Upon their arrival, Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes said they wanted to set up an advanced statistics department at the Canadiens. They took a first step in that direction today with the hiring of Christopher Boucher as director of the advanced statistics analysis department.
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Boucher, a Quebecer, is the first person to occupy this position in the history of the Habs. The hiring process has unfolded over the past few weeks and several candidates have been interviewed by Gorton and Hughes according to what we have learned.
Coming back to Boucher, he spent the last two seasons as a professional scout for the San Jose Sharks. He built his experience in the field of sports statistics analysis and artificial intelligence at Sportlogiq.
Within this company, he held the role of director, hockey services and analyses.
“Christopher is an expert in advanced statistics and we are happy to add him to our organization”, mentioned the general manager.
Kent Hughes via press release.
“We recognize the importance of advanced statistics in today’s NHL and are confident that he is the right person to lead this new department. »
Boucher will be responsible for supporting management and the coaching staff in evaluating and making strategic decisions. However, he was not available for an interview today.
From Twitter to the NHL
Boucher began sharing his knowledge and analysis of the statistics on Twitter and on the site Eyes on the Prize starting in 2010. At that time, this aspect of hockey was not widely known.
He mainly concentrated on passes in the enclave and on exits from the zone. In 2015, Sportlogiq hired him and his expertise was combined with the company AI.
He stayed on for five years until the Sharks offered him a full-time scouting job. His ability to read advanced statistics had made him a prime candidate.
“What has always stimulated me is the need to know as many things as possible, Boucher has already mentioned in an interview with the site sanjosehockeynow last year. On the competitive side, it’s knowing more than others about the game.”
In this article, we also learn that Boucher began to take an interest in statistics by watching Canadian games. For example, he sometimes calculated Rick Wamsley’s efficiency rate in real time. A statistic that did not exist at the time.
He had the sting. He bought a VCR with his pocket money to follow and analyze the Canada Cup tournament in 1991. During his many hours of listening, he notes all the actions of the players, including battles for loose pucks .
Despite this new passion, he completed his studies at Dawson College and McGill University. While waiting for his progress to be recognized all over the hockey world, he held several odd jobs.
He built a solid following and his credibility skyrocketed. With the Canadian, he will now have the chance to participate in the reconstruction of his childhood team.
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Advanced stats: Hughes and Gorton deliver on their promise
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