Tore Martin Purdy
Born: December 20, 1985 (Edmonton, Alberta)
Died: April 15, 2014 (Edmonton, Alberta)
Tore Purdy was an Edmonton lawyer whose identity as JLikens, a pioneer in the growing field of hockey analytics, was only revealed a month after his death, at age 28.
Purdy posted expansive, provocative treatises on his blog, Objective NHL. His works are regarded as trailblazing efforts in the small but growing community of dedicated hockey fans who seek to quantify a sport whose speed and brute force seem to defy such analysis.
A typically brilliant posting had a title such as, “Even Strength Outshooting and Team Quality.” It included a chart described as “The relationship between goal ratio and EV tied shot ratio.” For those willing, or even eager, to wade into such dense analysis, the secrets hidden in the sport’s chaotic nature were revealed.
Even those not immersed in the world of “fancystats” could learn a lesson from his analysis: Hang on to the puck. Then, shoot the damned puck.
Purdy was hailed as a genius and pioneer, and his blog postings from 2008-11 will continue to inform debate and analysis for years to come. (All the more remarkable is those postings were written while he attended law school.)
“In that short time, he produced numerous groundbreaking ideas supported by sound logic and solid mathematical analysis coupled with a rare talent for civil discourse,” writes Bruce McCurdy of the Edmonton Journal. “He wrote like a man of science, expressly stating caveats which specifically addressed shortcomings of the method, not just the strengths, while drawing carefully-worded conclusions like ‘One can only speak in terms of probablity and educated guesses’ rather than absolutes.”
Purdy graduated with a law degree from the University of Alberta in 2011. The following year he joined Brownlee LLP, where his father was a partner.
He leaves his parents, two brothers, and two grandparents. A cause of death was not revealed.