Grizzlies NHL alumni come aboard

New general manager Bill Bestwick creates Alumni Advisory Board with NHLers Ryan O’Byrne and Geoff Courtnall

Well played move, Mr. Bill Bestwick.

The newly hired general manager and head coach of the Victoria Grizzlies is behind the B.C. Hockey League team’s new Alumni Advisory Board, made up of former player Ryan O’Byrne of the 2001-02 Salsa and former coach Geoff Courtnall of the 2008-09 Grizz.

Along with hiring Craig Didmon and acquiring a handful of players, the Alumni Advisory Board is the first significant big picture in Bestwick’s tenure. The board’s creation signifies a change in culture around the Grizzlies under new majority owner Ron Walchuk, who recently took over that role from Len Barrie.

With the presence of O’Byrne and Courtnall, albeit intermittent and mostly for advisory purposes, the Grizzlies become a more attractive destination for talented hockey players wishing to play in the NCAA, Bestwick said in the team’s release.

“It is a wonderful to have people like Geoff and Ryan who want to give back to the sport that has given them so much,” added Bestwick. “The Grizzlies organization has helped so many local athletes move on to the NCAA and the WHL, and ultimately the NHL, and it will be great for the team and the community to have these players back involved in junior hockey here.”

O’Byrne, a top-six defenceman with the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, also played in the BCHL with the Nanaimo Clippers under Bestwick in 2003, before playing three years at Cornell University. Courtnall, a veteran of 17 years in the NHL, oversaw the development of his son Justin (Boston University Terriers) and many other Grizzlies currently in the NCAA who were on the host team of the 2009 RBC Cup.

The board will advise the GM and ownership group with a focus on hockey operations and the development model for players to reach their educational and hockey career goals.

 

Just Posted

Northbound lanes re-open along Malahat after small rockslide near Goldstream

Drivers asked to use caution, clean-up crews have finished on-site

SD63 strike officially ends with union’s vote to accept agreement

More than 7,000 Saanich and Peninsula students back to school Monday

Outrigger canoe teams race over two days to raise money for men’s health initiatives

WetDashe for men’s health highlights benefits of year-round sport on the West Coast

Heritage Haunted House rakes in more than $10,000 to help fill children’s dreams

Spooky fundrasier has been scaring community for 13 years

Investigate the paranormal at Point Ellice House this December

Museum hosting ‘Ghosts of Christmas Past’ event

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

Fisherman missing near Lake Cowichan’s Shaw Creek

Family is asking for everyone and anyone to keep their eyes open,… Continue reading

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Most Read