Farwell picks up some help in the scouting department
By Tim Pigulski
The Thunderbirds announced Thursday the addition of two new members to their scouting department, Peter Anholt and Ross Patterson.
Some of the more senior T-Birds fans may remember Anholt, as he served as the team’s head coach and general manager before resigning in 1992 following what The Seattle Times and Anholt described as “a personality conflict with [team] president, Russ Williams.” Since then, Anholt has served as head coach in Red Deer, Kelowna and Prince Albert. He also spent some time in Red Deer’s scouting department, so he will not be entering his new role unprepared.
The T-Birds traded Jonathan Parker to Prince Albert for Ryan Aasman in 2010. Parker is now a Buffalo Sabres prospect, while Aasman has only mustered 12 points in his WHL career. (WHL.ca)
While Anholt has extensive WHL experience (he has coached in over 970 games), Patterson’s past is a bit more of a mystery. Other than what was included in the T-Birds’ press release about him being “involved in Calgary minor hockey for several years,” I couldn’t find anything else related to Patterson’s hockey career online.
Every team in the WHL employs a number of scouts throughout North America and internationally to scout Bantam players, but Anholt and Patterson will be serving in a slightly different capacity — as WHL scouts. As far as I know, the T-Birds are one of — if not the first — team in the WHL to hire scouts with the sole responsibility of scouting players already in the league to pursue as trade targets.
Looking at moves such as the disappointing 2010 swap of Jonathan Parker and a fifth-round Bantam Draft selection to Prince Albert for “future power play quarterback” Ryan Aasman, who had five points for the T-Birds, or the lack of a Calvin Pickard trade to a contender last season, it’s obvious that Farwell could use some help.
It’s a pair of solid moves by Seattle’s GM, as it will bring in at least one experienced and well-known WHL mind to take something off of his plate, which has obviously been overflowing for the past few seasons.
It’s also worth noting the reasons for which Anholt left the team in his first stint. Many have asserted that Farwell has too much control in the organization, so bringing in someone with Anholt’s credentials and forward personality may be an indication that Farwell is trying to do more to delegate responsibilities and open up to outside opinions. Only time will tell.
I’ll have more on the T-Birds’ new offseason acquisitions soon.
You can follow Tim on Twitter @tpigulski.