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The Prime Time Sports Management Conference was held at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto Monday, presenting an opportunity to hear NHL executives discuss their business. Increasingly, when that happens, there are more questions related to analytics and how they apply in todays National Hockey League. Maple Leafs Assistant General Manager Kyle Dubas, who is somewhat a face of the analytics movement, a young up-and-comer who incorporates the use of analytics in making personnel decisions, got things going on the right foot by expressing an understanding of the central point of Moneyball; that is, that it is about finding inefficiencies in the marketplace, not evaluating all players by on-base percentage. This is one area where analytics in hockey can get derailed. If everything is about Corsi, for example, that wont be the aspect that is undervalued. Were not at that stage yet, but understanding that its about market inefficiencies means that should the day come when puck possession stats are overvalued metrics, teams can find a new edge with whatever is the inefficiency of that particular time. In trying to bring a more analytical approach in Toronto, Dubas emphasized that its not about replacing anyone or making people obsolete, rather Its to add layers to our evaluation process and add greater context. Thats the smart way for an NHL front office to use numbers. Dubas, when asked about the next frontier of analytics thought about digging deeper into current metrics to see if there are more secrets to be unlocked, as well as the inevitable tracking of players movement on the field of play. Many teams added front office personnel this summer to address the use of analytics. The Maple Leafs, most notably, hired Dubas, then added three more members of an analytics team. The Calgary Flames already had Chris Snow working in that role, but have quietly added support staff. Flames GM Brad Treliving said that the Flames have added people with a math background, and without a public profile, which does make it harder for outsiders to evaluate the quality of talent they have added to the front office. Treliving acknowledged that there is an advantage to hiring someone (eg. bloggers) whose work has been done in public and that is that they have a body of work to measure and judge. Tim Barnes (Capitals), Cam Charron (Maple Leafs), Tyler Dellow (Oilers), Brian Macdonald (Panthers), Sunny Mehta (Devils) and Eric Tulsky (secret team) are among those that NHL teams added in the offseason after they had been providing analysis in the blogosphere and analysis that can withstand rigorous public scrutiny tends to from pretty sharp minds. Its evident that analytics are growing in importance around the NHL, but lets not mistake that for universal acceptance either. TSNs Gord Miller moderated a panel with Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin and Calgary Flames President of Hockey Operations Brian Burke and, while analytics werent roundly dismissed as they might have been a few years ago, its not like the Flames or Canadiens go straight to the analytics when making decisions. When asked if analytics play a role in player evaluation and acquisition, Bergevin responded, Its all about balance, while asserting that he prefers to see a player in person. As for Burke, Its more important for amateur than pro, he said. Even though (analytics) should be used, its down the list. Earlier in the day, while moderating the analytics panel, Burke said that the Flames Have the leagues best analytics guy (Snow), and they clearly have a role, yet also said that analytics are grossly overrated. Oh, to be the leagues best in a grossly overrated field. Believe it or not, though, there is real value to using analytics in addition to the eye test and while Burke questions the predictive value of hockey analytics, that is where real value is found. For example, when the discussion veered towards Flames defenceman Mark Giordano - an analytics All-Star - Burke said that you can tell how good he is by watching. Sure, thats true enough, now. In January, 2013, however, Dellow had an article on his website talking about Giordano as being better than highly sought-after trade commodity Jay Bouwmeester and that was far from a universally-accepted opinion at the time. Sometimes, using analytics can steer decisions and evaluations in the right direction before its obvious and thats where an edge is gained. Having an opinion or evaluation that is obvious provides no competitive advantage. But, if Burke is genuine about using analytics as part of a checklist when evaluating players, saying that if numbers dont match their opinions, they double back on their viewings to see if there is something they are missing, then that is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, Burke also referred to players Doppler scores (weather analytics?) in this example, so there wasnt a concrete example of how they might handle a difference in analytics and eye-test evaluation. While Bergevin said that he has full confidence in his knowledge of his own team, because hes there every day, he sees more value in analytics to complement scouts opinions of players on other teams. Both Burke and Bergevin noted that smart decisions require complete information and outsiders often dont have that full information available to them. Bergevin commented that there was a player who had great analytics last season, but no team signed him this year, suggesting that all 30 teams had some reason for bypassing the player. (Incidentally, Andrei Loktionov did have a 55.0% Corsi last season with Carolina, yet no NHL job this season.) DRAFT Miller asked an interesting question about what either would do as a GM if their eye test didnt agree with their Director of Scoutings opinion of a player, and whether they would use, for example, the seventh pick in the draft on a player that they didnt like. Both Burke and Bergevin admitted they would have a hard time agreeing to use a high pick like that. Burke said it would be easier to go with scouts opinion on the 17th pick, but not so easily with a top pick. Bergevin talked about how he liked Ryan Murray and Morgan Rielly - the former NHL blueliner has an affinity for defencemen - but didnt get to see a lot of Rielly and Alex Galchenyuk during their draft years, since both were injured for most of the season, so Bergevin was more inclined to lean on head scout Trevor Timmins. Its an interesting question because the public sees the end result on draft day, which players a team picks, but doesnt necessarily know the process of who is calling the shots and on what basis those potentially franchise-altering decisions are made. When discussing draft decisions, it does sound as though Burke could appreciate analytics as a tool for self-evaluation. He said they start every years scouting meetings discussing mistakes that they have made. The specific example he cited was Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw, who wasnt drafted until the fifth round of his final draft-eligible season, yet has played an important role for the Blackhawks over the past couple seasons. Burke said what stood out in their evaluation was that Shaw was too small, with the problem being that, He doesnt realize hes too small. DEVELOPMENT Miller also asked about player development, and whether teams should send teens back to junior for further development. Im convinced some teams keep kids as a marketing tool, Burke said. I told Sean Monahan he was going back to junior, but he forced us to keep him. Bergevin added, The players make the decision, but the road to Montreal goes through Hamilton. Bergevin comes to this decision with perspective, having played in the NHL as a 19-year-old himself. I played in the NHL at 19, and what happens is that, because you want to stay in the league, you change your game, and maybe not for the best in terms of overall development. Ultimately, both Burke and Bergevin recognized the value of getting contributions from players on entry-level contracts. Burke said, You have to have players on entry level deals, so that you can afford to pay a salary like $9-million to Subban. Burke continued, It costs teams a lot of money to keep an 18-year-old. Based on a study they did when he was in the Leafs front office, they calculated that keeping an 18-year-old would cost $8-10-million more over the course of a players career, due to earlier arbitration and free agency. These are such high-stakes decisions in a multi-million dollar business, it would only make sense to use as much information as possible when making those decisions. QUOTABLE Burke: If you file for arbitration, were going to arbitration. I told Brendan Morrison, You wont like it, but you started this, so you cant complain about getting kicked in the groin. The hardest position to find? Bergevin: Goaltenders. Even if you find one, its so hard evaluating them. I sleep well at night knowing that we have a good one. Public pressure in decision making? Burke: I dont pay attention to anything anyone says in media. If someone in media makes a suggestion and you havent thought of it, then you should resign. Scott Cullen can be reached at Josh Woods Jersey . - Hitting was supposed to be the Pittsburgh Pirates weakness coming into the season yet they lead the major leagues in home runs through the first 16 games of the season. Joel Iyiegbuniwe Jersey . First, the Red Wings scored the tying goal after officials missed the puck hitting the protective netting, then the Kings wound up losing in a shootout. That could affect playoff positioning in the Eastern and Western Conferences, and thats a concern for everyone. http://www.cheapbearsjerseysauthentic.c ... ers-jersey. Vincent Lamar Carter is no longer the lean, athletic dynamo who dazzled Raptors fans with eye-popping dunks that posterized even the leagues best defenders. Kyle Long Jersey . The Redskins announced Monday that the quarterback who led the team to the Super Bowl championship in the 1987 season will serve as a personnel executive. Deon Bush Jersey . Stevenson scored the first three goals of the game in the first period for Regina (35-22-6), which has won eight of its last 10 games. Patrick DAmico added two for the Pats, Braden Christoffer had a single and Morgan Klimchuk chipped in a goal and four assists.Jason Pottinger chose his words carefully, because this was the first time he could speak for himself, on the record. And the Ottawa Redblacks linebacker wanted to be sure his words delivered their full effect. "Its an insult," he said over the phone Wednesday after the CFL Players Association lifted its media ban, giving its members the ability to speak openly about stalling collective bargaining talks. For Pottinger — 30 years old and an eight-year CFL veteran taken by Ottawa in Decembers expansion draft— "It," is an all-composing term, referring to the CFLs reluctance to explore any revenue-sharing model, and the publication of the leagues newest offer Wednesday, which includes a "ratification bonus" ($1,000 for rookies and $3,000 for veterans) if the players agree to the leagues terms by June 2. "Its a slap in the face." "It" ultimately alludes to a negotiation process that has made no progress for months. Like most players, Pottinger has not directly been part of the talks. There is now a week left before the current CBA expires on May 29. Last week the CFLPA began mailing out strike ballots to its members. Pottinger has received his, and he has voted Yes. "Im hopeful," he said. "But the league has to start taking us seriously." For the most part, players have kept quiet over the last few months. The CFL made certain no one representing the league or any team spoke, threatening hefty fines for any league or team official willing to share any thoughts on the negotiations. And then today - after TSN initially reported the leagues latest offer to the players - CFL commissioner Mark Cohon released the offer on the leagues website along with an open letter to players and fans. The leagues offer includes an initial nine per cent increase on the salary cap — from the existing $4.4 million to $4.8 million — in the first year of a new CBA, and a yearly $50,000 increase over the life of a new five-year deal (putting the cap at $5,050,000). The league minimum salary would also be raised from $45,000 to $50,000. And the CFL would maintain a $450,000 annual payment to the CFLPA for "Player marketing and other rights." The proposal also includes larger active rosters, plans for limited amounts of contact practices, and the continuation of player pension, medical, and life insurance benefits. "The CFL offer strikes an appropriate balance of, on the one hand, providing significant compensation increases and health and safety improvements to the Players while, on the other hand, creating an environment in which the League and its teams can continue to build for a strong and stable future," Cohon wrote in his letter to the players. "I was surprised [the league went public]," Pottinger said. "This must have been their plan. We had an understanding that neither side would approach the media for 24 hours. [The players] gave that notice [Tuesday afternoon] and the league broke that understanding. They came in [to the proposed Toronto meeting place Wednesday] handedd their proposal and walked out.dddddddddddd Now is that bargaining?" Four hours later, CFLPA executives held a press conference and released their counterproposal. The crucial component of the players offer is $6.24 million salary cap partly determined by a revenue-sharing model, which would allocate 55 per cent of gross revenue from TV, internet and radio rights, 45 per cent of gross sponsorship revenue, and 40 per cent of gross ticket revenue to the players. "We advised the CFLPA in no uncertain terms that their proposal was not realistic, and would not form the basis for any financial settlement," Cohon said in his letter. "In fact, it would threaten the very existence of the CFL." "The league has only recently been upfront with us about their finances," Pottinger said. "This isnt just about the players now. This is about the players who are coming into the league, and who will come into the league. In five years, I will likely be out of the league. I want players coming to the CFL then to say Thanks for putting up a fight. CFLPA president Scott Flory also issued a letter to CFL fans Wednesday afternoon. "We are in not interested in destroying the game that has given us all so much. We put our bodies, hearts and souls on the line and seek nothing more than to be fairly paid for what we do," Flory wrote. Sources - players both close to the negotiations and outside of the meetings - have told TSN over the past few months that some kind of revenue-sharing scheme must be an integral part of any new CBA. But are the percentages in the CFLPAs recent proposal fixed, immutable numbers? Or a starting point that hasnt yet been properly considered? Pottinger, a businessman himself working toward his Master of Business Administration, paused when considering the questions. The terms "whats fair" and "fair share" were constantly repeated principles when players were advised to say little or nothing. The message wont change now. "In the end - and I know youve heard this enough times already - but we want whats fair," he said. "I want you to write this: Back in 2010 [when the soon-to-be-expired CBA was being negotiated] revenue sharing for the players was around 56 per cent. The league approached us and said they couldnt operate with a revenue sharing model. They told us the league wouldnt be healthy. They told us to be partners. We understood. We thought we were partners." "Now it just feels like take, take, take." Players used social media to air frustration and show their filled-in strike ballots. Ones with NO crossed have yet to be seen. "In writing this letter, we the Executive, are still here where our negotiations were scheduled to be, working towards furthering talks. We need two sides," Flory wrote in his open letter. What is the timetable now? Does Pottinger expect to miss the first week of training camp? The first preseason game? The first week of the regular season? Is he ready to strike? "Im still hopeful for a new deal," Pottinger said. Cheap Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Cheap NBA Jerseys Wholesale NHL Jerseys Wholesale MLB Jerseys Cheap Soccer Jerseys China Wholesale NCAA Jerseys Wholesale Football Jerseys Wholesale Basketball Jerseys Wholesale Baseball Jerseys ' ' '
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