a waste of my engineering degree but depending on how NHL teams pay, I might just be making the right career choice.

That was sarcasm by the way. I love your conspiracy theories TOML, this one is too far out there though. If teams keep hiring stat guys then more will rise up to the challenge to replace their comrades who went over to the dark side. ::D

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Brb then I will go make a site and try to get hired as well. It will be a waste of my engineering degree but depending on how NHL teams pay, I might just be making the right career choice.

That was sarcasm by the way. I love your conspiracy theories TOML, this one is too far out there though. If teams keep hiring stat guys then more will rise up to the challenge to replace their comrades who went over to the dark side. ::D

Actually, it's not 'far out there' at all, nor is it much of a conspiracy as it is an observation. I could care less if bloggers get hired to do data entry or not. However, it becoming a trend out of the blue leads one to make some conclusions. But who gives a crap?

Here's more of an 'out there' conspiracy theory though: Stats analysts being hired by TO and Edm will find their team still sucking over time, leading to the discrediting of said analysis, making all related blogs worthless, and therefore the NHL will regain control of their statistical information entirely. This means the bad decisions being justified by their puppet franchises (particularly in Canada) won't be as easily countered with things like facts backed by unbiased statistics. Gullible fans will have to eat whatever bullcrap the NHL and it's media hoarde hands to them.

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Actually, it's not 'far out there' at all, nor is it much of a conspiracy as it is an observation. I could care less if bloggers get hired to do data entry or not. However, it becoming a trend out of the blue leads one to make some conclusions. But who gives a crap?

Here's more of an 'out there' conspiracy theory though: Stats analysts being hired by TO and Edm will find their team still sucking over time, leading to the discrediting of said analysis, making all related blogs worthless, and therefore the NHL will regain control of their statistical information entirely. This means the bad decisions being justified by their puppet franchises (particularly in Canada) won't be as easily countered with things like facts backed by unbiased statistics. Gullible fans will have to eat whatever bullcrap the NHL and it's media hoarde hands to them.

I do, those stats site are handy to prove someone wrong in a debate, especially those that think that their eyes are far more capable of judging talent. Losing access to sites like extraskater definitely sucks.

Why would Edmonton and Toronto sucking discredit advanced stats? Those teams have sucked and made poor decisions for a long time. Compiling stats won't change anything but using them to your advantage might. Lets see how these teams make use of the new information available to them. Won't the hiring of these people actually validate the importance of advanced stats though? I see a lot more people starting to get more educated about stats now that their teams have started to hire people who use them. So its actually getting people to place more importance in them than ever.

Take Steve Simmons for instance, he can't seem to handle this new movement because he was so used to preaching that his superior eyes could judge talent better than all those pesky bloggers. If anything this gives all the advanced stats crowd more of a leg to stand upon as teams seem quite keen to hire stats experts.

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The NHL still has John Collins working for them, no? If so, I really don't see them mounting an attack on advanced stats blogs. He seems to have a pretty good grasp of how to maintain a sports brand in the digital age, and the way to do that is to have as many people as possible talking about the product, not restricting it to one official 'voice of the league'.

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Why would Edmonton and Toronto sucking discredit advanced stats?

Because they could blame it on the new guys. More misinformation yes, but what's ever stopped misinformation?

I like advanced stats. The numbers don't lie. But people using them certainly do. There's always a way to make a 'proven' argument on a player by using whatever advanced stat that's handy for the argument.

Take Kyle Wellwood for example. Recalling things like, Oh my God what a possession monster! (Average at best) Never mind that he wasn't all that fast a skater and a breeze could knock him off the puck though.

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The only thing that could be limited is who collects the data and just how available it is to the masses.

There was a movement in the advanced stats community a few years back to track quality/scoring chances, and that was bloggers and the like sitting in front of their TVs and tracking them. They didn't get that from the NHL, but of course now much of that information has expanded (and the quality chances weren't significantly better than using Corsi or other metrics) and there's more official stats to draw from.

Does that change if NHL teams do more in house or push to close off those stats? Maybe, but the public consumption will likely stay the same I think and NHL teams will look to either find their own way to use the metrics everyone has, or create new metrics they collect themselves and call them proprietary.

The NHL still has John Collins working for them, no? If so, I really don't see them mounting an attack on advanced stats blogs. He seems to have a pretty good grasp of how to maintain a sports brand in the digital age, and the way to do that is to have as many people as possible talking about the product, not restricting it to one official 'voice of the league'.

This is the smart option, but of course not always the one taken by all businesses.

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Because they could blame it on the new guys. More misinformation yes, but what's ever stopped misinformation?

I understand what you are trying to say but there are better targets (to blame) for why the team didn't do well than the guys that compile stats.

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Hockey advanced statisticians are the most sought after people this summer in the NHL. A lot of the most respected stats guys have been plucked out, I hope the Canucks join the party before they're all gone. In addition to the Leafs, here's a few of the teams that were busy this summer: Link

It's a big loss that Extra Skater (E.S) is no longer available. In the last yr or so, seems like more people were starting educating themselves on advanced stats - extra skater was one of the best resources. It was extremely smart of Toronto to hire the E.S founder are it's believed a lot of NHL teams used his site during games to determine match ups and line combos (Chi, LA, SJS are believed to be a few of those teams). It breaks there competitive advantage. I think the remaining stats guys are looking to create a new site similar to E.S. for the general public, hopefully it's up soon.

Saw this today, other sites where you can find advanced stats: Link

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Good hiring, especially for Toronto who had the worse corsi% in the league this year.

LA was ranked 1st in corsi%, Chicago 2nd, Boston 4th, SJ 5th, St. Louis 6th, NYR 7th. Puck possession is key for any championship team.

That's why teams like Colorado, who had a great regular season, but weak corsi% get upset in the playoffs, I called Minnesota winning before the series started.

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