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Why Alexander Semin is poised for a bounce back this season

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Gregg Forwerck/Getty Images

During the past few years, Meghan Chayka has noticed the gap between the hockey traditionalists and analytics experts going away. Chayka, whose brother John was recently hired as an assistant general manager with the Arizona Coyotes, is co-founder of the analytics firm Stathletes that is currently working with several NHL teams to provide robust data sets on NHL players to their franchises.

“We get the eye test versus math a lot,” Chayka said when we chatted this week. “But it was more of a discussion three to five years ago. Now you look at it from a business perspective. When you buy a stock, would you like more information or less?”

On Wednesday, while talking about one of his players, an NHL head coach casually mentioned pulling up the SAT percentage metric on NHL.com and compared him to other players around the league. That stat, which measures the percentage of shot attempts controlled by a team when a player is on the ice, didn’t even have a name internally at NHL.com at this point last year.