Dudley reshaping Thrashers’ scouting

I have some leftover items from my interview with GM Rick Dudley last week for the Offseason Update Story that I wrote. It’s already posted online and will run in the Sunday paper.

I thought I would share one today so we have a blog posted through the weekend. Covering the Braves on Saturday and will spend Father’s Day with the family.

Dudley shared his philosophy for scouting players and spoke about how he has tweaked the way the scouting department files player reports. Here is what he said:

“We have three criteria we go for and it’s pretty easy. We have character, we have hockey sense and we have speed. There was a time when size was an equal component. It’s no longer quite the same component.

“We break those out into, 12 or 14 categories that we identify from game to game. If you look at them, between pro and amateur, if you get a consistent number from scouts that watch a player then you can pretty much target that this guys is one heck of a good skater. You can check that off.

“Then you look at the category that has things like work ethic and grit and aggressive play. You put that component together and you can say that this guy is a pretty high character player.

“The hockey sense, to me, is the tough one. We try to break that out into the offensive side of things and the defensive side of things. If you get a player that has all three of those components you are in pretty good shape. Now, if you want to throw in that the guys is 6-foot-3, all of sudden we are getting pretty excited about this players. I don’t think people look at it in those terms. I think they say ‘Well, he scored 46 goals, he’s got to be a pretty good player.’ [I might]  look at him and say ‘He’s a big guy that scored 46 goals but he’s dumber than a sack of hammers.’ If that’s the case, he’s going to have a tough time playing in the National Hockey League.”

Scouts are now required to fill out more extensive reports than in the past,  breaking down players in all the above criteria. The reason is simple, according to Dudley.

“This is just me, but I think there is too much guess work. There is Too much ‘I think this guy is a good player.’ Or ‘My gut tells me this guy is a good player.’ Before you get to that point, I want him broken down into as finite of categories that you can have. I think you can do it.”

Wanted to give you some more insight into the way Dudley has tweaked things since taking over his new role.

A couple odds and ends:

* Once again, relax on yet another report that the Thrashers are for sale. They continue to publically say they are looking for minority investors. Here’s the latest statement following the latest report.

“As has been shared publicly for more than a year, we are interested in finding minority investors and have engaged a firm to assist us in that effort.  We have no plans to move either team, and remain committed to the Hawks, the Thrashers, Philips Arena and the city of Atlanta.”

* Zach Bogosian and Evander Kane will be guest instructors at the Thrashers Summer Youth Hockey Camp June 21-25. The camp, for various age groups, will take place at the IceForum in Duluth. For more information visit the website  Atlanta Thrashers Youth Hockey Camps

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[...] Thrashers: Atlanta doesn’t just base everything on hockey skill when it comes to player evaluation. Said GM Rick Dudley: "I think they say ‘Well, he [...]