Bob Green Promoted; More Changes to Come?

Green, Bob

As of this writing there hasn’t been an official announcement, but according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie the Oilers have made a move in their front office, elevating Bob Green to a position of oversight over all scouting.

Green is a relative newcomer to the NHL side of things, having been promoted to the Oilers’ management group in the summer of 2013 after previously working as general manager of the WHL’s Oil Kings. His previous role saw him taking point on Edmonton’s pursuit of prospect free agents – people like defenceman Jordan Oesterle, who signed with Edmonton out of college and is now a significant prospect for the team. 

Now, he’ll evidently go from covering one element of Oilers scouting to being in direct control of all elements of Oilers scouting.

The Amateur Side

29-Draisaitl-1

In some ways, I wonder to what degree this is a change for Green. His previous role would almost certainly have drawn heavily on the talents of the current amateur scouting staff; there are a lot of interesting undrafted players out there and they’re pretty spread out, so presumably Green has already spent many hours consulting with Stu MacGregor’s people on various players of interest. 

While McKenzie notes that to his knowledge nobody has been dismissed by the organization, the installation of another layer of management between the head amateur scout and the top decision makers obviously lessen MacGregor’s importance to the team. 

Could this be a harbinger of further change? Probably. Teams generally making sweeping changes in the summer, both because that’s when the contracts of scouts and executives come up and also because making significant changes midseason runs the risk of fouling up vital draft preparation. 

There has been some suggestion that the Oilers should change their scouts prior to the 2015 Draft, but that would probably do more harm than good because the Oilers would be cobbling together a new crew in the late stages of the game. Moving Green to the top will afford him a better vantage point of the whole group and likely mean that he’ll be taking a lead role in deciding what the composition of the staff should look like when it comes time to prepare for the 2016 Draft.  

The Professional Side

8-Roy-1

The professional scouting group apparently hasn’t changed much over the years. The Oilers added Duane Sutter in the summer of 2011 to bring the total number of employees in the department to five; those same five are still listed on the team’s official website (which is interesting, given that the Senators announced in September that they had hired Abbamont).

Back in the summer of 2012 we took a look at the group. Most of them have been with the team a long time. Head scout Morey Gare moved from an assistant coaching position in Hamilton before joining the scouting staff in 2001; he’s coming up on 15 years of service. Dave Semenko has been associated with the team in various capacities even longer, while Cichocki appears to have joined the staff sometime around 2009 after previously coaching the team’s AHL affiliate. Even the new-ish guys are closing in on five years as part of the group. 

The possibility exists that we’ll see the first significant change on this side in ages this summer. The Oilers have made radical changes in most departments over the course of a botched rebuild, but so far the scouts have largely been outside the line of fire. It seems probable that’s coming to an end. 

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS