The Edmonton Oilers announced today that they’ve added to their coaching staff promoting Noah Segall to their video coach while Mike Fanelli has been hired as Video & Coaching Analytics Coordinator. The news broke this morning as Segall will replace former video coach Jeremy Coupal who had a mutual split with the team in July. Coupal had become a bit of a cult hero in Edmonton thanks to his many split-second decisions to challenge offside calls on opposing team goals. Thanks to Coupal’s quick work the Oilers were able to wipe many goals against off the board, something they are sure to miss in his absence.
Segall does have previous experience in the video coach role with the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors, a role he held before he joined the Oilers last year and worked under Coupal as Edmonton’s video coordinator. He also worked in college hockey with the University of Vermont, the University of Wisconsin, Canisius College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Segall’s new job, while important, is more of a technical role, while the hiring of Fanelli is an indication that Edmonton is planning to further embrace the fancy stats around the game of hockey. The 28-year-old won a pair of Stanley Cups with the Tampa Bay Lightning after spending four years in the team’s analytics department. He also has USHL coaching experience as he served as an assistant with the Sioux City Musketeers, winning a championship with the team in 2022.
Teams have been embracing the numbers game for quite a while now, but it seems that it has become more prevalent in the last few years. Just last week the Ottawa Senators hired the first full-time analytics person on their staff when they brought Sean Tierney into the organization, signalling that teams realize that there could be an advantage to evaluating the deeper facets of the game that go unnoticed to the naked eye.