Home 5 Class of 2017 5 E.J. MCGUIRE
E.J. McGuire was born in the Old First Ward in Buffalo, attended Canisius High School and then played hockey for the Brockport State Golden Eagles, where he was named captain his senior year. He started his hockey at Caz Rink and played travel hockey for the Regals.

He became head coach of the Brockport hockey team in 1977 and led the Golden Eagles for five seasons. In 2009, E.J. was the first ice hockey player/coach to be inducted into the Golden Eagles Hall of Fame.

While at Brockport, he met Mike Keenan and formed a lifelong friendship. After concluding his Brockport hockey stint, E.J. assisted Keenan in winning the Calder Cup for the Rochester Americans (AHL). The coaching tandem worked together for 11 years in the NHL with Philadelphia, Chicago and Ottawa winning five divisional titles and twice going to the Stanley Cup finals. An innovator during his coaching tenure he was instrumental in using video for education and motivational techniques and developing extensive statistics for analyzing line match-ups in its earliest form of coaching strategy.

E.J. also coached at the University of Waterloo, where he attained his Doctorate in Kinesiology/Sport Psychology. Coaching stops also included stints at Guelph (Major Junior OHL) and in the AHL for three seasons with Hartford and Maine.

In 2005, E.J. was hired to work in NHL Central Scouting and over the next six years he became Vice President of Hockey Operations, where he revolutionized NHL scouting.  He created the NHL scouting combine borrowing the format from the NFL, and was one of the executives that developed the “war room” in Toronto, that review plays in real time.

E.J. was the Head of Central Scouting in North America and an architect of many of the innovations of hockey scouting; his efforts provided NHL clubs with the most comprehensive list of NHL draft eligible prospects.

At his passing at the age of 58, NHL executives honored his memory by creating the E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence.  “Excellence is what E.J. personified”, Central Scouting’s David Gregory said. “It was imperative that the winner of this award named after E.J. have strength of character and competitiveness because these traits exemplify what E.J. brought to the hockey community every day.”

E.J. passed away from cancer in 2011 and is survived by his wife Terry, and two daughters Jacqueline and Erin. When you asked him what E.J. stood for, in his Irish wit, he would always say, “Edward John, but my parents saved me the trouble of trying to spell that.”