Blazers Announce Operational Change

by Eric Rodgers

The Oklahoma City Junior Blazers, LLC announced today that President and Head Coach Tyler Fleck has sold operational control of the Western States Hockey League to Gary Gill and Cole Hudek.

Fleck and company have made a deal with Gary Gill to head up the WSHL team for the upcoming 2017-18 season.

“Gary Gill is a very experienced individual with a passion for the game. He has a very good resume within the hockey world,” stated Fleck. “The timing was right for everyone and with the C1HL starting in 2018, we felt this would strengthen hockey in OKC and give us the opportunity to prepare for a higher level of Blazers hockey. I know Gary will do a great job.”

Gill will be the second bench boss in the young franchise's history and brings with him 2 years worth of assistant coaching experience in the Central Hockey League and ECHL, and head coaching experience in the Federal Hockey League, all at the professional level. Along with his professional experience, Gill brings several years of experience at the collegiate and university levels. Gill has previously coached in the WSHL with the Cheyenne Stampede.

Fleck steps off the bench for the upcoming season and takes with him a coaching record of 113 wins, 34 losses, and 3 ties. Although he will not be behind the bench, he will still be involved with the WSHL franchise moving forward as a consultant.

“The plan is to keep moving forward and work hand-in-hand this season with Gary and the team. Not much will change other than the fact that he will be coaching. Our current staff will continue to help Gary build this team to win a championship and bring the highest level of Blazers hockey possible to OKC. It's what our fans want to see and we will do our best to give it to them.”

The WSHL and new Head Coach Gary Gill have already begun preparing for the upcoming WSHL season, which kicks off this October at the Blazers Ice Centre.

“I know that Gary is going to add some more talent and grit to the very strong core we have eligible to return. The team we had this past season was a two year team, meaning we recruited last year for this year also. This team will once again be a contender and we are excited to see what Gary can do with it.”

In all, last year's Blazers can return up to 16 players including leading scorers Ivan Bondarenko, MVP Kirill Romanov, Vitali Mikhailov and defensive leaders Drake Johnson, Connor Dunn, and goaltender Drennen Atherton to name a few.

Season tickets for the upcoming season are on sale now. Please watch for more announcements regarding Gary Gill, new signings and exciting new news!

Let’s Go Blazers!