By Andy Eide
NHL Seattle’s hockey operations staff grew Tuesday as the team announced the hiring of Ricky Olczyk as the new Assistant General Manager.
Olczyk, 49, spent the 2018-2019 NHL season as a pro scout with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Prior to that he worked with Seattle General Manager Ron Francis for four seasons as his Assistant General Manager with the Carolina Hurricanes. That stint came after holding the same position with the Edmonton Oilers for six seasons.
Seattle is getting a guy who not only is experienced in the league, but with Francis.
“Ricky has deep hockey experience and we are delighted to have him join us. He shares our ambitions and our desire to build a winning franchise, both on and off the ice,” said Francis via a press release. “His legal background combined with his hockey acumen bring a unique point of view.”
Olczyk has experience on the ice as well.
He played Division I NCAA hockey at Brown University and would go on to earn a law degree from Cornell in 1996. After graduation he ran a legal consulting firm in Chicago that advised players and families.
“Being part of this franchise from the very beginning and truly building the organization from the ground up is an incredible opportunity,” said Olczyk in the press release. “I am thrilled to join NHL Seattle and to rejoin Ron Francis.”
Olczyk is brothers with former Chicago Blackhawks star, and current NBC analyst, Ed Olczyk and in 2016 served as the Assistant General Manager of Team Europe in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. That team featured stars such as Anze Kopitar, Leon Draisaitl, and Zdeno Chara and would lose in the championship round to Team Canada.
He joins Francis and Director of Hockey Administration Alex Mandrycky to make up Seattle’s hockey administration staff. Olczyk will be responsible for areas such as managing the salary cap, overseeing player transactions, and assisting Francis in scouting duties.
NHL Seattle was awarded a franchise by the NHL in December of 2018 and is slated to begin play in a new Seattle Center Arena for the 2021-2022 season.