The 2023 NHL offseason continues to move on. Although the Calgary Flames haven’t made any player moves recently (like they should), they have made a variety of moves in the front office. Pro scouting was one of the areas needing addressing, with only one pro scout on record last season, Steve Pleau, who has been in that role since the 2010–11 season. The Flames addressed their pro scouting this offseason, bringing two new pro scouts into the fold; Kerry Huffman and Brad Richardson.
Kerry Huffman joins the Flames after being let go by Kyle Dubas and the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier this summer. Huffman was hired by former Penguins General Manager Ron Hextall as a pro scout in the summer of 2021. A year later in the summer of 2022, Huffman received a promotion to Director of Professional Scouting, overseeing the Penguins pro scouting department.
Prior to his time with the Penguins, Huffman was an assistant coach with the Leigh Valley Phantoms, the AHL affiliate for the Philadelphia Flyers. He spent five seasons behind the Phantoms bench. Before that, Huffman was a player agent, with one of his former clients being former Flame Mike Cammalleri. Huffman also had a lengthy NHL career, playing 401 games for the Flyers, Quebec Nordiques, and Ottawa Senators.
Yesterday, sources told The Win Column that the Flames were also bringing in another pro scout, former Flames forward Brad Richardson.
One random fun fact about Brad Richardson: he is the first player to score a goal in the recently opened UBS Arena, home of the New York Islanders. He did so as a member of the Calgary Flames during the 2021–22 season, where he played 27 games with the club and notched four points. Richardson joins another former Flame in Michael Stone, who joined the club in player development earlier this summer.
Richardson retired from the NHL after the 2021–22 season. That season was split between the Flames and the Canucks, who claimed him off waivers from the Flames at the trade deadline. Richardson had a plentiful career, playing for the Avalanche, Kings, Canucks, Coyotes, Predators, and Flames. He had 254 points in his 869 game career, and also won the 2012 Stanley Cup with the Kings.
Pro scouts are important
In today’s NHL, data and analytics can help tell a lot about what is happening on the ice. However, it’s also important to have people in your organization who watch and/or have relationships with players. Scouting not only the NHL, but also the AHL, can help give a team a leg up on its opponents. Bringing in two former players, one who was a player agent and coach, and the other a very recent player, should help this team with player evaluations and keeping up around the league.
Congratulations to Huffman and Richardson in their new roles with the Flames!