While the Leafs might be done with the on ice moves for a while, they are apparently not done overhauling the hockey operations department…
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) October 22, 2020
So a couple of questions come from this, and we’ll deal with them both.
First, who is Eric Joyce?
Well, good news, he’s got a LinkedIn page!
Eric has been an Assistant to the GM or Assistant GM with the Panthers organization for the past six years and 11 months (shame to leave right before celebrating his work anniversary on LinkedIn.) He’s been the GM of their Springfield AHL team for the past four years, and prior to that the Panther’s AHL teams in San Antonio and Portland.
Prior to Eric’s time with the Panthers, he’s spent a lot of time with in the military and security related fields, as an Army Captain and West Point graduate would. He’s also a graduate of Harvard, in case you were worried that the elitism ended with Vesey and Kerfoot.
In any sense, he seems qualified. And if you were worried about too many nerds in the front office, I’m sure an Army Captain satisfies your need for bravado.
Second, what will Joyce be doing?
Well, I’d assume strategy is a big part of it. And by strategy, it’s likely to involve a lot of statistical analysis. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Leafs Research and Development department under Darryl Metcalf report in to Eric.
The best example of what Joyce brings to the table probably comes from a Sloan Analytics video, where he’s co-presenting on draft strategy with Canucks Army alumnus, Cam Lawrence.
So yeah, it’s likely that Joyce will be coordinating some strategic approaches to how the Leafs acquire players, who is undervalued, and who fits in with the vision of the organization. He’s going to be a big picture guy, and will certainly have the ear of Kyle Dubas on a lot of decisions.
If that doesn’t work out, Joyce is only 42, and in his NCAA days was a right shooting defenseman, so if Zach Bogosian doesn’t work out, perhaps we’ll see Eric in the lineup.
Given his experience with running AHL teams it will also be interesting to see if Joyce will have an increased involvement with the Marlies, although I can’t imagine the Leafs will be moving on from Gilman as the GM of the club.
The Leafs and the seemingly unlimited financial resources of MLSE afford them the opportunity to make additions like Joyce, and bring in the best and brightest from around the league. Joyce seems like he’ll be an excellent fit with Dubas and company, has a great blend of smarts and played the gameness.