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Jim Devellano

Born:Jan 18, 1943Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
National Team:CanadaCurrent Status: Detroit Red Wings
(Sr. VP of Hockey Operations)
Known For:7x Stanley Cup Champion

Jim Devellano (born January 18, 1943) was originally from the Toronto area but grew up in the Cabbagetown and Scarborough regions. A high-school dropout, Devellano pursued work to support himself, finding small odds-and-ends jobs paying very little. He was later employed by the Canadian government, and he followed all major sports during his countless business trips. Eventually, he was hired by the St. Louis Blues as an amateur scout, opening up his venture into sports-related business affairs.

In 1972, Devellano was hired by the New York Islanders in the same role, scouting Eastern Canada and playing a role in the drafting of Denis Potvin. After two seasons, he was promoted to director of scouting. While overseeing the Islanders drafts, Devellano also served as the general manager for the team’s minor-league affiliate Indianapolis Checkers. Though his time in Long Island came to an end in 1982, he managed to win three Stanley Cups with the team, two as a scout and another as an assistant general manager/director of scouting.

The following season, Devellano joined the Detroit Red Wings as the team’s general manager, while simultaneously serving the same role with their minor-league affiliate Adirondack Red Wings. Perhaps his biggest contribution to the team’s history was the construction of what became to be the Russian Five. After drafting Sergei Federov, Vladimir Konstantinov, and Vyacheslav Kozlov, Devellano drew the three over from Russia and was successful in their move to North America. Later, he added Slava Fetisov and Igor Larianov through trades, giving Detroit a core of five Russian players who led the team to multiple successful years. With Detroit, he won four more Stanley Cups, bringing his total to seven.

Former Detroit Red Wings general manager Jim Devellano (THW Archives)

Deeper Dive

Staff History

  • St. Louis Blues (Amateur Scout) 1967-1972
  • New York Islanders (Amateur Scout) 1972-1974
  • New York Islanders (Director of Scouting) 1974-1982
  • New York Islanders (Assistant General Manager) 1981-1982
  • Fort Worth Texans, CHL (Assistant General Manager) 1977-1978
  • Indianapolis Checkers, CHL (General Manager) 1979-1981
  • Indianapolis Checkers, CHL (VP. of Hockey Operations) 1981-1982
  • Indianapolis Checkers, CHL (Director of Player Personnel) 1981-1982
  • Adirondack Red Wings, AHL (General Manager) 1982-1985
  • Detroit Red Wings (General Manager) 1982-1990, 1994-1997
  • Detroit Red Wings (VP. of Hockey Operations) 1990-1997
  • Detroit Red Wings (Sr. VP of Hockey Operations) 1997-current
  • Saginaw Spirit, OHL (Franchise Owner) 2016-current

Achievements

  • 2x CHL (USA) Champion (1978, 1982)
  • 3x AHL Calder Cup Champion (1986, 1989, 1992)
  • ECHL Kelly Cup Champion (1994)
  • 7x NHL Stanley Cup Champion (1980, 1981, 1982, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2008)
  • Hockey Hall of Fame | Builder (2011)

Sources