Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/31/14 at 01:11 PM ET
from Matt Larkin of The Hockey News,
The tension is palpable and very much what we’ve come to expect from a rivalry that exploded over blogs and the social media universe in recent seasons.
“It’s kind of like the Hatfield and McCoy feud,” said Globe and Mail hockey columnist David Shoalts. They went on so long, nobody can remember how or why it got started.”
Little did we know the advanced statistics versus old-guard debate, the nerds versus dinosaurs war, would go from hot fad to revolution over the summer.
It was a full-on NHL takeover for the stat heads. (Tyler) Dellow now works for the Oilers. Sunny Mehta, a pro poker player turned Oilers blogger, was named the New Jersey Devils’ director of analytics. Whiz-kid stat guru-turned Ontario League GM Kyle Dubas, 28, is now the assistant GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who also launched an analytics department and poached the minds behind extraskater.com.
The slew of hirings brought validation to the growing community of thinkers who believe possession-driven statistics like Corsi and Fenwick are the best predictors of success in the NHL. And they poured gasoline on the fiery fight emerging between the stat heads and the traditional-thinking journalists.
“They think I’m a moron, to be honest,” (Steve) Simmons said. “Not someone who’s covered the NHL for 34 years, not someone who coached hockey for 25 and is a level 3 instructor, not someone who ran hockey schools. I’m a moron.”
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