The popular hockey advanced statistics site Extraskater.com unexpectedly went down this week, sparking panic from many fancy stat bloggers. The associated Twitter account has also been silent since August 11th.
There has been speculation that the sudden closure of the site could be a result of the NHL's change in their terms of service, which, if enforced, poses a serious threat to the the way these privately-run stat sites gather their data.
The most notable change being as follows:
You may not access or use, or attempt to access or use, the Services to take any action that could harm us or any other person or entity (each a "person"), interfere with the operation of the Services, or use the Services in a manner that violates any laws. For example, you may not:
- Impersonate any person or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your credentials, affiliation with any person, or the origin of any information you provide;
- Engage in unauthorized spidering, scraping, or harvesting of content or information, or use any other unauthorized automated means to compile information;
"Scraping" is a programming term that involves using code to neatly compile a set of data, in this case, the vital data from NHL.com's "Real-Time Scoring Statistics (RTSS)." This method is the backbone of Extra Skater as well as other sites such hockey-reference.com and stats.hockeyanalysis.com.
Some have been quick to point out the possibility of Extra Skater's curator and data compilations being purchased by an NHL team, given the recent hirings of notable #fancystats-men Eric Tulsky and Tyler Dellows by respective franchises.
Whatever the case may be, the popularly dubbed "Summer of Analytics" is going to result in some major changes to the NHL, we're just not sure how yet.