HARTFORD, April 7, 2011:  The National Hockey League today announced the loss of Edward John “EJ” McGuire, who passed away after a courageous battle with cancer.  He was 58.

McGuire, who was Vice-President of the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau at the time of his death, was the Hartford Wolf Pack’s head coach for the first two seasons of the franchise’s existence, 1997-98 and 1998-99.  The Buffalo, NY native led the Wolf Pack to an 81-55-17-7 record over those two years, a .581 winning percentage, and a berth in the Eastern Conference Finals in the team’s inaugural season.

“The National Hockey League was privileged to benefit from EJ’s expertise and enthusiasm, both of which were limitless,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “EJ loved scouting games and loved the internal debates over the strengths and weaknesses of Entry Draft prospects. The way he ran Central Scouting made it vitally important to every one of our Clubs.

“The NHL family has suffered a tremendous loss,” Commissioner Bettman added. “As we celebrate EJ’s contributions and mourn his passing, we send our condolences – and our gratitude – to EJ’s family and friends.”

McGuire is survived by his wife, Terry, and their daughters, Jacqueline and Erin.

McGuire had been director of NHL Central Scouting since 2005.  Prior to that, in addition to his two years with the Wolf Pack and extensive scouting stints, he served as an NHL assistant coach with the Philadelphia Flyers, Chicago Blackhawks and Ottawa Senators.  McGuire also had head-coaching stints with the AHL’s Maine Mariners and the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League.

Funeral arrangements will be announced once they are finalized.