With the recent hire of Sam Ventura, one of the co-founders of popular stats site War-on-Ice, I reflected on how one year before his hire, War-on-Ice did not, in fact, exist. ExtraSkater was still around. The Los Angeles Kings had just won a Stanley Cup. Fast forward a year and everyone knows about War-on-Ice, Extraskater is gone, Ventura now consults with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Kings missed the playoffs.
A lot can change in a year.
I owe Sam and his War-on-Ice co-founder, Andrew Thomas (who may soon be joining a team himself), a big thanks for graciously allowing me to present at their conference last November. This allowed more exposure to my project and wouldn't have received as much interest and assistance from volunteers had I not attended. Sam and Andrew were both instrumental in assisting with organizing the on-ice data and for being available to answer questions as well.
After attending the DC Conference hosted by Arik Parnass and Robb Tufts, I was able to share our preliminary findings on passing data for hundreds of games. I also received a tremendous amount of support and interest in the work we were doing. It's exciting to see where this project will go.
It's looking like a real possibility we can better last season's total of 500 games. Imagine what we can do with that data? What it tell us? What concepts it might augment? Eliminate? Thinking back to last summer and where we are now, so much can change in a year. My point is, from these conferences, ideas and breakthroughs can be realized. Support for projects can be gained. In the case of the few, like Sam, it could lead to employment within the hockey industry.
Since last year the number of people spending their time focused on hockey analytics has exploded. I wanted to have another conference early in the hockey season to bring out some of these new faces, new ideas, and new websites.
On Saturday, October 10th, in Rochester, NY at the Rochester Institute of Technology, there will be a conference. If you want to attend, simply go to the registration page. Donations will be accepted at the venue.This conference will be focused on new voices, new work, and, most importantly, it will be in Western New York, which we all know is the better part of the Empire State.
If the schedule of speakers is not on the page, it should be updated within the next few days. I'm just waiting to hear back from RIT once it's uploaded to the registration page.