The Florida Panthers continued their off-season re-organization this week by adding three new members to their front-office staff.
On June 16th, the club named Peter Mahovlich as a Special Advisor to Ownership. The Panthers then announced on June 18th that they’d hired Richard Pollock as a professional scout and Josh Weissbock as a prospect consultant.
One Traditional Hockey Guy…
Mahovlich has spent the last six seasons with the Panthers as a professional scout. He will continue to work in the Panthers’ scouting department while serving in his new role. Mahovlich had previously worked as a scout for Edmonton, Tampa Bay, and Atlanta. He also played in the NHL from 1965-1981, with stops in Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Montreal, where he was a member of four Stanley Cup winning teams. Mahovlich played in the Summit Series in 1972, and he was elected to the Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.
…And Two, Not So Much
Pollock is perhaps best known in the hockey world as the founder of Illegalcurve.com, a hockey news and analysis website that currently focuses on the Winnipeg Jets. A 2008 graduate of the University of North Dakota School of Law, Pollock has also served as the lead analyst of Illegalcurve’s weekly radio show on Winnipeg’s TSN affiliate and as an occasional color commentator/analyst for some of TSN’s NHL broadcasts.
Weissbock has been involved in hockey research and writing since 2011. He has helped several professional, amateur, and national teams evaluate and analyze prospects through the use of data mining. He has written for a number of hockey blogs such as CanucksArmy.com, NHLNumbers.com, and TheHockeyWriters.com. He will continue working for the Canadian government while working in his role with the Panthers.
One Crazy Summer
These moves are the latest in a series of unusual choices for the Panthers, who began the offseason by firing director of player personnel Scott Luce and promoting Dale Tallon to president of hockey operations. While Mahovlich is a known quantity, the addition of Pollock and Weissbock — both of whom lack the traditional background that most of the league’s scouts possess — lends further credence to the idea that the Panthers are looking to focus more on analytics and less on established hockey practices used by other teams. Whether this will help Florida to hoist its first Stanley Cup, however, remains to be seen.