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Gilman: ‘Analytics’ term ‘means everything and it means nothing’

15 DEC 2015: The Vancouver Canucks bench celebrates after Jannik Hansen (36) scored in the 2nd period during the regular season game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by: David Berding/Icon Sportswire)
(David Berding/Icon Sportswire)

Former Canucks assistant general manager Laurence Gilman was on Vancouver’s TSN 1040 on Wednesday morning.

On what day-to-day life has been like for him :

(The first chunk of Gilman’s answer related to having significantly more time with the family…)

“And I watched a lot of hockey as well. It was actually really quite good. I watched from a different lens. Not being affiliated with anyone, it changed the way I looked at the game.”

How so?

“I watch a lot of different things now. I watch the players on the bench more. I watch what happens in the neutral zone a little more, oddly enough. I watch how goaltenders play the puck. I wasn’t committed to the outcome in any way.”

So the subtlety and the nuance…

“Absolutely. And I enjoyed it. A lot. I’ll tell you what – I have appreciation for players that I didn’t appreciate before, particularly guys that play on the bottom end of rosters. Fourth-line centers, and third-pairing defensemen who don’t generate a lot of points, but possess the puck a lot or separate the opposing forward from the puck.

“And I read a great deal, and followed a lot of what is happening in the world of analytics with hockey.”

On if he still believes analytics to be the new frontier:

“I do. I mean, I think it’s a weapon in the quiver, if you will. I don’t think that you run your team solely based on possession metrics or Corsi or Fenwick stats, but I do think that is indicative of how the game is being played…

“The term analytics – it’s like the term dyslexia, I think. It means everything and it means nothing. It is such a broad discipline and there are so many things that you can look at statistically that impact the game; whether it’s possession, whether it’s zone entries and zone exits.       It’s not just how many shots get taken on the ice when a guy is on versus when he’s off.”

Source: TSN 1040/ Transcript: Nichols

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