Player Performance Before, Under and After Wilson


Brian Burke’s endorsement of Ron Wilson’s work behind the bench this season and his confirmation of Wilson’s return next season sparked some debate in the most recent comments sections. While the “talent vs. coaching” special teams debate is really tough to come to any conclusions on, below MLHS’ Cameron ran some numbers on player performance before, after and under Wilson:

The thing that drives me nuts about Wilson bashers is that they’ve long expected him to spin straw into gold, and when he produces silver, they are still outraged. Take a look at the key players Wilson has had under his command during the first two years of his duty here, and how their production changed (sometimes dramatically), under him versus other coaches. This only takes into account the timeframe after the lockout in the case of players like Antropov, Blake, and so forth:

Key: BW (Before Wilson), UW (Under Wilson), AW (After Wilson):

BW: 183GP, 56G, 64A, 120P, +31 (0.65PPG)
UW: 63GP, 21G, 25A, 46P, -13 (0.73PPG)
AW: 164GP, 45G, 71A, 116P, -3 (0.71PPG)

BW: 218GP, 60G. 58A, 118P, +26 (0.54PPG)
UW: 143GP, 42G, 60A, 102P, +11 (0.71PPG)
AW: 71GP, 7G, 17A, 24P, -4 (0.33PPG)

BW: 240GP, 83G, 95A, 178P, -3 (0.74PPG)
UW: 134GP, 35G, 54A, 89P, -6 (0.66PPG)
AW: 97GP, 21G, 23A, 44P, -13 (0.45PPG)

BW: 244GP, 41G, 58A. 99P, -3 (0.41PPG)
UW: 131GP, 31G, 65A, 96P, -7 (0.73PPG)
AW: 99GP, 9G, 38A, 47P, -1 (0.47PPG)

BW: 248GP, 52G, 39A, 91, -3 (0.37PPG)
UW: 120GP, 42G, 33A, 75P, -8 (0.63PPG)
AW: 98GP, 16G, 22A, 38P, -3 (0.39PPG)

BW: 169GP, 9G, 44A, 53P, +1 (0.31PPG)
UW: 127GP, 19G, 33A, 52P, +7 (0.41PPG)
AW: 100GP, 6G, 29A, 35P, +6 (0.35PPG)

BW: 209GP, 23G, 76A, 99P, 0 (0.47PPG)
UW: 82GP, 14G, 26A, 40P, -15 (0.49PPG)
AW: 149GP, 9G, 51A, 60P, +2 (0.40PPG)

BW: 233GP, 57G, 73A, 130P, -15 (0.56PPG)
UW: 123GP, 25G, 36A. 61P, -19 (0.50PPG)
AW: 96GP, 31G, 22A, 53P, +15 (0.55PPG)

There is no doubt that Wilson gets the most out of his players. The only guy who has been better outside Wilson’s tutelage is Stempniak. Wilson loved Stempniak though, and I believe it was a sore spot for him that he couldn’t do more with him. Blake also slipped slightly, but that has more to do with age catching up to him than anything Wilson did. In most cases, these players went to better teams, and saw upgrades in their linemates After Wilson. It really puts into perspective what he’s done.