Hitmen Announce New GM and Head Coach
Chynoweth Named Hitmen GM
Calgary, AB. – Home is where the heart is.
Growing up Jeff Chynoweth spent part of his childhood in Calgary, and now after spending time as the Kootenay ICE general manager for 16 years, comes back home to become the new GM of the Hitmen.
“I tell everyone my last job outside of the WHL was for the Calgary Flames as the stick boy for the visitors from 1981-86, that’s that last time I’ve lived in Calgary,” Chynoweth said. “Now I get the opportunity to come back 31 years later and come back home. It’s exciting for me and my family.”
After the Chynoweth family sold the ICE this past year, the son of the late Ed Chynoweth was unsure what was next for him in his career, until Hitmen Vice-President and Alternate Governor Mike Moore approached him about joining the Hitmen.
Both men knew each other well and being able to work with someone that Chynoweth has known for years was hard to pass up.
“I wasn’t looking to get back to it, it’s been a long ride,” Chynoweth. “Although when Mike approached me about it, it didn’t take long for me to answer. It made sense for me and my family and I’m just overjoyed about it. First and foremost it was Mike Moore. I have a great relationship with Mike and have respected what he has done; it made it more appealing. He was the first reason why and got my attention.”
Chynoweth said being a part of the organization comes with the expectation of being successful every year, which he plans to continue.
“I look at the Hitmen and I see an organization that is successful year in and year out,” Chynoweth said. “It doesn’t matter whose coaching or who the GM is, to me this is a successful organization. There’s a lot of work to be done and I can’t wait to work with Dallas Ferguson and Dallas Thompson and it starts now.”
Chynoweth said he and the club’s new staff will focus on the fundamentals of the game and how to be successful.
“It’s the game of hockey, that doesn’t change,” Chynoweth said. “The kids play hockey and they do that very well to play at this level. I think for them they’re going to get a chance. It’s a clean start for everyone, not just for Dallas as the coach or myself as the general manager, but for the players. As a player it’ll be just do what you do.”
At the end of the day, the new general manager is filled with joy and excitement to come back home.
“I am thrilled to be working in Calgary and with one of the premier organizations in the entire CHL and an organization I’ve always looked up to. It’s a dream job and I can’t wait to get started.”
Ferguson Named Hitmen Head Coach
Change isn’t always a bad thing.
Sometimes it presents a new chapter.
Since 2004, Dallas Ferguson has spent his entire coaching career with the University of Alaska Fairbanks, starting as an assistant and then becoming the head coach from 2008-2016.
Today and going forward, Ferguson brings his vast knowledge and experience to Calgary.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity,” Ferguson said. “My family and I wanted to be in a good organization with good people.”
The Wainwright, Alta., native knows the WHL well and after meeting with members of the Hitmen organization, is looking forward to being part of building a winner.
“Calgary has been a franchise that you ask around the CHL about and they speak really highly about the organization and I got to see that first-hand today,” Ferguson said. “To be in an organization that has the focus of winning and developing coaches and players really is amazing to be a part of.”
Ferguson has a straight forward approach to what he wants to implement with his new team.
“For me coming in it’s going to be consistent with our standards, worth ethic and our attitude and commitment every day,” Ferguson said. “If those things are in the right place, that’s where it all starts. We’re going to have a good culture by putting the team ahead of you. If you have people like that you’re going to be successful.”
With training camp a month away, Ferguson will immediately start planning and working with returning assistant coaches Trent Cassan and Joel Otto to get a better understanding of each player on the roster so that he is familiar with what they bring.
“We have good players that are here for a reason. In order to be successful you need people committed and ready to work and follow the process,” Ferguson said. “I’m excited to learn more about our players from videos and look forward to coaching them the best I can to get the most out of them.”
Thompson Named Hitmen Director of Player Personal
Building for future success all starts today.
The Hitmen announced today that Dallas Thompson will become the new Director of Player Personal, after spending two years with the team as the British Columbia Scouting Director.
It’s a role that Thompson is thrilled to take on and is looking forward to working with the other scouts and management in helping shape the roster for years to come.
“I’m happy and proud to get this going,” Thompson said. “I’m very excited about taking things to the next step and can’t wait for it all.”
The Kelowna native had over 15 years of scouting and WHL managerial experience prior to joining the Hitmen in 2015. He first joined the league as a player with the Tacoma Rockets from 1992-95 where he was team captain before moving to the Prince George Cougars in the late 1990’s.There he made the transition into coaching and management serving as the Cougars General Manager for 10 seasons from 2004 to 2014.
With his wealth of experience in the Dub and familiarity with what the organization are looking for, the transition will be seamless for him, as he is preparing for the responsibilities that come with overseeing the scouting.
Thompson is already pleased with how the roster and prospect pool are looking going forward, and wants to further build on what’s been started to help the team get back to the top.
“We want to win,” Thompson said. “The last two years we’ve had some really good drafts and we’re very excited about those younger guys. The biggest thing is to get the scouts organized and let them know what we’re looking for and what we want in players to be successful.”
“It’ll be important to get everyone organized and making sure we’re on the same page on letting them know what we’re looking for in a Hitmen player.”
With many key pieces and the majority of the roster being kept intact, Thompson believes that the team is ready to take their game to the next step, after a rollercoaster season that ended sooner than what they would have liked.
Despite this, the newly appointed director believes that there could be a major improvement for the 2107-18 season, with last season serving as a learning experience for the team as a whole in the events of injuries or World Juniors that cause players to draw out of the lineup. This is where the depth of a team is showcased, depth that he’ll be looking to help provide.
“When you have this many returning players you’re hoping to take some strides,” Thompson said. “Last year didn’t go the way we wanted it to but you take things away from it and I think we’re headed in the right direction.”