Dundas Blues wiping slate clean for return home

Community Apr 13, 2018 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Dundas Blues Junior Hockey Club is wiping the slate clean and starting fresh in preparation for a return home to play the 2018-2019 season.

The entire coaching staff — including first year head coach Andrew Tait — were officially relieved of their duties within the past week, while new general manager Mike Spadafora also takes over as director of hockey operations. Longtime Blues volunteer Steve Aglor remains as team president and Dave Pelosini becomes director of business operations.

Spadafora, also general manager of the Hamilton Huskies minor hockey organization, said the decision to build an entire new coaching staff was not based on individual performance, but rather starting the new look organization with "a clean state".

"It's hard to come in to a team that has people already in place," Spadafora said. "We had conversations with our executive, with key players in a leadership role returning next year. Everybody's coming in with a clean slate."

He said the organization has some potential coaches in mind, but the process of building the new coaching staff had just started and is ongoing.

At the same time, the club is preparing for its first two-day prospect camp under the new partnership with the Huskies, May 26 and 27.

Aglor and Spadafora first announced the arrangement last November. The affiliation is expected to benefit both individual organizations — giving Huskies players a clear route to advance to the next level, while bringing the Blues not only an injection of new playing talent but also a pool of needed volunteers.

Aglor and Spadafora made it clear five months ago more changes and decisions would be made following the season. But Aglor also said the Blues remain a Dundas community team.

"We want everyone to know — in black and white — we are a community team," Aglor said last fall. "We're still here and we haven't sold the team. It's a partnership."

Spadafora said this week the prospect camp will include a mix of players, some specifically invited by the club, and some who applied for a spot, plus of a few of the club's returning players "sprinkled in to use as a measuring stick and see how close these guys are to our roster."

He hopes to have about 80 players at the camp, enough to stock four "teams" over the two days.

Spadafora said there are several veterans from last year's team that said they want to come back, and the team wants back.

Another change the club is enthusiastically looking forward to is its expected return home to J.L. Grightmire Arena. With construction delays on an addition to the Market Street structure, a "staged" reopening should allow the Blues access to their locker rooms, offices and the rink itself before the season starts, because those parts of the building will not be directly affected by any ongoing work. The anticipated return comes after a full season playing out of Westoby Ice Surface on Olympic Drive.

"It looks like we're going to be in (Grightmire) after Labour Day," Spadafora said.

He noted locations of smaller dressing rooms in relation to team offices at the other end of the Olympic arena was not the best situation for the club. Going back home brings everybody closer together, with coaches offices inside the club's own private locker-room area.

"Olympic made life difficult to operate the team the way we want to," Spadafora said. "It's not ideal."

More announcements from the Dundas Blues are expected this off-season, including a new coaching staff and launch of a new uniform that reflects the Huskies partnership with the Blues.

Dundas Blues wiping slate clean for return home

Junior hockey club bringing in new coaching staff

Community Apr 13, 2018 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Dundas Blues Junior Hockey Club is wiping the slate clean and starting fresh in preparation for a return home to play the 2018-2019 season.

The entire coaching staff — including first year head coach Andrew Tait — were officially relieved of their duties within the past week, while new general manager Mike Spadafora also takes over as director of hockey operations. Longtime Blues volunteer Steve Aglor remains as team president and Dave Pelosini becomes director of business operations.

Spadafora, also general manager of the Hamilton Huskies minor hockey organization, said the decision to build an entire new coaching staff was not based on individual performance, but rather starting the new look organization with "a clean state".

"It's hard to come in to a team that has people already in place," Spadafora said. "We had conversations with our executive, with key players in a leadership role returning next year. Everybody's coming in with a clean slate."

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He said the organization has some potential coaches in mind, but the process of building the new coaching staff had just started and is ongoing.

At the same time, the club is preparing for its first two-day prospect camp under the new partnership with the Huskies, May 26 and 27.

Aglor and Spadafora first announced the arrangement last November. The affiliation is expected to benefit both individual organizations — giving Huskies players a clear route to advance to the next level, while bringing the Blues not only an injection of new playing talent but also a pool of needed volunteers.

Aglor and Spadafora made it clear five months ago more changes and decisions would be made following the season. But Aglor also said the Blues remain a Dundas community team.

"We want everyone to know — in black and white — we are a community team," Aglor said last fall. "We're still here and we haven't sold the team. It's a partnership."

Spadafora said this week the prospect camp will include a mix of players, some specifically invited by the club, and some who applied for a spot, plus of a few of the club's returning players "sprinkled in to use as a measuring stick and see how close these guys are to our roster."

He hopes to have about 80 players at the camp, enough to stock four "teams" over the two days.

Spadafora said there are several veterans from last year's team that said they want to come back, and the team wants back.

Another change the club is enthusiastically looking forward to is its expected return home to J.L. Grightmire Arena. With construction delays on an addition to the Market Street structure, a "staged" reopening should allow the Blues access to their locker rooms, offices and the rink itself before the season starts, because those parts of the building will not be directly affected by any ongoing work. The anticipated return comes after a full season playing out of Westoby Ice Surface on Olympic Drive.

"It looks like we're going to be in (Grightmire) after Labour Day," Spadafora said.

He noted locations of smaller dressing rooms in relation to team offices at the other end of the Olympic arena was not the best situation for the club. Going back home brings everybody closer together, with coaches offices inside the club's own private locker-room area.

"Olympic made life difficult to operate the team the way we want to," Spadafora said. "It's not ideal."

More announcements from the Dundas Blues are expected this off-season, including a new coaching staff and launch of a new uniform that reflects the Huskies partnership with the Blues.

Dundas Blues wiping slate clean for return home

Junior hockey club bringing in new coaching staff

Community Apr 13, 2018 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Dundas Blues Junior Hockey Club is wiping the slate clean and starting fresh in preparation for a return home to play the 2018-2019 season.

The entire coaching staff — including first year head coach Andrew Tait — were officially relieved of their duties within the past week, while new general manager Mike Spadafora also takes over as director of hockey operations. Longtime Blues volunteer Steve Aglor remains as team president and Dave Pelosini becomes director of business operations.

Spadafora, also general manager of the Hamilton Huskies minor hockey organization, said the decision to build an entire new coaching staff was not based on individual performance, but rather starting the new look organization with "a clean state".

"It's hard to come in to a team that has people already in place," Spadafora said. "We had conversations with our executive, with key players in a leadership role returning next year. Everybody's coming in with a clean slate."

Related Content

He said the organization has some potential coaches in mind, but the process of building the new coaching staff had just started and is ongoing.

At the same time, the club is preparing for its first two-day prospect camp under the new partnership with the Huskies, May 26 and 27.

Aglor and Spadafora first announced the arrangement last November. The affiliation is expected to benefit both individual organizations — giving Huskies players a clear route to advance to the next level, while bringing the Blues not only an injection of new playing talent but also a pool of needed volunteers.

Aglor and Spadafora made it clear five months ago more changes and decisions would be made following the season. But Aglor also said the Blues remain a Dundas community team.

"We want everyone to know — in black and white — we are a community team," Aglor said last fall. "We're still here and we haven't sold the team. It's a partnership."

Spadafora said this week the prospect camp will include a mix of players, some specifically invited by the club, and some who applied for a spot, plus of a few of the club's returning players "sprinkled in to use as a measuring stick and see how close these guys are to our roster."

He hopes to have about 80 players at the camp, enough to stock four "teams" over the two days.

Spadafora said there are several veterans from last year's team that said they want to come back, and the team wants back.

Another change the club is enthusiastically looking forward to is its expected return home to J.L. Grightmire Arena. With construction delays on an addition to the Market Street structure, a "staged" reopening should allow the Blues access to their locker rooms, offices and the rink itself before the season starts, because those parts of the building will not be directly affected by any ongoing work. The anticipated return comes after a full season playing out of Westoby Ice Surface on Olympic Drive.

"It looks like we're going to be in (Grightmire) after Labour Day," Spadafora said.

He noted locations of smaller dressing rooms in relation to team offices at the other end of the Olympic arena was not the best situation for the club. Going back home brings everybody closer together, with coaches offices inside the club's own private locker-room area.

"Olympic made life difficult to operate the team the way we want to," Spadafora said. "It's not ideal."

More announcements from the Dundas Blues are expected this off-season, including a new coaching staff and launch of a new uniform that reflects the Huskies partnership with the Blues.