Do NHL fans deserve to see AHL playing time statistics? – SB Nation

If you’re an NHL fan trying to follow your favorite prospects in the AHL, you’ve probably run into the problem of being unable to find playing time statistics. The reason for that is simple: The AHL doesn’t publicly publish those numbers.

On Tuesday, The Athletic’s Corey Pronman discussed this issue as part of a larger interview with AHL commissioner David Andrews, who said those statistics are kept secret in the interests of the NHL’s general managers.

“The question comes up at our board meetings and within our competition committee, which is made up of NHL GMs and assistant GMs. And right now, they’re not interested in doing that,” Andrews said of publishing playing time numbers.

The NHL publishes time on ice statistics for every player after every game, but Andrews says that’s for “fan interest” that doesn’t exist in the AHL. At that level, the GMs “are very protective of what they’re doing in player development and they may not want 30 other general managers to have a look at how many minutes each player is playing. They want them to earn their money scouting.”

In other words, the GMs want to balance their competitive desires with the need for transparency as an entertainment entity. In this case, they’ve decided fans don’t care enough about AHL playing time numbers to outweigh the competitive downsides to making them public.

But is that the right decision? Do fans really not care about those numbers?

This potentially seems like another example of the hockey world underestimating how deep some fans want to dig. Remember, this is the same NHL that said in 2016 that it doesn’t think fans need to know about contract details in a hard cap league where teams regularly make moves just because of those numbers.

“I don’t think it’s

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