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Canucks announce new expanded roles and responsibilities for player development department

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks
Vancouver, B.C. – Vancouver Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis today announced new responsibilities for the team’s Player Development Department. Stan Smyl has been named the team’s new Director, Collegiate Scouting and Dave Gagner has joined the club as its new Director, Player Development.

“The expansion of Stan’s role and the addition of Dave to our staff are a significant step in our continued efforts to enhance the way we develop and evaluate young players,” said Gillis. “In today’s NHL, evaluating players and supporting their growth as young professionals is imperative to a club’s success. We are committed to this important initiative and are confident that both Stan and Dave’s new roles with the club will assist us a great deal.”

Smyl, 50, has spent his entire professional hockey career with the Canucks organization, first as a player for 13 years, then as a coach for 13 years and now in his current position within Player Development. In his new role, Smyl will be responsible for scouting and evaluating the collegiate game in both the United States and Canada.

Often described as the “heart and soul” of the Canucks during his playing career, Smyl made his skeptics eat their words by establishing team records for games played (896), goals (262), assists (411) and points (673). This combined with a feisty, hard-nosed style of play saw him lead Vancouver in goals (31), assists (47), points (78) and penalty minutes (204) in the 1979-80 season.

Gagner, 43, joins the Canucks as its new Director, Player Development, after spending the past two years as an assistant coach with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. In his new role with the Canucks, he will be responsible for working with the club’s drafted and young players to assist them with their continued growth as professionals. In addition to his work with the Knights, Gagner has also built his own player development centre in London to assist players from minor and college hockey take the next step in their careers.

The Chatham, Ontario, native played 946 NHL regular season games with seven teams including the Canucks in 1998-99. In 946 games over 15 seasons, Gagner recorded 719 points (318-401-719) and 1016 penalty minutes. Gagner was the 12th overall selection in the first round of the 1983 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Rangers.
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