Tim Thomas is apparently still looking for work, but now he'll need a new agent to find it for him. Bill Zito, who represented numerous high-profile NHL players including Thomas, has been hired as an assistant general manager by the Columbus Blue Jackets, the team announced. Zito divested his interest in his agency, Acme World Sports, LLC, in order to assume his new role according to the Columbus Dispatch.
The well-respected Zito will lead Columbus' scouting department and play a large role in college scouting according to the Dispatch. He'll be one of two assistant general managers with the club as Chris MacFarland had already held that title and will remain in that role with the club.
“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,” general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said in a statement. “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.”
This obviously isn't the first time a prominent player agent has made the jump to a team's front office. Canucks general manager Mike Gillis and former Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke were among those to make that same transition.
Zito was part of the hockey team while attending Yale University and was an assistant hockey coach at the University of Wisconsin while attending law school there. He began his career as an agent in 1995.
The addition of Zito is another in a line of intriguing hires made by the Blue Jackets in the wake of John Davidson joining the club as team president last October. Presumably, Zito's experience as an agent should help when it comes to contract negotiations and his years in hockey will go a long way in the scouting department as well.
The Blue Jackets are starting to form a bit of a who's who in hockey operations with Davidson, Kekalainen, McFarland, senior advisor Craig Patrick and now Zito. It's no wonder there's a lot of positive momentum building for this team.