The Florida Panthers have been making a shift towards analytics in recent years, looking outside the norm for their hires in nearly every aspect of both the game and business operations.
That trend is furthered with the report that they’ve hired Winnipeg lawyer Richard Pollock – who, per Gary Lawless of TSN, will serve as a pro scout for the club this coming season.
Pollock is one of the founders of Winnipeg-based hockey radio show ‘The Illegal Curve’, which he started in the basement of Red River College with his childhood friends years ago, in February of 2009. The show – and the accompanying website – focus predominantly on the NHL and the Winnipeg Jets, although Pollock himself has done work elsewhere, as well. He’s been featured as a writer for Hockey Prospectus back in 2011 – writing about the value of certain contracts – and while he doesn’t have that traditional ‘hockey’ pedigree, the Panthers have clearly been impressed by his work.
Seeing Pollock hired is another move towards teams bringing in scouting talent from non-traditional places, as he comes from a law background with blogger experience to lend him credence in the hockey community. It’s an interesting hire for the Panthers, though not altogether surprising for the team – and it should be interesting to see how this pans out for the club in the long run.
The Panthers have not officially confirmed the hire, but the Illegal Curve official Twitter account did confirm what Lawless reported.