Hockey Operations & Staff
Ken M. King
President, Chief Executive Officer, Governor
Ken King was named President and Chief Executive Officer of the Calgary Flames on August 15, 2001. He also serves as the President, Chief Executive Officer and Governor of the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League.
Like you, King has an overwhelming fondness for the sport. His aspiration every season is to raise the bar another notch to reward devoted fans with the best possible entertainment package in the league.
King is a strong believer in contributing to the community and he knows incredible achievements can be accomplished when aspiration and determination mix with a visionary approach, meaningful intentions, responsible actions and, above all, consideration for others. His current community involvement spans numerous organizations, including chairman, TELUS Community Board, past co-chair of REACH (a $300 million medical fundraising initiative), the Calgary Committee to End Homelessness, the Calgary Sport Tourism Authority, the Calgary Exhibition & Stampede, Borden Ladner Gervais CIAU Athlete of the Year Awards Committee and the Rotary Club of Calgary. Previous support and commitment involved the Calgary Prostate Cancer Centre, Calgary Philharmonic Society, No Ka Oi Ranch Foundation and past-chairman of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.
In 2005, King received an Alberta Centennial Medal for outstanding contributions to the province of Alberta. Other awards include the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for community service and the commemorative medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada. In 1991, he was honoured as B’Nai Brith Man of the Year.
Born and raised in Hanley, Saskatchewan, King launched a 30-year career in the newspaper business that included senior executive positions in Canada’s leading newspapers including President and Publisher of the Calgary Sun and Calgary Herald. During his newspaper career in Calgary, King was acknowledged for his innovative marketing, establishment of healthy corporate relationships, spirited community leadership and appreciable growth for the newspapers.
King is an avid, but mediocre golfer, and like many other Albertans, shares a passion for horses. He and his wife Marilyn have two daughters, Amanda and Jocelin.
General Manager & Vice President of Business Operations
Mike Moore is in his 20th season in the Western Hockey League and ninth season with the Calgary Hitmen. Prior to joining the Hitmen, Moore was the director of athletics at Edge School in Calgary. He has also served as a general manager with both the Kamloops Blazers and Medicine Hat Tigers, and was the Hitmen assistant general manger in 1997-98. In 2013, Moore was promoted to General Manager and Vice President of Business Operations for the Hitmen.
Moore has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Calgary. He received the WHL Marketing/Public Relations Award in 2010-11 for his outstanding fundraising efforts and fan initiatives.
Mark French enters his third season with the Hitmen.
Since joining the club, he has guided the team to two consecutive 40-plus win seasons resulting in back-to-back playoff appearances. His 21-year coaching resume is highlighted by a Calder Cup Championship as head coach of the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears in 2010. His step behind the bench began in the 1996-97 season as an assistant coach with Brock University. One year later, he took over as head coach and then moved to the University of Guelph as an assistant coach. French then joined the Ontario Hockey League’s North Bay Centennials as an assistant coach before being named head coach at Wilfrid Laurier University for two seasons. Following his Canadian coaching tenure, he became an assistant with ECHL’s Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies before assuming the head coach and director of hockey operations role with the Central Hockey League’s Wichita Thunder. That was followed by a move to the Bears as an assistant coach before taking over the teams’ head coaching duties for four seasons (2009-13). Prior to joining the Hitmen, French was head coach of the Medvescak Zagreb in the Kontinental Hockey League.
Cassan enters his first season with the Hitmen following six full seasons as general manager/head coach (2014-16) and associate GM/head coach (2010-14), as well as a partial season as interim head coach (2009-10) with the Yorkton Terriers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. During this span, 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 in his 10th 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 in his first 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 in his 16th 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.
Jeff Hansen enters his fourth season with the Calgary Hitmen as Video Coach. After playing two years of Junior B hockey in Cochrane, Hansen enjoyed a five-year career in the minor leagues, winning a championship in Knoxville in 2005.
After his pro career, Hansen continued to play senior AAA hockey for the Bentley Generals until 2011, capturing a national championship in 2009. Hansen began coaching with the AMMHL’s Calgary Rangers in 2009-10 and won a Sutter Cup that season. From 2010 to 2012, Hansen was the Head Coach of the AC Avalanche (AMMHL) and was also an assistant coach with the AJHL’s Calgary Mustangs.
Kyle Vouriot enters his first 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.
Jason Monnery is in his seventh season with the Calgary Hitmen. Monnery was born and raised in Calgary, and has an Athletic Injury Management Certificate from the Sports Medicine Council of Alberta. Monnery, who began his stint with the Hitmen as an assistant trainer, was appointed to equipment manager in the summer of 2014. He is also a member of the Society of Professional Hockey Equipment Managers.
|Dr. Matt Brown
Dr. Matt Brown is in his fourth 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
This is Bajnok’s 15th 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.
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
Jason Pirie, Digital Content Producer
Marketing & Sales
Shelby Lewis, Community & Sales Coordinator
Colleen Little, Creative Services
Sponsorship & Ticketing
Amanda Williams, Sponsorship & Ticket Sales Executive
Nicolla Kaumeyer, Group Sales Executive
Erin Hassall, Ticket Coordinator
Tawnia Cardinale, Account Manager