Advanced Stats, hockey’s version of SABR metrics, are coming to Detroit. In an interview with NHL.com, Mike Babcock says it’s time for the Red Wings to hire someone with a statistical background.
“Not only is it a great idea, but if you don’t [start using analytics] you’re going to fall behind,” Babcock told NHL.com. “You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, ‘If you didn’t invent it, you have to be the second or third-best copier, because if you’re fourth or fifth you’ve got no chance.'”
In Babcock’s scenario, the Red Wings will try to be the third best copier after many have credited Advanced Stats as a factor in both the Blackhawks and Kings Stanley Cup runs.
It’s not only the Red Wings who are considering giving statistical analysis more credibility when making hockey decisions. Other NHL teams are starting to incorporate Advanced Stats into the front office, including the team that last eliminated the Wings for the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Babcock wants to use the information provided by advanced stats to help make current decisions as well as learn from the past.
“The best analytic groups are getting the best information, so you have to make sure the stats you’re using are correct,” Babcock said. “When a guy tells you how good this player is stat-wise and you and your general manager don’t agree with him, well, we better go back and assess it. Just because the analytics like the player and we don’t, well, then we don’t. We’ll make the decision. But if you’re wrong, go back and take a look at it so you know why.”