Seattle Kraken hire former Microsoft employee for new hockey operations role

Oct 21 2020, 3:29 pm

The Seattle Kraken released the names of seven new hires for its hockey operations department today in preparation for their entry into the league for the 2021-22 season.

For two of the hirings, the Kraken turned to “leading technology organizations,” which included snapping up a former senior technical designer at Microsoft — which is certainly not a traditional place NHL teams go looking when filling in their hockey operations departments.

The Kraken have proven to be a very progressive team already, hiring the NHL’s first full-time Black play-by-play broadcaster and the league’s first-ever female pro scout, and announcing plans for the first net zero carbon certified arena in the world.

Eric Mathiasen is the former Microsoft man who the Kraken introduced today as the team continues its “focus on analytics and research and development.” He’ll serve as a “Hockey Operations Developer” for the NHL’s 32nd franchise.

Joining the Kraken from Hellosign is John Mavroudis, taking over the role of Hockey Operations Data Engineer. Mavroudis previously served as a technical program manager, data engineering for the Dropbox Company.

“Eric and John are pivotal to our Research & Development team as we support the Hockey Operations department,” said Seattle Kraken Director of Hockey Strategy and Research Alexandra Mandrycky. “Their combined backgrounds bring a wealth of experience to the organization as we continue to innovate.”

While many NHL teams have invested heavily in analytics over the past decade, most of them have done so secretly. Not so for the forward-thinking Kraken franchise, who proudly announced the Mathiasen and Mavroudis additions.

Legendary NHL fitness guru joins the team

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Gary Roberts won a Stanley Cup with the Calgary Flames in 1989 (Calgary Flames/Facebook)

The most famous name in hockey circles to join the Kraken today is Gary Roberts, who was named the team’s Sports Science and Performance Consultant. Roberts played more than 20 years in the NHL, amassing 909 career points with the Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Tampa Bay Lightning. He won a Stanley Cup with the Flames in 1989, and played with Kraken GM Ron Francis during their time with the Hurricanes and Leafs.

Since retiring from pro hockey in 2009, Roberts has established himself as a fitness guru, opening the Gary Roberts High Performance Centre in Toronto, where he trains a number of NHL players.

“[Roberts] will ensure the Kraken Training Center and team infrastructure have the proper equipment and systems in place to enable Kraken players to perform to their highest potential,” the team said, explaining his consulting role in a media release.

Here’s the full list of hirings:

  • Michael Booi, Head Athletic Trainer
  • Nate Brookreson, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • Jeff Camelio, Head Equipment Manager
  • Tim Ohashi, Head Video Analyst
  • Gary Roberts, Sports Science and Performance Consultant
  • Eric Mathiasen, Hockey Operations Developer
  • John Mavroudis, Hockey Operations Data Engineer

“Today marks another milestone for the Seattle Kraken as we bring on core components of the hockey operations staff who will help to shape our team as we get ready to welcome players in 2021,” said Francis. “Each individual brings years of experience and a desire to make us a great hockey franchise. We’re thrilled they are joining us on this journey.”

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