Leafs have lost player evaluation consultant Wes Clark. He has joined Florida as a scout.— James Mirtle (@mirtle) 23 July 2016
When Kyle Dubas hired Wes Clark to work for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds , Dubas, named GM a few weeks earlier, was quoted as saying:
When I first interviewed for the General Manager’s position with the Soo Greyhounds I informed the board of directors that it was imperative to have a highly qualified Director of Player Development based in Southern Ontario. The reason for this was to continually monitor the progress and development of our draft picks who are not on our current roster. After reviewing various potential people for this position there is no doubt that Wes Clark is the best suited to fill the position for the Soo Greyhounds.
When Dubas became Assistant GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, he brought Wes Clark in as one of his first hires again. He worked for the Leafs as a scout and a player evaluation consultant, and he is moving on to become the Ontario-based scout for the Florida Panthers according to several reports today.
The Panthers, prior to this hire, had the fewest scouts in the NHL according to this analysis of public information about each team:
How many scouts are currently listed as employees on teams in the NHL? @NHLnumbers pic.twitter.com/qoK2Woe2c3— Mike Commito (@mikecommito) 22 July 2016
The Leafs need to get used to this, and they are likely smart enough to be planning for it. They have shown a commitment to all aspects of player development, and the more the results show up in things like the Marlies' successful season, the more the architects of that success will be sought after elsewhere.