— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) August 4, 2015
The Canucks made a number of internal front office moves on Tuesday afternoon, most notably filling Laurence Gilman’s old role with John Weisbrod and promoting scout Judd Brackett to the team’s Director of Amateur Scouting.
A number of other moves were made too, as the hockey operations and human performance departments also saw a shuffling of the deck. For a list of hirings and our initial thoughts, join us after the jump.
First off, the moves:
- John Weisbrod promoted from VP of Player Personnel to Assistant General Manager
- Judd Brackett promoted from amateur scout to Director of Amateur Scouting
- Chris Gear, currently Canuck Sports and Entertainment’s Vice President and Legal Counsel, added to hockey operations department to assist John Wall on legal CBA matters
- Ryan Johnson (yes, the former Canuck centre that blocked a million shots) named Assistant Director of Player Development
- Mike Addesa joined the club as an amateur scout
- Rick Celebrini named Director of Rehabilitation
- Jon Sanderson named Head Athletic Therapist
We don’t know enough about most of these guys to really say anything about these moves, since who’s responsible for what gets murkier and murkier the deeper you go into an organization, but thanks to his time in Boston and Calgary, we do know a little bit about John Weisbrod.
Despite being a hockey guy his whole life, Weisbrod broke in to professional sports in basketball, most notably becoming the General Manager of the Orlando Magic in 2003-04. After resigning from his position in 2005, Weisbrod joined the Dallas Stars as a scout before being hired by the Boston Bruins in 2006.
Weisbrod was eventually promoted to Boston’s Director of Collegiate Scouting in 2008, however the Bruins largely ignored drafting from the NCAA in the years he was responsible for scouting this talent pool. In the 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 drafts, the Bruins selected just six players from United States hockey leagues: Mark Goggin, Zach Trotman, Zane McIntyre, Justin Florek, Rob O’Gara, and Brian Ferlin.
Weisbrod joined the Calgary Flames in a larger role as their Assistant General Manager of Player Personnel on June 27, 2011 – two days after the 2011 NHL entry draft. Weisbrod’s tenure in Calgary was largely negative, as the team looks to have bombed the 2012 draft he presided over, taking Mark Jankowski in the first round, and very nearly made a mockery of the entire Flames organization with the Ryan O’Reilly offer sheet debacle. He was fired in December of 2013, and joined Jim Benning’s front office in July 2014.
Again, we don’t know what exactly Weisbrod has been responsible for, however there aren’t a whole lot of positive signs. His departments appear to have done their best work (Gaudreau in Calgary, Krug in Boston) when he’s entirely removed from the equation, and there aren’t a whole lot of successes you can point to and say “this was a great move.” There’s a bit of promise in players like Jon Gillies, but nothing concrete yet.
I suppose we’ll now have ample time to find out if this track record is just an unfortunate run of bad luck or a legitimate reflection of Weisbrod’s abilities.