Broken this afternoon by Guy Flaming, host of The Pipeline Show - a great radio show about upcoming prospects - The Maple Leafs are hiring Tim Speltz away from the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs.

Tim Speltz has been the General Manager of Spokane for a long time. How long? Speltz hired Mike Babcock to coach the Chiefs in 1994, and would coach there for six years, moving on to the AHL’s Cincinatti Mighty Ducks in 2000.

Mike Speltz is also leaving a position with Hockey Canada, from the press release:

“. . . assisted the Program of Excellence management group at the 2014 U18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup, helping Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team win a gold medal.”

Spokane will hold a press conference at 5PM Eastern time about Speltz’s departure.

At the moment it is unclear where in the organization Speltz will fit, but he will be regarded well by at least one member of the staff, since he’s the man who gave Babcock his first shot as coach.

We will update the story as news comes out.

Information from the Spokane Chiefs press release indicates that Speltz will be in charge of Western scouting:

Speltz, originally hired by the Chiefs in 1990, has accepted a job as Director of Western Area Scouting with the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League. With the Maple Leafs, Speltz will be involved with scouting efforts in the NHL, AHL and WHL.