CALGARY - The champagne had barely stopped flowing when John Weisbrod decided to leave the Stanley Cup champions.
During the entire Boston Bruins run to the championship, their director of pro and collegiate scouting knew there was an intriguing opportunity for him in Calgary.
When the celebration finally died down (and the Bruins sure celebrated), Weisbrod made the move. He took the job of assistant GM/director of player personnel for the Calgary Flames officially Monday.
He goes from champion to a team looking to rebuild from within, but the move seemed right to Weisbrod.
“It’s always hard to leave a place where there are so many people you care about,” said Weisbrod, who was based in Florida and will now move his family to Calgary full-time.
“We had a great group of guys there. Obviously the success we just had, in a lot of ways this is the toughest time to make a decision like this.
“This is really a new opportunity to more involved at the ground level. The Bruins is obviously more top heavy than some other organizations. They have good people there.”
Flames GM Jay Feaster said his team has budgeted for a third pro scout — one who will focus on the AHL — and the pro scouting department will report to Weisbrod. Director of amateur scouting Tod Button will report to him as well.
“I want John on the road, watching hockey games and filing reports,” Feaster said. “Every day he needs to be calling me and asking me to contact such and such a team about so and so … I want him to be recommending, suggesting, pushing trades or players.”
With Weisbrod being hired, the Flames will not renew the contract of former player personnel man Duane Sutter when it expires June 30.
Weisbrod spent the past five seasons with the Bruins and before that he was a pro scout for the Dallas Stars.
Previously to getting back into hockey, he moved up in the Orlando Magic organization and eventually became that team’s GM. He managed to draft Dwight Howard during this time in that job.
During this year’s playoff run, Weisbrod worked as the advance scout as the Bruins moved through four rounds, but during the season he was a jack of all trades, scouting the Southeast Division, USHL and collegiate teams.
He helped build a winning program there so helping the Flames turn around a team that missed the playoffs two years in a row doesn’t scare him.
“It’s a similar situation when I got to Boston,” Weisbrod said. “We were 25th out of 30 teams in the NHL. We were starting at a position where we had to change the culture and rebuild the framemwork of the team.
“It was a lot of fun and it had a great result with the Stanley Cup this year. Hopefully I get a chance to do a similar thing in Calgary.”