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Winnipeg Blues Head Coach Gord Burnett hires Nick Fuher as Assistant Coach, supporting staff also named

Winnipeg, MB – Winnipeg Blues Head Coach Gord Burnett, along with General Manager Taras McEwen, announced on Monday, that Nick Fuher has been hired as the team’s assistant coach.

Fuher has spent the past two seasons as the head coach of the Rink Hockey Academy Elite 15’s. Prior to joining RHA, Fuher was an assistant coach with the Penticton Vees of the BCHL from 2014-2016. He helped the Vees capture the BCHL and Western Canada Cup Championship.

“We are extremely excited to add Nick to the Blues coaching staff,” said Burnett. “Nick is a great coach, has a track record of developing players that have moved to the next level and brings a wealth of experience to our player development focused staff.”

Before his coaching career began, Fuher completed four seasons with his hometown team, the University of North Dakota, where he tallied 88 points in four seasons and helped the team to a runner-up finish in the 2005 Frozen Four.

BLUES NAME SKILLS COACHES, GOALIE CONSULTANTS

Burnett also announced on Monday that Andy Zulyniak and Jarrett Oster will join the Blues staff as skills coaches, and Brett Martyniuk and Tyler Oswald have been added as the team’s new goalie consultants.

“Adding Andy, Jarrett, Brett and Tyler to the Blues staff means more specialized instruction and training for our players,” said Burnett. “The Blues are about on-ice and off-ice development and helping our players move on to the next level.”

Burnett added, “With this coaching staff, we feel our players will receive the best instruction and opportunity to develop.”

Zulyniak will serve as the team’s new defense skills coach. His background includes playing two years with the Prince Albert Raiders and Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL, as well as three seasons with the Vernon Vipers of the BCHL. He has been a player skill development coach for the past ten years, spending the last four years at the RINK Training Centre.

Oster will serve as the team’s new forward skills coach. He has been a skill development coach at the RINK Training Centre for nine years and has a wealth of coaching experience in skill development and power skating.

Martyniuk spent time with the Tri-City Americans and Regina Pats of the WHL, along with a stint with the Winnipeg Blues. He is the coordinator at the RINK Goalie Development. Oswald is also a member of the RINK Goalie Development team and is currently a regional scout for the Swift Current Broncos of the WHL.

Below is a list of the Winnipeg Blues hockey operations staff for the 2019-2020 season:

Governor/ President Matt Cockell
Alternate Governor Ryan Cyr
Director, Scouting & Hockey Operations Jake Heisinger
General Manager Taras McEwen
Head Coach Gord Burnett
Assistant Coach Nick Fuher
Forward Skills Coach Jarrett Oster
Defense Skills Coach Andy Zulyniak
Director, Goaltender Development Ryan Cyr
Goalie Consultant Brett Martyniuk
Goalie Consultant Tyler Oswald
Equipment Manager TBT
Athletic Therapist TBT
Director, Sports Science & Performance Doctor Jeff Leiter
Strength & Conditioning Coach Mike Hellyer
Director, Mental Performance Doctor Adrienne Leslie-Toogood
Mental Performance Coach TBT
Team Chaplain Henry Dueck

 

BIOS

GOVERNOR & PRESIDENT – MATT COCKELL

Matt Cockell is entering his first season as Governor and President of the Winnipeg Blues. Matt also serves as the President, General Manager and Alternate Governor of the Winnipeg ICE of the WHL.

Matt brings over 20 years of hockey experience with Hockey Canada, the Brandon Wheat Kings, Winnipeg South Blues and Hockey Manitoba.

Matt was a member of Canada’s National Women’s Hockey Team at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia that won a gold medal. He was also a member of the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings coaching staff that participated in the MasterCard Memorial Cup in 2010 and 2016. In addition, Matt was an assistant coach and goalie coach with the Winnipeg Blues from 2002-2007.

Matt was selected in the fifth round (117th overall) by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft and played three seasons in the WHL (1996-1999) with the Saskatoon Blades, Seattle Thunderbirds, Regina Pats and Spokane Chiefs. Matt also played two seasons with the Winnipeg Blues.

In his previous role, Matt Cockell acted as Vice President, Corporate Partnerships, for True North Sports + Entertainment overseeing the development and growth of all business relationships with corporate partners. Cockell also held the position of Chief Customer Officer at 24-7 Intouch, where he oversaw and lead the strategy and execution for all Sales, Marketing and Customer Experience functions.

Utilizing his WHL Scholarship, Cockell graduated from the University of Manitoba in 2004 with an Honours degree in Marketing and Small Business Finance.

ALTERNATE GOVERNOR – RYAN CYR

Ryan Cyr is entering his first season as the Alternate Governor of the Winnipeg Blues. He is also the Director, Goaltender Development for the Blues and the President of the RINK Training Centre.

Ryan has been involved in junior hockey at the CJHL and CHL levels for the past 20 year as a player and as a member of  various coaching staffs (Regina Pats from 2007-2011 and Spokane Chiefs 2011-2019). Cyr’s playing background includes two years at the Junior A level including competing in the 2000 Royal Bank Cup with the Chilliwack Chiefs and four years at the WHL level suiting up for the Seattle Thunderbirds, Lethbridge Hurricanes and Saskatoon Blades. 

After junior hockey, Ryan went on to play two years in the minor leagues (AHL, ECHL and UHL). Upon retirement from playing, Ryan continued to follow his  passion for hockey and got into the business and administrative side of the game opening up GDI Goaltending in Winnipeg, (now RINK Goaltender Development) in 2007. For the past 10 years, Ryan has held numerous roll’s within the RINK business including General Manager and has been the President since 2015. As president, Ryan oversees RINK Player Development, RINK Goalie Development and the RINK Hockey Academy. He was instrumental in the creation of the RINK Hockey Academy which is a Hockey Canada Accredited  School that competes the Canadian Sports School Hockey League.

DIRECTOR, SCOUTING & HOCKEY OPERATIONS – JAKE HEISINGER

Jake Heisinger is entering his first season as Director, Scouting and Hockey Operations with the Winnipeg Blues. He is also the Director, Scouting and Hockey Operations with the Winnipeg ICE of the WHL.

Before joining the ICE, Jake graduated from Curry College in Boston, Massachusetts with a degree in Business Management and a minor in Communications.

Jake was a two-time nominee for the NCAA Humanitarian Award for his work within the Boston community. He has also spent time coaching in minor hockey along with volunteering at various hockey schools.

Jake played three seasons for the Winnipeg Blues of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League before accepting a scholarship from Curry College where he was named an alternate captain in his senior season.

GENERAL MANAGER – TARAS MCEWEN

Taras McEwen is entering his first season as the General Manager of the Winnipeg Blues. Taras also supports the scouting staff for the Winnipeg ICE of the WHL.

McEwen joined the Blues as its general manager in the summer of 2019. Previously, Taras held a position in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League as hockey operations assistant/ assistant coach with the Notre Dame Hounds. He also held two coaching positions in the Prairie Junior Hockey League; head coach of Fort Knox (2015-16) and assistant coach of the Ochapowace Thunder (2013-15). In 2016, Taras worked for the Ochapowace Nation Sports Academy as the hockey and summer camp coordinator.  McEwen has experience with the SaskFirst Hockey Program as a coach and with Team Saskatchewan (U16) as an assistant coach.

HEAD COACH – GORD BURNETT

Gord Burnett is entering his first season as the Head Coach of the Winnipeg Blues.

Burnett spent the previous four seasons as an assistant coach with the Kootenay ICE of the Western Hockey League. Before Burnett was with the ICE, he served as an assistant coach with the NCAA’s University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Burnett also has experience within Hockey Canada where he is a NCCP/Hockey Canada Certified Skills Coach as well as having served as the head coach of Team Saskatchewan at the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

Prior to coaching, Burnett played for the Notre Dame Hounds in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League before completing four seasons at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota where he served as team captain in his final two years. He then went on to play seven seasons of professional hockey (2006-2013) in the East Coast Hockey League and Central Hockey League.

ASSISTANT COACH – NICK FUHER

Nick Fuher is entering his first season as an Assistant Coach of the Winnipeg Blues.

Before joining the Blues, Nick spent the past two seasons as the head coach of the Rink Hockey Academy Elite 15’s. Prior to that, he was an assistant coach with the Penticton Vees of the BCHL from 2014-2016 and helped them capture the BCHL and Western Canada Cup Championship in 2015, along with two division and regular season titles. Nick was also an assistant coach with the Winkler Flyers of the MJHL and the Lincoln Stars of the USHL.

During his playing career, Fuher spent four years at the University of North Dakota where he was a standout defenceman. Nick holds the record for career game-winning goals by a defenceman in school history, as well as accumulating 83 points during his four years and helping them to a national championship runner-up finish in 2005. Following his collegiate career, Nick went on to play for the Utah Grizzlies of the AHL.

FORWARD SKILLS COACH – JARRETT OSTER

Jarrett Oster is entering his first season as a Forward Skills Coach with the Winnipeg Blues.

Jarrett played his junior hockey for the Yorkton Terriers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey league (SJHL) from 1998–2001. In his rookie season, Jarrett was awarded Rookie of the Year honours with the club. In his final season, Jarrett was named the captain of the Terriers.

Jarrett also has experience coaching at the Edge of Excellence Hockey School and the RINK Training Centre.

DEFENSE SKILLS COACH – ANDY ZULYNIAK

Andy Zulyniak is entering his first season as a Defense Skills Coach with the Winnipeg Blues.

Andy’s playing career includes two years in the WHL with the Prince Albert Raiders and Brandon Wheat Kings, as well as three seasons with the Vernon Vipers of the BCHL. Andy returned to Winnipeg after attending Lakehead University where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts while playing four seasons for the Thunderwolves. He also attended two training camps in the AHL, as well as played minor pro with the Missouri Mavericks and the Dayton Gems of the Central Hockey League.

Andy has worked in the hockey industry for over 10 years.

DIRECTOR, GOALTENDER DEVELOPMENT – RYAN CYR

Ryan Cyr is entering his first season as the Director, Goaltender Development with the Winnipeg Blues. He is also the Alternate Governor of the Blues and the President of the RINK Training Centre.

Ryan has been involved in junior hockey at the CJHL and CHL levels for the past 20 year as a player and as a member of  various coaching staffs (Regina Pats from 2007-2011 and Spokane Chiefs 2011-2019). Cyr’s playing background includes two years at the Junior A level including competing in the 2000 Royal Bank Cup with the Chilliwack Chiefs and four years at the WHL level suiting up for the Seattle Thunderbirds, Lethbridge Hurricanes and Saskatoon Blades. 

After junior hockey, Ryan went on to play two years in the minor leagues (AHL, ECHL and UHL). Upon retirement from playing, Ryan continued to follow his  passion for hockey and got into the business and administrative side of the game opening up GDI Goaltending in Winnipeg, (now RINK Goaltender Development) in 2007. For the past 10 years, Ryan has held numerous roll’s within the RINK business including General Manager and has been the President since 2015. As president, Ryan oversees RINK Player Development, RINK Goalie Development and the RINK Hockey Academy. He was instrumental in the creation of the RINK Hockey Academy which is a Hockey Canada Accredited  School that competes the Canadian Sports School Hockey League.

GOALTENDING CONSULTANT – BRETT MARTYNIUK

Brett Martyniuk is entering his first season as Goalie Consultant with the Winnipeg Blues.

Brett is a former goaltender with the Tri-City Americans and Regina Pats of the WHL. He also played for the Winnipeg Blues during the 2010-2011 season. In addition, Brett competed for a National Midget AAA Championship with the Winnipeg Thrashers.

Brett provides one-on-one instruction at RINK Goalie Development, along with being part of RINK Goalie Development regional development camps and clinics throughout the season.

GOALTENDING CONSULTANT – TYLER OSWALD

Tyler Oswald is entering his first season as Goaltending Consultant with the Winnipeg Blues.

Tyler has playing experience in the WHL with the Saskatoon Blades and Red Deer Rebels, along with the MJHL’s Winkler Flyers.

Tyler has been with RINK Goalie Development since 2014. Prior to his time with the RINK, he spent three years as the goalie coach for the Midget AAA Calgary Northstars. He was also a goalie consultant for the entire Calgary Northstars Hockey Association.

In addition, Tyler is a regional scout with the Swift Current Broncos of the WHL.

DIRECTOR, SPORTS SCIENCE & PERFORMANCE – DOCTOR JEFF LEITER

Doctor Jeff Leiter is entering his first season as the Director, Sports Science & Performance with the Winnipeg Blues.

Jeff holds a PhD from the Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Science, as well as a Master of Science in Sport Biomechanics. He is also a sport-science consultant for various NHL teams and hockey equipment companies.

STRENGTH & CONDITIONING COACH – MIKE HELLYER

Mike Hellyer is entering his first season as the Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Winnipeg Blues.

Mike holds a Master of Science in Sport Biomechanics and is certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the NSCA.

Mike has experience evaluating and training athletes at all levels including the NHL, AHL, WHL as well as through the minor hockey ranks.

Mike played four years in the WHL with the Prince Albert Raiders, five years for the University of Manitoba Bisons men’s hockey team and stints in the East Coast Hockey League and Central Hockey League.

DIRECTOR, MENTAL PERFORMANCE – DR. ADRIENNE LESLIE-TOOGOOD

Doctor Adrienne Leslie-Toogood is entering her first season as Director, Mental Performance with the Winnipeg Blues.

Adrienne is a licensed psychologist at the University of Manitoba. She has extensive experience working with athletes of all performance levels in Canada and internationally. Adrienne has attended events like the Canada Games, Olympics and Paralympics, and has worked abroad with a variety of teams. She has also worked with medical doctors, business leaders and performing artists.

 

Winnipeg Blues fans can see the team in action during the 2019-2020 MJHL regular season. The full Blues regular season schedule can be viewed by clicking the link provided >> CLICK HERE

Winnipeg Blues 2019-2020 season seats are available. Click the link provided to select and purchase your Blues season seats today >> CLICK HERE