Apr 4, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Edmonton Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins talks with his players during the third period against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Analyze This: Oilers Hire Tyler Dellow

The Oilers have hired a blogger….so there’s still hope for all of us! Truly, though, the Oilers have hired analytics blogger Tyler Dellow. One can only assume he is privately having his OMG! moment, feeling like Jonah Hill in Moneyball. So, what gives with a hire like this? Does it show desperation or is it a savvy, innovative move??

Clearly, Dellow is viewed by the Oilers as an expert in analytics. I for one, have a lot of learning to do to fully understand the hockey numbers game, although I’m hungry to fully grasp it. To me, there’s more to hockey than stats and analysis, there’s the human side; how are they motivated, what is their history, what intangibles do they bring? Do they have heart and soul?

These are things that Tyler Dellow can’t use numbers to determine. But, using Corsi, Vollman’s Sledgehammer, etc, can help one project a player and his ability based on available data. If anything, it should help the team secure players under the radar, something they’ve been very poor at.

Of course, the Oilers aren’t alone. Brendan Shanahan just hired young Kyle Dubas in Toronto, another guy barely out of his parents basement, now the assistant GM of the centre of the universe. But, he wasn’t just a blogger. Dellow is well known and he was revered or reviled by media types. The Oilers have now forced Canadian media to do their own digging!

Obviously, Dellow won’t be permitted to publicly share his analytical findings any longer. His site, mc79.com, was oft quoted—even I have used it—but it is now offline. I’m sure his work has been archived, and one day will see light again. For now, his skills are all for the Oilers.

Good hire? Sure. He was one of the most respected minds on the field, and having that on board ought to have a positive impact on the scouting and signing of future players, and during games, too. Expect to see him near a video monitor, that Dellow Fellow, sometime soon.

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