About a month ago, I praised The Creator for hiring Misha Donskov. A young analytics wizard that built a database of player metadata. The hire seemed very progressive, however, at 39, Donskov still remains one of the youngest staff members in the hockey front office.
George McPhee, the GM, is 58. His assistant, Kelly McCrimmon is 55. Senior advisor, David Conte? 68. Dave Prior, 60. Vaughn Karpan, 55. Vojtech Kucera, 50. The youngest of the high ranking bunch are Scott Luce, 47 and Wil Nichol, 43. Pretty much every scout pushes 50 as well. Based off my fuzzy math, the average age of the front office is close to 55-years-old. I know it’s not Statler and Waldorf’s age, but 55-year-old scouts have a system. A system that’s disciplined, organized, and experienced.
Meanwhile, just down the road, Arizona hired a 26-year-old John Chayka to take over the Coyotes front office. The young GM has been compared to the Chicago Cub’s Theo Epstein and his data-oriented decisions. I thought Las Vegas would’ve leaned more towards Chayka’s model. Older GM’s and scouts have blueprints that already work for them.
Do I worry about the age of the staff? Sadly, I do. I was hoping for a more diverse cabinet like the Coyotes, Canes, and Panthers. It’s tough for an experienced evaluator to change a successful method. I can’t blame them, it’s gotten them to where they are in the NHL today. However, The Creator could address experience and progression with a few younger staff members. I believe in harmony between analytics and true scouting. Call me a schmuck, I don’t care. Unfortunately for some, guys like Chayka are encroaching on the NHL world. If Vegas hires more young schmucks, the balance could help the club’s future.