Jeff Chynoweth is entering his first season with the Hitmen. He has been a prominent fixture in the WHL for over 30 years, most recently completing his 16th season with the Kootenay ICE. During his expansive tenure with Kootenay (2001-17), he held the roles of owner, president and general manager. Under his leadership, the ICE claimed three WHL titles (2000, 2002 and 2011), captured the coveted Memorial Cup in 2002 and earned the Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy as the league’s top regular season club during the 2004-05 campaign. That same 104-point season saw the WHL name the 50-year-old from Calgary, Alberta, Executive of the Year. Before joining the ICE franchise, Chynoweth held several business and hockey operations positions with the Red Deer Rebels (1991-95), Lethbridge Hurricanes (1989-91), Brandon Wheat Kings (1988-89), Medicine Hat Tigers (1987-88) and Spokane Chiefs (1986-87).
Contact Hitmen Hockey Ops
Dallas Ferguson, from Wainwright, Alberta, enters his first season as Hitmen head coach. He recently completed his ninth season as head coach of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks (NCAA Division I) following four seasons as assistant coach with the men’s hockey program from 2004-08. After taking the reins in May 2008, Ferguson guided the team to a fourth-place finish in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association and earned Coach of the Year honours in 2008-09. He then made program history the following season when the Nanooks made their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance. Ferguson, who has coached over 30 players who have gone on to play professionally, led the collegiate club to eight consecutive Alaska Airlines Governor’s Cup titles, four CCHA home playoff series (winning three) and five non-conference tournament titles. Prior to joining Alaska, the 44-year-old spent two seasons in the North American Hockey League as assistant coach of the Fairbanks Ice Dogs.
Before his coaching career, Ferguson spent parts of four seasons patrolling the blueline with the ECHL’s Richmond Renegades and Alaska Gold Kings and Anchorage Aces of the West Coast Hockey League from 1996-00. He joined the professional ranks following a successful collegiate campaign with the Nanooks (1992-96) where recorded 104 career points (17, 87a), served as captain during his senior year and was a three-time recipient of the Shawn Chambers Top Defenseman Award.
Trent Cassan is entering his second season as an assistant coach with the Calgary Hitmen following parts of seven years as head coach of the Yorkton Terriers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. He also spent two SJHL seasons as general manager. During his time as bench boss, he compiled a record of 177-123-17-24 while advancing to the playoffs in all seven campaigns, including four league final berths. Under his guidance, the Terriers captured the club’s first-ever RBC Cup as Canada’s National Junior A champions in 2014 along with two Canalta Cups (2013 & 2014). Cassan, who has made two appearances at the World Junior A Challenge as both an assistant coach (2013) and head coach (2014) with Team Canada West, was the co-recipient of the SJHL’s Coach of the Year award in 2012-13.
A Medora, Manitoba native, Cassan is a graduate of the NCAA’s Division III SUNY Geneseo Knights (2004-08) and a Terriers alumnus (2001-04).
Joel Otto is entering his 11th season as an assistant coach of the Calgary Hitmen. Otto played 14 seasons in the NHL, 11 with the Calgary Flames and three with the Philadelphia Flyers. During that time he collected 508 points (195 goals, 313 assists) in 943 games. He was one of the NHL’s best two-way centres and won a Stanley Cup with the Flames in 1989, scoring the series-clinching goal against Vancouver. The Elk River, Minnesota, native also won the World Cup with Team USA in 1999 and took part in the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
Jason LaBarbera is heading into his second season as goaltending coach of the Calgary Hitmen. LaBarbera spent 16 seasons as a professional goalie including parts of 12 campaigns in the National Hockey League with the New York Rangers, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Phoenix, Edmonton and Anaheim. During his NHL career he won 62 games, posting a 2.85 goals against average and a .907 save percentage while making 4,476 saves. LaBarbera played parts of four seasons in the Western Hockey League with Tri-City, Portland and Spokane where he was named to the WHL All-Star team in 2000. In addition, he left his mark on the American Hockey League, honoured with the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award as Top Goaltender and named an AHL First Team All-Star in both 2004 and 2007. During the 2003-04 season, as a member of the Hartford Wolf Pack, he also took home the Les Cunningham Award given to the AHL MVP after setting the league record for most shutouts in a single season with 13. It’s a record that still stands to this day.
Strength and Conditioning Coach
Sean Hope-Ross is heading into his 17th season as strength and conditioning coach with the Calgary Hitmen. The Calgary native is a certified strength coach and personal trainer with over 20 years of health and fitness experience complemented by a Bachelor of Arts from University of Victoria.
Hope-Ross resides in Calgary and is the owner and president of Sean Hope-Ross Strength and Conditioning.
Troy Norcross joined the Calgary Hitmen as video coach in 2008. The Calgary native has over 20 years of hockey experience as both a player and coach.
Norcross, who attended the University of Alaska-Anchorage on a Division 1 scholarship from 1991 to 1995, played with the ECHL’s Alaska Aces in 1995-96, formerly known as the Anchorage Aces. During his Alberta Junior Hockey League career, Norcross played three seasons with the Calgary Canucks, capturing one championship title with the Junior A club, as well as spent two years behind the bench as assistant coach of the Calgary Royals, presently known as the Calgary Mustangs.
Kyle Vouriot is entering his second season with the Calgary Hitmen. He was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and is a certified athletic therapist CAT(C) with the Canadian Athletic Therapists Association after completing his Bachelor of Kinesiology-AT at the University of Manitoba. Prior to joining the Hitmen, Vouriot spent three seasons as an intern with the Winnipeg Jets athletic therapy staff and most recently one season as the head therapist for the Winnipeg Goldeyes Baseball Club of the American Association.
|Dr. Matt Brown
Dr. Matt Brown is entering his fifth season as mental trainer with the Calgary Hitmen. A former collegiate football player and national level decathlete, Dr. Brown has over 15 years of experience, working with performers from multiple environments as a mental performance consultant and counselor. He completed his Masters degree in sport psychology and his Ph.D. in counseling psychology, specializing with athletes. His client roster includes Summer and Winter Olympians, professional hockey and football players, coaches, surgeons, musicians and dancers. Dr. Brown is also a mental performance consultant and counselor at the Canadian Sport Institute – Calgary, Hockey Canada, and Calgary’s Edge School for Athletes. Matt resides in Cochrane with his wife, Kim, and their two children, Maren and Caelan.
Education Advisor, Billet Coordinator
Bernie Bajnok heads into his 16th season as the team’s education advisor. He holds a wealth of leadership experience having served as a high school principal for 17 years before retiring in 2003. Bajnok also has a Masters Degree in Educational Administration and a Physical Education Degree.
He helped coach the Calgary West Little League baseball team to a Canadian Championship and the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, PA in 2001.
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Business & Team Operations
Melissa Blades, Assistant Manager of Business Operations
Ken Thrower, Club Liaison Officer and Colour Analyst
Blair Butterfield, Team Chaplain
Joanna French, Assistant Manager of Communications
Brad Curle, Broadcast & Communications Coordinator
Alex Medina, Digital Content Producer
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Marketing & Sales
Shelby Lewis, Community & Sales Coordinator
Rheannon Chan, Creative Services
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Sponsorship & Ticketing
Amanda Williams, Sponsorship & Ticket Sales Executive
Nicolla Kaumeyer, Account Executive
Erin Hassall, Ticket Coordinator
Kylie Wilson, Account Manager