In a startling turn of events, the Maple Leafs have hired someone from the Pittsburgh Penguins. This is not how we were led to believe this summer would unfold.
"We are excited to add Derek to our hockey operations department," said Maple Leafs General Manager Brad Treliving. "I feel Derek is one of the premier talent evaluators in our game. He is a three-time Stanley Cup champion and will play a big role as we continue our goal of building a championship team."
Clancey, 54, arrives in Toronto after spending last season with the Vancouver Canucks as an Assistant General Manager, overseeing the Canucks pro and amateur scouting efforts.
Clancey, who worked with the Calgary Flames as a pro scout in the 2021-22 season, played a pivotal role in player personnel decisions for 14 seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins, contributing to their three Stanley Cup victories. During his time with Pittsburgh, Clancey served as a pro scout for three seasons (2007-08 to 2009-10), director of pro scouting for nine seasons (2010-11 to 2018-19), and director of player personnel for two seasons (2019-20 to 2020-21).
I am relieved that Derek Clancey, the new AGM of Player Personnel, is actually from Calgary as well, so the NHL still functions as expected. Clancey is from St. John's and has also coached at the ECHL level where he spent time as a player.
The Maple Leafs have a lot of senior staff, we've covered this in the past, and they had a net loss of zero people with the change over from Kyle Dubas to Brad Treliving. Currently, Dave Morrison is Director of Player Personnel, so Clancey would come in over him. It's not clear to me who Morrison would have reported to in the past.
Ryan Hardy is AGM in charge of the minor league teams – he was also at the draft table this summer. Dr. Hayley Wickenheiser is AGM for Player Development, and she ran the prospects camp. Neither of those two jobs encompass the full range of "player personnel" which involves all the NHL players and the pro and amateur scouting departments, but do overlap with those other activities.
It seems there was an actual hole in the management structure that Clancey will fill. It was necessary and inevitable that he become employed by the Leafs, however:
Welcome to Toronto, Derek Clancey, and if you want to invite the inventor of that meme to a game, we can put you in touch.