While the old boys network of the National Hockey League continues to recycle the same old coaches, with a few exceptions this year, Vancouver’s hiring of Willie Desjardins among them, the most interesting hire this season has been in Toronto, and if you haven’t heard of Kyle Dubas, you soon will.
Dubas is a 28 year old career hockey man…I say that tongue in cheek of course because Dubas is still under thirty and now has been able to rent a car legally for just the past three years.
Dubas is the new Assistant General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, an announcement that was made this past week.
But Dubas was brought into Toronto as the new Assistant to Dave Nonis and right hand man to President Brendan Shanahan because of his expertise with statistical analysis. Being brought into the NHL as an executive at 28 is one thing; being dropped into the Centre of the Universe is another.
Every move that the Leafs make that hasn’t being scrutinized a 1000 times over will now get looked at double that because the Leafs are gambling that Dubas can help the team provide answers to win that are on a spreadsheet, not the ice.
Dubas himself admits that Corsi Stats or any kind of situational stat-alytic type of analysis isn’t perfect, but if it can give the Leafs the edge, he will be there to provide that data.
It’s not just the Leafs and their rabid fans that are watching either. There are 29 other teams in the league that will see if Dubas’ deductions are worth implementing on their team.
The Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t the first to bring in a stat geek, just the highest profile team…and the ghost of Harold Ballard must be losing his mind to see a 28 year old with the car keys of Canada’s Team.