Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Getting all the names straight regarding the Red Wings’ amateur scouting personnel shuffle

As the Red Wings haven't issued a formal press release regarding the hiring of Tyler Wright as the team's director of scouting and Jeff Finley's promotion to head scout, it's been a little difficult to keep track of all the names surrounding the Wings' amateur scouting shuffle.

The Columbus Dispatch's Aaron Portzline confirmed that Wright and a trusted right-hand man were hired by the Wings...

Sources told The Dispatch yesterday that Wright would be named director of amateur scouting for the Detroit Red Wings and that he was taking Blue Jackets amateur scout Andrew Dickson with him.

Only July 1, only hours after the NHL draft in Newark, N.J., the Blue Jackets asked Wright to accept a lesser role than co-director of amateur scouting. He declined.

The Blue Jackets will replace Dickson, a club source said.

MLive's Brendan Savage penned an article about Wright's hiring yesterday evening, noting that the Wings have hired some "young legs"...

Wright, 40, replaces Joe McDonnell, who followed former Red Wings assistant G.M. Jim Nill to Dallas, while Dickson replaces Mark Leach, who also went to Dallas. Wright, a former NHL center, spent 13 seasons with Edmonton, Pittsburgh, Columbus and Anaheim before retiring after the 2005-06 season and becoming a scout with the Blue Jackets.

Wright served as the team's director of player development as well, and he ran the last three Blue Jackets' drafts as their director of amateur scouting. My scrum interview with Wright is availble in the day 2 afternoon audio entry.

"I like that he's got experience scouting," Holland said Thursday night from Traverse City, where he and Wright were among about 20 people having dinner after the second day of the Red Wings Development Camp. "I like that he played in the National Hockey League. I like that he's got Jeff Finley as his right-hand man. Jeff Finley played for 17 years, he was an assistant coach in Kelowna of the Western Hockey League for three years and he's been scouting for us for three years.

"Between the two of them, we've got two guys who have played the game, have got experience at scouting and Tyler spent a year or two as the (development coach) for Columbus. They've got diverse experience and they've been in the game a long time."

Holland said the Red Wings have also hired Kelly Harper as a part-time scout in Toronto. Harper is friends with Kris Draper, the Red Wings special assistant to Holland. Harper spent eight years as an assistant coach and one season as co-coach in the OHL.

Holland says the moves complete the Red Wings' scouting staff.

"I think we've got good coverage," Holland said. "Everybody is excited. Sometimes change is good. Change is good for Jim Nill and Jeff McDonnel and Mark Leach. Change is good for us."

And the Free Press's George Sipple named the "other guys," if you will:

"To put on this jacket that I’ve got on here today, an Original Six team and the history of the Detroit Red Wings, just that opportunity to work under one of the best general managers ever in the game, it would be a good learning tool for myself, but I think I can bring a lot to the organization,” Wright said.

Wright, who played in the NHL in 1992-2006, comes to the Wings from Columbus, where he served as director of amateur scouting for the Blue Jackets.

Finley is someone Holland has known for a long time.

“Jeff Finley and I taught in hockey school,” Holland said. “He played in the NHL for 17 years. He was an assistant coach with Kelowna in the Western League. He’s been with us through three drafts.”

Andrew Dickson, who previously scouted for the Blue Jackets, also is joining the Wings. He lives in Ottawa and will scout there.

Sam Lites, in his third season with the Wings, will be responsible for scouting colleges. Lites is the son of Jim Lites, former chief operating officer of the Wings.

Holland also is hiring Kelly Harper as a part-time scout based out of Toronto. Harper played at MSU in 1990-94.

So that's Tyler Wright named the director of amateur scouting, Jeff Finley promoted to head scout, Andrew Dickson brought in as an Eastern Ontario and Quebec scout, Kelly Harper brought on as a Greater Toronto Area scout, and Sam Lites taking a larger role college scout.

Five personnel shifts overall, three hirings and three new faces. Wright is 40, like Griffins coach Jeff Blashill.

Finley is 46 and played in the 708 NHL games.

Kris Draper said that Harper is just finishing his university degree, and the 41-year-old's had extensive minor pro experience as a right winger and was an assistant coach and then a co-coach at the OHL level for a total of 9 years.

Dickson is 43 and played minor pro hockey as a forward after spending four years at Colgate University, and after his playing days ended, he spent nine years working as an assistant coach at Colgate.

Sam Lites is all of 22.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

Primis's avatar

Wow, 22 and been in scouting for 3 years?  Wow, just…. wow…  that’s a heavy assignment for someone that young.

I often wonder how that works when someone leaves and org and “takes so-an-so with them”.  Does the new team ask the new guy to try to get him?  Is it the new guy’s idea?  Are they a package deal from the outset?  I can’t think of another business other than sports where this sort of stuff actually happens with any frequency whatsoever.

I have concerns about Wright.  He was in CBS for the last few drafts where CBS did some good drafting IMHO, but he was also in the org when they were drafting badly.

Given the Wings’ tendency to draft euros though and given that as Tyler said “Hakan knows what he’s doing” and that he won’t change anything there, I can’t imagine it’ll change much in the way of drafting in the near future.  It’s the North American scouting, particularly the collegiate scouting, that seems to be a bit up in the air yet.

Posted by Primis on 07/12/13 at 12:34 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Lites won’t be their only NCAA scout. The Wings have more than one.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/12/13 at 01:14 PM ET

statelouis26's avatar

I’m not sure how to feel about this because on the one hand this guy has been a scout for a while and on the other he’s been a head scout or w/e for the BJs who were among the worst ever at drafting. He was also done following the injection of competent mgmt in COL for once in history. I guess it’s the wait and see approach.

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 07/13/13 at 12:30 AM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.