Doug Hedley, one of the winningest coaches in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, has been named winner of the Coach of the Year Award.
The GM/head coach of the OCN Blizzard was honoured tonight in The Pas, presented with the “Muzz” McPherson Memorial Trophy by MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis.
Hedley, who has more than 450 career wins in the MJHL, is credited with turning around the fortunes of the Blizzard, who sit third in the Sher-Wood Division with a 32-21-5-3 record, coming into tonight’s game against Wayway Wolverines.
This is Hedley’s third season with the Blizzard, joining the club in November ‘06 after the firing of then-Blizzard head coach Neil Wilkinson.
Hedley, who has a degree in Education, began his MJHL coaching career more than decade ago with Dauphin Kings.
The coach of the year award trophy is named in honour of Murray “Muzz” McPherson, one of the most colourful coaches ever in the MJHL. McPherson, who died in 1997, helped guide the Portage Terriers to the 1972-73 Centennial Cup - now known as the RBC Cup. McPherson also coached the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, who had a future NHL hall of famer in its lineup – Wayne Gretzky.
The coach of the year award is voted on by the 11 MJHL head coaches.
The MJHL has one more major award to hand out:
Top Goaltender Trophy
Alan Armour - Selkirk Steelers
David Aime – OCN Blizzard
Adrian Rubeniuk- Dauphin Kings
The league’s award winners are as follows:
Eric Delong, Portage Terriers: MVP and Hockey Ability and Sportsmanship
Jordan DePape, Winnipeg Saints, Top Rookie
Scott Macaulay, Winnipeg Saints, Top Defenceman
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)