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Fancy stats guiding NHL coaching hires

Updated: June 7, 2012, 11:00 AM ET
By Craig Custance

When Calgary Flames GM Jay Feaster narrowed his head coaching candidate list to its finalists, he made a request to Chris Snow.

"Come back to me with whatever information you think is worth reviewing about these candidates," he told Snow.

Snow is Calgary's Director of Video and Statistical Analysis and immediately set out to find statistics that would clearly identify which of the candidates was the best fit for the Flames. More teams, including the Flames, use statistical analysis to help shape player personnel decisions. Snow was now charged with finding the right stats that would project the perfect fit behind the bench.

And the Flames aren't alone in using these methods. The Washington Capitals are searching for a head coach, and GM George McPhee said his hunt goes well beyond typical interviews, but that's as far as he'd go in revealing Washington's process.

"I wouldn't disclose that kind of stuff," he said.

If they're smart, the Edmonton Oilers are doing the same thing.

With his job done now, Snow can disclose his method in providing Feaster with the kind of evidence that makes a front office ultra confident it made the right decision when stepping to the podium to announce a coaching hire.

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