Listening to Dallas Gaume, one gets the impression that he feels he’s stepping into an enviable position.
“I’m inheriting a very healthy association and one of the biggest and best in Alberta,” said Gaume, after being introduced as the new general manager of the Red Deer Minor Hockey Association during a news conference Wednesday at the Red Deer Lodge.
“We have passionate players, quality coaches and tons of volunteers who do what is necessary to make our association what it is.”
Gaume, who replaces Marv Seibel as the RDMHA general manager, thanked the former GM as well as outgoing president Graham Moore.
“They, along with the whole board of directors, have done an outstanding job in making our association what it is today,” said Gaume.
The new RDMHA head man has an impressive resume as a former player and coach.
Gaume played junior A hockey at Swift Current, then moved on to the University of Denver where he became the school’s all-time leading scorer, a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as the top US college player in 1976 and an eventual member of the university’s hall of fame. He went on to play pro hockey with the former Hartford Whalers and in the American League, and was also a player/coach in Norway.
Gaume moved into the Western Hockey League ranks in 1999 as a part-time assistant coach with the Rebels and a year later began a 10-year run as a full-time assistant.
He resigned in 2010 and spent last winter as the head coach of the major bantam Red Deer Rebels White and as the Chilliwack Bruins’ director of scouting for the WHL Central Division.
And now he’s on to his next challenge, a new chapter in his life.
“I’m very excited about this appointment and I can’t wait to get started,” he said.
Gaume said he’ll be a hands-on general manager.
“I plan on having a very big impact on the hockey side of our association, right from (player) evaluations to coach selection to our mentorship program that we’re continuing to develop every year,” he insisted.
“I look back to my own experiences with minor hockey and I have very fond memories of my days from novice all the way up to midget. I was really lucky to have great coaches and people who not only taught me hockey skills but also life skills . . . about commitment, sportsmanship, respect, hard work and accountability. These are all things that I expect from all of our coaches here moving forward.
“At the end of the day, what this is all about is just making sure these kids have the best experience they can possibly have in minor hockey, and that’s
from the highly-skilled to the under-skilled and everybody in between. Our job is to develop these kids, teach them hockey skills but teach them life skills as well. When they leave here and have their own families we want them coming back to be our coaches and our managers, our volunteers and fund-raisers.”
Moore, who will continue as a board member for the next two years, feels the RDMHA is in good hands with Gaume at the helm.
“We did a head-hunter mission trying to find the best person we could for Red Deer minor hockey,” said Moore. “Two of the top four candidates were local and right in our own system. We feel we’ve made a great selection as our new GM replacing Marvin.”
Seibel retires after 12 years as the RDMHA president and 12 more as general manager.