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NHL, Florida Panthers Mourn Loss of EJ McGuire

Ejmcguire It's a sad day in hockey as EJ McGuire – the vice president of NHL Central Scouting – died of a rare form of cancer on Wednesday night. McGuire was 58.

A former assistant coach under Mike Keenan in Rochester, Philadelphia and Chicago, McGuire was the face of the NHL draft the past few years as he was always sought out by reporters and team executives to talk about the players he followed so passionately.

I have never heard a bad word said about EJ, and have nothing but fond memories of dealing with him. He would give you as much time as you needed talking about the prospects, and he was chock full of stories.

He's already missed.

“It's tragic. I've known EJ for about 20 years,'' Panthers coach Pete DeBoer said. “I coached against him in junior, knew him from Central Scouting. A great man, a mentor to many young coaches around the league. We were just telling some stories in the coaches room. [Gord] Murphy played for him when he was an assistant in Philadelphia. They would do a 2-mile run, and EJ was the rabbit. They never could catch him. He's gone at 58. It's a tragedy and the hockey world has lost a great man.''

McGuire, whose initials come from his given name of Edward John, had been with Central Scouting since 2005. McGuire is survived by his wife, Terry, and daughters Jacqueline and Erin.

“He was a hockey lifer,'' DeBoer continued, “and was a version of Roger Nielson for me. He reminded me of Roger the most. He taught the game, coached the game, worked in the game. Everyone loved him. There's not many people you can say that about. He was one of those rare guys.''

Said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman: "The NHL family has suffered a tremendous loss. As we celebrate EJ's contributions and mourn his passing, we send our condolences -- and our gratitude -- to EJ's family and friends."