You never played the game

Ryan Hobart
July 15 2016 07:00AM

The last few years have seen NHL teams make many analytics hires. Tyler Dellow, Eric Tulsky, and Darryl Metcalf to name a few. A couple days ago, the Montreal Canadiens went backwards and made an analytics firing, letting go of their recently hired analyst Matt Pfeffer

Pfeffer released a statement regarding what happened, so I won't make any speculation further than that.

Regarding the incident, NHL television analyst and former professional goaltender Corey Hirsch had this to say:

Here we get to see a sharp distinction between the thought process of players-turned-analysts and analysts who were more... organically grown. In the latter, I'm referring to those who are more statistics-inspired hockey people. Surely, you've heard the argument "you've never played the game, you don't know what you're talking about" or something of the like. Maybe you've even made that argument. Well, Matt Pfeffer never played the game, and yet the Canadiens, at one time, believed he did know what he was talking about.

Nevertheless, I want to point out that Hirsch clearly has a different point of view than the analytical people would. I'm not here to make fun of him for that, or call him ignorant. I think what he's saying makes sense.

It's wrong, but it makes sense.

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Vesey looking to explore free agency options

Ryan Hobart
July 02 2016 12:25PM

This afternoon, Boston Globe reporter Kevin Paul Dupont gave us a quote to update us on what Jimmy Vesey is thinking lately:

It seems that Vesey is all over the place this summer. Having first committed to leaving Nashville, then seemingly committed to joining Boston, and then being traded to Buffalo, many are uncertain as to where he'll land.

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Leafs talking price with Russell, along with competition

Ryan Hobart
July 01 2016 12:42PM

Nick Kypreos has a feeling that the Leafs are in a bidding war regarding Kris Russell:

Fighting with the Canadiens and Canucks, considering their track records lately, seems like a bad idea. Russell had a less than stellar outing with the Dallas Stars for their playoff run, and doesn't really seem like a play the Leafs should be chasing.

Kypreos (despite his issues as an analyst) is a legitimate insider sometimes, so while I'm taking this with grains of salt, I'm confident this conversation is happening.

However, it was updated shortly after that the Canucks are out, from Russell's agent through a news site: 

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Why things didn't go as planned for Stuart Percy

Ryan Hobart
June 29 2016 09:00AM

Photo Credit: Christian Bonin/

The deadline for pending restricted free agents (RFAs) was Monday, June 27th at 5 p.m. The clock moved its hands past the 5 and still, Percy had received no qualifying offer (QO) to return to the Maple Leafs. It must have stung for the former first-round pick of the Leafs, to be indirectly told that he could serve no purpose to the organization he grew up a fan of any longer. 

Brendan Shanahan and company made the decision to issue a QO to Percy, which would have allowed them to retain his RFA rights. This means that come July 1st, Percy will become an unrestricted free agent (UFA), free to sign with any team he chooses. 

How did a 23-year-old player who was once a future top four defenseman drop so far in the depth chart that the Leafs chose to not give him a QO?

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#AfterAuston: Under-the-radar prospects from Europe worth looking at

Ryan Hobart
June 18 2016 10:48AM

One of the toughest areas for fans to be informed in coming into the drafts is the late round picks. There's so much less hype, and so much less coverage, that it becomes hard to tell who you want your team to be looking at. Even tougher still is to be informed about those coming from European leagues, as those teams get even less hype and coverage.

Leading up to the 2016 NHL draft, I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at some players who are likely to get drafted in the later rounds out of Europe, to give you an idea of who you might want the Leafs to target.

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