But now he's done with all that. Like Mike Gillis, Dean Lombardi and Brian Lawton before him, Zito has decided to make the move into an NHL front office, divesting his interest in his agency, Acme Sports LLC, in order to join Jarmo Kekäläinen's management crew in Columbus. From Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch:
Zito will head the Blue Jackets’ pro scouting department, and have a heavy hand in college scouting.
[...] 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.
Portzline reports that the hiring requires "extensive legal wrangling and NHL approval" in order to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.
“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 the Jackets' 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.”
Zito has been busy right up until this move. This summer alone, he negotiated the massive deals for Valterri Filppula and Tuukka Rask.
I know that Zito's role appears to be mostly focused on college scouting, but between the first Finnish GM and an agent that specialized in Finnish players such as the aforementioned Salo, Rask and Filppula, good luck to any other club hoping to beat the Blue Jackets out for a player from Finland.
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