Former Brandon Wheat Kings head coaches Dwayne Gylywoychuk and Mike Kelly landed new coaching gigs on Monday.
Gylywoychuk, who coached the Wheat Kings during the 2012-13 WHL season, was named an assistant coach with Hockey Canada’s national women’s team and will also head the national women’s development squad for 2014-15.
The 40-year-old Gylywoychukand 59-year-old former NHLer Tim Bothwell will serve as assistants to head coach Doug Derraugh, 48, with the national women’s squad, which will compete in the 2014 Four Nations Cup from Nov. 4-8 in Kamloops, B.C., and the 2015 women’s world championship in Malmo, Sweden, from March 28 to April 4.
Gylywoychuk, who was relieved of his duties with the Wheat Kings after posting a 24-40-4-4 record in his lone season as head coach, served as an assistant coach with Canada’s under-18 women’s team that won gold at the world championship in Budapest, Hungary, on March 30.
The former defenceman still holds the Wheat Kings’ team record for most games played (323) during his five-year playing career from 1989-94 and went on to spent a dozen years with the club in a coaching and front office capacity before moving on to join Hockey Canada.
"The 2014-15 season begins a new Olympic cycle for the women’s program, and a crucial time to build on our success in Sochi," Melody Davidson, Hockey Canada’s general manager of national women’s team programs, stated in a news release. "Doug, Tim and Dwayne have all worked with our program and bring great international and club team experience to the team."
Gylywoychuk, a native of Winnipeg who has lived in Brandon for more than a decade, will start the season by helping select players for the Canadian women’s squad at the national team tryouts in Calgary from Sept. 22-28.
Meanwhile, the 54-year-old Kelly and Mark Morris were both named assistant coaches with the NHL’s Florida Panthers yesterday, joining John Madden and Robb Tallas on new head coach Gerard Gallant’s coaching staff. Kelly worked alongside Gallant with the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs from 2009-13, leading the club to back-to-back QMJHL titles in 2011 and 2012 and a Memorial Cup championship in 2011.
"We are pleased to welcome Mike and Mark to our coaching staff," Panthers general manager Dale Tallon stated in a news release. "They bring to our club a wealth of hockey knowledge and experience, and will be the perfect fit to work together with Gerard, John and Robb."
Kelly, a native of Shamrock, P.E.I., who previously served as an assistant coach with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose in 2005-06 and the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks from 2006-08, coached the Wheat Kings during the 2003-04 season, guiding the team to a 22-32-9-3 record before being relieved of his duties by general manager Kelly McCrimmon with six games left in the regular season.
In other coaching news, former Wheat King Derek Laxdal was replaced as head coach of the Edmonton Oil Kings by Steve Hamilton on Monday. Hamilton was promoted from associate coach to head coach after Laxdal was hired as the new head coach of the AHL’s Texas Stars last week following the Oil Kings’ Memorial Cup championship run. Hamilton, 40, has been with Edmonton for four seasons, handling the defencemen and the penalty killing units.
"The results we achieved with Derek Laxdal are some of the most impressive in WHL history, and he will be sorely missed, but I am excited to build on the foundation we have constructed here," Hamilton stated in a news release.
Meanwhile, the Regina Pats recently re-signed former Wheat Kings netminder Rob Muntain for his fourth season as goaltending coach for the WHL club. Muntain, 35, had a brief stint with Brandon during the 1995-96 season.