According to a report by Patrick Johnston of the Province, Chris MacDonald, Dan Palango and Paul Gallagher are no longer on the Canucks scouting staff.
While MacDonald left the Canucks to pursue a higher-profile position with another NHL team, Jim Benning confirmed Palango and Gallagher were let go by the team. The GM wouldn’t elaborate on the reasons why.
“We’re going to restructure the amateur scouting staff,” Benning said. “We’re going to have new people take on more responsibilities, some guys that have worked for us, that have been in charge of different areas.”
MacDonald was based in Kingston, Ontario and his most recent role with the Canucks saw him scouting in Ontario and Quebec. Palango was also based in Ontario and served as a cross-checker, providing a second opinion on the reports filed by primarily-level scouts on players.
According to the article by Johnston, both MacDonald and Palango were hired by the Canucks while Mike Gillis was GM, but that didn’t play into their departure, Benning said. The majority of the Canucks’ current scouting staff were originally hired by Benning’s predecessors, Gillis, Dave Nonis and Brian Burke.
Gallagher had been with the Canucks for the past two seasons after a long career scouting the Maritimes and Quebec for the Florida Panthers.
The last time the Canucks made significant changes to their scouting staff was 2017. It’s easy to speculate about the reasons for the most recent moves, but Benning is expected to provide further details later this month.
The Canucks haven’t exactly hit a goldmine recently in drafting players out of the OHL or QMJHL. Mikey DiPietro is a decent goaltending prospect out of the OHL and Zack MacEwen could be a nice steal as an undrafted player out of the QMJHL. It’s also the responsibility of the scouts to tell the team which players they wouldn’t recommend drafting.
There’s always room for improvement in every area of a team and GM Benning appears to be looking at all avenues when it comes to getting the Canucks set for the 2019-20 season.