While our amateur scouting has definitely been one of the best in the league for quite some time now, I'm beginning to think we're not so good at scouting at the pro level. Recently, I was reading in the Freep how Holland was meeting with the pro scouts to discuss potential trade targets. It mentioned our entire pro scouting staff. We only have four pro scouts altogether.
Ideally, our pro scouts would be watching every game and every team on a nightly basis. And that should include the AHL. I highly doubt that's happening when we only have four pro scouts total. I'm sure they watch a list of targets closely and have many hockey connections they get information from, but surely that's nowhere near comprehensive.
Perhaps that's one of the reasons (in addition to the high price of trades and free agency), that most of our team consists of homegrown talent? Also, I'm not sure about the thinking behind signing guys like Colaiacovo, Samuelsson, Commodore, etc. when those guys didn't look very good in their last stints before signing with us. Either Holland simply made desperate stop gap moves, or he needed better information from his scouts.
In a cap world, minor, but savvy trades and signings can make a big difference. And I feel like we just fill in all the gaps from within. Which is fine given our track record at the draft, but you'd have to think we're missing out on ways of potentially making our team better.