Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Tom Renney and Jim Hornell, chairman of the board, pose with jerseys

Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

Hockey Canada doesn't want to fall behind the rest of the sport in the analytics department.

That much was clear with Wednesday's hiring of Misha Donskov as manager of hockey operations, analytics and video. Donskov will be primarily tasked with video responsibilities, but Hockey Canada president and CEO Tom Renney believes the former Ottawa 67's associate coach has more to offer.

"I think there's an opportunity to tap into his knowledge with respect to analytics and what might (be) best to measure, whether it's on-ice performance, whether it's how we put our camps together, whether it's the numbers of people we put in our camps," Renney said in a phone interview Thursday. "He has an analytical mind, and having said that he certainly pays attention to the analytics of the game. I think there's lots of ways and means with which to incorporate his skill to that end."

Story continues below advertisement

Analytics go beyond traditional statistics such as goals, assists and plus/minus to measure things like puck possession, quality of competition and where players are on the ice.

Donskov replaces Andrew Brewer, who left his job as Hockey Canada's video coach to join Mike Babcock's staff with the Detroit Red Wings. Babcock heaped tons of credit on Brewer during the Olympic gold-medal run in Sochi for ensuring Team Canada was well-prepared along the way.

Brewer got some analytics started before he left, and that's where Donskov picks up.

Renney, who worked as an assistant under Babcock last season and was head coach of the Vancouver Canucks, New York Rangers and Edmonton Oilers before that, said he has an appreciation for analytics from those jobs. In replacing Bob Nicholson in July, the 59-year-old didn't see analytics as a weak point for Hockey Canada but considers the hiring of Donskov a way to strengthen it.

"We knew that because of the skills that he brought to the table that that was an avenue we could even explore that much deeper," Renney said. "I don't know that analytics is always solution-based, but it certainly has a great deal of information to it and really in-depth information. I think with that in mind I wanted to make sure that we could at least pursue that to a point with the skill that was required. Misha delivers on that, we think."

Donskov had recently been promoted to assistant GM of the Ontario Hockey League's 67's after spending two seasons as an associate coach. Before that he was an assistant coach/assistant GM with the London Knights.

"The more diversified you are, the more valuable you are in a number of different ways," said Renney, who cited conversations with 67's owner Jeff Hunt and OHL commissioner David Branch as reasons he chose Donskov.

Story continues below advertisement

"Certainly he has a job description and it would suggest video, but it does go beyond that. I think we're going to see his skills over time — not unlike myself, I hope — where we're able to apply ourselves in those other areas."

Even though Donskov has hockey operations in his job title, he won't have to help replace Brad Pascall, who left to be an assistant GM under Brad Treliving with the Calgary Flames. Instead, those duties belong to vice-president of hockey operations and national teams Scott Salmond.

After a career of coaching in the NHL, being the president and CEO of Hockey Canada and piecing these things together is another challenge for Renney, who said he was enjoying the learning portion of his new job.

Renney and his lieutenants don't have any time to waste with the world junior championship in Montreal and Toronto fast approaching. Canada hasn't won a medal since 2012 and hasn't won gold since 2009.

In preparation for the tournament, Renney is involved behind the scenes but understands the expectations that will follow.

"At the end of the day, win and it's everybody else's program, lose and it's mine," he said.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies