The Columbus Blue Jackets are set to announce the hiring of longtime NHL agent Bill Zito for the role of assistant general manager, the Dispatch is reporting.
From the report:
Zito will head the Blue Jackets’ pro scouting department, and have a heavy hand in college scouting. He has represented NHL players such as Tim Thomas, Brian Rafalski, Sami Salo, Kimmo Timonen, Ville Leino, Valtteri Filppula, Tuukka Rask and John Madden, as well as current Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski.
Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen first met Zito in 1995 at the IIHF World Championships in Stockholm, Sweden, when the two decided to merge their two fledgling agencies into one – Acme Sports.
Zito’s hiring will not affect longtime Blue Jackets assistant GM Chris MacFarland. He will continue to oversee the club’s American Hockey League affiliate in Springfield, Mass., and play a role in amateur scouting.
To make the move to the Jackets’ front office, Zito had to cut all ties with Acme. As you can see, he’s no longer featured on the agency’s website.
Update (1:09 p.m. ET): the club has confirmed the hiring.
“Bill Zito is an astute businessman who understands all facets of our game and will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Columbus Blue Jackets,” said Kekalainen in a release. “I have known Bill for many years and believe he will be a great addition to our hockey operations staff as we continue our efforts to build a championship-caliber team.”
Said Zito: “It is with sincere humility and appreciation that I have accepted this opportunity to work with John Davidson, Jarmo Kekalainen, Chris MacFarland and the Blue Jackets staff. I am excited and focused to begin this new journey.”