The Seattle expansion franchise had reported interest in both Kelly McCrimmon and Ken Holland, but with both of those options now gone—one promoted in Vegas and the other hired in Edmonton—they have to move on to other candidates. One of those is Columbus Blue Jackets AGM Bill Zito, who according to Jordan Schultz of ESPN is in Seattle interviewing today.
Zito was included in a list of potential options when Craig Custance of The Athletic (subscription required) recently broke down the Seattle situation, and for good reason. He has been part of a successful program in Columbus for the past several years as AGM for the Blue Jackets and GM of the Cleveland Monsters, was GM of Team USA at the 2018 World Championship—which took home the bronze medal—and was previously one of the most successful player agents in the game. Zito founded Acme World Sports in 1995, an agency that still represents NHL players like Tuukka Rask, Teuvo Teravainen and Valtteri Filppula among many others.
That experience negotiating contracts from both sides makes Zito one of the most uniquely qualified people in hockey, and one that should be given the chance to manage a team before long. Whether that fit will be in Seattle is still to be seen, but it’s no surprise that his name has come up in the interview process.