CORNWALL ONTARIO – Yours truly is not just a pretty face. I’m also the answer to a Habs trivia question. Name the only Habs employee to ever have something they created nominated for an Oscar.
When I left the Habs after Rejean Houle cursed the team by not living up to our agreement after the 95/96 season I headed to Los Angeles to pursue my film career which resulted in my first credit being nominated for an Oscar; Best Feature Doc, Prisoner of Paradise.
We lost to Michael Moore, but it was an experience.
I never really came back to hockey, and frankly I have some real concerns in the direction that Gary Bettman has taken the league. He’s done a great job in achieving his and ownership’s goals. I’m just not sure that his goals are what’s best for true real hard core Canadian traditional hockey fans?
What I did for Montreal was in advance of Hockey Analytics. Being a fan of Bill James I created a set of tools using some of his principles that to this day are still better in many ways than some of the stats being used by these newbie analytics guys. I created a system to track hockey live and quantify a boatload of areas. I also created a system that essentially abstracted one player from any league in the World to the NHL. It was interesting and rewarding work other than Reggie stiffing me during the play offs.
For me I find the trick isn’t simply translating stats after they occur, but to truly understand what it is that makes some players more advantageous than others; especially if coaches and gm’s put them in the right situations because if you do that you can max the value of a player and in the cap age that can be the difference between drinking from Lord Stanley’s Cup and being a bubble team. In other words you can design your team based on a players skills rather than stats or results. There’s a lot more, but I keep all my methodology private as opposed to others that are more open source.
Working for the Habs that one season is something I’ll always be grateful for as I was able to put the work to practical testing and it was amazing. I was very proud that some of my work helped Montreal jump out to a 2 game lead vs a very strong Mark Messier led New York Rangers and could actually see how the Rangers adapted which unfortunately for the Habs good teams do.
This season I’ve started to tinker again, and this is the first Gilcig Rankings of the NHL.
It’s essentially a snapshot of which teams are the most valuable in far as talent, as well as factoring in seasonal improvement, and the future direction it’s heading in. For example it’s been bandied that the Shea Weber trade might only benefit Montreal for a season or two, and that overall Nashville robbed Montreal. Time will tell if that’s the case, but for the purpose of this ranking it does factor in because sometimes as a GM you do have to sell a bit of the future to make a run for it in a given season. There’s nothing wrong with that if you are making that as a conscious choice and risking your job and team future if it’s what you decide to do.
NHL Standings as of December 18, 2016
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Gilcig Rankings for Dec. 18, 2016
San Jose 5
Tampa Bay 5
St. Louis -2
New Jersey -3
Los Angeles -8
Again, the Gilcig rankings are a snapshot of where the team is on the day of the snapshot; it’s improvement from the year before and future prognosis. Montreal for example is only 1 point ahead of where they were last season, have only marginally improved, and have not improved their future prognosis strongly while a team like Columbus has improved in the standings, has improved its roster (not just talent, but also cap load), and is looking good moving forward. The Islanders are a hot mess on all fronts.
The Gilcig rankings essentially are a GM level management report card.
What do you think hockey fans? You can post your comments below.