There’s an interesting story up on Mirtle’s site about Chris Snow, the 24 year old reporter for the Boston Globe who the Minnesota Wild have hired as their Director of Hockey Operations. David Johnson is openly campaigning for a similar job (I wonder if he’d show up for an interview with one of those Golden Palace tattoos?) Gordon Edes curly haired boyfriend has a story up about it that fills in some of the holes. His article is worth reading for the player comments alone: Manny Ramirez is quoted as saying “Who’s Chris?”
The interesting points are as follows: he’s 24, didn’t play hockey at all, and covered the Wild for a season for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
It’s a strange story, for a number of reasons. First of all, look at some of the other people filling positions with the same title and their backgrounds: Kevin Predergast, Bob Murray and Mike Burke are representative of the list: it’s a ton of guys with lengthy experiences in scouting and hockey. Snow, as I pointed out, has a vastly different profile.
It looks to me like Snow is going to be doing something other than what these guys do; flipping through some of the profiles of people with similar titles, you see a lot of guys with job descriptions that involve dealing with scouts and scout type information directly, whereas the description of his position from the Wild’s press release seems to paint him in more of a support role to scouting operations but taking a lead role in terms of statistical stuff:
As Director of Hockey Operations, Snow will be responsible for many of the day-to-day duties of the hockey operations department, including monitoring rosters and salary commitments of other NHL teams, performing player contract and arbitration research and supporting team staff in training camps, team travel and scouting operations. Snow will also assist the club with statistical analysis of hockey at the amateur and professional level and will also work with www.wild.com to provide insight into player personnel and team information.
That makes sense to me. The role he’s in, assuming that he isn’t assessing the scouting stuff, seems to be one that could be filled by any number of bright people, without the lengthy background in hockey. The fact that he’s apparently an excellent writer makes him well suited to providing web content for their site, although we’ll see if he falls prey to writing the same crap that makes most team sites worthless.
I follow baseball closely and baseball teams aren’t known for their cutting edge practices; hockey teams are worse, in my opinion. This is a move that’s really out there-while I’d like to know more about Snow’s background, particularly as it relates to the work involved in preparing for arbitrations and statistical analysis. The Red Sox connection here is interesting-they’re noted as a pretty forward thinking organization and I wonder if he picked up a few things there.
A question for techies: is there some sort of program or way to have information spit out into webpages? I’m looking at the player pages for Baseball Prospectus and Fernando Pisani and I assume that that wasn’t all hand coded. I’ve got a ton of information stored in spreadsheet form that I’d love to spit out into player pages a la BPro as it’s stuff that you can’t readily get anywhere else: player shots broken down into situation along with situational shooting percentages, ES+ ES-, % of goals scored when a player was on the ice for which he earned a point by situation (which is really interesting I think; could be quite useful in figuring out who the real PP generators are) etc. I’m not going to be handcoding this-I have neither the time, nor the interest, but I assume that there’s some technical way. Either drop me a note or leave a message. Thanks for any help.