SUNRISE, Fla. – Clearly adding grit to the Florida Panthers isn’t something General Manager Bill Zito feels is exclusive to just the players.
Today the team named former NHL tough guy Shane Churla as Director of Amateur Scouting.
While Churla hasn’t dropped the gloves in more than 23 years (well, not in an NHL game at least), he’s remained extremely close to the sport and grown immensely over the years as an amateur scout.
“Shane is an experienced and talented addition for our organization in the scouting department,” Zito said in a statement released by the team. “We couldn’t be more excited about the continued growth of our hockey operations department and our investment in the future of our franchise.”
A veteran of 488 NHL games, Churla was known for his tough demeanor on the ice, racking up 2,301 penalty minutes and well over 100 fighting majors (and for a taste of what he brought to the table, just Google ‘Shane Chula fight’).
For the past seven seasons, Churla has worked with the Montreal Canadiens scouting department. He spent the past four as Director of Amateur Scouting, and three as Chief of Amateur Scouting.
Churla’s experience with evaluating players doesn’t come close to stopping there; he was a scout with the Dallas Stars for seven years, and before that he worked five seasons as a scout in the then-Phoenix Coyotes organization.
He replaces Jason Bakala, who was one of several members of the front office that was not retained by Zito.