Monday, 23 July 2012

Opinion: Gylywoychuk Deserved Chance

After a few days of electronic free vacationing, I'm back with some thoughts on last week's announcement by the Brandon Wheat Kings that Dwayne Gylywoychuk will be the club's new head coach.

'I'm very excited to start my head coaching career in Brandon, with an organization that is deep in tradition and rich in history,' said Gylywoychuk in a team release that was first issued via twitter Wednesday afternoon, 'I would like to thank Kelly and the Wheat Kings' organization for this opportunity'

Time will tell whether the hiring of Gylywoychuk will be a good move for the hockey club but there's no doubting that the 39-year old Winnipeg product has earned the opportunity.

Gylywoychuk has been an assistant coach with team since 2003 and has gradually taken on more responsibility since he first began in the role full-time under Mike Kelly in 2003.

In essence, Gylywoychuk was passed over a year ago in favour of Cory Clouston and, quite likely, his tenure with the team would likely have ended if that were to happen again.

There's no doubt that Gylywoychuk's coaching style will need to change now that the title of Head Coach precedes his name, and there will be more responsibility on his shoulders than ever before.

However, the one thing Gylywoychuk will bring to the table will be a deep understanding of the rich tradition of the Wheat Kings hockey club.

That alone won't produce wins on the ice, but it will reinforce to the players what it means to put on the black and gold, that there is a long-standing expectation of committment, hard work and, ultimately, success that comes with being a Brandon Wheat King.

I can't guarantee that Gylywoychuk's head coaching career will be a successful one (although I wish him all the success in the world), I do know that when you have a long-standing employee who has given a lot to your organization, you should give them the chance to prove themselves in an expanded role.

Sometimes all they need is the opportunity.

Chaff...while I have no knowledge that this will happen, one has to think the Wheat King will add another assistant coach, even in a part-time role, prior to the start of training camp...former Wheat Kings' captain Ryan Craig signed a contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets to play for their American Hockey League affiliate the Springfield Falcons late last week...the Victoria Royals named former Calgary Hitmen head coach and Flames' assistant Dave Lowry as their head coach on Thursday...Red Deer defenceman Matt Dumba signed an entry-level contract with the Minnesota Wild last week.

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