I saw something regarding the Panthers GM search on a hockey social media page a couple days ago, but, like a lot of things these days, I wasn’t sure if it was true, so I let it go for the time being.
Well, it appears that post was on to something, as I’m starting to see more legitimate sites reporting that...Eddie Olczyk has interviewed for the vacant GM spot and is being seriously considered.
As a big Hawks and Eddie fan, I would miss Olczyk calling games for Chicago in the booth with Pat Foley, as well as the national stage with NBC, but Eddie has 16 years of NHL experience as a player, a cup (‘94 Rags), and a lifetime of hockey knowledge that I think he’s been looking at imprinting on a team for some time now. I always love hearing his insight and as a true ‘hockey guy,’ he would be a major asset to Florida.
Add to that his relationship/familiarity with Q, and as Larry Brooks of the New York Post
points out, “Olczyk also has a longstanding relationship with club owner Vinnie Viola and his wife, Teresa Viola, through their horse-racing connections and interests,”
might give Eddie the the inside track to the position.
I know that second part bothers/worries some fans. I get it. One of the knocks on ownership is folks feel they hire friends over better options (hockey people) for various roles.
I think in this case, it would be a good thing. First, I don’t see Olczyk being a ‘yes man’ and doing whatever the brass says. Again, he’s an incredibly knowledgeable hockey guy and would probably be educating them (haha). Second, while some head-butting is good, we’ve seen it destroy teams across all sports as it usually erodes over time. When a front office, GM and coaching staff can’t get on the same page, bad results are usually produced. This organization can benefit from having a cohesive plan and all parties on board. Lastly (and back to an earlier point) Eddie and Q have a longstanding relationship, as such, I believe Eddie knows what Q is looking for and wanting to build.
What’s interesting is that I don’t know why Olczyk hasn’t been scooped up by a team in some capacity already. It seems like he’s been in the search for a position like this for a long time, but just can’t seem to land one.
I don’t think it will happen, but almost wonder if Florida would benefit from hiring a guy like Mellanby and then bringing in Olczyk or Weekes to work in some kind of assistant or advisor capacity.
I say that because according to the a New York Post article, those three guys, along with Peter Chiarelli, sound like they might be the last in the running for the spot.
For me...I just want for whoever gets the job to come in and shake things up. I mean a real shake up. Seriously. I want to see a a total rearrangement of this team’s DNA.
Who has the guts (or permission) to do it?
Brady Keeper Resigned
Looks like the Cats are investing in some development on the blueline as they re-up Brady Keeper on a one-year, two-way deal.
Looking forward to seeing how this GM search ends...Go Panthers!