The Inaugural Season: Here. We. Go!

After all the prep, players have finally hit the ice.

I put everything I had into landing the job as the General Manager and Head Coach of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s 13th franchise: the Niverville Nighthawks. I believe the MJHL is a league on the rise, so I built my application with anticipation of an organization that would do things differently than they’ve done before. Our board of directors must have agreed because I was encouraged to be progressive and follow my instincts when it came to building a roster from scratch, a staff from scratch, and a laundry room from scratch. What I believed then was that we would do things differently on purpose. 

Here, on the eve of the team’s first training camp, I know now that our pursuit of being different is almost a series of happy accidents. We’re different because we don’t know any better. No one in our organization has been in their position before. Everyone has expertise and intelligence, and because of that we almost fall into situations that have mostly turned into positives.

Staff (Everyone is New)

It would have been easy to hire a bunch of people who have experience in their jobs before, but people who have started a junior A hockey franchise from scratch are few and far between. I’ve talked to people I trust throughout the country who have experience with expansion, but there’s no way to predict the unique challenges of the market. Most people working in junior A hockey are either part-time or volunteers. 

After all the prep, players have finally hit the ice . . .



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Kelvin Cech

Steady contributor in multiple roles over the years at The Coaches Site, current General Manager and Head Coach of the MJHL Niverville Nighthawks, former Assistant Coach with the UBC Thunderbirds Men's Hockey team.

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