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Florida Panthers hire Brian Macdonald as Director of Analytics

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A hiring that had gone under the radar until now, Macdonald is running the work that the Panthers now do in analyzing hockey's fancy stats.

Yep.  The Panthers have moved into the money puck era.  Brian Macdonald is really smart.  He was a professor at West Point (still might be) and has numerous research papers out on statistics such as adjusted plus minus and expected goals. He's also done work on trying to quantify playmaking ability.

Owner Vincent Viola clearly likes people with a military background.  The Panthers have done in-game presentations to honor veterans, and they even hired veterans to run their sales departments, etc.  I don't quite know what it means, but it's just a noticeable trend that the club is on.

I hope that the Panthers take into account what Macdonald has to say on things, and haven't just hired him so that he can justify their signings.  This is something I've known for about two weeks, and apparently, according to Paige Lewis, happened a while back.


Macdonald has also done work for Hockey Prospectus, and was a speaker/presenter at a couple of the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conferences.  I'm personally not sold on his work, but I'm not the most knowledgeable and those who are pioneers in this field really like what he is doing.

His Work

Adjusted Plus Minus

Expected Goals

Playmaking Ability