Tales From The Road

Tales From The Road

Feb. 28, 2024

The Western Canada Professional Hockey Scouts Foundation has revealed the first four Hot Stove participants for Tales From The Road, the gala evening it has scheduled for Okotoks, Alta., on Monday, July 29.  The Foundation’s inaugural banquet will be highlighted by the induction of 45 past and present scouts into its Wall of Honour, which will be located in the Okotoks Centennial Arena.

Dennis Beyak, who ended his lengthy and superb play-by-play career at the 2024 World Junior Championship in Sweden, will be the evening’s host. He was a smash hit in filling that role at the Foundation’s startup banquet on Sept. 30.  With the evening dedicated to honouring scouts, the Foundation has chosen the theme Tales From The Road, and the entertainment is to include Hot Stove sessions.  

Among those participating will be Ken Holland, the Edmonton Oilers’ president of hockey operations and general manager; Craig Button, a former NHL general manager who now is TSN’s director of scouting; long-time scout Archie Henderson, who retired in 2022; and former NHL player, coach and general manager Craig MacTavish.

Holland, from Vernon, B.C., was a member of the Detroit Red Wings’ scouting staff for nine seasons, the last seven as director of amateur scouting, before being named assistant GM. He took over as general manager prior to the 1997-98 season and filled that role through the 2018-19 season after which he joined the Oilers as president of hockey operations and GM. His resume includes four Stanley Cup titles with Detroit, an Olympic gold medal, and a World Cup gold medal. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 2020.  A goaltender during his playing days, Holland spent two seasons with the WCHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers.

As TSN’s director of scouting, Button is a familiar figure on TV as he is a regular on hockey telecasts and highlight shows. Before landing at TSN, he scouted for the Minnesota North Stars and then the Dallas Stars, with whom he won a Stanley Cup in 1999. He joined the Calgary Flames in 2000 as vice-president and general manager, a stint that lasted for three seasons. He also has scouted for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Henderson, a Calgarian, is one of the scouting fraternity’s great storytellers. He got into 23 regular-season NHL games as a 6-foot-6 heavyweight. After trying the coaching game, he got into scouting and spent more than 20 seasons on the road — with the Washington Capitals, Ottawa Senators, Detroit Red Wings and Edmonton. Henderson retired in 2022 after a three-season run as Edmonton’s director of pro scouting. As a junior player with the Lethbridge Broncos, he once had a scrap with Bob Poley of the Regina Pats. Poley went on to play 15 seasons as an offensive lineman in the CFL.

MacTavish, from London, Ont., spent 17 seasons playing in the NHL, making stops with the Boston Bruins, Edmonton, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers and St. Louis Blues. Along the way, he won four Stanley Cups. He also was the last player in NHL history to play without a helmet. He went on to coach with the Rangers, Oilers and Blues, and also made coaching stops in the KHL and Swiss NL. His resume also includes two seasons as the Oilers’ general manager and five as senior vice-president of hockey operations.

Also that evening the Foundation will reveal the first recipient of its Ace Award, which is to be presented in honour of the late Garnet (Ace) Bailey, who was aboard the plane that terrorists crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. Glen Sather, a Hockey Hall of Famer and long-time friend of Bailey’s, will make the presentation.

Further details about the banquet, including ticket availability and more Hot Stove participants, will be announced in the near future.


The Western Canada Professional Hockey Scouts Foundation is a non-profit organization comprising NHL scouts from Western Canada and a group of committed individuals from the hockey community. It feels a strong obligation to honour scouts, past and present, and a commitment to give back to charities, communities and individuals who could benefit from the support and financial assistance.


Gregg Drinnan, WCPHSF editor and historian

[email protected]