How teams can improve in Corsi

The recent success of the Kings and Blackhawks has other teams looking to bolster possession. Bill Smith/NHLI/Getty Images

Hockey analytics pioneer Rob Vollman is ESPN Insider's armchair GM this season, exploring how modern statistics can inform front-office decisions.

The success of teams like the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks, combined with massive regression this season for the Colorado Avalanche, has gradually shifted the debate away from whether puck possession numbers are accurate and important, and toward what can actually be done to improve them.

Developing young players, identifying the right free agents and finding a coach who will both optimize player usage and take advantage of micro-stats to improve neutral-zone play are the strategies currently being used by teams like the Nashville Predators, Minnesota Wild and Pittsburgh Penguins to improve possession.

The success of those changes is evident in the early-season standings, but will one of these teams finally break the near monopoly that two of the league's early adopters of advanced analytics currently have on the Stanley Cup?