Vancouver, BC - Vancouver Canucks President, Hockey Operations, Trevor Linden announced new roles within the club's Hockey Operations department today. Ryan Johnson was named General Manager of the Utica Comets and Gary Agnew joins Utica as an Associate Coach. Among the scouting staff, Brett Henning was named Director of Professional Scouting, Brian Chapman and David Volek joined the professional scouts and four Amateur Scouts were added to the staff.
"We're pleased to confirm expanded roles for Ryan Johnson and Brett Henning today and welcome Gary Agnew to the Comets coaching staff," said Linden. "Ryan's leadership and guidance with our prospects has benefitted their development. This added responsibility allows him to further monitor and support the development path of our next core from the junior to professional level."
Ryan Johnson adds Comets General Manager duties to his existing role as Director of Player Development, and joins Pat Conacher, Director of Hockey Operations, in the Utica front office. In this expanded role Johnson will continue to work closely with prospects in the system and lead the day-to-day function of Comets Hockey Operations. He originally joined the Canucks as a Player Development Consultant in 2013 and became Director of Player Development in 2016. Johnson played 210 games in a Canucks uniform over a 701 game NHL career (38-84-122).
Gary Agnew joins Trent Cull's staff as Comets Associate Coach and adds experience at the NHL, AHL and junior coaching levels. "We're excited to add Gary to a strong coaching staff in Utica," added Linden. "His experience complements our group led by Head Coach Trent Cull and Assistant Coach Jason King." He most recently worked as an Assistant Coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 2015.16 season. Agnew's experience is highlighted by a head coaching role with the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL, General Manager/Head Coach of the London Knights and he was twice recognized as OHL Coach of the Year.
Brett Henning becomes Director of Professional Scouting after seven seasons as a member of the Canucks scouting staff. "Brett has a strong scouting background and a proven understanding of our organizational needs. We're excited about each of these changes and believe they support our long-term goals." Henning has added David Volek and Brian Chapman to his staff, both of whom previously served as Amateur Scouts for the Canucks
The Canucks also welcomed four new Amateur Scouts adding Todd Harvey, Paul Gallagher, Doug Gasper and Vincent Montalbano to the team. Lucien DeBlois, Ken Cook and Mike Addessa have parted ways with the club.
Long-time Canucks fan favourite Harold Snepsts retires from the scouting ranks after 12 years with the Amateur Scouting staff, but remains with the club in an ambassador role. "I'd like to thank Harold for his contributions to our scouting team," said Linden. "We're thrilled to have him continue to represent the Canucks as an ambassador."
Snepsts played 12 seasons as a Vancouver Canuck and was named to the Ring of Honour (March 2011). He recorded 233 points (38-195-233) and 2,009 penalty minutes for Vancouver, Minnesota North Stars, Detroit and St. Louis over the span of his NHL career. He also served as head coach of the IHL's Peoria and San Diego and the WHL's Portland, as well as a NHL assistant coach with the St. Louis Blues immediately after his retirement from the team.