Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli today named three additions to the team’s hockey operations and coaching staffs. Jim Benning was named Director of Player Personnel, Doug Houda was named the team’s Assistant Coach and Wayne Smith was named as a regional scout.
“These men are all quality individuals who bring experience and knowledge to our organization,” said Chiarelli. “Jim has a complete background as an NHL player, a regional scout and he has directed a scouting department for many years. Doug played 15 seasons in the National Hockey League and has three solid years as an assistant coach in the American Hockey League. Wayne has spent 14 years covering the Ontario region and brings a tremendous familiarity with that area to our scouting department.”
Benning, 43, joins the Bruins after spending the last 13 years in the Buffalo Sabres organization. He has served as the Sabres’ Director of Amateur Scouting for the past nine seasons, overseeing the scouting staff in addition to scouting players throughout North America and Europe, and directing that team’s efforts in the annual NHL Entry Draft. He joined the Sabres scouting department in 1994 as an amateur scout for four seasons until his promotion to Director of Amateur Scouting. Benning was a first round draft pick (sixth overall) of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1981 and played nine seasons in the National Hockey League as a defenseman for Toronto and Vancouver, with career NHL totals of 52 goals and 191 assists for 243 points in 605 career NHL games.
Houda, 40, has spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach with the Rochester Americans, Buffalo’s American Hockey League affiliate. He joined the Amerks’ coaching staff after retiring as a player in 2003, spending his final playing season as the Rochester captain. The Americans had a 125-86-16-13 record over his three seasons as an assistant coach, including a 51-19-4-6 record in 2004-05, the top record in the AHL that season and a franchise-record of 112 points. Houda played 15 seasons on defense in the National Hockey League with Buffalo, Detroit, Hartford, NY Islanders, Los Angeles and Anaheim, with 19-63=82 totals and 1,104 penalty minutes in 561 career NHL games and also played over 500 games at the AHL level over his 17-year professional playing career.
Smith comes to Boston after seven seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets as a regional scout covering Ontario and Quebec. Prior to joining the Columbus organization, he spent seven seasons in a scouting capacity with the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League including three as that team’s chief scout and one as the club’s Director of Player Personnel.