Former Oil Kings general manager Bob Green joins Edmonton Oilers’ staff
Green returns to his passion of scouting players
Edmonton Oil Kings general manager Bob Green speaks at a press conference at Rexall Place in 2007.
Photograph by: Larry Wong, Edmonton Journal
EDMONTON - After spending six years in the Edmonton Oil Kings front office, leading the team to its first Western Hockey League championship and an appearance in the Memorial Cup, Bob Green is ready to return to the rink.
Green announced on Wednesday that he accepted a position as the director of amateur free-agent scouting for the Edmonton Oilers, focusing primarily on recruiting NCAA prospects and Canadian Hockey League overage players.
Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish called the addition of Green to the scouting staff a “coup.”
“To have a guy with Bob’s credibility in the CHL will be able to open doors and really enhance our ability to attract and sign very good players coming into our organization,” MacTavish said.
Green had a successful run as the Oil Kings’ only GM since the team joined the Western Hockey League in 2007.
While Edmonton struggled like most expansion teams, failing to make the playoffs in two of their first three seasons, Green eventually built the Oil Kings into one of the best franchises in the league.
The Oil Kings posted back-to-back 50-win seasons while reaching the WHL final each of the last two years. They lost the championship in six games to the Portland Winterhawks this spring after winning the league title over Portland in 2012.
Green was named the WHL’s executive of the year each of the past two seasons.
Now, Green will be working closely with the Oilers hockey operations department and head amateur scout Stu MacGregor to bring in more talent. His primary responsibility will be to monitor and recruit players from the NCAA, CHL and European hockey leagues.
Green said his experience as Oil Kings general manager has prepared him for his new role.
“Networking is critical, especially in free agency. You have to be able to go out and talk to people and recruit them,” he said. “It’s one thing to find (players) based on ability. It’s another thing to get them here.”
Although the Oilers snagged NCAA free-agent defenceman Justin Schultz in 2012, MacTavish said the team can do more recruiting at the college level.
“With the draft currently at seven rounds, there are a lot of people that slip through the draft,” he said.
The players recruited in the National Hockey League’s entry draft are young and typically still-developing players, usually 17 or 18 years old. Green’s job will be to keep an eye out for the older players missed in the draft.
“There’s 30 teams in the NHL — it’s highly competitive,” he said. “The margin of winning is extremely small. Any advantage you can get and any player you can bring into your system that has an opportunity to make your team better, you’ve got to look at it.”
The Oil Kings have not said who will replace Green as the GM. Green said the name of his replacement should be revealed on Thursday.
Although he spent the past seven years in the front office, Green is looking forward to the change of pace his new position will bring.
“It’s very exciting for me to be able to get back into the rink and do more scouting than I’ve done as the general manager of the Oil Kings,” he said. “It’s really my passion, it’s what I really like to do.”
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