Bob Mancini, who has served as the Oilers’ development coach for the past two years and was previously a scout for four seasons with the team, has left the organization to become a regional manager with USA Hockey’s American Development Model.
Manicin played college hockey and worked his way up the NCAA coaching ranks before initially joining USA Hockey in 1997. In 2000, he left to become a scout with the Oilers, after which he became the coach and general manager of the Saginaw Spirit. During his tenure in Saginaw he was named the Rogers Sportsnet OHL Coach of the Year. In his final season with Saginaw, the Spirit went 44-21-3. Mancini was hired as the Oilers’ development coach the following year, and he’s held that position for two seasons, helping to guide Oilers’ prospects in North America – from AHL’ers to junior players. Mancini was also one of the founders of the U.S. National Team Development Program, and had previously scouted for the Quebec Nordiques.
Kelly Buchberger was the Oilers’ previous development coach before being promoted to the Springfield coaching staff.
Ken Martel, the director of USA Hockey’s American Development Model, said the following about the hire:
“We’re very excited to have Bob back with USA Hockey. His invaluable experience at all levels of hockey and passion for the development of the game will have a lasting effect on youth hockey in the United States.”
It hasn’t exactly been a banner year for Oilers’ prospects, but I get the feeling that Mancini’s decision comes as a surprise to the Oilers organization – in other words, Mancini quit rather than being fired. I say that because a) Mancini is still listed on the team website and it was USA Hockey, rather than the Oilers, who broke this news, and b) as of Friday, Mancini was expected to be helping prospects at the Oilers’ summer development camp.