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Quick Hits: The Everyone Knew Edition

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NHL: DEC 31 Winter Classic Alumni Game - Blackhawks at Blues Photo by Jimmy Simmons/Icon Sportwire

In Red Wings Land

Dear Red Wings: Ken Holland strikes, Kucherov calls Larionov, and a quiz

Nikita Kucherov, who missed the entire regular season due to injury, returned in time for the playoffs to score 32 points in 23 games for Tampa. He was Yzerman’s 2nd-round, 58th overall pick in 2011. And get this: He called fellow Russian Igor Larionov after he won, according to Larionov’s son:

“I was at dinner with my dad yesterday and he got a (FaceTime) call from a random number. He picks it up and it’s Nikita Kucherov with the Stanley Cup. Kuch shouts ‘ты мой кумир, спасибо' about 6 times. The translation of that is ‘You’re my idol, thank you.’ Coolest thing witnessed,” Igor Larionov II tweeted.

Definitely a big plus in the “do you like Kucherov” ledger.

Around the NHL

Sopel: Former Blackhawks teammates should be 'telling the truth publicly' about assault allegations - TSN.ca

“I understand that doing the right thing is hard,” said Sopel, who played three seasons with the Blackhawks before he was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers after the Cup championship in 2010.

“A lot of those guys who were on that 2009-10 team are still with the Blackhawks getting paid and they're either still playing, or in broadcasting or coaching, management or scouting or being an ambassador for the team. That’s why they are not saying anything. Guys want to protect their jobs. But they should still be doing the right thing and telling the truth publicly about what happened.”

According to Sopel, every player knew. The details in this article are the clearest I’ve seen yet about who knew and when.

Data May Not Drive Play, But It Should Drive Decisions | Hockey Graphs

These are people who not only have a specialized knowledge in their area of expertise, but who are also comfortable working and communicating with others that might have adjacent or complementary domain expertise. Contrast that with a team of I’s that are subject matter experts in a very narrow field, but that can’t communicate that knowledge to others outside of that field.

The ideal data science team needs not only specialized skills, but also the ability to translate and communicate with decision-makers in the organization. This is especially important when the decision-makers don’t have the same level of expertise when it comes to data management, data analysis, or even basic statistics and probabilities. This is true in the business world, and it is certainly true in the hockey world.

This is a fantastic article. Over the years of writing about hockey, often using statistics, I’ve learned that how you communicate your analysis is even more important than how you do the analysis.

The “Team of Ts” concept is really interesting, and I think it’s a great way to think about how to build a front office.