Toronto Maple Leafs: GM Dave Nonis talks advanced stats

Leaf Nation Twitter feeds exploded this afternoon while media covered a press conference with Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis. The mastermind behind the team’s on-ice product (with help from his mentor Brian Burke) was public about his lack of trust in recognized advanced stats methods.

Nonis told media his team’s Corsi “sucks” but it hasn’t prevented them from winning hockey games.

Nonis’s assessment is accurate. The Leafs have managed to mystify Corsi enthusiasts through all of last season and six weeks into the 2013-14 campaign. They are scoring poorly in terms of Corsi but keep earning positive results in the ‘win’ column. The Leafs 11-6-0 record sits them comfortably in the Stanley Cup playoff picture.

Nonis was clear about his belief in the usefulness of advanced stats:

As for the validity of advanced stats, Nonis claims the figures are polluted because of differences in NHL arenas:

The Leafs current lack of faith in advanced stats has nothing to do with budgetary reasons. Nonis told reporters:

“Last six, seven years, we’ve had significant dollar amount, budget, for analytics, but we didn’t use it.”

Quote courtesy of Globe & Mail journalist, James Mirtle’s Twitter feed. Follow @mirtle.

Nonis doesn’t rule out all options; he simply feels the advanced stats community hasn’t nailed it down yet:

Here is what supporters of advanced statistical methods in hockey had to tweet about Nonis’ comments:

In the end, Nonis seems to believe that advanced stats fail to factor in too many important elements that contribute to the quality of a hockey player, thus, they lack credibility, or an ability to tell the entire story:

Here is what former Leaf Darcy Tucker had to say about it: