The Sicamous Eagles are looking ahead to the future with new faces behind the bench and in the head office.
New general manager Ron Sleeman and head coach Gerald Bouchard plan to take the team in a new direction, building on the work done by outgoing GM Wayne March over the past 26 years.
Sleeman’s previous hockey management experience includes time as a part owner of the Williams Lake Timberwolves, a BCHL club which has been out of action since 2009. In a profile of the Eagles’ new coach and GM put together by the KIJHL, Sleeman pledges a focus on player mentorship and education.
As he settles into the new role, Sleeman is receiving help from assistant GM Rob Sutherland who he calls his ‘life line.’ Sleeman says his focus is currently on finding players and on connecting with BCHL clubs to find ways to work together with the province’s Junior A league. He has also been in contact with Junior A clubs across Western Canada in an effort to help players currently on the Eagles’ roster move up to the higher leagues.
Joining the Eagles as their new head coach is Gerald Bouchard, who has coached the University of Manitoba women’s hockey team and also worked for Hockey Alberta and as a scout for the Bonnyville Pontiacs of the AJHL. Bouchard currently lives in Vernon where he owns 212 Sports Den, a store and training facility.
Sleeman told the KIJHL he tapped Bouchard for the coaching job because of their long-time familiarity and because of his experience mentoring and coaching young men.
Bouchard says his experience, including the ownership of a hockey development company, will keep the Eagles competitive.