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Hanlon takes over as Giants' GM

Three B.C. teams still looking for head coaches
May 19, 2016 6:26 P.M.
Glen Hanlon has WHL coaching experience, but hasn't worked as a general manager . . . until now. (Photo: CJ Relke/Vancouver Giants)

One piece fell into place with one of the WHL’s five B.C. Division teams on Thursday when Glen Hanlon was introduced as the Vancouver Giants’ general manager.
That leaves just three empty slots, with the Giants, Kelowna Rockets and Prince George Cougars without head coaches, at least for now.
Hanlon, a native of Brandon, replaces Scott Bonner, who announced on Dec. 8 that he would be leaving the WHL team. Bonner, the only general manager the Giants had known, now is a player agent with The Sports Corporation.
Hanlon, 59, is a former goaltender whose career included three seasons (1975-78) with the Brandon Wheat Kings and parts of five seasons with the Vancouver Canucks.
He has an extensive hockey-based resumé, although he has never held the title of general manager. Still, he will tell you that he carried out managerial duties in stints as a national team coach in Belarus, Slovakia and Switzerland.
A coach since 1995, that resumé includes four seasons as an assistant with the Vancouver Canucks and a stint as the Washington Capitals’ head coach.
He also is familiar with the Giants, having spent two seasons (2011-13) as an assistant coach under then-head coach Don Hay.
As Hanlon takes over a team that once was looked upon as a model franchise but has fallen on hard times, having missed the playoffs in three of the past four seasons, his top priority is to find a head coach. That person, when hired, will be the team’s fourth head coach since Hay left.
Hay spent 10 years in Vancouver, before being let out of his contract with one year remaining on it, a move that allowed him to return to his hometown to coach the Blazers prior to 2014-15. Since then, the Giants have run Troy Ward, Claude Noel and Lorne Molleken through their dressing room.
Hanlon knows the importance of returning some stability to that position and has said he is hoping to land a coach who will make a four-year commitment.
That next head coach just might be Mark Holick, who has parted company with the Cougars, with whom he spent three-plus seasons. In constructing a short list, Toigo spoke with Holick, who is believed to be on that list.
The Cougars continue to search for a head coach, as do the Rockets, who are looking to replace Brad Ralph, who is gone after just one season in control.
It’s believed that Kris Mallette, a former Rockets player who has spent two seasons on staff as an assistant coach, is the leading candidate to replace Ralph.
The Victoria Royals, meanwhile, are waiting to see what happens with Dave Lowry, the WHL’s coach of the year. Lowry has a long history as a player and coach with the NHL’s Calgary Flames, who also are looking for a head coach. Brad Treliving, the Flames’ general manager, has been in Russia at the IIHF world championship, so perhaps upon his return he will interview Lowry.
The Blazers, meanwhile, are a picture of serenity, with Hay set as head coach and Stu MacGregor as the general manager. MacGregor replaced Craig Bonner six games into this season.
The Blazers have scheduled a prospects’ camp for 2000- and 2001-born players who are on the team’s 50-player protected list. It is to be held at Brock Arena, June 3-5.
While a lot of WHL teams hold such camps on an annual basis, this will be the first time the Blazers have done so.
The camp is to open with registration and fitness testing on June 3. On-ice sessions are scheduled for June 4 and 5. The Blazers have said they will release a more-specific schedule as the camp draws nearer.
The Blazers had two players off the 2015-16 roster complete this season with AHL teams.
D Ryan Rehill, who played out his junior eligibility this season, was pointless in one regular-season game with the Albany Devils. He didn’t get into any of their 11 playoff games. Albany is the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, who selected Rehill in the fifth round of the 2014 draft. He has yet to sign with the Devils. Should Rehill not sign by June 1, he can re-enter the 2016 draft.
F Deven Sideroff played in one regular-season game with the San Diego Gulls and also was pointless. He didn’t dress for any of their nine playoff games. The parent Anaheim Ducks picked Sideroff, 19, in the third round of the NHL’s 2015 draft. He hasn’t yet signed an NHL contract.
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