If you've been paying attention to news around the league this summer, you'll have noticed a number of teams are creating analytics departments, or adding analytics minds to their already existent stats teams. The Rangers have had some form of internal tracking for quite some time, as you may have heard John Tortorella or Alain Vigneault reference a metric that weights scoring chances for and scoring chances against for individual players.
But that's about all we know when it comes to how the Rangers use advanced statistics, and the role they play in the organization. On Thursday, it came out that the Flyers hired Ian Anderson as their Director of Analytics. And in the midst of the conversation on Twitter, Martin Burns of Blue Seat Blogs came to a similar realization that seems to have flown way under the radar about the Rangers.
Did the Rangers hire an Analytics Director and not tell anyone? Looks like it. pic.twitter.com/MblaG12cnM— Martin Burns (@mburnshockey) August 20, 2014
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The summer of nerds
Some of the best talent from the advanced stats community have landed jobs with NHL teams this summer. After years of proving their worth on blogs and being ridiculed by the mainstream, hockey's "nerds" are finally getting the credit they deserve.
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A deeper look at Sullivan's LinkedIn page reveals he's been with the Rangers since 2009 as the Director of Hockey Technology." That job certainly could have encompassed crunching numbers, as it likely included working with video, and passing along information to the coaching staff.
What's interesting is that, according to Sullivan's profile, his job was updated to Director of Player Development/Analytics and Technology. It's entirely possible his title was just given a facelift, while it's hard not to prod a little given the emphasis on analytics of late. As you can see in Burns' tweet, the Rangers personnel list on the team's website reflects that update, while there was no official team announcement, which makes you wonder if there was a significant change after all.
Per his LinkedIn page, Sullivan graduated from Boston College in 2003 with a BA in economics. No word on whether or not he played a role in recruiting Kevin Hayes.