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Hockey Industry No Longer a Gentlemen's Club?




I am an avid Tweeter. I think it's a great way to keep up with topics you are interested in, as I do with hockey and the sports world in general. I follow many junior hockey organizations, particularly ones situated in the West, to get the scoop to stay informed because many news organizations do not follow them enough to my liking.

About a month ago, I tweeted to the Prince George Spruce Kings wondering if they intend on filling their GM role soon. Honestly, I was not expecting much of an answer. I was only curious because it's been a couple of months since they fired their old GM and Head Coach for being dead last in the BCHL. They responded back a couple days after, notifying me that they will posting a job description and details on how to apply after January 4th. I had to read it about 3 times to soak in what they just said(Curiously, the tweet has since been taken down). Since when did a hockey team plan on offering people not within the industry an opportunity to fill their GM role? It was unheard of. January 5th came and went, and there was no GM job posting, not that I was looking to apply, but to see if they were ACTUALLY going to follow up with their tweet. If you're curious, no they didn't put it up.

But something curious happened today. The Spruce Kings put up a tweet that said, "Applications and Letters of Interest are now being accepted for the position of Head Coach with the Junior A team http://bit.ly/hCsh5Z" They are looking for candidates for the head coach position via Twitter. On a larger scale, if you can imagine, this is like the Canucks taking out space in the classified section in The Province or Vancouver Sun that reads, "HELP WANTED. Looking to fill vacant GM role. Call for more information." This is unheard of in the hockey industry. Since the existence of hockey leagues, coaches and managers were people who once played the game at a high level, minimal experience had to be a Junior League like the WHL or BCHL. But something seems to be changing in the hockey world. The prestigious group that was as tightly bunched as a can of sardines seems to be slowly opening their arms to average joes like me to join them and contribute to the game. As a person who is looking to get into the industry, I'm very fortunate to know people in the industry, and a few scouts I do know in the BCHL and WHL are people like me, men who did not play the game at the major junior level, but love the game and are pursuing a job in hockey.

Now, this is just an example of one team only, a team in the junior level at that, but it's an indication that people's perception in the hockey world is changing. It's not only former players who have an eye and brain for the game, people who truly love the game do too, they just lack the experience, something that can be built. Hockey teams are starting to operate more like a business, looking for fresh ideas to build their teams.

It's highly doubtful that the Spruce Kings will find a legitimately qualified candidate via Twitter, but it gives me more hope that in 10-20 years, you will find more people that has not played the game at a high level in management positions all over hockey. It's a step in the right direction, and I hope more teams will take this approach, for the sake of my dreams.

Feel free to visit my blog, PUCKS AND BUCKS if you like what you read.



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