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Volume 26 No. 135
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Francis Expected To Place Emphasis On Analytics With Seattle NHL Team

The expansion Seattle NHL franchise hired Ron Francis as its GM recently, and "all eyes are now on" what he will "do analytics-wise" ahead of the team's '21 launch, according to Geoff Baker of the SEATTLE TIMES. NHL Seattle President & CEO Tod Leiweke said that work with analytics "was a major reason" for hiring Francis, calling him "a visionary." The team "already had analytics specialist Alexandra Mandrycky as a director of hockey administration, but Francis has said he’ll work with her 'as we build that department out.'" Francis' analytics staff with the Hurricanes from '14-18 was "initially limited" to VP/Hockey Management & Strategy Eric Tulsky. But Seattle’s team "will need at least two such staffers and likely more as the NHL this coming season provides teams with reams of additional game data courtesy of player- and puck-tracking technology." There has been "speculation Francis will hire Tulsky away from the Hurricanes." That would place Tulsky in a "senior role" in Seattle, as he is "one of only two NHL team vice presidents in an analytics position." Hockey website CapFriendly.com co-Founder Dominik Zrim said that one NHL assistant GM "told him to expect 'an arms race' for analytics staffers" ahead of next season (SEATTLE TIMES, 8/7).