The NHL season is just a few weeks away, and like coaching staffs and rosters, teams want to have their scouting staff in place soon. Scouts have less to do with the day to day operations of the team, so they’re not as urgently hired. It’s still good to be able to look at players throughout training camp and in the early days of leagues with earlier starts than the NHL. Here are a few notes on teams rounding out their scouting staffs.
- Las Vegas have hired former New Jersey Devils scouting director David Conte. There had been speculation about Conte joining the Maple Leafs last summer, given his close relationship with GM Lou Lamoriello. The Devils won three Stanley Cups with teams largely drafted and developed by themselves during Conte’s run. As the Las Vegas Review-Journal notes, he’s credited in particular with the drafting of goaltender Martin Brodeur. Other players drafted during Conte’s run in New Jersey include stars like Scott Niedermayer, Zach Parise, Patrik Elias, Petr Sykora, Scott Gomez, and Brendan Shanahan. Las Vegas will have the same odds of winning the 2017 draft lottery as the 28th place team this season.
- The Flames have added former Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney as a pro scout. Maloney spent nine years as the GM in Arizona, managing to make the playoffs in three consecutive years from 2010 to 2012. This despite the team’s precarious ownership and financial situations. In 2012, Maloney’s Coyotes reached the Western Conference final, before being eliminated in five games by the eventual champion Los Angeles Kings. Maloney was previously GM of the New York Islanders from 1992 to 1995, and for a decade held various positions with the New York Rangers.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs have added former Spokane Chiefs General Manager Tim Speltz as Director of Western Area Scouting. Speltz has spent the last 26 years as Chiefs GM, making the playoffs 23 times, and winning the Memorial Cup in 1991 and 2008. Speltz refers to it as a “special and bittersweet” day for him, given that he’ll leave a job after 26 years and enormous success. Speltz joins former junior GMs Kyle Dubas (Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds) and Mark Hunter (London Knights) currently with the organization.