By Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News
For the fifth time in seven seasons, the Dundas Blues Junior C hockey club will have a new head coach behind the bench.
Former Port Dover general manager Dan Fitzgerald will also take over as general manager from longtime Blues volunteer Steve Aglor
After 15 years, Aglor informed the Blues executive in December he planned to step back in order to spend more time with his young grandchildren and allow some fresh blood to take a greater role with the team.
Mike Christian, Blues head coach the past two seasons and an assistant coach with Dundas in 2010 and 2011 when he replaced Justin Nattress, is taking over coaching duties with the Hamilton Junior Bulldogs Minor Midget team.
Aglor told the Dundas Star News he will remain as Director of Hockey Operations where he can provide oversight and mentoring to team management, attend league and Ontario Hockey Association meetings and take care of some paperwork. But the move means he won’t have to spend every night at the arena.
“I was missing time with my grandchildren,” Aglor said. “I was sitting (in arenas) in Dunnville, or sitting in Grimsby, and the whole family was at my house. Priorities changed a bit.”
His two sons, former Blues players Jeff and Mike, each have a young child.
“I was debating (stepping back) last year,” Aglor said, adding he was putting in at least 35 hours a week during the season.
Former Port Dover Sailors general manger Dan Fitzgerald is taking over as both head coach and general manager. He’ll be stepping right into the mix this month, as local Junior A teams start preliminary try-outs to see who they will invite to pre-season camps.
Aglor said Fitzgerald will bring young, fresh outlook to the team. And he joins a squad with what could be an advantage over much of the league.
“Our top line from last year all have another year,” Aglor said. “He just has to fill a few holes.”
Aglor said the biggest job will be bolstering the Blues defence.
He said Fitzgerald grew up in Ancaster, and several Blues players from that community already know him and are excited about him joining the Dundas team.
Fitzgerald’s own playing career ended with the 2012-13 season on the Senior AAA Welland Whalers. Before that, he played at Niagara University where he was an Academic All-American after spending four years playing Junior hockey across southern Ontario.
Fitzgerald works as a secondary school teacher for the Niagara Catholic District School Board.
Since 2008, Blues head coaches included Dan Caco, Tom Searle, Justin Nattress and Mike Christian.