Skills coaches the new wave in NHL

Jason Gregor
July 21 2016 01:45PM

MarkFraser

We have watched the goalie position evolve substantially in the past two decades. The change from stand up to butterfly has made them better, but much of their improvement comes from having a goalie coach. Every NHL team has one, many have two, and the goalies are privy to a lot of one-on-one coaching. It has helped goalies immensely, yet NHL teams haven't put the same resources into skill coaches for skaters.

Every team has a skills coach, but the one-on-one teaching is a fraction of what the goalies receive, and I believe the disparity in coaching, combined with the focus on systems over skill, is why the NHL isn't as exciting as it used to be.

The good news, however, is we are finally starting to see more of a focus on skill coaches for skaters.

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NHL and Analytics: Not as clear cut as we think

Jason Gregor
July 19 2016 12:44PM

Math

Is the NHL opposed to analytics?

Not at all, but teams will not quantify their value equally all the time, just like pro and amateur scouts grade out players differently when they watch them.

The simple truth is analytics in hockey are not as clear cut as some want to believe.

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Monday Musings: Chiarelli overhauling Oilers

Jason Gregor
July 18 2016 02:33PM

Chiarelli

Peter Chiarelli was named General Manager and President of Hockey Operations on April 24th, 2015. In just under 15 months on the job he has made significant changes to the roster and coaching staff. He hired Todd McLellan and an entire new staff, and he hasn't been afraid to make trades.

Whether you agree or disagree with the moves he's made, he has been true to his word about how he would re-shape the roster.

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Patience for Puljujarvi

Jason Gregor
July 14 2016 12:47PM

Puljujarvi

The Edmonton Oilers signed Jesse Puljujarvi to a three-year entry level contract yesterday, with a $3.425 million cap hit. His base salary is $925,000. The Oilers happily selected Jesse Puljujarvi with the fourth selection at the NHL draft in June. Many didn’t expect him to be there, but the Columbus Blue Jackets preferred Pierre-Luc Dubois and took him third.

Oilersnation erupted in celebration. Puljujarvi is 6’4” and 208 pounds. He is huge. He can skate and he was the best player at the World Junior Championships. He looks like a great bet to be a solid NHL player, but history suggests it won’t happen right away.

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Pitlick: "I'm Sick of Playing in the American League"

Jason Gregor
July 13 2016 11:15AM

TylerPitlick

Tyler Pitlick debuted in the Oilers organization on October 9th, 2011 in Texas, as a member of the Oklahoma City Barons. He had an assist in his second game, and tallied a goal and an assist the next night. It was a fantastic start, but his next 220 pro games have been filled with anger, frustration and pain.

In five pro seasons Pitlick has played 196 games in the AHL and 27 in the NHL, but he's missed 156 games due to injury. He's missed 61 NHL games and 95 in the AHL.

Injuries have been a major factor in his inability to become a regular NHLer, however, last September during Oilers training camp and preseason Pitlick, in his own words, laid an egg and was sent down.

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