Technology: Part of Scouting

Technology is now an important part of Sports. Just look at the modern golf clubs, the baseball bats and the hockey sticks, just to skim the surface. Equipment is much stronger yet lighter and, in some cases more protective. It was inevitable that technology would become a part of scouting and recruiting as well.

Technology in sports was always attractive to me. In 1985, as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Kings, I was a pioneer in using technology in the NHL. I worked with a computer programmer in creating a program which would record live statistics, including time on ice. It had never been done before. We succeeded but it was a long and difficult process based on what computers could do at that time.

Well, after many years, I’m back, and now working with HOCKEY TECH, a Company who deals with data, statistics and information.

I recently accepted to become Product Development Coordinator with Hockey Tech and .U.S. Head Scout with ISS (International Scouting Service) a subsidiary of HOCKEY TECH.

HOCKEY TECH was formed when Stu Seigel, a former owner of the Florida Panthers, purchased RINKNET and joined it with ISS and later on with NEXT TESTING

What a great insight! Stu had a vision and the merging of all three Companies is very compatible and offers a great service.

RINKNET provides the scouting software for the NHL. It is the “Scouts’ Bible”. I used it for many years as an NHL Pro Scout. Other subscribers include the Canadian Hockey League and the United States Hockey League. Many NCAA teams, agents and other leagues use RinkNet as their primary source of information for anything to do with hockey and lets scouts write their reports in a user friendly fashion.

ISS complements Rinknet by adding scouting information to the already existing data. We have over 40 scouts scanning North America and Europe providing reports and information on hockey players. We provide priority lists for the NHL draft, CHL drafts, USHL drafts addition to thousands of scouting reports which managers and scouts can refer to.

For the first time this year, we are producing a college free agent and CHL overage list to help minor Professional league teams in their recruiting and scouting.

NEXT TESTING adds to the services that HOCKEY TECH provides. Young players can get tested with on ice computerized tests and several off ice tests to add to their portfolio of data. We will be running combines across North America to test players. Their data will be included into the RinkNet basin of information viewed by more than 4,000 scouts and managers across North America and Europe. They will be able to compare their “numbers” with others of the same age group who go through the tests.

I’m very excited to be a part of this growing industry, one that provides great services to everybody in the Hockey World!



An elite athlete is often best judged on how he or she reacts to adversity. A fall or a loss doesn’t define the competitor or a team. How they react after a fall determines their real value.
The Russian Hockey team is one example of the failure to use adversity as a motivator in the 2014 Olympics.
Yes, they were the victim of a very bad call against the Americans in the preliminary round in their 3-2 shoot-out defeat. They had taken the lead late in the game to see their goal turned back because the net was off its moorings. It was a good goal, it should have been a good goal but it wasn’t, based on international rules. To make matters worse, Americans goalie Jonathan Quick deliberately pushed the net off when he moved from his right to his left and should have been called for a delay of game penalty. There’s no doubt that Quick dislodged the net deliberately with his left arm.
The Soviets had a valid reason to be angry and complain of unfairness. The outcome of that game and of the rest of the tournament could have been much different. But Sports Competitions are not always fair. There are lots of times when you need to bite the bullet and move on.
The Russians never became a team in these Olympic Competitions. Stacked with many individual highly skilled Stars, they failed to rally around their adversity and their home advantage. Was there too much pressure to perform in front of their fans and Countrymen?
Olympian medalists perform under tremendous pressure. They compete against the best in the world and win or lose by fractions of seconds or points. The stakes are high and those who raise their performance regardless of what happens around them, fair or not, are those who proudly stand on the podium.
The Russian National Hockey team must blame themselves. They fell but didn’t get up ready to fight as a team.


Hey! Hockey Fans! Stop complaining about the cold weather or the Polar Vortex…if we didn’t have cold winters, we wouldn’t have HOCKEY! EY!
We wouldn’t have Outdoor Hockey Games either…Ooops!
That’s not completely true is it?
Who could have predicted the popularity of the NHL outdoor games and that the NHL would schedule 6 REGULAR SEASON OUTDOOR GAMES in the 2013-14 season. This past week alone, as part of the “Stadium Series”, there were 3 such games in 5 days; including two games at the legendary Yankee Stadium, in New York and an OUTDOOR GAME IN CALIFORNIA at the Dodger Stadium, in Los Angeles. REALLY!!!

Honestly, I was one of many who didn’t believe that they could pull it off in California!

Was the National Hockey League going overboard? Were they pushing the envelope a little too far? There were many possible uncontrollable destructive factors to consider: The sun, the rain, the humidity, the heat… It could be disastrous if the ice conditions would force a cancellation. And what about fan interest? Would Californians have any interest in an outdoor hockey game?

Well, “chapeau” to the NHL. The “star studded” event was attended by 54,099 fans and viewed on TV by millions. The ice and the hockey conditions were fine. It was awesome! Wayne Gretzky, dropping the ceremonial face off was a nice touch and KISS as entertainment was… well …You can’t win’em all…!

Did you know that large scale outdoor hockey games are not such a novel idea after all? Some Olympic games were played outdoors in the early 1900’s. The 1957 gold medal game between the Soviet Union and Sweden at the Lenin Stadium in Moscow attracted approximately 55,000 fans, a number that stood as a record for more than 40 years
Since 2001, there have been 107 outdoor hockey games in North America and Europe. You can look up the list of games at this website:
(Wikipedia is my new BFF)

The first NHL experiment with outdoor games was in Edmonton in 2003. The “Heritage Classic” featured the Oilers and the Montreal Canadiens. It was a natural. Two Canadian teams playing their National sport in its natural settings. It was a “hit”. Even though the weather was -2F, hockey fans loved it and the players embraced the event.

In 2008, the yearly “Winter Classic” was born in snowy Buffalo when the Sabres played a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Ralph Wilson Stadium. It was followed with games at Wrigley Field, in Chicago, Fenway Park, in Boston, Heinz Field, in Pittsburgh and Citizens Bank Park, in Philadelphia.

Detroit had two years because of the NHL lockout, to prepare for the next event at the Michigan Stadium, in Ann Arbor, Michigan where 105,491 fans attended.

My wife, Nicole and I attended the Winter Classic games in Chicago and in Ann Arbor. We had a great time at both events. I missed some of the games’ action because I wanted to experience the moment. Fans parading in their team’s colors ignoring the elements, the spirited atmosphere and the overall spectacle that the NHL provided are forever engraved as a great memory.

Sports Illustrated columnist Dan Shaughnessy said of the Winter Classic, “Now hockey owns New Year’s Day the way baseball owns the Fourth of July and football owns Thanksgiving.”


The NHL must keep it fresh and entertaining for their fans. Avoid complacency and over saturating the market.

WHAT ABOUT NHL OUTDOOR GAMES IN EUROPE? Why not? Possibilities are now endless…What about Florida???

…and for the sake of the more “mature fans”, what about a group like the EAGLES as entertainment? KISS was a little over the top…!



Bobby Orr wrote a book called “MY STORY” which came out recently. It was on my list to Santa this year and she came through, the book was under the Christmas tree. Reading Bobby’s book, I was particularly interested in his humble beginnings, playing “shinny” hockey on a pond and playing just for the fun of it. We both came from the same era and I can relate to many of the stories he tells in the book.
Living in Rigaud, a small town west of Montreal, near the Ontario border, there wasn’t much of anything that was organized for kids. During the winter, we played hockey for fun, skating on outdoor rinks and ponds for entertainment.
I lived on “rue Ste-Madeleine”. The boys on the street all got together to build our own skating skating rink. The Cadieux family had a large lot across the street from my house. They would leave a window unlocked which opened into their basement so that we could pull out the hose to water the rink. It was kept inside to prevent it from freezing. We built our rink from scratch with snow and water. We made the perimeter by piling up snow, making it as square as possible and watering it. It was our “chef-d’oeuvre” our pride…It was ours. We would scrape it when it snowed; water it at night so that we could have good ice the next day. If there was a thaw, we would simply rebuild it. We skated after school and week-ends as long as the two lights installed at each end of the house would allow us to see or until we were called home or told to leave. Sometimes, we would practice our shots against the house which wasn’t much appreciated by the home owners.
It seemed like a big rink at the time but when I returned as an adult, the yard wasn’t as big as I imagined it; just like the hill I used to walk up to go to school which felt a whole lot bigger and steeper than it really is. (I guess I must have walked uphill both ways, in the snow, as the saying goes)
There was one set of goalie equipment which nobody wanted to wear. So I often volunteered to be the goalie. Not that we kept score but it was nice to have goalies. “You can’t live with them but can’t live without them” is one of my favorite sayings. I was infatuated by goalies as a young boy. At a very young age, I used to get up early I the morning, throw a ball against the door and use the stair posts leading upstairs for my net. I pretended to be Jacques Plante or my favorite goalie, Terry Sawchuck. My imaginary team won the Stanley Cup many times . . . and, of course, I was the hero each time.
Those were the days when hockey was played for fun. There was no pressure, there were no expectations. Pro hockey and the NHL were like something from outer space. We idolized the players and loved to watch the game on TV on Saturday nights, but it was certainly something that was out of reach for a young boy from Rigaud. We dreamed of playing in the NHL but it was never something that was real. Believe it or not, the first “live” NHL game that I attended in person, I actually played in it…
It was only when I moved to LaSalle, a suburb of Montreal, at 12 years old, that I played organized hockey and, as fate would have it, it was as a goalie.
My NHL story begins at a bus stop in LaSalle when my friend Roger Peloquin told me he was going to a Bantam tryout that night. I had no idea what a tryout was or what Bantam meant but I wanted to be a part of it. I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like if I had not been at that bus stop on that specific cold September morning.