Grizzlies NHL alumni come aboard

New general manager Bill Bestwick creates Alumni Advisory Board with NHLers Ryan O’Byrne and Geoff Courtnall

Well played move, Mr. Bill Bestwick.

The newly hired general manager and head coach of the Victoria Grizzlies is behind the B.C. Hockey League team’s new Alumni Advisory Board, made up of former player Ryan O’Byrne of the 2001-02 Salsa and former coach Geoff Courtnall of the 2008-09 Grizz.

Along with hiring Craig Didmon and acquiring a handful of players, the Alumni Advisory Board is the first significant big picture in Bestwick’s tenure. The board’s creation signifies a change in culture around the Grizzlies under new majority owner Ron Walchuk, who recently took over that role from Len Barrie.

With the presence of O’Byrne and Courtnall, albeit intermittent and mostly for advisory purposes, the Grizzlies become a more attractive destination for talented hockey players wishing to play in the NCAA, Bestwick said in the team’s release.

“It is a wonderful to have people like Geoff and Ryan who want to give back to the sport that has given them so much,” added Bestwick. “The Grizzlies organization has helped so many local athletes move on to the NCAA and the WHL, and ultimately the NHL, and it will be great for the team and the community to have these players back involved in junior hockey here.”

O’Byrne, a top-six defenceman with the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, also played in the BCHL with the Nanaimo Clippers under Bestwick in 2003, before playing three years at Cornell University. Courtnall, a veteran of 17 years in the NHL, oversaw the development of his son Justin (Boston University Terriers) and many other Grizzlies currently in the NCAA who were on the host team of the 2009 RBC Cup.

The board will advise the GM and ownership group with a focus on hockey operations and the development model for players to reach their educational and hockey career goals.


Just Posted

Mount Douglas Mathletes enjoying success by the numbers

Saanich Grade 9s walk away with top five spots in Island math competition

Songhees Wellness Centre event immersed in indigenous cuisine and culture

Camosun and Songhees cook together for reconciliation while fundraising for student scholarship fund at March 23 event

Victoria Women’s Expo showcases the latest trends

Over 100 vendors feature lots of beauty, health, food, jewelry products and more

Hillside Avenue death ruled a homicide, police say

No charges have yet been laid in the killing of Victoria man Joe Gauthier

Hope gets eight year sentence for Church Avenue sex assault

Eight years is the sentence for David Robert Hope, who was found… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

Over 80s leading Victoria’s fitness charge

Go at your own pace, advises 87 year old gym buff

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Canucks snap scoreless streak but fall short in 5-3 loss to Sharks

Swiss forward Timo Meier nets two, including the game-winner, to lead San Jose

Lilia Zaharieva wants to share her medical good fortune

UVic student wants treatment for cystic fibrosis made available for all

Saanich Talks event kicks off Local Area Plan updates

Updates on plans for Cadboro Bay and Cordova Bay the focus of Wednesday meeting at UVic

Braves trim Bucs to fend off elimination

Game 7 of VIJHL playoff series goes Sunday night in Nanaimo

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Most Read