John Weisbrod is a retired American professional ice hockey center and former Calgary Flames Assistant General Manager/Player Personnel from 2011-2013. In addition to his work in the NHL, Weisbrod also served as General Manager and Chief Operating Officer of the Orlando Magic, of the National Basketball Association from 2004-2005.
Early Life and Playing Career
Born in Syosset, NY, Weisbrod attended and played Center on the Harvard ice hockey team from 1987 to 1991. He started ice hockey with the Oyster Bay Gulls and was part of a team that won NY State Championships in 1978, 1980 and 1982 and the Pee Wee National Championships in 1980. Weisbrod was drafted by the Minnesota North Stars round 4, #73 overall in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft. Because of injury, Weisbrod took the year off hockey in 1991–1992, only to play 16 games with the Kansas City Blades of the IHL before being forced to retire, also due to injury.
Early Front-Office Work
Having a degree in English from Harvard and his intricate experience to fall back on, Weisbrod became the Head Scout of the New Jersey Devils hockey club, and had great success and an IHL job with the Orlando Solar Bears of the IHL. He once again was very successful, winning the last championship the IHL had in 2001 (it disbanded the year after).
When the IHL disbanded, the Solar Bears owner promoted him into the Magic organization in an administrative position. However, he was soon promoted to General Manager of the Magic after the team fired John Gabriel following a disappointing 21–61 season in 2003–2004.
As GM, Weisbrod has gained the reputation of a no-nonsense guy. He was instrumental in the firing of Doc Rivers, and appointed Johnny Davis head coach of the Magic. However, with 18 games left in the 2004–2005 season, Weisbrod also fired Davis and named assistant coach Chris Jent the interim head coach.
Notable Trades and Downfall
Weisbrod was also responsible for the blockbuster trade of disgruntled superstar Tracy McGrady. In a 7-player deal which sent McGrady, Juwan Howard, Tyronn Lue, and another player to the Houston Rockets, the Magic received erratic point guard Steve Francis, Cuttino Mobley, and Kelvin Cato. Weisbrod received written death threats from fans on different occasions following this transaction. That megatrade was only the beginning of the dismantling of the 2003–2004 team; Weisbrod only retained three of the players for the 2004–2005 season.
Weisbrod also acquired swingman Hedo Türkoğlu, center Tony Battie (traded from Cleveland for Drew Gooden, defensive player Doug Christie (traded from the Sacramento Kings for Mobley), and drafted Dwight Howard with the number one pick in the 2004 NBA Draft. In addition, Weisbrod also acquired Jameer Nelson in that draft, trading a future first round pick to the Denver Nuggets in return for Nelson, who was the 20th pick.
On May 23, 2005, Weisbrod resigned from his position of General Manager and Chief Operating Officer of the Orlando Magic, citing an opportunity to return to an executive position in the National Hockey League.
After a season with the Stars, Weisbrod joined the scouting staff of the Boston Bruins on September 14, 2006 as a pro scout based out of Tampa, Florida. After two seasons scouting the professional leagues, Weisbrod became the Bruins' Director of Collegiate Scouting.
On June 27, 2011, Weisbrod was named the Assistant General Manager of Player Personnel of the Calgary Flames after winning a Stanley Cup ring with the Bruins. On December 12, 2013, he was relieved of his duties.