'It was a dream': New Jersey Devils manager home for Hockeyville
'I'm really excited to be able to come home. I'm excited for the fans,' Scott Harris says
Scott Harris remembers hot summer days spent inside a cold rink in Summerside, P.E.I., watching NHL coaches and stars during summer training camps or exhibition games.
He'd be a bit star-struck — in awe seeing some of the world's greatest hockey players at a local rink.
Now the 31 year old is working as the New Jersey Devil's player information and video manager and is travelling back to his home province as part of Kraft Hockeyville — an annual competition held by the NHL to determine the North American community with the biggest hockey spirit.
New Jersey will play the Ottawa Senators in a pre-season game on Monday.
"It's really exciting, I've been doing what I do now for 10 seasons … but it's cool to be able to bring it back home," Harris said.
Home for the father of two means country roads and sprawling green fields of North Tryon, P.E.I.
Working with the Columbus Blue Jackets
He's been with the Devils since August and is anxiously waiting for P.E.I. to meet his new team.
"I'm really excited to be able to come home. I'm excited for the fans," he said.
"Knowing that it's coming through the community of O'Leary and it's being hosted in Summerside for the game, I don't expect anything less [than] it being an exciting atmosphere."
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'Whatever they needed, I did it'
Harris got a call up to the NHL while he was at school in Newfoundland, after repeatedly calling and emailing former Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jim Clark for an internship.
Clark finally gave him a shot in the form of a four-month internship and Harris left university to take it, eventually finishing his degree through online courses.
"It was a dream for me," he said. "Whatever they needed, I did it, even if it was getting coffee. I just wanted to show them how badly I wanted the opportunity."
The internship turned into one year and eventually wound up as a 10-year job in the Blue Jackets' scouting and coaching department.
'It's a pretty cool feeling'
After 10 years with Columbus, he made the move to New Jersey where he now works as a "one-stop shop" for the coaches and general manager.
"If we're entering a trade deadline or free agency or the draft, anything in those processes, it's my job to make sure that those who make decisions are better equipped than anyone in the NHL," he said.
Harris and the Devils arrived in P.E.I. on Sunday and will be leaving sometime after the game on Monday. Despite the short visit, he said, it'll be one to remember.
"To be given the opportunity by New Jersey to be part of something like this is really special," he said. "I'd like to think it's the first of many opportunities to be involved with hockey-type activities on P.E.I. — so yeah it's a pretty cool feeling."
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