Oilers bring Bob Green aboard

The Oilers announced a front office move on Wednesday, hiring Edmonton Oil Kings general manager Bob Green as the team’s new director of amateur free agent scouting.

The New Job

The Oilers’ official press release describes Green’s new duties this way:

Green, who was honoured as the WHL’s Executive of the Year in 2011-12 and 2012-13, will work closely with the Oilers Hockey Operations department and Amateur Scouting staff, assisting with identifying and recruiting NCAA, CHL and select European free agents, as well as develop a free agent priority list.

The title and the above description don’t make the organizational relationship between Green and the current heads of amateur scouting (Stu MacGregor) and professional scouting (Morey Gare) perfectly clear, but Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer gives us a better idea of what that relationship will likely be.

Green seems to be the new czar of amateur player acquisition outside of the NHL Entry Draft. We’ve seen the importance of those players in recent years – certainly the signing of Justin Schultz would seem to qualify – but college free agents have been important for ages. Players like Curtis Joseph and Ed Belfour and Adam Oates all came into the league without going through the NHL Draft, and having a designated point man to keep track of undrafted players and unsigned drafted players and the like makes a good deal of sense.

The Man They Hired

Green has a long history in the WHL. Of course he was named the general manager of the Edmonton Oil Kings when the club began operation in 2007-08, but prior to that he was the assistant general manager in Medicine Hat, where he started in 1993. Put it all together, and he has 20 years of experience in the Western Hockey League.

There’s more than experience at play here, though; Green has also enjoyed success, guiding the Oil Kings from being an expansion team to the best team in the WHL. The team took off in 2010-11, jumping from 45 points and a minus-116 goal differential to 69 points and a minus-3 goal differential; then they did it again in 2011-12, putting up 107 points and a plus-117 rating. They won the WHL championship that season, and then lost in the finals this year. 

From here, this is a hard decision to criticize. The Oilers hired a man who both might be the best fit for the job and has an existing relationship with the club’s leadership, and they hired him for a specific role of obvious importance. What’s not to like? 

This article has been edited to reflect a change in the Oilers’ press release; Green’s official title is director of amateur free agent scouting, not director of amateur and free agent scouting. 

Recently around the Nation Network

Tyler Bozak’s five year, $21 million contract extension with the Maple Leafs was less bad than it could have been, but was still a point of controversy this summer. And understandably so, given that there’s a case to be made that he isn’t as good as ex-Leaf Matt Stajan:

If you look at Stajan’s career point production at the same age as Bozak’s it is clear that with the exception of Bozak’s anomalous rookie campaign that Stajan is more offensively gifted.

Click the link above to read more, or check out some of my recent stuff:

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    It’s important to note that this isn’t a replacement or man in waiting for Stu. It’s a replacement of MacT’s old job

    http://www.edmontonsun.com/2013/02/13/oilers-vice-president-of-hockey-operations-craig-mactavish-says-pain-and-suffering-of-rebuild-almost-over

    “My day-to-day stuff has been to keep a handle on the top 60 draft eligible players, tracking the kids we’ve drafted and seeing what their development is and where they fit in, as well as keeping an eye on free agents in the CHL and NCAA. Even during the lockout I had plenty to do.

    “I’ve taken trips to Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic and Slovakia and I’ve been following our farm teams, of course. I’ll be in Austin, Texas, this weekend to watch Oklahoma City play two games. It’s all big-picture stuff.”

    It is also a recognition of the growing importance (esp. in a cap world) of finding these players and getting them on board.

  • RexLibris

    I think this is a good investment.

    MacT is bringing some innovation to his organization, first Moore and now Green. This type of roles can be very helpful for a team like Edmonton;

    (small market, cold remote city, with a poor track record for developing talent in their farm system).

    Smart move to make the team better without spending against the cap!

  • Supernova

    wow, this is fantastic.

    I have been advocating this for years, this was a move i thought would happen when Lowe went to President of Hockey operations.

    Very good hire, Bob Green is highly regarded on the amateur side from his Medicine Hat days, and obviously his work in the Oil Kings.

    This could be one of the more unheralded moves of the summer but could have huge payoffs in the years to come.

    This is a 5 star hire.

  • RexLibris

    I’ve wondered about Bob Green as a potential NHL GM in due time. He’s done good things at other levels and this appears to be one more step in that direction. I’ve been impressed with the Oil Kings’ ability to uncover European talent.

    Keeping Green within the Oilers organization is a good move, in my opinion.

    I’m enthusiastic about this move and look forward to seeing what changes, if any, take place as a result.

  • Supernova

    Jonathan, as far as you know, do other teams in the NHL have this position in their own management structure?

    Where are the Oilers relative to other teams with this hiring? Is MacT leading edge here, or is he merely trying to catch up? I would’ve thought Stu M, and the amateur scouts would know these players, but I really like the idea of them having a dedicated person for this.

    If MacT is responsible for recognizing the gap here, I applaud him for it. If it is/was his idea, I’m becoming increasingly impressed with management acumen.

    • RexLibris

      Sorry to butt in, but I looked at something similar (development personnel) for the Flames comparing their staffing with a few other teams around the league.

      http://flamesnation.ca/2013/8/13/comparing-the-flames-development-structure

      It doesn’t include the Oilers, but I took a look at Chicago, Anaheim, Phoenix and a few others just to get an idea of what was standard.

      While it wasn’t exactly an exhaustive search, I can say that Green’s title is unusual in my opinion. It doesn’t mean that other management staff at other teams don’t do this sort of thing, but it might be tacked on to a long list of other duties.

      Interestingly, the Flames have a very skeleton crew when it comes to player development, etc. They seem to multitask management personnel with a variety of duties to the extent that, at least according to their team website, I’m not sure I could draw an org chart for them without it looking like a string of christmas lights in November.

    • Supernova

      Green’s hiring will help the Pro Scouting but I think with the recent few hirings on the amateur side we will see MacT make some moves on the Pro side which is far below what should be considered acceptable.

  • DSF

    Dan Tencer ‏@dantencer 41m
    Quick hitter: Craig MacTavish tells me after news conference that it’s “fair to say” that this is the roster at training camp.

    • DSF

      If true, this is very disappointing.

      One can’t compel GMs to make trades with each other, and I’m sure there’s a strategy of making the new GM sweat in hopes of pressuring him to make a bad deal, but entering the season with the C depth the way it stands now is hard to defend, and will be inexcusable if RNH is out for any significant length of time.

        • OilClog

          Yea, and if one of the Sedins or Kesler goes down.. Vancouver is done

          Suter goes down in Minnesota.. they’re done

          Thorton goes down in SJ.. done

          Doughty goes down in LA.. done

          Calgary.. Already done

          Colorado.. Landeskog.. done

          Anahiem.. Getz or Perry.. done.

          Your blind, troll, Oiler hating comments are really getting out of hand DeadSullyFish.

          To honestly believe with all that MacT has done, that he’s finished and there won’t be any C’s added by opening day.. is well right about where I peg your hockey knowledge.. Zero.

          • Reg Dunlop

            I appreciate what you are getting at but surely LA and San Jose have the horses to overcome the loss of any single player. The fear that the oil enters 9 of their first 14 on the road with Gagner, Gordon and 2 AHLers down the middle… might not be an ideal start to the campaign. Maybe some HGH for little Nuge? Biogenesis isn’t too busy now.

          • DSF

            Nonsense.

            For example, Kesler missed the first 31 games last season and the Canucks won the division.

            As another example, if Thornton is injured the Sharks still have Marleau, Couture, Pavelski and Wingels.

            If Hopkins is out, the Oilers have Gagner, Gordon and two AHL calibre centres.

            Now, you may not believe MacT when he says he’s done but that hardly warrants your childish rant.

          • OilClog

            Vancouver won the weakest division in hockey award, congratufreakinlations.. how was that 1st round exit?

            The Sharks have Marleau.. a winger.. Couture, a Gagner in a better situation to start his career, Pavelski.. who’ll be lucky to beat Gordon in a draw.. Ok. Wingels.. BATS!

            If Nuge is out.. Oilers have Hall to player center while Ales FREAKING BETTER THEN ANYONE YOU CAN NAME HEMSKY! walks into a top 6 winger roll..

            MacT has said many many many things! he’s not done! the job of a GM is never done DeadSullyFish, well maybe your GM.. I mean he’s pretty much relegated his Team to Runner up Princess award for the next 40 years. CongratS!

          • DSF

            1) A first round exit is far better than missing the playoffs for 7 years in a row, despite being in the “weakest division in hockey”

            2) Marleau is a natural centre who plays wing because SJ has great centre depth.

            3) Pavelski won 52% of his face-offs last season. Gordon won 57%.

            However, Pavelski scored 16G and 31P while Boyd Gordon scored 4G and 14P.

            Gordon can’t sniff Pavelski’s jock.

            4) Tommy Wingels, the Sharks 4th line centre, scored 5 goals and 13P last season. Anton Lander scored ZERO goals and ONE assist. Couldn’t piss a drop in the NHL.

            5) Hall has never played centre in the NHL.

            6) Hemsky scored 20 points last season…ranking him 49th among NHL RW.

            7) Jannik Hansen, Vancouver’s THIRD line RW scored more than Hemsky last season and the season before that

            8) It’s “role” not “roll”

            9) Good grief.

          • OilClog

            1. Good Grief, all Vancouver does is show everyone how to fail, fail, and fail some more. Please come back Roberto.. Good Grief.

            2. Good Grief, Marleau is a winger, because he is a better winger. Good Grief.

            3. Good Grief, Pavelski is suppose to score, Gordon is suppose to shut down, who do you think wins their role more? And as an Oiler I sincerly hope that Boyd Gordon never sniffs any jock straps other then his own, because he is a man and confident with his own jock. Good Grief.

            4. Good Grief, if Lander and Wingels swapped teams, Wingles numbers would reflect Lander’s, also our 4th line C last season Ryan Smyth, says, Good Grief!

            5. Good Grief, Hall is anything he wants to be, better then any player you’re throwing up on the board, Good Grief, recognize a #1 pick!

            6. Good Grief, Hemsky played half the season with a broken foot, and still put up 20pts in about 24 non broken foot games.. Good Grief.

            7. Good Grief, Hansen couldn’t sniff Hemsky’s Jock Strap 😉 Good Grief.

            8. Good Grief, damn you iphone! Good Grief

            9. Get Bent.

          • OilClog

            Furthermore DeadSullyFish, if you couldn’t tell by my reply, I was “trying” to sound like you, or at least.. help you, in seeing, how you appear to us. Oilersnation. Childish.

            Similar to the days RB goes on a angry dad trip..

          • DSF

            Phhhhttt…

            Here is how the NW division teams fared against the Pacific last season.

            VCR – 14 pts

            MIN – 14 pts

            COL – 14 pts

            CAL – 12 pts

            EDM – 11 pts

            Tell me, what do you see there?

  • yawto

    This is an excellent move. The right man and a spot tht needed to be added.

    p.s. – go to puck daddy and check out the “We are the world” style song video Canucks fans did for Roberto Luongo. Hilarious. The question is, which one is DFS. My money is on the shirtless dude.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Didn’t read the article yet, but this certainly appears to be a great signing, this Green kid. Heard he’s not afraid to drop the gloves and mix it up. Along with being 62% on the dot, good depth signing for an agreed upon area of weakness for the Oilers. he’ll be a solid addition down the middle. Having a hard time finding him on HockeyDB/capgeek though.

    Don’t be fooled by his size, he plays a much more physical brand of game than his frame size would lead you to believe. He may even push Gordon down to the 4th line at some point this season. Best sleeper signing of the summer. MacTavish did really save the best for last it appears.

    He looks to have lost some of his hair prematurely. Is he albino by chance? May help explain his non athletic appearance. After seeing an equally slight Gretzky arrive in Edmonton in 78, we shouldn’t write this Green kid off so quickly.

  • DSF

    Excellent move on MacT’s part………..the more brains you can have assessing talent, the better and faster this organization will progress on talent front.

    In my mind this has been the best move of the year for Mac T………and there have been a lot of good ones.

  • toprightcorner

    I think the position that was added was a good one but I would have liked to see additions similar to this in other areas first.

    With no salary cap on staff, this is where a team serious about turning things around should take advantage of. I think adding 10 – 12 positions would be the best spent $1 to $2 mill this year.

    Add some more or better pro scouts. This has been a huge weakness as not many players traded for or signed have turned out as well as first expected. Have enough pro scouts so you can have at least 2 in each division for their NHL and AHL teams. Then we know each teams assets backwards and forwards.

    I would also like to see a couple scouts dedicated strictly to upcoming PRO free agents so they know who their targets are and prioritize them in the order of importance to the team.

    One last area is to set up a team of advanced stats experts to develop new and more detailed stats. They can continuously fine tune and do mock scenarios to track throughout the season so they can build a solidly balanced team and know the areas of weakness and who they can add to improve those areas.

    I don’t think you can have enough people dedicated to areas like these, each with their own focus. Since we can’t outspend other teams, MacT should out research, out legwork, and out revolutionize the other teams. That’s where an extra $5 million could make a huge difference. At least this is a start!

    • OilClog

      I agree 100%.

      And it’s what concerns me regarding this move:

      Yet again a hiring from within. Apparently zero interviewing outside the closed shop.

      Has mr green any scouting experience? Any ncaa experience? If he doesn’t he will fit right in as no one it seems has ever had the same job somewhere else before being hired in the current group.

      As you mention there is no salary cap on management. At least not a legal one. But it certainly seems to be possible that there is a self imposed cap by the owner.

      Onwerships goal regarding scouting – if the owner has a free hand and really wants to spare no expense to make the oilers great – is to have the very best group money can by. I see no evidence that that is being done.

  • SrCain: Yes, I’m still a prick, as you put it, and you’re still banned for running your mouth.

    That isn’t going to change by you rolling over your IP address etc. If what you write gets through into the comments because you’ve taken the time to roll the IP or change computers, it’ll be removed once it’s seen. Done is done. Got it? Good.

    Racki: Sorry, you lost a comment or two because you had our friend SrCain quoted in the text. Couldn’t get rid of what he wrote without getting rid of what you wrote. Again, sorry.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Page 48 in your HFD handbook sir….

    Paragraph 118, verse 71…….No walking on water, permitted here on ON. Mr. Brownlee would be included in this group, i’m sure.

    BTW, anyone know how many Horse Powers Ruebens Biscane has?

  • toprightcorner

    I agree, writer standing up for another writer when someone suggests they wrote on a bad topic, wrote a bad article or making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    He basically said nobody cares about this article that you wrote. If you don’t like it, stop reading or don’t comment

  • toprightcorner

    Horse Powers?? Your a car guy aren’t you!

    It all depends on the engine option he has. Unfortunately I don’t the engine he has and since you’re obviously a passionate car fan and share the same interests as RB I will give you the information you require.

    The engine options RB cherry Biscayne have are numerous but I will stick to the V-8’s as no respectable car guy would get a V-6 muscle car. starting from smallest to largest, they start at the 230-hp, 283 V-8, 327 V-8 in tunes of 250, 300 and 340 hp, three 348 big block V-8s ranging from 250 hp to 350 hp . There are two 409 V-8s offered with 400 and 425 hp, and if it is a 1963 or newer it could have the newly offered 427 V-8 generated an enormous 430 hp. Some engines were only available in certain years but this covers the 1961 – 1964 Biscayne’s

    If you are interested, I can give you more information on the 1961 engine

    I hope that helps!!

  • Spurzey

    Ruebens bisquit is a 1960 model. Gm offered 2 v8’s that year. A 283 and a 348. Unless the 348 had a solid lifter cam and 4bbl or 3-2bbl’s, any late model v6 has more hp and twice the fuel mileage and could be swapped in. Any v8 from 1955 to late in the ’90s would drop right in. 265 cu in right up to 572 cu in.
    RB could be packin over 700 factory horses and we wouldm’t know till he left the parking lot!

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Relax there TRC, back away from Wiki….

    Was just mocking Meg Storms efforts of a couple weeks ago. Cars are like tools, once they get up to that 250K, you buy a new one. Much rather complain bout hockey, than automobiles.