Muir served Beckett faithfully for 17 years. In 2008 he took his freelance role with Sports Illustrated full time, covering the NHL. His most recent article can be found here and a complete archive of articles over most of the last year, can be found here. As you can see, Al knows his stuff when it comes to hockey. Not more or less than some of the other notable NHL beat writers out there but more than enough to provide Panini Hockey with a crash course in NHL personnel.
You can follow Al on Twitter, and reach him through email from any of SI/CNN articles.