Teams send their pro scouts to rinks for any number of reasons. Sometimes it’s to advance scout a future opponent. Sometimes it’s to get a sense of the upcoming free agent class. This season, it’s likely that teams are also trying to get a sense of what the other teams in the league are going to do in terms of protection for the upcoming expansion draft.
That said, particularly in the run-up to the National Hockey League’s trade deadline, teams scout games to find out what players may be available and how they might fit in with their groups.
For whatever it’s worth, here’s what we can suss out from the scouting list over the past 10 Flames home dates. (Disclaimer: Just because a team’s on the scouting list doesn’t mean they’re there [as travel plans often change] and on the same vein, teams may have sent somebody to the game but they weren’t on the list.)
Scouted Most Frequently
Here are the teams who were most frequently on the scouting list over the past 10 games:
- 10 – Philadelphia
- 7 – Edmonton, Minnesota
- 5 – Florida, Las Vegas, Montreal, NY Rangers, Toronto
- 4 – Dallas, Detroit, Vancouver
- 3 – Toronto
- 2 – Arizona, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, New Jersey
- 1 – Carolina, Columbus, NY Islanders
- 0 – Anaheim, Colorado, Los Angeles, Nashville, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Jose, Washington, Winnipeg
Sent Multiple Scouts
Sending the same scout to multiple teams may simply be a scheduling thing – they’re in the area anyway and they might learn something different – but sending multiple people allows for different perspectives and for what’s known as “cross-checking” (double-checking what your area scout saw with a second set of eyes).
Over the past 10 Flames games, 10 different teams sent multiple scouts (either all in one game or in different games): Buffalo, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Florida, Minnesota, Montreal, NY Rangers, Toronto and Vegas.
Sent Key People
Besides sending scouts often or sending multiple scouts, a team sending an important hockey operations figure may be trying to check something interesting out. Here are some people with fancy job titles that have been spotted at the ‘Dome recently:
- Buffalo director of scouting Rob Murphy
- Carolina assistant to general manager Darren Yorke
- Dallas advisor to general manager Les Jackson
- Edmonton VP of personnel Duane Sutter
- Florida head pro scout Al Tuer
- Vegas assistant general manager Kelly McCrimmon (and director of player personnel Vaughn Karpan)
- Minnesota assistant general manager Brent Flahr
- NY Rangers consultant Doug Risebrough