The Grand Forks Border Bruins hockey club held its annual general meeting last week and new members of the board of directors were voted in, including a new president.
Michael Wirischagin was elected as the new president, taking over for Jason Odland and Ward Faust took over as vice-president for departing Shauna Lum.
Wirischagin, who is also the voice of the team for its online webcasts, said that his first order of business will be to find a new coach and general manager to take over for Jesse Dorrans, who was let go towards the end of last season.
The new president said he couldn’t comment on the search, given that he has just been elected, but he did talk about what kind of qualities he wanted the new bench boss to have.
“I want a proven winner,” Wirischagin explained.
“Somebody who can motivate younger kids and keep them on task and in line. Someone who can relate to them and develop them into the players they need to be to put a winning product on the ice.”
While it has been said that Grand Forks isn’t always the first choice to play for hockey players, Wirischagin said that having the right people in place can go a long way in rectifying that.
“A lot of people say that it’s because Grand Forks doesn’t have a lot to offer but the reality of it is, is that Osoyoos is no different than Grand Forks,” explained the new president.
“It’s a summer community and doesn’t have that much to offer come winter time and if they’re able to recruit top-notch talent, there’s no reason why we can’t either. I think it starts from the board down to the volunteers and coaching staff and especially the general manager, in recruiting those players.
“I think once you get those people in line and the people are dedicated and passionate, it doesn’t matter what you have to offer. You can get first-rate players here, I guarantee it.”
With his new duties as team president will the club be searching for a new voice for its webcasts?
Not a chance, said Wirischagin.
“I really, really enjoy that and the way I see it anyways is that I’m here at the rink already, it won’t be too much more on my plate,” he said.
Along with Wirischagin and Ward Faust, Dave Grootjes, Erron Nicolson, Martin Vanlerberg, Matt Zamec and Barb Faust were also elected to the board of directors.
Secretary-Treasurer Michelle Odland, Tom Frith (director of hockey operations and assistant coach) and board members Paul and Valerie Horkoff have another year remaining on their terms.
Applications from potential coach and GM candidates will be accepted until March 31.