I’m kind of late to the party on this one, but the Edmonton Journal’s David Staples penned a rather harsh look at Tyler Wright’s drafting while working for the Columbus Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings, and while making some cogent points, Staples concludes something that Red Wings fans are already aware of:
Overall, I can’t see how any kind of strong argument can be made that Wright did better with his picks than [Oilers chief scout] Bob Green and Keith Gretzky did in Edmonton in the last five drafts.
Of course, while Wright is taking over, Gretzky is staying on and will do some amateur scouting, while Green may also stay on. So perhaps the combined efforts of this group will get it right.
Of course, Wright will have seven or eight scouts working under him. The Oilers scouting staff has had a lot of turnover in recent years, but that trend needs to continue. Wright should bring in one or two new scouts per year in each of the next few seasons, then continue with that kind of churn. A handful of Oilers amateur scouts have been around too long already with decidedly mixed or poor results.
It’s evident that there’s no harm in constant turnover in scouting ranks, and that some of the best scouting teams fell off, both in Edmonton in the 1980s and Detroit in the early 2000s, when formerly successful scouts were kept on well past their “best before” dates. Holland’s biggest mistake in Detroit may well have been not turning over his scouting department quickly enough after 2004.
In the end, I can’t say I’m thrilled with Wright coming in. He’s not obviously excelled as a scout in Columbus or Detroit. He’s got plenty to prove. Of course, I wish him well, as will all Oilers fans.
Staples continues, and all I can politely say is, “He’s your problem now. Good luck!”