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NHL teams up with SAP for stats overhaul

The National Hockey League has announced a multi-year North American partnership with SAP, which will result in the German software company revamping its statistical offering for fans.

As the NHL’s official cloud software provider, SAP will help to transform the NHL’s statistics offering on NHL.com/Stats. This will eventually include searchable data from the league’s inaugural 1917-18 season onwards after a four-stage process.

The process is already underway with the addition of advanced statistics to NHL.com that allow fans and the media to analyse team and player numbers via an interactive and personalised interface. Phase two will arrive in time for the 2015 Stanley Cup play-offs series, with NHL.com/Stats offering analysis for every Stanley Cup game and series in history.

Before the start of the 2015-16 season, phase three will incorporate new features that could include new metrics, visualisation, active player comparison tools, player performance prediction tools, NHL pre-season rankings and NHL team power indexes. The final phase, ready ahead of the NHL’s centenary celebrations, will roll out the entire official statistical history of the NHL, including box scores from every game ever played that allow fans to compare players and teams from different eras.

Statistics websites Corsi and Fenwick measure how many shot attempts are taken by individual players and have become popular online destinations for fans. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said these sites will be referenced on the league’s new stats home, but under the new names of SAT (shot attempts) and USAT (unblocked shot attempts).

"They will be referenced on the website," Bettman told the Associated Press news agency. “But we decided to use terms that are more user friendly and more self-explanatory and don't provide a barrier to entry where someone will go 'What's Corsi?'”

He added:  "If you have to boil this down to one word, it's 'more.’ It's more data, more precise and more speed. That's just our way of doing all of this better."