The Sports Daily > The 6th Sens
Tuesday News and Notes: Royce Hired by Sabres, Sens Analytics, Wyoming is a Dump

Just a few short days after the Senators publicised a number of promotions to their scouting staff, the Buffalo Sabres formally announced that two former Senators scouts would be joining their hockey operations staff.

From the press release:

The Buffalo Sabres today announced that Rob Murphy and Greg Royce have been added to the team’s hockey department in the roles of director of scouting and director of amateur scouting, respectively. The team also announced that Mark Jakubowski has been named assistant general manager, serving under club general manager Tim Murray.

Murphy had been employed with the Senators for four years in a pro scout capacity and his departure was made common knowledge back in mid-July.

The loss of Royce however marks the first instance of the Senators losing a scout from their amateur scouting staff this offseason.

Having already lost their ECHL Elmira Jackals affiliate to the Sabres, fans probably should have been guarded against losing personnel since Eugene Melnyk had already cautioned against the loss of them in his end of the season media conference call. He even went so far as to quell any concerns by stating that “we’re in a great spot and if we do make changes at any type of level (in the scouting departments), please keep in mind that that’s not anybody leaving, it’s us making the decision for them to leave.

The Senators can block their employees from making lateral moves to other organizations, but in this instance, both Murphy and Royce received promotions with the Sabres.

Royce had been with the Senators since September 5, 2008. Conveniently, it was the same day that current assistant general manager Pierre Dorion was named as the organization’s chief amateur scout.

Although I have already written at length about how the Senators’ amateur scouts have seemingly had more success more than their professional counterparts, I don’t want to dwell on the fallout of Ottawa’s brain drain or the loss of either man since I (or any other outsider for that matter) cannot even begin to discern how valuable either man was to the Senators’ scouting process and overall success (or lack thereof).

Thanks to the increased interest in the Senators’ finances, there will be some who will question whether the organization has the ability to keep staff like Murphy and Royce in the fold rather than lose them to a division rival. Unfortunately,

I suppose the fact that an astute GM like Tim Murray wanted both men should bother me more than it does, but if the Sabres GM insists on poaching talent from his former employer, maybe it’s time for the Senators to act in their own best interests and ransom Tim’s son (and Senators part-time scout), Justin Murray.

In case you’re wondering how the Senators will fill these vacancies, the organization did promote two of their part-time scouts to full-time amateur positions. I’m assuming that one of those positions was Royce’s and the other being the one vacated by Bob Lowes who was promoted to the Senators’ chief amateur scout position.

To my knowledge, there has not been a hire made to fill the pro scout void left by Rob Murphy, so there should be more Senators news to come on that front somewhere down the road.

Senators Use(d) Analytics in Amateur Scouting?

In a piece for CSNNE, Joe Haggerty talked to former Senators assistant general manager (and current GM of the Boston Bruins) Peter Chiarelli about his organization’s use of analytics and its growth in the sport.

While reaffirming that the Bruins correctly use analytics as just a piece of the puzzle, Chiarelli did drop one particular nugget of information pertaining to his time with the Ottawa Senators.

“We used to do it back in Ottawa — we did it more on the amateur scouting side. You just can’t get caught up in it too much. It’s another piece of info that — it promotes discussion, and through that, you end up back on the talent evaluation. So I think it’s a real instructional piece. We just don’t publicize it. Ryan has been with the organization for quite a while. He’s a point guy on that anyways, so he generates a lot of lists and metrics that we see when we’re making our decisions. I just wanted to give him that promotion, and let him grow the department.”

Knowing Your Enemy: Wyoming

After publishing a series of hate maps for other professional sports leagues, Reddit has tabulated the votes from its users and revealed a ‘Hate Map’ that displays the most hated NHL team for each respective state (h/t to SBNation).

As it turns out, the state of Wyoming’s most detested team is the Ottawa Senators.

Go figure.

The results of Reddit’s polling are likely plagued by small sample sizes or by people falsely identifying themselves as being part of a region – like this Leafs fan who led to the Winnipeg Jets being Africa’s most despised team.

But what do we know about Wyoming?

The only cool thing to come out of Wyoming is that one of its counties bears the same Laramie name as the cigarette company from the Simpsons cartoon.

Apparently it’s a sparsely populated state of approximately 575,000 people. Apparently the state’s largest ethnic group is German (25.9-percent) and Swedes make up a smaller, but still noteworthy percentage (3.5-percent). Maybe there are lots of Christoph Schubert fans out in Wyoming or their Swedish respondents are still bitter with the way that the Senators handled the Daniel Alfredsson contract negotiations.