Centennials name Bouchard new Head Coach and GM

The Merritt Centennials have appointed Joey Bouchard as the team’s new head coach and general manager, the club announced Tuesday.

Bouchard joins the Centennials from the Northwest Junior Hockey League’s Whitecourt Wolverines, who he led to a league championship and provincial silver medal during the 2008/09 season. Prior to his two seasons in Whitecourt, the 28-year old spent time as an assistant coach with Olds Grizzlies of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

“Joey is a young man with a great passion for the game,” Centennials governor Brian Barrett says of the hire. “He has his Bachelor’s degree in education, he’s a teacher by trade and a real breath of fresh air. He had great success building a tremendous Junior B program in Whitecourt and he’s dedicated to improving the status of the Centennials.”

“The Merritt Centennials are a longstanding franchise with lots of history and a great deal of potential,” Bouchard says. “It’s an exciting opportunity and challenge for me, and the goal is to turn this team around and put the Centennials back on top. I look forward to helping to bring a solid, competitive playoff team back to Merritt.”

Bouchard will immediately undertake preparations for the 2009/10 season, including plans for a spring camp to evaluate current and potential players and the firming up of a coaching staff for the coming season.