OTTAWA - Canadian Hockey announced today that director of scouting, Ray Payne, would be leaving the national team program to return to the National Hockey League later this summer.
Payne joined Canadian Hockey in February 1995 and assisted in building Canada's gold medal winning national junior team for the 1996 World Junior Championship in Boston, and the second place national under-18 team at the 1995 Pacific Cup in Japan, and in evaluating the country's talented pool of players at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Moncton, N.B., last September.
"Ray has worked very well with our national team program," said Bob Nicholson, Canadian Hockey's senior vice-president of hockey operations. "In the time that he has been with us, Ray has further expanded our scouting system and assisted us in establishing a computerized tracking system for player evaluation.
"We're sad to see Ray go, but just like everyone in our system, Canadian Hockey's goal is to develop the individual's skills and talents that will ultimately send them on to other challenges in the game," added Nicholson.
Canadian Hockey has seen several national team staff members move on to the International Ice Hockey Federation and the NHL, most recently national team head coach Tom Renney taking on the head coaching position with the Vancouver Canucks.
Payne came to Canadian Hockey after working four years as eastern scouting supervisor for the NHL's San Jose Sharks.
Canadian Hockey will begin the search for a director of scouting immediately.
Payne will continue working with the national junior team through to the evaluation camp from August 2-8 in Calgary, and with the national under-18 team at the Air Canada Pacific Cup from August 13-18 in Nelson and Castlegar, B.C.