Following a busy summer of personnel moves on the ice, the Rangers made two moves Thursday in the organization’s front office with the addition of Steve Greeley as Assistant Director of Player Personnel, and Nickolai Bobrov as Director of European Scouting.
Greeley, 34, spent the past two seasons as the associate head coach of Boston University, who captured a Hockey East title and advanced to the National Championship Game.
In addition to his time at BU, Greeley served as a scout with the Los Angeles Kings for seven seasons from 2006 through 2013, including as a pro scout for the final four years of his tenure.
Greeley said it took all of one phone call from Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton to be convinced this was the move for him.
"I'm absolutely thrilled for the opportunity," Greeley told BlueshirtsUnited.com. "It took one phone call and I knew this was an opportunity I couldn't pass up."
Greeley called Gorton a "mentor" over his nine years in the business after his playing career wrapped up.
“I’ve known him for a while and he’s been successful wherever he’s been,” Gorton said. “He’s a hard-worker. I’ve always known that.
“[Greeley is] just somebody that I thought would really help us,” Gorton added.
Gorton said that Greeley’s role is very similar to the one he had upon his arrival in New York in 2006, in that he’ll work at both the amateur and professional levels. Gorton said Greeley will report directly to Rangers Director of Player Personnel Gordie Clark.
At the amateur level, the Scituate, Mass. native was a regional scout for the U.S. National Team Development Program from 2009 through 2012.
"I think I'm very passionate about the game," said Greeley, who lives in the Boston area. "The opportunity to work at different levels has allowed me to create a pretty big book about a lot of players."
Greeley said he's very excited to join an organization like the Rangers, whom he said everyone in the business looks up to. He said the current team has a strong crop of young forwards that excite him, and that more are on the way.
Bobrov, 39, is no stranger to Gorton or Clark. Bobrov and Gorton spent time together with the Boston Bruins, and while Bobrov hasn’t worked professionally with Clark, he said he’s known Clark since the early 1990s.
“It’s no secret in the hockey world that Jeff and I worked very closely together in Boston for a number of years,” Bobrov told BlueshirtsUnited.com in a phone interview from the Ivan Hlinka tournament in Slovakia. “As his and mine’s responsibility within the organization increased, we worked very well together and got to know each other very well.”
Gorton said when the time came to fill the roles, Bobrov was a person he quickly thought of based not only on their previous relationship, but on what Bobrov has done in the time since he left the Bruins in 2006.
Like Greeley, Bobrov spent time in Los Angeles, where he served as a pro scout from 2006 through 2009.
Most recently, though, Bobrov served as the North American representative for the Kontinental Hockey League’s Gagarin Cup champion SKA St. Petersburg from 2011 through 2014.
“Nick is a very smart person,” Gorton said. “When we had him in Boston, he was young and we gave him a role and he dove right in and really performed well.”
Bobrov said he “never hesitated” when Gorton approached him about the position. While the opportunity to work with a friend was a benefit, there was another person in the organization he looked forward to having the chance to work under as well.
“When the opportunity was presented to me,” Bobrov said, “ I never hesitated because I not only believe in Jeff as a general manager in the National Hockey League, but to be working alongside Glen Sather was an honor and an educational opportunity that I very much appreciate.”
With his familiarity to the staff, Bobrov said he’s expecting a smooth transition into his new hockey home.
“I would say there are very few people on the staff whom I haven’t met and that makes — I believe — a very easy transition to become part of a team,” he said. “It was an organization filled with people very close to my heart and the organization that always welcomed me in my hockey life.”
Like Bobrov, Gorton said he’s expecting the additions to be quick and easy.
“Nick is very bright,” Gorton said. “He’s a bright kid who can do a lot of different things. I trust him and I trust Steve.
“I think they’ll fit right in.”