Pierre Dorion Speaks: Draft, Free Agents and Analytics

Senators general manager Pierre Dorion spent 15 minutes talking to the media today on the upcoming NHL Draft in Buffalo, the team's handful of free agents and the organization's take on analytics.

You can find Pierre Dorion's full media availability here.

On discussions with other teams:

"Myself, being a new general manager, I've been fielding a lot of calls. Guys have been introducing themselves, but at the same time I've found compared from previous years there's been lots of activity and talk. In previous years talking to Bryan (Murray) and he's said 'well, I didn't talk to many GM's over the course of this week.' But over the course of the last week I'd say I touched base with at least 25 guys."

On moving up in the draft:

"There's always a possibility of moving up. Realistically at this point in time, every scout, every chief scout, every director of player personnel is telling their GM to pick whatever it is in the top 10 that's so valuable. It's maybe one of the upsides of missing the playoffs, you get to pick real early in the draft. If I was a gambling man, which I'm not, I'd say we're probably going to be picking 12th."

On picking 12th:

"I'm really excited about 12th. There's probably 15-18 guys that I like in the first round, like, really like. I know at 12 we're going to get a quality player whether it's a top 4 defenseman, a top 6 (forward); someone that might have a chance to play next year, but realistically might not play next year, but within a few years will play and contribute."

On the quality of the first round:

"I think it's a great first round. I've been scouting for over 20 years and this is definitely one of the real good first rounds. I think there's a drop in the draft somewhere in the second round, but the depth of the first round is almost outstanding."

On contract talks with the team's free agents:

"Hoffman: cone of silence. Ceci: we're going to meet in the next few weeks, maybe today if you follow me somewhere. Brian Morris is getting mad now. Wiercioch: we're still looking at our options and what we're going to do. Chiasson: we're still looking at our options."

On the forward and defense group:

"Definitely feel comfortable with our top six forwards. We were ninth in scoring last year. We feel that there are 9 guys that can score 20 goals. If we're looking for anything it would be to improve our depth on defense. Though I'm really encouraged by Chris Wideman with the way he played at the World Championship. If we're looking for a forward it would be a role type of player that could move up and down our lineup. I really feel comfortable with our forwards. I think when everyone's healthy we have a lot of guys that can score a lot of goals."

On Clarke MacArthur's health:

"Clarke is a hundred percent. I mentioned this last year, but if we were in a playoff race, Clarke would've played at the end of last year. We just felt 'why take a chance.' Have him be a hundred percent, which he was at the end of last year, he was cleared. He'll play for us next year and I have a lot of faith in Clarke MacArthur being a key player on our team."

On Patrick Wiercioch's future with the team:

"There is an appetite, but we have to think about that it's $2.7 (million) to qualify him. Is he worth that money? Is he better off going somewhere else? We've talked with the agent, talked if there's other situations we can explore and that's what we're going to do through the next few weeks."

On Wiercioch's exit meeting:

"Brutally honest."

On the how much the team will be using analytics going forward:

"To me, I think analytics are something that you have to use. They're tools. At the end of the day, I come from a scouting background so I think eyes of scouts, analysis from the coaches are very important. But I think the way the game has gone you have to use hockey analytics to help you understand things. Doesn't always give you answers, but I think you have to look at it as a tool that you have to use so you don't lose ground to the other teams."

On how the analytics department will work:

"New assistant coach Rob Cookson is going to be in charge of it. Then he's going to ask Tim (Pattyson) for information and we're going to ask Tim for information. They're just setting a certain kind of database and parameters for us to use. There's a lot of hockey analytics. Some are useless and I think some are useful. It's us using the ones that are useful to our advantage."

How do you like the Senators seemingly new approach to analytics?

Not enough. Need more belief in analytics to stay relevant in this league.122
It's just the right balance between stats and scouts.239
Too much. Analytics shouldn't be used that often anyways.16

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