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Jim Nill takes Red Wings’ director of amateur scouting to Dallas

Updated 6x at 7:23 PM: *#$%@&.

McDonnell ran the Red Wings' draft and was essentially named an assistant GM...But Hakan, from what I understand, is happily employed by the Wings, and I would imagine that it would take an arm and a leg and then some for Nill to be allowed to pry him from Detroit's clutches.



Update #2: MLive's Brendan Savage confirms:

The Detroit Red Wings director of amateur scouting is following former assistant general manager Jim Nill to Texas, G.M. Ken Holland told MLive.com today.

Nill, the Red Wings former assistant general manager who was hired to be the Dallas Stars G.M. in April, has lured Joe McDonnell away from the Red Wings.

McDonnell has been a Red Wings scout for 18 years and became their director of amateur scouting in 2003.

Nill also hired Red Wings scout Mark Leach to accompany McDonnell to Dallas.

Holland said the Red Wings hope to have their scouting staff in place by next week. They're going to make a few additions and will give more prominent roles to scouts Jeff Finley and David Kolb.

Update #3:

Update #4: Boom goes the Hakan:

Update #4.5:

Update #5: The Free Press's Helene St. James filed the following report:

The Red Wings will be naming a new head of amateur scouting in the coming week, as Joe McDonnell has left the team to join his former boss in Dallas.

McDonnell and amateur scout Mark Leach are joining Jim Nill, the former assistant general manager in Detroit who left in April to take the head job with the Stars.

One key guy who Nill has not been able to pry from the Wings: Swedish superscout Hakan Andersson, whom Holland said has been signed for four more years.

Andersson is considered one of the best in the business, and was the force behind two of the picks in last week’s annual draft, where he masterminded the Wings selecting forwards Mattias Janmark and Hampus Melen. Amateur scout Jeff Finley, meanwhile, was behind two of the other eight picks, defensemen Mitchell Wheaton and Marc McNulty.

The Wings also still boast a staff headlined by director of pro scouting Mark Howe, a staff which includes former players Kirk Maltby and Kris Draper. As big a loss as Nill was, and as easy was it was to hand the reigns to his right-hand man, McDonnell, selecting picks never was a one-man operation.

The Wings already had split Nill’s duties between two people, as McDonnell was charged with running the draft table while salary cap specialist Ryan Martin’s duties expanded to managing the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Update #6:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink


SYF's avatar

I…I have no words.

Posted by SYF from Ball's Hill on 07/06/13 at 02:57 PM ET

The_Firebird's avatar


I’d say it’s nice to see that members of the Wings organization are in such high demand, if vital pieces of the Wings weren’t dropping off like bodyparts from a leper.

Posted by The_Firebird on 07/06/13 at 02:59 PM ET

Sweet Jesus's avatar


Posted by Sweet Jesus on 07/06/13 at 03:02 PM ET


Hopefully these are the guys who suggested Bertuzzi with our 3rd pick in the draft.

Posted by godblender on 07/06/13 at 03:08 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Sarah Lindenau @Lindy72

Really really bad news for the #redwings and a gaping hole that needs to be filled…

It’s losing Joe McDonnell that hurts.  A roster shake-up and now a front office shake-up.  This is just too much even for this Wings fan.

They just gotta be all in a moist tizzy in DAL taking some of the Wings best into their office.


Posted by SYF from Ball's Hill on 07/06/13 at 03:11 PM ET

Crow's avatar

Obviously, this was the plan all along.  I am sure Holland already has an idea who he will promote…Hakan?

Posted by Crow on 07/06/13 at 03:12 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Obviously, this was the plan all along.  I am sure Holland already has an idea who he will promote…Hakan?

Posted by Crow on 07/06/13 at 04:12 PM ET

I want to believe that, but Hakan has insisted on remaining in Europe.  Now, I’m not so sure.

Posted by SYF from Ball's Hill on 07/06/13 at 03:14 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

It’ll be interesting to watch all the “scouting is a crapshoot and the Red Wings have just been lucky” pundits do a 180 now and claim that the sky is falling for the Wings.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 07/06/13 at 03:24 PM ET

hdw's avatar

It’s too early for Håkan to move up.

He needs 2-3 more years instructing S:t Nick before he can hand over Europe wink

Posted by hdw on 07/06/13 at 03:39 PM ET

Alan's avatar

i didn’t see this coming. At all.

Hopefully we can find some good replacements.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I believe there are some tasty beverages in the Hasek car that are calling my name…

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 07/06/13 at 03:40 PM ET

Hank Scorpio's avatar

I always knew that we were living on borrowed time with Nill in the organization, but letting him go and gut our scouting department is more than a little concerning.  I hope that Holland has the replacements identified and Mr. Illitch is prepared to open the checkbook.

Posted by Hank Scorpio on 07/06/13 at 03:42 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Well, if you can’t beat em…...steal em…... hmmm

Posted by Down River Dan on 07/06/13 at 03:46 PM ET

HockeyFanOhio's avatar

This is the most upsetting thing I’ve heard all week!

Posted by HockeyFanOhio from Central Ohio on 07/06/13 at 03:53 PM ET

George Malik's avatar


Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/06/13 at 03:54 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Another year, another exodus of front office talent.  Seems kinda weird letting McDonnell run the draft knowing he’s leaving for Dallas asap.  I guess you just rely on his professionalism and hope for the best.

Be great if the NHL had other teams that could find there own quality employees, rather than continuously scalp Detroit’s.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 07/06/13 at 04:07 PM ET

SYF's avatar

It’s too early for Håkan to move up.

He needs 2-3 more years instructing S:t Nick before he can hand over Europe

Posted by hdw on 07/06/13 at 04:39 PM ET

Shush yer trap, yo.

Posted by SYF from Ball's Hill on 07/06/13 at 04:19 PM ET


Not sure how long these guys been around but if you look at the current team, how many north americans are on it? howard, abdelkader, helm and now smith. the rest are hakan andersson’s europeans.  I would think these guys are replaceable; if you read the article from the canadian who analyzed drafting, he commented as well that detroit’s north american drafting hasn’t been that great.  Their player development is what separates them from other teams.  Can’t imagine they’ll have a hard time finding scouts who want to work for the DETROIT RED WINGS.

Posted by longtimewingsfan on 07/06/13 at 04:57 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

So Stevie Y took Pat Verbeek with him. Now Nill has taken McDonnell and Leach. Kinda makes you wonder why these folks are all so anxious to leave the Holland-run operation in Detroit. I guess it could be as simple as money, but…

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/06/13 at 05:20 PM ET

awould's avatar

It was only a matter of time once Illitch took away the free pizza from the front office.

Posted by awould on 07/06/13 at 06:24 PM ET


This is what happens when you promote former players with no experience to high profile jobs

Posted by jkm2011 on 07/06/13 at 08:25 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

How about we not sign Cleary to a playing contract, but to a front-office contract!  That way he can stay with the team and fill a “roster” need!

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 07/06/13 at 09:37 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

This is what happens when you promote former players with no experience to high profile jobs

Wait, what?  These guys had no former players over them.  Are you suggesting they left because they had former players working under them?  That seems a bit far-fetched.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 07/06/13 at 10:56 PM ET

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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.