It’s no secret that the Kamloops Blazers organization has struggled since the glory years of the early 90’s. Sure, there have been a few years that stood out, but the years in between are chalk full of missing the playoffs or losing out early. With a surprise announcement at 10 am yesterday, of a noon press conference, majority owner Tom Gaglardi made the announcements that the team would not be renewing the contracts of current Director of Player Personnel, Matt Recchi and Assistant Coach, Mike Needham; General Manager Stu MacGregor had been reassigned to a position within the Dallas Stars organization; and that Coach Don Hay had retired.
The Blazers hadn’t seen much recent success under the tenure of any of these men. Recchi had been with the team since 2008, Needham since 2010 (part time skills coach), MacGregor since 2015 and Hay since 2014. Over the past 10 years the team has only been past the first round twice, making it to the conference semi-finals in 2011-12 and the conference finals in 2012-13.
Moving forward Gaglardi will hire a General Manager who will then get the coaching staff in place. With the possibility of a Memorial Cup on the horizon, maybe we see a big name or two grace the Sandman Centre for the 2018-19 season.