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Sunny Mehta hired by Devils as Director of Analytics


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#1 Triumph

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 01:52 PM

Unconfirmed as yet - a former co-author with him posted this on Twitter - but it seems they've filled the position.  

 

Here's his Wikipedia:  http://en.wikipedia....iki/Sunny_Mehta - he grew up a Devils fan.  Big news, this guy definitely gets the numbers, and has written solid stat articles in the past.


Edited by Triumph, 13 August 2014 - 12:31 AM.

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#2 DH26

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 01:53 PM

Unconfirmed as yet - a former co-author with him posted this on Twitter - but it seems they've filled the position.  

 

Here's his Wikipedia:  http://en.wikipedia....iki/Sunny_Mehta - he grew up a Devils fan.  Big news, this guy definitely gets the numbers, and has written solid stat articles in the past.

 

He should fit in with the party poker sponsors too :P but awesome they're staying up on these things is basically confirmed now


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#3 devilsrule33

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 02:01 PM

Sunny Mehta files his his reports and we watch it go...

 

-Through a Crazy maze of twisted tubes

-By a guy eating donuts
-Through Lou's' office while he and Conte take tea
-By a misplaced drum of toxic waste labeled "Danger"
-Bounces into the river
-Becomes part of the beaver dam


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#4 Triumph

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 02:04 PM

Sunny Mehta files his his reports and we watch it go...

 

-Through a Crazy maze of twisted tubes

-By a guy eating donuts
-Through Lou's' office while he and Conte take tea
-By a misplaced drum of toxic waste labeled "Danger"
-Bounces into the river
-Becomes part of the beaver dam

 

I can assure you this isn't the case.


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#5 thefiestygoat

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 02:14 PM

Hopefully Lou and DeBoer utilize the information he is able to provide. Part of me thinks the new owners pushed for an analytics guy more than Lou.

 

You can find some articles by him on this blog from awhile ago.


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#6 StormJosh

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 02:19 PM

Unconfirmed as yet - a former co-author with him posted this on Twitter - but it seems they've filled the position.  

 

Here's his Wikipedia:  http://en.wikipedia....iki/Sunny_Mehta - he grew up a Devils fan.  Big news, this guy definitely gets the numbers, and has written solid stat articles in the past.

Should have hired you....


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#7 William D'Aquila

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 02:20 PM

Unconfirmed as yet - a former co-author with him posted this on Twitter - but it seems they've filled the position.  

 

Here's his Wikipedia:  http://en.wikipedia....iki/Sunny_Mehta - he grew up a Devils fan.  Big news, this guy definitely gets the numbers, and has written solid stat articles in the past.

 

I would have hired someone with a stats background, but whatever. 

 

Masters in music, what?


Edited by William D'Aquila, 12 June 2014 - 02:21 PM.

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#8 Devils731

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 02:22 PM

http://www.sunnymehta.com/bio/

Sunny subsequently spent seven years as a professional poker player, and wrote two bestselling poker books. More recently he turned his attention to equity options trading, Bayesian statistics, and quantitative analysis of sports markets.
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#9 Triumph

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 02:28 PM

Should have hired you....

 

If I had to pick a Devils fan who I know for a fact that he understands this stuff better than me, there's only one guy I know of, and it'd be him.  I can interpret numbers, he can generate stuff and interpret it.  I didn't realize he was still interested in these sorts of things, as he disappeared from the blogosphere a long time ago - figured he went into finance.


Edited by Triumph, 12 June 2014 - 02:28 PM.

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#10 Devils731

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 02:29 PM

http://vhockey.blogs...-skill.html?m=1

Article on shot blocking that is still up.
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#11 thefiestygoat

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 02:31 PM

Here's an interesting post he had where he tracked shot attempts in Devils games to compare them against the official scorers. As expected, huge difference between him and the Devils official scorer. Bet he won't be using the official scorer at The Rock for his data lol.


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#12 Daniel

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 02:38 PM

Hopefully Lou and DeBoer utilize the information he is able to provide. Part of me thinks the new owners pushed for an analytics guy more than Lou.

You can find some articles by him on this blog from awhile ago.


A while back I mentioned an espn insider article on the Devils hiring an analytics person. I believe Lombardi said it was the biggest misconception about Lou that he's some old school fuddy duddy, and the only thing that shocked him was that it took so long for Lou to bring an analytics person on board. I am almost positive as well that it was a basic look at analytics that caused him to make the Schneider trade, and probably why the Devils are so disciplined in drafting who they feel is the best player available.

Lou was also a math teacher, so I assume he'll understand the concepts.

Otherwise, I wouldn't expect any miracles, certainly not in the short term. The best advice Lou could get from an analytics standpoint, and that which he has control over, would be to unload Salvador, and perhaps Volchenkov, or at least based on what I've read. Those two, love'em or hate'em are not going to make that much of a difference in the short term whether they're here or not, other than perhaps freeing up cap space to land someone like Stastny, but we have no idea whether that's even possible even if Lou badly wants it.


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#13 Triumph

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 02:47 PM

A while back I mentioned an espn insider article on the Devils hiring an analytics person. I believe Lombardi said it was the biggest misconception about Lou that he's some old school fuddy duddy, and the only thing that shocked him was that it took so long for Lou to bring an analytics person on board. I am almost positive as well that it was a basic look at analytics that caused him to make the Schneider trade, and probably why the Devils are so disciplined in drafting who they feel is the best player available.

Lou was also a math teacher, so I assume he'll understand the concepts.

Otherwise, I wouldn't expect any miracles, certainly not in the short term. The best advice Lou could get from an analytics standpoint, and that which he has control over, would be to unload Salvador, and perhaps Volchenkov, or at least based on what I've read. Those two, love'em or hate'em are not going to make that much of a difference in the short term whether they're here or not, other than perhaps freeing up cap space to land someone like Stastny, but we have no idea whether that's even possible even if Lou badly wants it.


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Being a math teacher could be the greatest impediment to understanding the basis behind stats analysis in hockey (and indeed, any sports).  This is a great old post by Vic Ferrari about how math can easily lead a person astray:  http://vhockey.blogs...mans-think.html - the math behind hockey analytics, at least as they exist in the form promulgated on the Internet, are based on math that an intelligent fifth-grader can understand.  It's a question of understanding randomness, and that's not something that most people understand, or try to - indeed, the goal of GMs is to attempt to stamp out randomness.


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#14 msweet

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 03:05 PM

Being a math teacher could be the greatest impediment to understanding the basis behind stats analysis in hockey (and indeed, any sports).  This is a great old post by Vic Ferrari about how math can easily lead a person astray:  http://vhockey.blogs...mans-think.html - the math behind hockey analytics, at least as they exist in the form promulgated on the Internet, are based on math that an intelligent fifth-grader can understand.  It's a question of understanding randomness, and that's not something that most people understand, or try to - indeed, the goal of GMs is to attempt to stamp out randomness.

 

I have a graduate degree in theoretical mathematics but I almost never let the statistics override the intangibles. You have seen me argue against your emperical arguments numerous times. Serious mathematicians see "numbers' as having and essence or a feeling behind them. Intuition plays a huge roll in mathematical analysis as well as competent and predictive hockey analysis.

 

So I disagree with your statement, "Being a math teacher could be the greatest impediment to understanding the basis behind stats analysis in hockey (and indeed, any sports). "


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#15 '7'

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 03:18 PM

I wonder if being a Devils fan is detrimental to the work he's about to do. He's going to come into it with certain biases towards players. It's different when your hobby/passion becomes your career (and Lou your boss) 


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#16 Daniel

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 03:25 PM

I wonder if being a Devils fan is detrimental to the work he's about to do. He's going to come into it with certain biases towards players. It's different when your hobby/passion becomes your career (and Lou your boss)


I mean, most of the fan favorites, so to speak, are gone, and the ones that are here, like Elias, are still good. Basically, there's virtually no chance that any sentimental attachments to certain players might cloud his advice, even if he's inclined towards sentimentality. I mean, is there anyone who will go through all sorts of logical hoops to try and convince themselves that Salvador is a viable option for the team? You do that for players like Marty.


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#17 Colin226

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 03:29 PM

I wonder if being a Devils fan is detrimental to the work he's about to do. He's going to come into it with certain biases towards players. It's different when your hobby/passion becomes your career (and Lou your boss) 

 

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#18 Triumph

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 05:19 PM

I have a graduate degree in theoretical mathematics but I almost never let the statistics override the intangibles. You have seen me argue against your emperical arguments numerous times. Serious mathematicians see "numbers' as having and essence or a feeling behind them. Intuition plays a huge roll in mathematical analysis as well as competent and predictive hockey analysis.

 

So I disagree with your statement, "Being a math teacher could be the greatest impediment to understanding the basis behind stats analysis in hockey (and indeed, any sports). "

 

The idea behind intangibles is that they're not able to be properly quantified.  That said, most math does not involve chance elements at all and a lot of people who enjoy math enjoy the rigorous certainty of it, which is the exact opposite of what's offered by analysis of hockey by quantitative methods - it's inelegant, seemingly random, and doesn't offer that much information.  But it still beats analysis of intangibles.


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#19 MadDog2020

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 05:57 PM

Vishal Hussain ‏@vishal_hussain

Sunny Mehta, fired before being hired because he blabbed. Doesn't know the Devils way of doing stuff.

Edited by MadDog2020, 12 June 2014 - 05:58 PM.

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#20 Triumph

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 05:59 PM

Vishal Hussain ‏@vishal_hussain

Sunny Mehta, fired before being hired because he blabbed. Doesn't know the Devils way of doing stuff.

 

Yeah, not sure I'm buying this, this guy is the same guy spreading all the Sekac rumors.  I don't really understand what he's after, but either way there'd be a very deep irony to him having this news correct.  I wouldn't be surprised if Lou never confirms who was hired for this.


Edited by Triumph, 12 June 2014 - 06:01 PM.

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