After the Florida Panthers recently hired Bob Boughner, he was later asked about analytics. The majority of fans were quite thrilled to hear his opinion.
Over the past couple of days through the recent press conferences, several media outlets asked Bob about his view on analytics. Boughner began to answer the question by saying: “I think analytics are a very useful tool. At the end of the day, and I told Dale this, the most important analytics are the wins and losses, that’s the numbers that count. I have a good gage on if the team’s playing well and if they’re not.”
While his answer to the question was well worded in the first press conference, his answer on 560 WQAM was a bit more “insensitive”, which truly wasn’t a bad thing. It certainly got the support/attention from Cats fans all over. Here is what he said: “I don’t need a chart or a bar graph to [figure out if we’re playing good or bad]. I know when there’s adjustments to be made”
Last season, one of the major trends on Panthers twitter was the dislike of the use for analytics. Many did not like the idea of “bar graphs” being implemented towards making decisions on players. In terms of reading and going through analytics, the one comment Bob made towards that subject was: “I definitely will have a package on my desk every morning, look at certain things that I like and certain things that I don’t and throw the rest in the garbage I guess.”
While most fans may be “jumping for joy” over his view for analytics, don’t forget that he’s not totally opposing the use for it either. In 2015, Ricky Thompson (progressive/stat friendly coach) was hired by Bob Boughner to coach his Windsor Spitfires team. In result, Thompson was later hired by the Chicago Wolves (AHL).
As Boughner mentioned in part of the discussion: “Those old school coaches are sort of phasing out of the game. I talked about some of the analytics. I talked about my philosophies, and then I talked to them about X’s and O’s, things that I would change, things that I would do and how today’s game is going.”
Dale Tallon though, was blown away from Boughner’s presentation/pitch: “He came in prepared with [three] piles. One was analytics, one was structure and the other was philosophy. It was about positional play, structure, attitude, who should play with whom, entry levels, everything. Bob Boughner here impressed us like no one else.”
At the end of the day, analytics are a good measuring tool to use. But It stops there. Despite the fact that I myself am in favor for the use of analytics, I still believe that there needs to be a balance when using it. Overusing analytics to solely make a decision on a player is a huge “no-no”. Expect a partnership to be made where Dale and Bob will find that right balance between the use of advanced statistics.