Friday, April 29, 2011


Russell Jaslow, the SUNYAC columnist for, has emailed to me a clarification regarding the earlier post about Potsdam's playoff eligibility...

I believe Potsdam WILL be eligible for the postseason next year, the way I am reading the NCAA report.

As long as there is not a single player on the team from day one of next season who is receiving any of those financial aid packages they got in trouble for, then the team can compete in the postseason.

It's the same reason Buffalo State and Geneseo were able to compete in the playoffs this year, even though they are still under probation. Their problem last year was they got caught during the middle of the season, and thus could not correct the problem for that season.

Potsdam has the opportunity to correct the problem since they in the offseason now. They got lucky with the timing of the findings. However, their lacrosse teams will not be able to correct the problem in time, and thus they will suffer a postseason ban for this year.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


The St. Michael's Buzzers proudly announce the commitment of goalie Aaron Green to Brockport State University for 2011. Green follows recent Buzzer Mike Gershon (2004) to play for the Golen Eagles in Suny Conference.

GM Rich Ricci on Green, "Its great to see Aaron achieve this goal. He had a great season and really helped solidify our young back end. In the end, he had 4 schools to choose from and thats always a good feeling to have choices. Aaron was well developed by ex-Buzzer and pro, Mike Rosati and Mario DePiero made a big difference in his ongoing performance.

Aaron brought maturity and a great preparation aspect to his game. His compete level and love of the game rubbed off on others. We wish Aaron the best in what I suspect will be a very succesful NCAA career."

In 37 games OPHL last season, Green was 20-13-2 with a .900 save percentage and a 3.37 GAA. Green is 5'10", 175 pounds and hails from Mt. Albert, Ontario. He recently celebrated his 21st birthday.

Friday, April 22, 2011


Following in the steps of Buffalo State and Geneseo who were found guilty of the same in recent seasons, Potsdam's hockey team is facing a postseason ban for breaking financial aid rules.

I feel bad for the men on the team who will be playing their hearts out with absolutely no chance of making the playoffs no matter the record, but rules are rules and I like Brockport's improved chances for making the SUNYAC's.

Here's the AP report...

The NCAA has penalized the State University of New York at Potsdam for violations of financial aid rules involving men's and women's ice hockey; men's and women's lacrosse; women's volleyball and women's soccer programs.

Penalties in this case include two years probation and a postseason ban.

During the 2008-08 and 2009-10 academic years, the NCAA says the university awarded financial aid packages to student-athletes in a pattern clearly distinguishable from the general pattern of all financial aid for the general student body. The committee noted the violations were unintentional, but represented a significant competitive advantage.

The university awarded the scholarships in the form of International Initiative Grants, which were designed to increase the presence of international students enrolled at the university.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Brockport's Athletic Communications reports the following...

James Cody (Schwenksville, PA) was voted the 2010-11 Brian Cavanaugh Most Valuable Player award at The College at Brockport Hockey team's annual awards dinner held Saturday night at the Free Methodist Church in Brockport. Additionally, Cody was named as one of the assistant captains for the 20011-12 season as Adam Shoff (Port Dover, ONT) was voted the team captain for next year and defenseman Mike Hayward (Toronto, ONT) was also named an assistant captain.

The Most Valuable Player Award is named in honor of Brian Cavanaugh who is one of the top career goals and points producers in school history and was the top player on the first three varsity teams for Brockport when the team transitioned from club status to the varsity level.

Six seniors were honored at the dinner and presented their senior gifts. Seniors Justin Noble (Georgetown, ONT), Tom Galiani (Lindenhurst, NY), Ray Tremblay (Peachland, BC) Chris Berardini (Batavia, NY), Nick Sampson (Mississauga, ONT) and Jeremy Rossignolo (Rochester, NY) were each honored.

Berardini was announced as the Outstanding Scholar-Athlete for the team and Noble was given the Bob Pedersen Coaches Award. The Jimmy Mac Most Improved Player Award was given to Patrick Hayden (Springfield, PA) and Shoff was honored with the EJ McGuire 7th Player Award.

The Coaches Award is named in honor of Bob Pedersen who is known as the grandfather of Brockport hockey coaching the team through most of the club-level years and guiding the program to the varsity level. He remained head coach for several seasons as a varsity team.

The Jimmy Mac Most Improved Player award is named in memory of Jimmy MacCollum who was a player for the Golden Eagles and died as a result of a tragic car accident.

The 7th Player Award is named in honor of former player and coach for the Golden Eagles, EJ McGuire. The recent inductee to the Golden Eagle Athletic Hall of Fame and NHL Vice President of the Central Scouting Bureau passed away early April.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Last night the athletic and academic successes of the Brockport hockey team were celebrated at the team’s annual banquet held at the Brockport Free Methodist Church, with the meal expertly prepared and hosted by the Dickinson family and friends.

The festivities began with special recognition awards being doled out to the WBSU broadcast team of Gary Efthemis and Ryan Gates, and the training team of Gwen McNamara, Rob Larson, and Darren Vukovic. A special award (the captain’s chair) was given to Athletic Director Noah LeFevre for his support of the team.

The crowd was then entertained with another great video from Cam Noble that looked at a recent Oswego/Cortland road trip and the off-ice pursuits of the men. Following the video, the team awards were given out.

James Cody was recognized for his honorable mention on the All-SUNYAC team for a season that saw him ranked among the nation’s leaders in goals, scoring and short-handed goals. He was also selected as the recipient of the team’s Brian Cavanaugh MVP Award. This was the first year that the award was issued in Brian’s name, as many players past and present see Brian as the ultimate Brockport player. Brian played on the club team and then in the first three seasons of the varsity program when he racked up on astounding 124 points.

The Outstanding Scholar Athlete Award was well-earned by Chris Berardini. The senior business administration major had a perfect 4.0 GPA last fall and his 4-year GPA to date is an amazing 3.84.

The Jimmy Mac Most Improved Player Award – in honor of former player and owner of what was once Jimmy Mac’s, Mr. Jimmy MacCollum – was given to freshman defenseman Patrick Hayden.

The EJ McGuire 7th Player Award took on special meaning this year with the recent passing of the former Brockport captain and coach and NHL executive. The recipient was Adam Shoff, recognized for his scrappiness, penalty killing and face-off skills.

The Bob Pedersen Coaches Award went to Justin Noble, who for the last two seasons has been the hard-playing captain of this squad. The consummate leader – on and off ice – then passed the torch to Adam Shoff who will assume the captaincy next season. Adam’s two assistants will be forward James Cody and defenseman Mike Hayward.

The festivities closed out with the joyous (yet always sad) celebration of the seniors who each received a Brockport Hockey director’s chair emblazoned with their numbers. It was great to hear the heartfelt speeches of the six seniors who have been such key parts of Brockport’s two recent playoff seasons. It was sad to see the likes of Justin Noble, Ray Tremblay, Tom Galiani, Chris Berardini, Nick Sampson and Jeremy Rossignolo say good bye to their teammates and the program. They’ve created a lifetime of memories for themselves, their teammates and the fans.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Hockey fans are familiar with Brendon Rothfuss, the forward who had 5 goals and 4 assists in his freshman campaign on the ice.

You may not be aware that Brendon is that rare breed of college athlete who plays 2 sports.

He is also an attackman on the College's lacrosse team. So far in their 3-6 season he has scored 11 goals (good for third on the team) while assisting on 5 more.

I interviewed Brendon for so we can get a sense of how he makes it all work...

Participating in 1 sport and taking classes is tough enough. Participating in 2 sports and taking classes is almost unheard of. How do you balance it all?

It’s definitely not easy, but I knew coming into Brockport I wanted to try and play both sports and there certainly are sacrifices that have to be made to make sure that I can balance both sports and still focus on my school work. Sometimes the guys are ringing me seeing if I want to come hang out but I don’t have the free time they have so I end up having to stay in my dorm doing homework all night. Of course I want to be hanging out with my buddies but in order to participate in two sports I have to sacrifice that at times, and it has definitely been worth it.

You take part in sports that have you actively playing from October to May. That said, you need to be in the very best shape all year long. There's almost no downtime. What does your exercise routine and diet consist of?

Last year with my junior hockey season ending in the beginning of March I was able to get a good jump on physically preparing myself to be a college athlete. I would work out 3 times a week over the summer and once I got to Brockport at the end of August our hockey team would skate and work out 4 to 5 times a week. So when October came around we were in great physical shape and we only continued to grow on that throughout the season.

However, going so hard for so long has certainly taken its toll on my body and since the end of hockey I have taken it much easier in the weight room simply because if I were to be doing the same workouts as the hockey guys are doing now my body would not be able to withstand lacrosse as well. Therefore now during lacrosse season we practice every day and I make it up to the weight room once maybe twice a week and just try and eat big healthy meals so that I don’t lose too much of what I gained throughout the year. Unfortunately I’ve already lost 6 lbs since the end of hockey, but I will be able to put that back on throughout the course of the summer.

Tell us about your lacrosse history at Webster Thomas

While I was at Webster Thomas I watched our program develop from a new “small school” into one of the elite programs in New York State. Coach Ruller has really done wonders with the program and it seems like every year his teams just keep getting better and better. My sophomore year we won I think 5 games and were a team filled with 10th and 11th grade talent, a lot of us being our first year on varsity. We carried the load pretty well and two sophomores (Dom Scalzo and I) led the team in goals. The following year we lost only a handful of games and were undefeated in our division. Webster Thomas has now not lost a division game since 2005 so it is pretty neat to be a part of the group that first put our school on the map. Over the years I was fortunate enough to play with some great lacrosse players that helped me grow into the player I am today. I ended up graduating 2nd all time in points in 2007 and was a part of some really special teams.

Which sport have you had the greatest success at: hockey or lacrosse?

That’s a really tough question, I’ve been lucky to play with some pretty great players in both sports that have helped me achieve a lot over the years on the ice and the field. Winning All Greater Rochester player of the year was an awesome experience from my last year in high school, but so was being a two time first team all county attackmen in lacrosse. I’m going to go on a limb here and say hockey, I got to be a part of great teams at the youth and junior level. I was fortunate enough to win a State Championship back in 2006 playing for the Maksymiu brothers with Rochester Youth and I would say that’s my greatest achievement.

How do the skills and instincts you utilize in hockey translate to lacrosse and vice versa?

I think for any lacrosse player to have a hockey background is a huge advantage as an athlete. Although in hockey you handle the puck on the ice and in lacrosse you handle the ball in your stick up by your ear, a lot of the muscles a player uses in their wrists and arms are the same. Also I find that the creativity and coordination of hockey play a huge role in the lacrosse game whether it’s with your stick-work or shooting.

Lacrosse is becoming more popular all the time, yet it's still regarded as a niche sport. How do you "sell" people -- fans and athletes -- on lacrosse to get them interested?

Lacrosse is a special game, it’s got a little bit of every sport in its roots. It’s got the footwork and formations of basketball, the creativity, grace, and grit of hockey, the physical contact of football, and the speed of soccer. If you have the opportunity to get to a lacrosse game in your area, I’d recommend you give it a try. When I was young I was oblivious to lacrosse, and ever since I first picked up a stick I haven’t been able to put it back down. Some of the players these days have an incredible amount of skill and make this wonderful game exciting to watch.


Fox News features this article about EJ McGuire's funeral....

OAKVILLE, Ont. -- The profound impact that EJ McGuire had on the lives of all those he came in contact with certainly hit home when friend and former NHL coach Mike Keenan took the podium to deliver an emotionally touching tribute from the heart.

During his five-minute eulogy, "Iron Mike" was simply moved to tears.

It was a common theme on Tuesday afternoon, as family, friends and an entire hockey universe mourned the loss and celebrated the life of McGuire, who was laid to rest here following a mass at Mary Mother of God Catholic Church. The McGuire family also invited 400-plus guests to a follow-up reception at Le Dome Banquet Hall where a video tribute was played before special words were shared.

The list of dignitaries included, but wasn't limited to, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.

"I think EJ had four important things in his life -- his wife Terry, the girls (daughters Jacqueline and Erin) and hockey. But as important as hockey was, I know his family always came first," Bettman said. "Everybody liked EJ. He was so respected and so admired. He was a great people-person and I don't think anybody had a bad word to say about him. People always talk about the game of hockey and how different hockey people are. Well, I think EJ was emblematic of how good hockey people really are."

Keenan, who first met McGuire at Roger Neilson's coaches' clinic before bringing him aboard as his assistant with the Philadelphia Flyers in 1984, was emotional most of the day. He was also seen embracing Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Jim Gregory following the mass.

"When I was 1 1/2, I lost my young brother … and then the Lord brought a guy around … named EJ," Keenan told those guests at the reception. "I'm honored to have had the opportunity in my life to have had a friend like EJ. He loved his family."

Diagnosed this past December with Leiomyoscarcoma, an incurable, rare form of cancer that aggressively attacks the cells that make up the involuntary muscles within the body, McGuire waged a brave five-month battle with the disease before passing in the early morning of April 7. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, and sister, Mary Ann "Maize" Simonick.

"He's in good company now," Keenan said. "I'm sure he's up there, with our good friend Roger Neilson and some of the other gang. Peter Zezel is probably asking, 'Why did you bench me,' and Pelle Lindbergh is saying, 'Do you realize the number of times you pulled me?' But he impacted my career … he had a great part of my responsibility of being a head coach. He was a young brother that I really relied on. I'll be indebted to him for the rest of my life and I'll cherish my moments and memories with him.

"Terry was asking me earlier what she could do for me … can you imagine that? I don't know how you carry the strength and courage you have, Terry. EJ … I'm going to miss you. Thank you."

The stories and tributes continued when former Brockport College teammate and roommate , Sean McCrossin, offered his memories.

"In case you didn't know, EJ started growing his mustache at the age of 8," he said, grinning. That got a good laugh from the guests. It was at that point Mary Ann leaned over to this reporter and admitted, "He grew that mustache because he thought he looked younger than the players or students without it."

"EJ had an odd, but perfect combination of absolute self-confidence in his ability; unquestioned on what he could do and how he could do it," McCrossin continued. "Combine that with a perfect sense of humility. I have never met a more humble person in my life. Whenever the conversation would turn to him, about what he did or accomplished, he would find a way to turn it around and credit everyone else."

The McGuire family has been overwhelmed with all the support they've received at a time of tremendous sorrow. In lieu of flowers, donations for McGuire's two children, accepted at any M&T Bank Branch, may be made payable to "Benefit for the Children of Edward (EJ) McGuire." Donations can also be mailed 2180 Union Rd. West Seneca, N.Y. 14224.

"It has brought us great joy and comfort to know how well EJ was thought of through the entire hockey world," Mary Ann told "As my parents (the late John J. and Betty) would say, 'We always thought he was special, but we are glad to know others think so as well.' "

Mary Ann's husband and longtime Buffalo Sabres equipment manager, Rip Simonick, also spoke to those family and friends present.

"The last thing he said to me was, 'Rip, I'll see you in the OT,' " said Simonick with bloodshot eyes.

When asked Keenan to describe the man he called his brother, he smiled.

"There wasn't one thing about EJ," he told "We had a really strong connection right from the beginning and I spent a lot of time with him -- about as much time as any other human being in the world, so I couldn't expound on one thing. He had no expiration date on loyalty. He was a big part of interacting with the players and reinforced the messages we were trying to deliver (while with the Flyers)."

And how should he be remembered?

"He's going to be remembered as a great guy, excellent husband, father and friend," Keenan said.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Jay Meloff, a 20-year old, 5'11" 190-pound defenseman, has committed to SUNY Brockport. He played with the Pickering Panthers of the OJHL this past season and had 11 points and 54 PIM in 30 contests.

Prior to that, he spent 2 seasons in Peterborough, where his 2009/2010 season was quite similar to the past one. His OJHL totals consist of 62 games played, 2 goals, 19 assists, and 120 PIM.

Jay hails from Markham, Ontario.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


McGuire: Coaching, scouting pioneer and 'good guy'
By Gary Meagher - Columnist

The hockey world lost one of the "good guys" early Thursday when EJ McGuire, the NHL's Vice President of Central Scouting, passed away after a brief but courageous battle with cancer at the age of 58.

For the last 35 years, EJ was a fixture in rinks around North America as a coach and scout. He coached no fewer than 10 teams at all levels of the game between 1975 and 2001, before turning his unique knowledge of the game to the world of scouting.

From Brockport, N.Y., to Rochester, N.Y., to Waterloo, Ont., to Philadelphia to Chicago to Portland, Maine, to Ottawa to Guelph, Ont., to Hartford to Orono, Maine, and, finally, back to Philadelphia, EJ was a mentor to thousands of hockey players ranging from elite college and junior players to NHL professionals.

EJ was proud of both his Western New York roots -- he was born in Buffalo -- and his alma mater, the State University of New York College at Brockport, where he graduated with a degree in physical education and health science in 1975. He played for the Brockport Golden Eagles from 1971-72 through 1974-75, where he was known for his leadership skills, gritty style of play and the work ethic that he brought to the rink on a daily basis. He served as team captain during his senior year. EJ was the ultimate team player, and no better evidence could be found of this than in his senior season when he set a single game school record with five assists.

EJ reflected years later on his hockey playing ability: "I knew that playing hockey was not the avenue to stay in the sport I loved," he said. " 'You may be small,' my coach at Brockport told me, 'but you're also slow!' "

Following his undergraduate studies, EJ remained at the school to complete his Master's Degree in Physical Education ('77) and got his first taste of coaching as an assistant with the Golden Eagles for the next two seasons.

In 1977, he assumed the head coaching duties at Brockport while also serving as the school's Assistant Director of Athletics, a position he held until 1982. He was largely credited with first saving and then providing a stable foundation for the hockey program that, in many ways, helped to grow the sport at the youth levels in Western New York.

Earlier this year, quietly and with no fanfare (the EJ way), he returned to his Western New York roots and teamed up with his lifelong friend, Gene Overdorf. Overdorf, the coach at Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School, had invited EJ to share his wealth of hockey knowledge with a bunch of teenage hockey players. As the Metro Community News of Buffalo reported after the visit, "EJ came out to talk to the young men about what it takes to make it to the next level. McGuire, however, just didn't chat with the boys, he also helped to run practice -- the same way NHL teams run practice."

EJ's impact on hockey in Western New York and the Brockport school community, both on and off the ice, was appropriately recognized on Sept. 26, 2009, when he became the first member of the hockey program to be inducted into the Golden Eagles Hall of Fame. His pride in how far the game has come in recent years was clear when he remarked during the recent World Junior Championships in Buffalo: "I think the sky's the limit for the city of Buffalo, for Western New York and extends right through Rochester. I really think not only are more and more kids going to come out of here, but stay in Buffalo longer to play."

A chance encounter with Mike Keenan in the summer of 1980 at a coach's symposium north of Toronto led to a special bond between two young, aspiring hockey coaches. Keenan was passing through Toronto on his way to Rochester, N.Y., and stopped by the symposium to confer with fellow coaching friends Roger Neilson, Harry Neale, Ron Smith and Tom Watt as he considered signing his first pro coaching contract with the Rochester Americans (AHL). Eight years later, as the pair prepared to coach the Wales Conference in the 1988 NHL All-Star Game in St. Louis, EJ reflected on how their relationship evolved.

"The fact that Brockport was only 15 miles from Rochester caught Mike's attention," McGuire said. "On the hurried walk to his car, with travel bags over both shoulders, we started talking. I was astounded by the amount of information that Mike was able to elicit and retain. I initially assumed all he wanted was a friendly exchange -- to get my attention on the Rochester area, its level of hockey sophistication. Four months later, in September, I heard from Mike again. He phoned my office, as urgent and direct in his approach then as he had been in our first conversation."

Keenan was looking for a stats man and EJ recommended a member of his staff from Brockport.

"And from my supervision of that statistician as a contributor to Keenan's first pro season, my relationship with Mike evolved -- from an interested observer of his team, to a hockey knowledgeable outside opinion, to an advance scout of upcoming opponents, to a coaching cohort and friend," McGuire said.

EJ would work on a part-time basis for Keenan in Rochester for the 1981-82 and 1982-83 seasons. The pair won an AHL championship (Calder Cup) with the Americans in 1983.

In 1983, it was time to go north of the border from the Brockport experience as a student, player, coach and administrator and the Rochester "jack of all hockey trades" experience to the University of Waterloo (Ontario), where McGuire began his doctorate studies in kinesiology (with a sports psychology specialization). He would also coach the university's hockey team.

Over the course of the next six years, his passion for coaching and education helped him to reach the pinnacle in both pursuits. First, connecting again with Keenan as an assistant coach in the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers (1984-85 through 1987-88), and later with the Chicago Blackhawks (1988-89 through 1990-91). The McGuire-Keenan coaching partnership was one of the most successful in the League during that seven-year stretch, producing five division titles, two trips to the Stanley Cup Final (1985 and 1987) and a combined record of 307 wins, 199 losses and 54 ties.

The four years in Philadelphia were a special time for EJ, as the Flyers brought several innovations to the coaching profession, including EJ being a pioneer in using computers to log player movements and statistics. The Flyers' staff of assistant coaches was the largest and most specialized in the League with EJ and Paul Holmgren involved in the day-to-day operations on the ice, communications with the players and the scouting and preparation for the upcoming days. Goaltending instructor Bernie Parent worked with every goalie in the Flyers organization, while special assignment coach Bill Barber helped the forwards perfect their offensive skills. Physical conditioning coach Pat Croce kept the team in shape and advised on nutrition and energy, while even GM Bob Clarke and TV analyst Ed Van Impe would take to the ice to lend their expertise. For the cerebral McGuire, the thrill and challenge of being on the cutting edge of hockey technology was a "daily rush."

Computers were used to process player data, for everything from shift length to a nutritional analysis of how players' diets affect their stamina and performance. Video, which had been introduced as a coaching tool a few years earlier by Roger Neilson, was further advanced by EJ as he used it to analyze player performance and pre-scout upcoming opponents. Just one example of his meticulous attention to detail: EJ liked nothing more than to analyze the length of time it took for opposing players to get off their slap shots.

Away from the rink, EJ's commitment to every pursuit he undertook and passion for education culminated in 1990 when he received his doctorate in kinesiology and sports psychology from the University of Waterloo. In the 20 years since, he has published several journal articles and book chapters, plus presented at dozens of academic symposia in the psychology of coaching. He also found time to share his unique knowledge of the game at countless coaching clinics across the United States and Canada.

Despite the success with both the Blackhawks and the Flyers, EJ left the NHL in 1991 to assume the head coaching duties with Boston Bruins' AHL affiliate, the Maine Mariners.

Well known in hockey circles for his quick, dry wit, he explained the move at the time this way: "I'm on record as saying I want to be a head coach in the NHL. To be a head coach in the NHL I have to shed two myths. One is that I can't be a bench coach, and the other is that I could only caddie for one golfer (Mike Keenan)."

After just one season in the AHL, the NHL came calling again for his unique coaching skills, particularly in the area of video. McGuire joined the expansion Ottawa Senators and the staff of head coach Rick Bowness, spending three seasons there.

A coaching resume that had already included NHL, AHL, NCAA and Canadian University entries had room for one more when, in 1995-96, EJ took over as the head coach of the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League.

The pro game beckoned yet again in 1997-98 when he assumed the head coaching ranks with the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack, plus performed scouting duties for the parent New York Rangers club. In the fall of 2000, with his close friend Shawn Walsh battling cancer and forced to step down from his coaching duties with the University of Maine Black Bears, EJ stepped in and volunteered his services as a "guest" coach.

Next, EJ was hired as a Flyers assistant for the second time on Dec 15, 2000, serving in that role for the subsequent one-and-a-half seasons under head coach Bill Barber.

In 2002, EJ took his pro scouting experience with the Flyers and Rangers to the National Hockey League when he joined the NHL's Central Scouting Bureau as an assistant to then Director Frank Bonello. In 2005, he assumed day-to day responsibility for the department that has advanced significantly under his watch. EJ spearheaded an operation that provides scouting and evaluation of draft-eligible players to NHL member clubs. He led a team of eight full-time and 15 part-time scouts throughout North America. To report on prospects playing in Europe, EJ also worked closely with Goran Stubb and his staff of six scouts at European Scouting Services based in Finland. Combined, the NHL Central Scouting and European Scouting Service sees in excess of 3,000 games each season.

Just as he brought innovation to the coaching profession throughout his career, EJ was responsible for several advancements in the area of scouting during his nine years at the League, including the development of a new scouting technology system that has brought the "art" of scouting to a whole new level. He was instrumental in raising both the effectiveness and profile of the League's annual scouting combine.

At the end of the day, though, it was the love of being in a hockey rink that mattered most to EJ.

To know EJ was to hear him describe what his "perfect" hockey day entailed during recent years as the head of the NHL's Central Scouting Bureau: "Going to Brampton this Sunday afternoon to catch the Battalion and Kingston at 2; hope that traffic on the 401 is not too bad so I can be in Oshawa (a 45-minute drive) for the 6 p.m. tilt between the Generals and Petes; and then will be in the video room (a 40-minute drive to League's Toronto office) to help Murph (NHL Senior VP Mike Murphy) for the 9 p.m. Blues vs. Canucks game."

That routine was joyfully repeated day after day, week after week, from the time the puck was dropped in September through the NHL Entry Draft the following June.



It's a sad day for Brockport hockey and the entire hockey world as EJ McGuire, VP of NHL Central Scouting and the first hockey player/coach inducted in the Brockport Athletic Hall of fame, has passed away.

Here's how his Hall of Fame bio reads:

E.J. McGuire Class of 1975
Induction Class of 2009: Ice Hockey

Director of Central Scouting; National Hockey League (NHL)
Toronto, Ontario

The College at Brockport
Undergraduate Major: Physical Education and Health Science ’75
Master’s Degree: Physical Education ’77
University of Waterloo ’90
Doctorate: Kinesiology/Sports Psychology

Played and coached ice hockey for the Golden Eagles in the 1970s and early 1980s, serving as captain his senior year; coached five years and led the team to 44 wins while resurrecting the program; also served as assistant athletic director.

After leaving Brockport in the early 1980s, coached professionally with several organizations; worked his way up to assistant coaching roles with NHL teams Philadelphia (twice), Chicago and Ottawa; was a part of two Stanley Cup teams; also coached in the American Hockey League and at the Major Junior level; since the early part of the 21st century, has been in the NHL front office where he now oversees the scouting operation for the entire league as Director of Central Scouting.

Is the first Hall of Fame inductee in the “Contributor” category, which recognizes individuals who have significantly impacted the College’s athletics program through on-going support; and/or have attained a high-ranking role within their professional field that is recognized on a national level; and/or made a substantial impact on the world of athletics and sports in general.

Here's an article from about his passing...

E.J. McGuire, the respected Vice President of NHL's Central Scouting, died Thursday after a five-month battle with cancer.

McGuire, 58, was the architect of many of the innovations Central Scouting pioneered in the past decade to achieve its mandate of providing the League's clubs with the most comprehensive list of NHL Entry Draft-eligible prospects each season.

Diagnosed this past December with Leiomyoscarcoma, an incurable, rare form of cancer that aggressively attacks the cells that make up the involuntary muscles within the body, McGuire waged a brave five-month battle with the disease before passing Wednesday.

He is survived by his wife, Terry, and their two children, Jacqueline and Erin.

McGuire's legacy to not only scouting -- but hockey as a whole -- is almost unrivaled.

While he came to prominence as the Director of Central Scouting and the League's public authority on each year's draft class, McGuire spent his adult life in ice rinks across the globe as both a coach and scout.

As the head of Central Scouting, McGuire was responsible for coordinating a staff of 29 scouts that spent each season watching and rating that season's draft-eligible prospects. Those reports were then formed into the Central Scouting's Final Rankings, which served as a valuable resource for the League's teams at the Entry Draft.

"What the Central Scouting does is provide a subjective opinion on who our scouts feel should be drafted and in what order," McGuire told last June. "Our directive at Central Scouting is to put together four lists, a ranking of North American skaters, European or international skaters, and then separate rankings for goalies. So we put out those four rankings and then let the teams mesh them together for their big list."

McGuire began his hockey career as the head coach of SUNY-Brockport, his alma mater, in 1977. It proved to be a journey that took him through most of the major hockey leagues in North America before he settled with Central Scouting.

McGuire began his career at Central Scouting shortly after his last coaching position as an assistant with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2001-02.

He was an assistant in the NHL with the Flyers from 1984-88 and the Chicago Blackhawks from 1988-91. He was head coach of the Maine Mariners of the American Hockey League in 1991-92. He'd return to the NHL with the Ottawa Senators in 1992-93 before taking his second head coaching position with the Ontario Hockey League's Guelph Storm in 1995-96.

McGuire would move back into professional hockey in 1997 to coach the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack and, after two playoff appearances in two years, returned to Philadelphia for one more season before moving on to scouting.

And it was scouting that proved to be the best fit for McGuire, who had the perfect demeanor and skill set for the demanding job of evaluating young players and projecting their hockey development several years down the road.

His love of his profession was on evidence each time he spoke about an upcoming Entry Draft or any of the hundreds of prospects that passed under his watchful eye each season. The enthusiasm he held for his responsibility permeated his discussions about scouting in general and, specifically, the mandate of Central Scouting.

NHL Central Scouting, which is in its 36th season, was established prior to 1975-76. The department consists of staff at NHL offices in Toronto, along with eight full time scouts, and 15 part-time scouts throughout North America. To report on prospects playing in Europe, the NHL employs the services of Goran Stubb and his staff of six scouts at European Scouting Services based in Finland. Together, all 29 scouts reporting to Central Scouting and McGuire combined to witness approximately 3,000 games during the 2010-11 season.

Central Scouting is holding its annual Final Rankings meetings this week in Toronto to determine who will be the top-rated prospect for the 2011 Entry Draft, which will be held this June in St. Paul, Minn.

"First-round picks underachieve, late-round picks can only overachieve -- because of expectations," McGuire told back in 2008. "We hope we're helping the NHL teams, who are selling the fact that their first-round pick will be someone who, in three short years, could be scoring two goals in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final before a full house on a team that was up for sale only a few years ago (2006) ... Yes, I'm referring to Sidney Crosby. Can it be significant? Just turn on your TV to find out."