Blazers announces Hockey Operations changes – Don Hay retires from coaching Blazers
The Kamloops Blazers have announced organizational changes in their hockey operations department.
Head Coach Don Hay has announced his retirement from coaching the Kamloops Blazers, and will remain with the hockey club in an advisory role.
General Manager Stu MacGregor has been reassigned within the Dallas Stars organization.
The hockey club also announced that Director of Player Personnel, Matt Recchi and Assistant Coach, Mike Needham will not have their contracts renewed.
“Don Hay is a legend and it is only fitting that he is able to retire with his hometown Kamloops Blazers as the winningest coach in WHL history,” said Gaglardi. “Don leaves a storied legacy within junior hockey circles. His accomplishments are astounding and he will be forever regarded as one of the greatest coaches in junior hockey history. We are extremely grateful to have had Don return to the Blazers and be able to end his coaching career where it all began.”
Hay’s coaching career started with the Kamloops Blazers in 1986 as an Assistant Coach. After seven seasons under Ken Hitchcock and Tom Renney, Don was named Head Coach of the Kamloops Blazers in 1992. In three seasons he led the hockey club to two WHL Championships and two Memorial Cups in 1994 and 1995. Don’s 1995 Memorial Cup winning team is widely regarded as the best junior hockey team in CHL history.
He spent seven seasons coaching professional hockey in the AHL and NHL between 1995 and 2004. He also had stints in the WHL with the Tri-City Americans and the Vancouver Giants, and was a Memorial Cup winner once again in 2007.
Hay was hired for a second time with the Kamloops Blazers on May 2, 2014. He is the winningest coach in WHL history with 750 wins. With over 20 seasons in the WHL and 1366 games as a Head Coach, Hay finishes his WHL career with a record of 750-506-110 and three Memorial Cups.
Hay will fulfill the newly created role of Senior Advisor, Hockey Operations with the Kamloops Blazers.
Stu MacGregor has been reassigned to the Dallas Stars amateur scouting department. Stu was hired by the Blazers as their General Manager on October 13, 2015.
“We’d like to thank Stu for his leadership with the hockey club over the past three seasons,” commented Gaglardi. “Stu has had a wonderful career as a scout and he will be a valuable resource at the NHL level.”
MacGregor began his career with the Kamloops Blazers in 1982 as an area scout. He worked his way up to Assistant General Manager in 1991 and eventually General Manager of the Kamloops Blazers from 1995 to 1998.
MacGregor was part of the Kamloops Blazers organization for six WHL Championships and three Memorial Cups between 1984 and 1995.
Following his time with the Blazers, he spent 17 seasons as an NHL scout with the Dallas Stars and the Edmonton Oilers.
Matt Recchi was hired by the hockey club in July 2008 and spent 10 seasons with the Blazers as the team’s Director of Player Personnel.
Mike Needham joined the Blazers on a full-time basis in September 2014 as an Assistant Coach. He spent 2010 to 2013 as a part-time Skills Coach with the hockey club.
“On behalf of the Kamloops Blazers ownership group, we’d like to thank Matt and Mike for all their hard work and efforts,” commented Governor / Co-Owner, Tom Gaglardi. “We have the upmost respect for both Matt and Mike and wish them all the best in their futures.”
The search for a new General Manager will begin immediately.