By Andy Eide
SEATTLE – With the NHL regular season starting in just over a week, NHL Seattle announced the hiring of five new pro scouts Wednesday to begin tracking potential players for the 2021 expansion draft.
The five scouts have a wealth of experience and names familiar to hockey fans every where.
General Manager Ron Francis has brought in Stu Barnes, John Goodwin, Cammi Granato, Dave Hunter, and Ulf Samuelsson as his hockey operations department begins to grow. Each scout will work out of their respective home bases and join Francis and Assistant General Manager Ricky Olczyk in scouting the upcoming season.
Granato, who was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2010, was captain of the United States gold medal team in the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, and is widely considered to be one of the top women’s players in the history of the game. She becomes the first female pro scout to be hired by an NHL franchise.
She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia and will scout Western Conference teams.
“I know the game, and I’m confident in that,” Granato told ESPN’s Emily Kaplan, “I’ve been around the game since I can walk. It’s really cool to be able to do it as a job and I’m looking forward to contributing my opinion.”
I asked Cammi Granato why women traditionally haven’t become scouts
“There isn't really an answer besides they weren't considered. Right now there is this energy & momentum & women are getting jobs they are qualified for, but never got the opportunity for”https://t.co/PYUIUXN3vV
— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) September 25, 2019
Barnes, 48, will be based out of Dallas, where he had previously served as an assistant coach with the Stars. He has a Northwest connection as he played his junior hockey in Kennewick with the Tri-City Americans from 1998-1990. In 133 games with the Americans he scored 111 goals, 174 assists, and 285 points.
He is part of the Tri-City ownership group and has played games under the roof that will be NHL Seattle’s home in the new arena at Seattle Center.
Hear from Barnes, and see his spectacular 1980s hockey hair in this old interview from Seattle’s Mercer Arena:
After Tri-City, Barnes joined the Winnipeg Jets in 1991 and played 1,136 NHL games with the Jets, Florida Panthers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Buffalo Sabres, and Dallas Stars.
Samuelsson, 55, played on both Pittsburgh Penguins Stanley Cup Championship teams with Francis after starting with the Hartford Whalers. The two were traded to the Penguins from Hartford in 1991 in the same deal and Samuelsson would end up playing over 1000 NHL games. He spent time as an assistant coach with the Chicago Blackhawks and head coach with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers.
With extensive coaching experience in the OHL, Goodwin, will be based out of Toronto. Hunter has worked with Francis in the past, as an amateur and pro scout and will be based out of the Boston area.
“It’s fantastic to add our first five scouts to the team and, as we think ahead to the 2021 Expansion Draft, their roles will be key,” Francis said in a press release. “This group has such phenomenal hockey experience.”
Seattle was awarded an expansion franchise in December of 2018 and is set to begin play in the 2021-2022 NHL season.