Buffalo native E.J. McGuire, the vice president of the NHL Central Scouting Bureau and brother-in-law of Sabres equipment manager Rip Simonick, died of cancer today at age 58. Simonick, his wife, Mary Ann, and several other close relatives visited McGuire on Wednesday night in Toronto.
McGuire had been director of Central Scouting since 2005. In nearly four decades in hockey, McGuire served as head coach at the collegiate, junior and AHL levels; as an assistant coach for the Philadelphia Flyers, Chicago Blackhawks and Ottawa Senators; and as a scout.
"The National Hockey League was privileged to benefit from E.J.'s expertise and enthusiasm, both of which were limitless,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “E.J. loved scouting games and loved the internal debates over the strengths and weaknesses of entry draft prospects. The way he ran Central Scouting made it vitally important to every one of our clubs.
"The NHL family has suffered a tremendous loss."
McGuire is survived by his wife, Terry, and their daughters, Jacqueline and Erin.
"E.J. was a colleague, a friend and a mentor who influenced and enriched the hockey lives of thousands of players, coaches, parents and administrators," said Colin Campbell, senior executive vice president of hockey operations. "As a coach, he combined attention to detail with innovation to teach the game to players at all levels -- from teenage, college and junior players to the elite professionals in the NHL. As vice president of Central Scouting and a member of the hockey operations department, he brought wisdom, guidance and unparalleled commitment to the game to advance it on so many levels."