Yes. he’s related
Edmonton announced the hiring of Keith Gretzky to their Assistant General Manager position today, taking over for Bill Scott. Assistant General Managers (AGM) mean more to minor league clubs than they do NHL teams. The AGM is usually the GM of the AHL team and a has an incredibly large influence over the ECHL team. Thus, this is an incredibly important hire for the Admirals.
Bill Scott, it should be noted, is the man responsible for hiring Eric Veilleux and then subsequently appointing Rod Aldoff to bench boss. Scott is still with the team, but in a different role. Such a surprise hire might explain some of the reasons behind the lack of signings I talked about in the last post. However, it’s not as if Bill Scott suddenly decided to quit doing his job one day. Signings were still made at the AHL level, and Rod Aldoff is an important arbiter of ECHL personnel acquisition.
The hire itself looks a little weird on the outside. Edmonton attempts to fix things in fits and starts without really changing everything. As such, this is another example of networking. Gretzky does mean something in the world of hockey, especially Edmonton, even if it his brother. To be fair: Keith Gretzky has spent the past fifteen years as a scout with the Phoenix and Boston organizations. He spent seven of those years as a Director of Amateur Scouting, and managed to preside over some top picks like Oliver-Ekman Larsson and David Pastrnak. Still, Gretzky was a member of current Oiler GM Peter Chiarelli’s staff in Boston. It is not a coincidence those two are back together again.
What does this mean for the Admirals? It’s unclear now, as the work of Bill Scott and a host of other GMs still influence Norfolk today. Gretzky’s work might be better understood next year, when he has more control of the minor league operation. Perhaps more news will come in the weeks ahead.