Olds Grizzlys annouce changes to hockey ops staff

The Olds Grizzlys started another new era of their franchise in the Alberta Junior Hockey League on the weekend.

The team announced Garry VanHereweghe as their new GM and associate coach along with Joe Murphy as the head coach during a press conference at the CLC Fitness Centre at Olds College on Saturday.

Murphy served as an assistant last year in Olds and VanHereweghe has had a long career in junior hockey management as a coach and a GM. He recently served as the VP of Hockey Operations for the Canmore Eagles.

“We figured we wanted to keep some stability from last year. Somebody that the players were familiar with. Somebody that could do the job, but didn’t have a lot of experience as a head coach,” Said Friends of the Grizzlys president Darcy Dallas said Saturday.

“Luckily, we were able to reach out to Mr. VanHereweghe, who has a wealth of knowledge coaching and GMing. After Garry committed, we knew it was a no-brainer. So we went with that combination which we know will be very successful.”

Murphy was part of the coaching staff for the Grizzlys last year that had a less than stellar 18-37-5 record and a last-place finish in the AJHL South Division. Murphy played during his AJHL career in Olds and won an RBC Cup (Centennial Cup) with the Grizzlys in 1994.

“I was the beneficiary of a lot of people’s hard work, for me to come back home and do this and help out with a program with Garry and the executive is really important to me,” Murphy said.

“It’s a project I welcome and I take seriously. I’m very excited to work with Garry and utilized his tools and his knowledge as well as that of the executive.”

VanHereweghe was an assistant GM and coach for the Lloydminster Bobcats in 2016 when they hosted the RBC Cup. The Lacombe native was an assistant coach in olds from 1990-1992, then the head coach in 1998-2000.

“My hockey roots started here as a coach and general manager 20 years ago. I guess I can call it home as well. A bit of a homecoming,” he said.

“Start your career somewhere and know you can go back and finish your career and help put that piece back together the way you would like to see that is a great opportunity for me.”

VanHereweghe acknowledged there’s a lot to do with the franchise but believes over the summer they’ll install a solid plan and be ready for the fall.

“We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. We know that going in. We’re not coming here and sit and think it will fall in place. We’re going to have to take a lot of action and get a lot of people into place to get into together,” he said.

The Grizzlys also held their spring camp on the weekend and signed 18-year-old forward Josh McNeil, who played last season with the Red Deer Optimist Chiefs. McNeil played four games this season for Olds.



Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Heat warning in effect for Central Alberta

Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for Central Alberta. Residents in… Continue reading

Red Deer Royals place second at Calgary Stampede parade

Royals depicted life in forest and portrayed destruction by human beings

Westerner Days parade set for Wednesday in downtown Red Deer

Over 30,000 people are expected to line up the streets of downtown… Continue reading

Storm rips through Central Alberta

Hail pelts region causing damage to farmland, plus communities in Ponoka, Bashaw and Stettler

France wins 2nd World Cup title, beats Croatia 4-2

MOSCOW — France won its second World Cup title by beating Croatia… Continue reading

CFIA inspects after video shows pigs crammed into B.C. transport truck

The video shows pigs piled on top of one another in a transport truck on a “sweltering” hot day last week

Man killed by Chicago police ran away, reached for waist

CHICAGO — A man killed by Chicago police had a gun in… Continue reading

Chicago police: Man killed by police appeared to be armed

CHICAGO — Footage from body-worn cameras and surveillance cameras shows that a… Continue reading

New Mexico passenger bus crash kills 3, injures 24 others

BERNALILLO, N.M. — A crash involving a commercial passenger bus and three… Continue reading

Police officer, bystander die from gunshot wounds

BOSTON — A Massachusetts police officer and bystander died Sunday from wounds… Continue reading

Trump names EU a global foe, raps media before Putin summit

HELSINKI — President Donald Trump named the European Union as a top… Continue reading

Stolen firetruck stopped after wild chase in California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Police chased a stolen firetruck across four Northern California… Continue reading

Storm rips through Central Alberta

Hail pelts region causing damage to farmland, plus communities in Ponoka, Bashaw and Stettler

Activists protest outside Kinder Morgan terminal in kayaks, canoes in B.C.

Tsleil-Waututh elder Ta’ah Amy George led the water ceremony from a traditional Coast Salish canoe

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month