In a head-scratching move, the San Jose Sharks have hired former Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti as a professional scout. Colletti will focus on scouting the AHL and NHL levels, a huge change from his near 40-years of experience in the MLB. Sharks GM Doug Wilson released a statement explaining the hire:
Ned has an extensive background working in professional sports and talent evaluation and he will bring a fresh perspective to our organization’s evaluation process. This was a unique opportunity to add someone of Ned’s experience to our staff.
Colletti does have experience with hockey as a journalist, covering the Philadelphia Flyers before starting his career in baseball. Back in 2013, Los Angeles Kings reporter Jon Rosen interviewed the baseball executive about his history with hockey and friendship with former Kings GM Dean Lombardi. Moving to an entirely new sport after several decades will not be easy, but Wilson and the Sharks will hope his experience running one of the biggest organizations in professional sports will help him acclimate quickly.
In the professional scouting role there isn’t likely a ton of pressure on Colletti, though this does beg the question of where his future lies. Will he transition entirely over to hockey for the rest of his career, or is there a return to baseball on the horizon? The 65-year old was taken out of the GM position with the Dodgers in 2014, but remained on as an advisor and worked in broadcasting.
The team has also added Jon Hull and Tomi Kallio to the scouting department.