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Oil Capitals embrace summer of change

In June, the club began undergoing gradual changes as it prepares for the organization’s sixth season in the MJHL.

 Sept. 1, 2017

As camp starts today, the team has undergone several changes throughout the summer months leading into the 2017-2018 season.

To begin the summer transition, Jamie Hodson was introduced as the Virden Oil Capitals new Director of Business and Hockey Operations.

“We laud Jamie’s passion and ability to be methodical as he maneuvers the organization into the coming season and beyond. We feel he can help create an even stronger identity and culture in moving the club into the future,” the board said in a statement.

Moving forward, Hodson has had praise for all hockey personnel and looks forward to working with the group moving into the 2017-2018 season. Hodson will work closely with GM and Head Coach Troy Leslie in guiding the team into the upcoming season and is excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for the organization.

“As a management group, we will continue to work together both on and off the ice to ensure our players, our loyal fan base, and our marketing partners get the value and quality they expect and deserve,” Hodson explained.

He says in any league your goal is to come into each season with ambitions of winning a championship. We always want to strive to have a consistent and strong team on a year-to-year basis, and at the same time, our club’s focus is to continue to build good young men who will move on in life and be successful, good people.

As the summer comes to a close and we move into the fall, the alterations have been far and wide.

Chad Leslie, previously the Assistant GM and Director of Player Personnel, will now see his role altered to assume responsibility of Head Scout within the organization.

“We felt the need to have Chad’s primary focus be on our drafting process moving forward,” Hodson said. “With the team’s management structure, having Chad focus his time and energy on the draft is advantageous both for the organization and for Chad.”

Dale Lewis meanwhile, will now work with Leslie as an assistant coach.

“Dale and Troy work well together and have worked together on the bench from their AAA midget days with the Southwest Cougars,” Hodson said. “They’ve had a strong relationship over the past five years within the organization. Both Troy and Dale were firmly committed to this at the end of the 2016-17 season and see this as a strong benefit to the players on our club.”

The team has brought on Lanny Stewart as Manager of Marketing and Communications. He started the position in early August.

“Lanny has jumped in and taken the lead in helping solidify our team’s partners and in doing so, is working closely with them. He is also getting a grasp on the team’s communications aspects.

“We’re thrilled to have someone such as Lanny Stewart leading the image of our brand moving forward,” Hodson said.

Hailee Dayman has joined the club as the team’s equipment manager and trainer. She will work closely with the players, helping them progress health-wise throughout different times of the season as needed.

“Hailee came highly recommended from Chad and Troy and she’s done everything plus more already in her short stint with the team to date,” Hodson said. “She brings an element of professionalism and organization that the team was needing in her area of work.”

The team has also brought on local products Patricia Hole as a Power Skating Coach and Brock Davies as the club’s Strength and Conditioning coach.

“Paddy and Brock are both local individuals who have excelled in their areas of work and present talents that will make our players stronger, faster, and more adept to playing at a higher level of play. They both bring an element of high character, work ethic, and will demand respect from our players moving forward,” Hodson said.

Ryan Potter meanwhile, will continue to work with the goalies. He’ll also be involved in the video room with players.

“Ryan brings a positive attitude and approach with the players on and off the ice,” Hodson said. “He’s done a great job with the goaltenders over the years and is looking forward to working in this capacity again.

Ramsey joins organization

Tyson Ramsey, Head Coach of the AAA Midget Wheat Kings in Brandon, has been added to the team’s scouting staff.

“Tyson brings a continued element of professionalism and integrity to or organization. He’s a standup individual and a very smart hockey mind,” Hodson said. “He’s had tremendous success at the AAA midget level as a coach. He’s also well respected in Moose Jaw with the Warriors of the WHL as a scout within the organization for the past two seasons. He’ll help provide the organization with thorough knowledge of the AAA midget league in Manitoba moving forward with regards to player personnel and MJHL prospects.”

The Oil Caps also added a new face to its board of directors. Shelby Rampton, a Virden area product, joined as a director on the board last month. Rampton, 38, grew up on a farm north of the oil capital of Manitoba and is currently working at the Virden CIBC as a commercial/agriculture account manager.

“Shelby checks all the boxes, possessing all the traits the board of directors are looking for,” Hodson said.

Player Updates

Hodson says as a group, the organization has been able to compile a roster of competitive players and he’s confident the team will be successful this upcoming season and beyond.

“We’ve had some key signings this summer that are going to help build the young core of our team moving forward this season and into future years.”

“We have a strong group up front and we feel we’ll have a competitive camp in terms of finalizing who will fill the final spots,” he added. “With (Kelby) Picard deciding to pursue off-ice endeavors, this allows for a balanced approach in solidifying our four lines with youth and veterans.”

When it comes to the blueline, Hodson believes the team has a very solid young core to build around.

“With (Marco) Creta moving on to the WHL and (Jacob) Cronin going back to school, it opens another spot to fill. We’d like to shore up our backend with an older/veteran presence and will continue to look at different avenues in doing this.”

Between the pipes, Riley McVeigh is expected to take another step in his development, all the while, showcasing leadership both on and off the ice.

“We have confidence Riley will play a key role in net for us and I know he’s looking forward to having a great season,” Hodson said.

Overall, the Oil Caps have undergone a variety of exciting changes, so when the puck drops on the 2017-2018 season, the organization is looking forward to putting forth a quality product for its fans and partners.

The organization can’t wait for the season to get started!

 

It’s time to deliver. It’s time for #capitalgains