Thursday, June 13, 2013

Grande Prairie Storm Changes in Scouting Department

Press Release

 The Grande Prairie Storm have hired Gareth Barley as Head Scout, on the heels of former Head Scout Shawn Martin’s exciting announcement that he has taken over the reigns as GM and Head Coach of the La Ronge Ice Wolves of the SJHL.

“I would like to Congratulate Shawn on his new position in La Ronge.” said Storm Head Coach Blaine Bablitz. “He worked the past two seasons with our hockey team and did a great job for us as both an Assistant Coach and as our Head Scout. Shawn brought a lot of passion and intensity to the coaching staff. As well he was very connected in the hockey world which helped us in many different situations. Heading our Scouting staff this past season Shawn and his fellow scouts did a great job in recruiting for the upcoming season. It will be one the strongest recruiting classes in years. I wish Shawn the best of luck and thank him for his work and time put in to the Storm organization."

Shawn Martin had nothing but positives to say about his time with the Storm.

“I just wanted to express my gratitude to the Storm organization for the past two years. There is no doubt in my mind that my Storm experience was a major factor in receiving the opportunity to becoming a GM/Head coach at the Junior A level. As much as I do not want to leave the team, the opportunity I have been given is a challenge I want to attempt. Working with Blaine, Kelly Coulter and the Board has been  enjoyable and a great learning experience that has helped develop my skills within the hockey world. I know the last era started off rough but feel with all the hard work done by everyone this organization is on the right path and on the cusp of great success.”

Filling Martin’s shoes is now the job of Gareth Barley, who gets the promotion to Head Scout after working for the Storm for the last two seasons.

“Within Shawn's scouting staff his go to guy was Gareth Barley” said Bablitz. “Gareth will be assuming our Head Scout position. It is a natural transition with Shawn now moving on. Gareth has the experience and back ground, and I am certain he will do a great job for our club. We’ve created a good working relationship and I look forward to working with him over the next season. With the changes made to Jr. A hockey, the focus is now more than ever on recruiting and developing players through your program. I am confident we have the right person in place.”

Shawn Martin agrees with that assessment. “Gareth is a quality individual that I’ve have worked with for the past 4 seasons. I believe that he and Blaine will continue to excel at recruiting top players to Grande Prairie.”

(Nathan can be reached at

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