Prendergast bumped upstairs, MacGregor the New Head Man for Amateur Procurement

I’ve always felt that hockey uses the wrong words for things. There’s very little poetry in the sport (baseball is awash in it) and one of the reasons is it is too “business” and not enough “entertainment.”

For instance, Stu MacGregor has been named “head scout.” It sounds like a guy who is always about a mile ahead of everyone everyday. Maybe he gets up early and makes coffee before heading out. Either way, it’s not exciting.

Sometimes you’ll hear a guy say he’s “in charge of player development” which isn’t really true. That’s pretty much the AHL coach’s job or the NHL coach’s job.

The scouts are in charge of procurement. They go out into the wilderness and find assets to feed the mighty beast that is a professional sports organization. They are vital. The dictionary definition of “procurement” is “a set of activities performed as part of an acquisition effort.” Seems fair.

So “Vice President in charge of Amateur Procurement” is a better description than “chief scout”, can we agree?

Stu MacGregor is the new man. I have no idea if he’s any good and his report card is years away from completion. Then again, so is Prendergast’s.

I think history will be kind to KP. His first official draft as “Vice President in Charge of Procurement” was 2001. At a guess, I’d say his 5 best choices were:

  1. Ales Hemsky (2001)
  2. Jarrett Stoll (2002)
  3. Sam Gagner (2007)
  4. Andrew Cogliano (2005)
  5. Marc Pouliot (2003)

Is that fair? I’m tempted to include the kid Chorney, and admit to a soft spot for Trukhno and lord knows someone like Dubnyk or Schremp or even Kyle Brodziak may end up on the list.

How does that compare to the 7 seasons previous to KP taking over? Well, with the understanding that we have this group in much better focus here’s my list 1994-2000:

  1. Ryan Smyth (1994)
  2. Shawn Horcoff (1998)
  3. Tom Poti (1996)
  4. Mike Comrie (1999)
  5. Fernando Pisani (1996)

I think that’s fair. You might prefer Chimera or BG or Devereaux but Pisani has had a bigger impact imo and hopefully be back for 08-09.

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12 Responses to "Prendergast bumped upstairs, MacGregor the New Head Man for Amateur Procurement"

  1. CM says:

    Hey LT who is BG…I can’t for the life of me remember any oiler besides Guerin with the initials BG…

  2. Lowetide says:

    cm: Big Georges, as in Georges Laraque. Sorry.

  3. CM says:

    Thats what I figured…I don’t think Laraque is a tenth of the hockey player that Pisani is… I hope he returns to form sooner rather than later…

  4. grease trap says:

    For a “Tough Guy”, Laraque’s stats aren’t so bad

  5. doritogrande says:

    I’d be tempted to throw Jeff Petry ahead of Cogliano in terms of the fifth best player drafted. Mostly because he seems like an absolute steal from the second round after his 06-07 season in the USHL.

    What exactly do you see as KP’s new job title? Is he now solely “vice president of hockey operations”? That seems like somewhat of a demotion to me. Or do you perhaps see him as being appointed the new Assistant GM?

  6. doritogrande says:

    Meant to put Petry as 4th, Cogliano as 5th, and Pouliot off that list.

  7. Lowetide says:

    The problem is we don’t know how they divided the work. Howson I believe did the contracts (after being given a range by the GM) but after that they could have been smoking doobies for all I know.

  8. MikeP says:

    “too much ‘business’, not enough ‘entertainment’”, and you suggest “Vice President in charge of Amateur Procurement” as a replacement title for “Head Scout”? Ya off ya rocka? How much more “suit” can you get?

    What about “Chief Young Player Watcher” (hm, maybe sounds on the edge of racist) or something like that? “Head Freezer Guy”?

    A company favoured by some of our CS co-op students calls its quality assurance people “Human Cannonballs.” *That* is “entertainment”.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Mike P: It was kind of meant as a joke. :-)

  10. Vic Ferrari says:

    Through the magic of google I know that Mr. MacGregor coached against Hitchcock in Sherwood Park in the early 80′s. MacGregor got his break coaching in the AJHL just a year before Hitchcock broke into the WHL with Kamloops.

    Hitch brought him in as a scout for Kamloops a year later, and Stu would eventually become GM of that WHL team. When he was dismissed there he found work as a scout with the Dallas Stars (where Hitchcock was the head coach, by pure coinkydink)

    MacGregor is also the only scout, in any sport, that I have heard acknowledge that numbers may beat eyes in the long run, in response to a Stauffer “Moneyball” question I remember.

    This fucker deserves better than to be working for the Oilers hockey-lore-hillbilly-crew. Assuming they were in play, how in God’s name did Howson and Hitchcock seem like worse option here?


  11. Lowetide says:

    Interesting stuff, Vic. Thanks for it.

  12. MikeP says:

    LT – I wasn’t joking. :( I shall not sleep until I think of a new job title for Mr. MacGregor!

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