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Wilderness Walk: How Evason embraces analytics

Your daily dose of Wild news, along with other interesting stories from around the NHL.

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Minnesota Wild v Vancouver Canucks Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

Not every team in the NHL is investing in analytics or advanced data or just looking at cool numbers to try and understand what’s going on in the games they are playing beyond them looking at it. And for the Minnesota Wild, their one-man commitment to using that data might appear to be limited or doing the bare minimum, but Mat Sells does a heck of a lot for the team and they love it.

And according to a wonderful article written by The Athletic’s Joe Smith, head coach Dean Evason does especially.

“I think a lot of coaches won’t,” Evason said. “They’ll say, ‘I don’t want f—ing analytics. But why wouldn’t you? It’s amazing the tools we have now. We’d be stupid not to use it.

“They shouldn’t be the end-all. It should be a piece of how we’re coaching and what we do.” — The Athletic

GM Bill Guerin knows that the number doesn’t reflect the effort or acceptance that the Wild have to Sell’s imput either.

“We have one guy who does our analytics,” Guerin said. “But it’s a big department because we highly value what Mat says, what he brings to the table. I don’t care if you have one guy or 12 guys, it’s the relationship of the people. Mat has a great relationship with me, the coaches. He speaks hockey. That’s why I think he’s effective.” — The Athletic

That’s good to hear.

That’s Wild

  • Could not praise the work Joe Smith did on this article enough. Some really cool behind-the-scenes looks at how the Wild accept using advanced numbers and opinion from someone stats-inclined. [The Athletic]
  • Well, it was also a massive day for the Wild yesterday as they signed Matt Boldy to a seven-year contract. [Hockey Wilderness]

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