The Montreal Canadiens are holding true to their promise of utilizing more analytics to help the organization improve and develop better hockey players with their most recent hire.
Initially reported by Marc-Antoine Godin of The Athletic, the Montreal Canadiens have announced the hiring of Christopher Boucher, Sportlogiq‘s former Director of Hockey Analytics & Services, to be their Director of Hockey Analytics moving forward. Boucher has been an NHL team consultant for over ten years and has been in the hockey analytics domain for over 20 years.
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The Montreal Canadiens did not have much in the form of analytics helping to guide their decisions in the realm of player acquisitions, drafting, on-ice strategy and developmental evaluation over the last ten years under Bergevin. It was one of the first things that Executive Vice President Jeff Gorton identified as needing to be revamped upon arriving in the Canadiens organization.
“Each department is gonna intertwine here, and I don’t think it’s gonna be hard. I really don’t,’ said Hughes during his initial press conference with the Montreal Canadiens. “I think the way hockey is now, everyone has this thirst to get better and move together. We all understand the importance of analytics, we understand the importance of player development; it’s just a matter of building both the right way and bringing it all together.”
When general manager Kent Hughes was brought on board, he doubled down on Gorton’s vision for revamping their developmental and analytical department, referring to them as crucial elements of a successful team.
“It’s information for us, allows us to evaluate the team and other things,” said Hughes during the Montreal Canadiens’ Fan Q&A. “For example, the other day, I told Marty [St-Louis] I thought a player didn’t have a particularly strong game, but Marty told me the information said otherwise. So I returned to the tape and watched it again, to find what I missed and what the information is telling us. This also helps for development.”
The Montreal Canadiens have taken a big step in setting up their organization for success, as Boucher will help uncover information to further optimize the development of Canadiens players at the amateur and pro level. His wealth of knowledge and ability to extract a plethora of information from minimal variables will become very valuable to the Canadiens as they push forward with their roster transformation.