That day came Friday, when the MJMHA and Western Hockey League Warriors announced a new sponsorship deal between the two organizations that would immediately and directly impact the AAA squad – first with a name change to the AAA Warriors (see related story) and also with a host of other benefits to the younger team.
New head coach Trevor Weisgerber has liked what he’s seen so far, with the potential for impressive things in the near future.
“It’s going to be good,” Weisgerber said. “We’re looking forward to it, obviously the Warriors have been around for along time and now we’re just piggy backing off them and it’s great.”
While there are many aspects of the deal to be looked at and enhanced, just having the potential to work with WHL Warriors’ coaching staff – head coach Tim Hunter, assistants Mark O’Leary and Scott King -- is going to be a benefit in and of itself.
“As far as the coaching staff, we’ll be able to talk to those guys and just as a whole group get some knowledge that way,’ Weisgerber said. “Then as far as things behind the scenes, maybe with equipment or stick deals or things like that, and (general manager) Alan Millar as well, having that knowledge.
“So we’ll have to sit down now once this has gone through here and we’ll probably be coming up with a lot more stuff down the road.”
On hand for the press conference were a pair of Generals veterans in Ben Wourms-Rowe and Steven Kesslering. The duo had an opportunity to model the new AAA Warriors jerseys – featuring the WHL team’s alternate crest as their main and the WHL Warriors logo on the shoulders – and the initial reactions were nothing but positive.
“I like it. It feels like I’m playing on the Warriors, so it’s nice,” Wourms-Rowe said with laugh.
The team recently went through their spring camp and Wourms-Rowe was impressed with what he’s seen so far.
“Trevor is obviously a great coach, he has a lot of experience coaching through minor hockey,” he said. “We’ve had a couple ice session with him and he knows how to run a good practice, so I’m excited about it… obviously we haven’t made playoffs the last two years so we have a lot of new kids coming in. There will be a lot of new faces and a new style maybe, so I’m excited.”
The event also acted as the official reveal of the rest of the AAA Warriors coaching and management staff – former players with the AAA squad Carter Smith, Carter Davis and Evan Schwabe will act as assistant coaches and Jeremy Ebbett will take over as general manager.
“We have a great group of guys, and it’s like I said in the past, it’s all about development for these kids,” Weisgerber said. “I just wanted to make sure that we have a good staff in place so we can work on the development part, and all three of these guys have great knowledge of the game, so I’m looking forward to working with those guys as well and doing what we can to make everyone better.”