The Edmonton Oilers officially announced a handful of changes to their front office on Tuesday. Headlining the announcement was the hiring of Keith Gretzky as Assistant General Manager. Gretzky had previously been a part of the Boston Bruins scouting staff, and most recently held the title of Director of Amateur Scouting. While many have criticized his uneven draft record, he was responsible for several solid picks like David Pastrnak. He will also have Bob Green, the Oilers Director of Player Personnel, to help manage the draft; Green has helped the Oilers with some great picks outside the first round, like Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones, and Ziyat Paigin.
Gretzky replaces Bill Scott as AGM, while Scott moves to the role of Cap Manager. This was part of his previous job description, so he’ll have a smaller role than before.
Former pro scout Duane Sutter was promoted to Vice President of Player Personnel. Sutter was part of the team that advised Chiarelli on additions like Cam Talbot, Patrick Maroon, and Zack Kassian. Kelly Buchberger, the former Oilers captain, assistant coach, and manager of player personnel was also promoted to VP of Player Development.
The team also brought a handful of new scouts on board, including Frank Jay, who worked with Chiarelli in Ottawa and drafted Jason Spezza among other notables; and P.J. Fenton, who is new to the scouting world. The 30-year-old was a 5th round pick of the Sharks in 2005 and played in Europe from 2009-16.
Meanwhile, Scott Howson, the former Senior Vice President of Player Personnel, has “moved on to explore other opportunities”. Howson served as the Oilers AGM from 2001-07 before leaving to manage Columbus. He returned to the organization in 2013 and spent his first two seasons as the Oilers’ Vice President of Hockey Operations; he was shuffled down the hierarchy when Peter Chiarelli was hired after the team won the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery.