NHL: Players Being Hired as General Managers...Would You Do It?

Shawn OwensAnalyst IJuly 16, 2008

Should players be hired as GM's of NHL Clubs? That is looking to be the trend in the NHL right now and I am not sure if it is good for business.

The New York Islanders owner Charles Wang, hired Garth Snow to run his hockey team? What? Why? Neil Smith was available. He won a cup while GM. Look, Garth Snow may be smart but the learning curve and the business end of being a GM takes time to learn and be knowledgeable at.

 I am sure he has business people around him guiding him along but don't you want your GM to have that knowledge going in? The Toronto Maple Leafs just hired Joe Nieuwendyk as special assistant to GM Cliff Fletcher. We know Joe is a smart person, a graduate from an Ivy League School.  

He was exposed to hockey GM issues in Florida and it looks as though he will get the crash course in Toronto. Savior of the club is a lot to put on a person who has no GM experience. I hope after one season of being the special assistant to the GM in Toronto, they don't give him the keys to the Cadillac if you will.  

That could be a tall order for a GM who has proven himself, let alone one who has little to no experience. Dallas Stars have Brett Hull as their Co-GM. Brett's a smart person and is getting good praise about the job he has done with the club.  

However, he is Co-GM with Les Jackson who has been in the GM game a while and Frank Provenzano who has been an assistant GM with a couple of teams in the NHL for sometime. So there is experience to help Brett Hull. Could he do this himself? Is he experienced enough?  

At least he is heading in the right direction in learning with a team that has the proper experienced people in place to help him along. The above three examples are players who just got out of the game and are trying to find their way in the sport/business they love and grown to know.

I look at GM's in the league that have full educations including law degrees and years of experience in running businesses and they struggle to keep up with the everyday pace and dealings that happen in the NHL.  

How are the owners of these teams, the people who fork out tons of money to run their companies, hire former players who have little to no business background to put together the right mix of players to be competitive while keeping the business afloat? I guess having lots of money makes you do the craziest things when you own a hockey club.

Thanks for reading. I am off to send my resume to all the owners of NHL Teams. Why not? It looks as though some of them will hire just about anyone.