A few days ago, we covered how the St. Louis Blues were expected to hire former New York Rangers director of pro scouting director Kevin Maxwell to an at-the-time undisclosed role. The move is now official, and Maxwell’s responsibilities have been made clear. Per a team announcement, Maxwell has been named general manager of the Blues’ AHL affiliate, the Springfield Thunderbirds. The team has also announced that as part of Maxwell’s responsibilities, he will serve as a pro scout as well.
As previously mentioned, Maxwell had served as the Rangers’ director of professional scouting, operating in that role from 2011-12 to 2020-21. Maxwell has been a director of pro scouting for two other organizations as well, including the now-relocated Hartford Whalers. He is a highly experienced talent evaluator who managed the Rangers’ pro scouting operation at a time of significant team success. With Maxwell on staff, the Rangers made numerous deep playoff runs, including a run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014 and runs to the Eastern Conference Final in 2012, 2015, and 2021.
Maxwell joins a Blues organization that is, like the Rangers, interested in competing in the near-term, perhaps heightening the importance of his professional scouting abilities compared to, say, an executive with an amateur scouting background. Not only are the Blues in “win-now mode,” the Thunderbirds are as well. Springfield made a run to the Calder Cup Final this spring, storming past the league’s Eastern Conference before falling to the Chicago Wolves.
Maxwell will be tasked with not only keeping the Thunderbirds competitive but also maintaining the team’s status as a quality developer of NHL-bound talent. Standout Thunderbirds from 2021-22 such as Charlie Lindgren, Dakota Joshua, and Calle Rosen each earned NHL contracts this summer, with Lindgren getting a relatively sizeable $1.1MM AAV on his deal as well as the chance to enter the fall penciled into the team’s backup goalie role. As their new general manager, Maxwell will be responsible for maintaining the Thunderbirds’ status as a premier developer of NHL talent as well as continuing the historic legacy of minor league hockey in Springfield, Massachusetts.
It’s a major responsibility for Maxwell, but it’s also a great opportunity. With former Springfield GM Kevin McDonald moving on to a post as assistant GM of the Colorado Avalanche, the Blues organization has tapped an extraordinarily experienced executive for this important role. Maxwell is a two-time Calder Cup champion from his time as a player, and perhaps there will be another Calder Cup in his future.