In pro sports, it’s a pretty regular occurrence for a player to take an internal position within a franchise. The NHL is quite notorious for this and we can just look at the Detroit Red Wings for example. The team’s front office is loaded with former players, with the likes of Kris Draper, Jiri Fisher and Chris Chelios all on-board with the organization. Even former goalie Chris Osgood is employed with the team’s sports network. It just seems to be the norm nowadays for a prominent player to transition into such a role.
The following list will show some of the lesser known names that you probably don't realize are working for an NHL team behind the scenes. One thing these players have in common is the fact that they all had long careers, which proves that they have the experience and knowledge for such positions. Let us know which players surprised you the most with their role and which NHLers you’d like to see in a similar position in the near future!
Without further ado, here is a list of 15 former NHL stars you didn’t know are employed by an NHL team, enjoy!
15 Shawn Horcoff: Detroit Red Wings - Director of Player Development
Shawn Horcoff was never the most skilled guy, but his intelligence led him to 15 successful seasons in the NHL. His better days were as a part of the Edmonton Oilers, as the BC native captained the team for several years before he was finally shipped off as the team looked to start a youth movement to rebuild the club. After leaving Edmonton, he would play two seasons with the Stars, with his final year being spent going in and out of the Anaheim Ducks lineup.
After his one year deal was up, Horcoff made the interesting decision in September to join the Red Wings head office, as Shawn was named the Director of Player Development. Horcoff is currently in his first stint in such a role and hopes to move up the ladder internally.
14 Yanic Perreault: Chicago Blackhawks – Development Coach
In the late 90s, Yanic Perreault really started to find his stride as an NHLer. During his run with the Leafs, Perreault blossomed into an elite faceoff-man, who could also put the puck in back of the net when needed. He scored 24 goals in his final season as a Leaf.
Following his success wearing the Leafs jersey, Yanic headed back home to Montreal. where he would enjoy a career year scoring 27 and collecting 56 points. Following the lockout, Perreault bounced around with several teams, including the Predators, Coyotes, and Leafs, before his final stop with the Blackhawks during the 2007-08 season. Today, he is still employed with the team serving as a development coach. You can bet the team is milking his knowledge on faceoffs, as he teaches some of their younger stars the tricks. It's not hard to figure out why the Hawks are constantly one of the better faceoff teams in the league.
13 Bill Guerin: Pittsburgh Penguins – Assistant General Manager
The Massachusetts native enjoyed quite the career, playing 17 seasons in the league and winning two Stanley Cup Championships with the New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Bill enjoyed a stellar career while playing for several different franchises. His most notable season took place as a member of the Boston Bruins when the winger notched 41 goals. His career was spent as a part of the Devils, Oilers, Bruins, Stars, Blues, Sharks, Islanders and Penguins.
After winning a cup with the Pens in his final season, Bill would make one last attempt trying-out for the Flyers. He was cut from the team and later announced his retirement. Shortly after, the Pens would announce his signing as a Player Development coach in June of 2011. He has since been upgraded to Assistant General Manager with the organization.
12 Chris Drury: New York Rangers – Assistant General Manager
Chris Drury had one of the most underrated careers of his era, putting up some solid numbers throughout his NHL journey. The center was a consistent 20 goal threat, starting with his days as a member of the Colorado Avalanche. Once he left the team for Buffalo, his career really took off, enjoying back-to-back 30 goal seasons with the club.
When he became a free-agent, many teams pursued the forward. As usual, the Rangers were in the mix and signed him to a massive five year deal worth over $35 million. It was an uphill battle for Drury to live up to such a deal and he was eventually bought out by the team, causing his eventual retirement in 2011.
A couple of years later in 2015, Chris returned to the franchise in a new role as the Director of Player Development. Just this season, Drury got promoted to the Assistant GM position.
11 Bryan McCabe: Florida Panthers – Director of Player Development
Bryan McCabe had some tremendous offensive seasons with the Leafs and became a huge fan favorite for the way he played the game. Bryan really blossomed with the Leafs after he bounched around at the start of his career, enjoying formidable campaigns which included a 19 goal season in the 2005-06 campaign.
In the end, a terrible contract was McCabe’s undoing. The Leafs parted ways with their gifted d-man in order to relieve some of the cap from their roster. Bryan would finish his career as a Ranger playing in 19 games, but spent most of time after Toronto as a member of the Florida organization, playing there for three seasons.
After his final campaign with the Rangers, Bryan announced his retirement in February of 2012. He is currently back with the Panthers, serving as the team’s Director of Player Development.
10 Jamie Langenbrunner: Boston Bruins – Player Development Coordinator
Similar to Chris Drury, this American born NHLer was another underrated player during his career, winning two Stanley Cups with the Dallas Stars in 1999 and the New Jersey Devils in 2003.
During his NHL career, Jamie was beloved by the franchises he played for. Not only did he play the game the right way, but he was loyal to a tee. During his long career, Jamie played for only three different teams; the Stars, Devils and ended his career as a part of the St. Louis Blues organization. After some on-going health issues, Jamie decided to call it a career. He retired in January of 2014 and would find work a little over a year after his retirement, joining the Bruins organization in September of 2015 as a Player Development Coach.
9 Scott Mellanby: Montreal Canadiens – Assistant General Manager
Scott was a journeyman in the NHL, playing over 1,000 games for five different NHL franchises. He was a great player, but unfortunately went his entire career without winning a Stanley Cup. Scott finished his career third on the all-time list of games played without winning a cup. For you trivia geeks out there, Phil Housley holds the current record at 1,495 games played without winning a cup.
Following Mellanby’s career, he transitioned into a role as a Special Consultant for the Vancouver Canucks. He would then add to his resume by joining the Blues as an Assistant Coach.
In May of 2012, the Habs would employ Scott in his biggest position yet, as a Director of Player Personnel. In 2014, he would get upgraded to assistant GM, a title he still holds today.
8 Doug Weight: New York Islander – Assistant Coach & Assistant General Manager
Drafted 34th overall in 1990, the American born player is yet another former NHLer who enjoyed a lengthy career spanning 19 seasons in the league. His best years came early on as a member of the Edmonton Oilers, where Weight thrived as the team’s number one center and put up some stellar 20+ goal seasons. After a lengthy career, Doug would finally capture a Stanley Cup as a member of the Carolina Hurricanes during the 2005-06 season. He played a couple more seasons after that, retiring in 2011 as a member of the New York Islanders.
Immediately following the announcement of his retirement, Weight joined the organization as an Assistant Coach and Special Assistant to the GM that same year. He still holds both positions today.
7 Scott Clemmensen: New Jersey Devils – Goaltending Development Coach
You can’t help but think of the word “back-up” when hearing the name Scott Clemmensen. Scott didn’t have the easiest career, often living out of a suitcase bouncing around between the NHL and AHL. Throughout his career, Scott could never grab the reigns as a number one, which made his career a game of musical chairs, going from team to team. His longest stint was as a member of the New Jersey Devils and he would ultimately finish his career there in 2014/15.
After completing his one year deal, Clemmie stayed on board, accepting a new career as a Development Goaltending Coach for the team. He still holds the position today and he'll be hoping to continue climbing the ranks in New Jersey.
6 Dan Cloutier: Vancouver Canucks – Goalie Coach
Sticking with the goalies, Dan Cloutier is another former NHL netminder who is still employed in the league today. Before we get to that, let’s take some time to reminisce on his career. Cloutier was small in stature, but he had a crazy work ethic and invaluable desire to win. His better days took place as the starting goaltender for the Vancouver Canucks in the early 2000s. He had three straight 30 plus win campaigns and propelled his team to a couple of playoff berths.
Following his run with Canucks, Cloutier bounced around several teams, including some stints in the AHL before finally calling it a career. He took some a jobs in the CHL and OHL as a Goaltending Coach before being hired by the Canucks as their Goaltending Coach.
5 Ian Laperriere: Philadelphia Flyers – Assistant Coach
Spending 16 years in the NHL, Ian Laperriere was a heart and soul guy that you loved to have on your team. Ian gave it his all during his career and was a true source of inspiration for his constant willingness to help out his team, no matter the role he was in. He spent the bulk of his career as a member of the LA Kings and Colorado Avalanche. Laperriere retired in 2010 as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers in his only season with the team.
Following his retirement, the team would bring in Ian during the summer of 2012 as the Director of Player Development. He would later get a big promotion, as he's currently serving as the team’s Assistant Coach, a position he still holds today.
4 Adam Foote: Colorado Avalanche – Development Consultant
A winner of two Stanley Cup Championships, Adam Foote became a huge fan favorite manning the blue-line for the Colorado Avalanche back in the mid 90s. His contributions to the team were huge, as Foote was a shut down guy that could also move the puck effectively. He was always in the middle of things for the Avs. Just search Detroit and Colorado brawls and you’ll typically find Foote at the forefront. He really was a team guy.
Foote ended his career with the Avs in 2011 and his jersey was later retired in 2013, joining his former teammates Ray Bourque, Patrick Roy, Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg. The Avalanche would later hire Foote as a member of the Development Consulting team.
3 Dave Andreychuk: Tampa Bay Lightning – Vice President of Corporate & Community Affairs
Another underrated player during his time, Dave Andreychuk was a skilled winger who enjoyed some serious success during his time in the NHL. The former Lightning man holds the league record for most power play goals at 274. He is also in the mix as one of the highest scoring left wingers in league history.
Despite such a great career, Dave kept falling short of a Stanley Cup. That finally came to an end when he captained the Lightning to a cup victory in 2004 cementing his brilliant career. He played one more season and proceeded to call it a career.
Following his retirement, Dave joined Tampa Bay as a Vice President in February of 2011. He would later expand his role into his current position as the team’s Vice President of Corporate & Community Affairs.
2 Al MacInnis: St. Louis Blues – Senior Advisor to the General Manager
When you think of some of the greatest d-men of all-time, Al MacInnis is typically a name that comes up in the conversation. He won the Stanley Cup in 1989 along with the Conn Smythe Trophy as the league’s best player during the post-season. He would continue his strong play when he departed from Calgary, enjoying another decade of hockey with the Blues. His final full season saw him put up elite numbers, finishing the year with 68 points. Rightfully, the defenseman was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.
After he announced his retirement, Al stayed on board with the franchise working in the marketing department for the club. He later transitioned into his current position as the Senior Advisor to the General Manager.
1 Martin Brodeur: St. Louis Blues – Assistant General Manager
It isn’t too surprising that Martin Brodeur took a job as an Assistant GM following the end of his career. What is pretty puzzling, however, is the fact that ended up in St. Louis and not New Jersey.
Marty built an empire with the Devils breaking several records, winning four Vezina Trophies and three Stanley Cup Championships.
After some complications and contract disputes with the Devils, Brodeur decided to part ways and tryout with the Blues. He was later signed to a one-year deal which was short-lived. The goaltender would later opt to retire, continuing with the franchise internally. Brodeur signed a three year deal and joined the Blues as their Assistant General Manager. It remains to be seen if Marty will patch things up and rejoin the Devils once his deal expires.