Yesterday, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke announced the addition of seven scouts to the team’s amateur scouting staff. Scott Carter, John McMorrow, Frank Neal, Pierre Rioux, Roy Stasiuk, and Dave Starman were all added to the North American crew, while Joe Gibbs will help cover Europe. I’m not at all familiar with most of those guys but one of those names that I do recognize is John McMorrow’s.
McMorrow’s connections to Burke run deep. He played hockey at Providence College from 1973 to 1977; the head coach of that team was none other than current Devils’ GM Lou Lamoriello, and two of the men who played with him for those years were Leafs coach Ron Wilson, and Burke himself. While Burke went undrafted, McMorrow and Wilson were both drafted by Houston of the WHA, and while Wilson was drafted by the NHL’s Leafs, McMorrow was selected by the New York Rangers in 1975, although he never played in the NHL. In 2004, Burke brought McMorrow in to scout for his Vancouver Canucks. McMorrow subsequently followed Burke to Anaheim. Of the picks made by the Ducks during McMorrow’s time there, we know he pushed for Jake Gardiner.
Another name that jumps out at me is that of Scott Carter. Carter was a scout with the Vancouver Canucks in the early 1990′s; Pat Quinn was the general manager at the time, and Brian Burke was a member of the hockey operations department before leaving for the top job in Hartford. Later, as Ducks’ GM, Burke would bring Carter on board as part of his amateur scouting crew.
As for the rest, Joe Gibbs has experience as a general manager in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, which is the top league in Germany. Dave Starman‘s worked as a college hockey analyst with CBS, and as a scout and coach at various levels, and this rather excellent analysis of Team USA’s failings at the 2009 WJC appeared under his byline. Pierre Rioux had a long hockey career which included an NHL cup of coffee; he’s bounced around the QMJHL in various roles, serving as an assistant coach in Quebec and Moncton.
Roy Stasiuk was a long-time employee of the Kootenay Ice before being named the general manager of the Lethbridge Hurricanes; Coming Down the Pipe! actually broke this story last week and had a nice writeup about him.
As for Frank Neal, it’s possible that he’s the same Frank Neal who had a career over in Europe in the late 70′s/early 80′s, and it seems highly likely that he’s the same Frank Neal who was a scout with the Ajax Attack in the mid-2000′s.