With Todd Richards being let go after a disastrous 0-7 start by the Blue Jackets, and Bruce Boudreau on the hot seat (heck, he might be out of a job by the time I finish writing this), coaching is once again in the spotlight. After Richards was fired, I went on a mini rant about how I believe having a good GM is more important than having a good coach, and while I still believe this is true, I wouldn’t be a data person unless I tried to prove it.
This project has many parts to it. The first, which I’ll be doing here, is just looking at the breakdown of Scoring Chances For% compared to Coaches and GMs in the early days of their tenure, i.e. right after being hired. Scoring Chances, to simplify things, are basically “more dangerous shots” (click here for a more rigorous definition).
To start, I needed data. I pulled all 30 teams from 2006/07 to 2015/16, and coded each season by what kind of organizational changes happened within. This gave me 331 data points, as there were often midseason coaching or GM hirings to account for.
The states broke down like this:
1) No Change – 64%
2) Hired a new Coach – 21.5%
3) Hired a new GM – 7.3%
4) Hired a new Coach & new GM – 7.3%
In looking at the data, some patterns quickly emerged. The first two years of tenure in either role were where the most change, for better or worse, happened.
Because I had so much data in the No Change category, I wanted to see if there was any sort of trend year over year for the control group.