A new era is about beginning with the Moose Jaw Generals.
The Moose Jaw Minor Hockey Association announced on Monday that Trevor Weisgerber will be taking over as the new head coach of Generals for the 2019-20 season.
"It should be a good experience," Weisgerber told DiscoverMooseJaw.com on Monday. "The league speaks for itself, it’s a stepping stone for these kids to move on and play junior, and hopefully I can help that process for these young guys to move up and do that."
Weisgerber will replace Ray Wareham, who stepped down as head coach of the Generals at the end of this season after 17 years with the local midget AAA club.
"Trevor is a well-known name in hockey circles across the province, he's got good experience in junior hockey and the WHL with the Warriors, and he's established quite a program with his Epic Hockey program, which is very well known across Saskatchewan," said MJMHA President Patrick Boyle.
"We're excited to start this new exciting chapter, a fresh new start moving forward with the Generals."
Weisgerber played midget AAA in Moose Jaw and also served as an assistant coach with the Moose Jaw Warriors from 2010-12. He's been running the Epic Hockey program in Moose Jaw since 2012.
The Vibank product played two seasons in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and NCAA hockey with Lake Superior State University before moving onto a professional career over eight seasons in the Central Hockey League.
Weisgerber feels that his experience as a player and coach at the next level will help the Generals push players that come through the program to the next level.
"I've seen what it takes for a player to play in the Western League, I played Junior A and in the minors for a quite a few years, so I'm just going to take from my experience and bring that across to the players so that they can have the opportunity to move on as well," said Weisgerber.
The Generals have missed the playoffs over the past two seasons in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League.
A change in style moving forward was a big driving force in the decision to hire Weisgerber. Boyle said they're looking to move into a more modern style with the team.
"The game has changed significantly from 20 years ago, the game is speed, skill and moving the puck, and that’s where we want to get to," said Boyle.
"Trevor is a guy that’s focused on that. We're really looking to have some firepower and go from there, defence is still an important part of the game, but we want to play that new, exciting brand of hockey."
Weisgerber said he wants his team to control the puck as much as possible, "It's a possession type of game now," he said. "The dump-and-chase game is [obsolete], we want to keep the puck, we're going to be fast, we want to work hard and hopefully that leads to success."
The Generals have 11 players from last year's team eligible to return in 2019-20. Weisgerber said he'll be in contact with those players over the next week to start building a relationship.
"I'm looking forward to the process of getting started here," said Weisgerber. "Until I see these guys play in spring camp, it's going to be up for grabs for spots, it's going to be a competitive camp, usually spring camps are just to see guys but they're going to have to show if they want to be here to play next season."
The Generals will be hosting their spring camp at Mosaic Place starting on Apr. 5.