Vernon’s Troy Mick has been hired as head coach and general manager of the expansion Cold Lake Wings, part of the four-team West Division of the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League. (Morning Star File)

Vernon coach ready to warm up Cold Lake Wings

Troy Mick takes his vast experience and hockey knowledge to a fledgling team in northern Alberta

Like everything he does, Vernon’s Troy Mick put his heart into a possible new career in real estate, or swinging a hammer and working a shovel in construction.

But the lure to return to coaching young men in Junior A hockey was always there for the former head coach and general manager of the B.C. Hockey League’s Vernon Vipers and Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

And that lure is taking Mick farther north than he’s ever been in his coaching career. He’s been named new head coach and general manager of the Cold Lake Wings in northern Alberta, one of four expansion teams in the first Western Division of the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League. He’s also part-owner of the club.

The league is not sanctioned with Hockey Canada.

“I wasn’t searching for anything but I was scrolling through my emails and there was this offer,” said Mick, who won two RBC Cup Junior A national titles with the Vipers and a Western Canadian Junior B championship at the helm of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s Revelstoke Grizzlies.

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“I’m very excited to be named the GM/head coach of the Cold Lake Wings. The town of Cold Lake is going to be very proud of these young men not only on the ice but off the ice, as we will be everywhere out in the community.”

The four-team GMHL West will consist of the Wings, Alberta-based Enoch Tomahawks and Slave Lake Icedogs and Saskatchewan’s Rosetown Red Wings. There are 21 teams based in Ontario.

GMHL West chief administrative officer Bryan Keller said on the Wings’ website the league is excited to have Mick on board.

“I am excited about the dynamic that Troy Mick can bring that will help provide stability for the Wings entire organization and team success while enabling the players to maximize their potential individually,” Keller said. “His connections at the NCAA, Major Junior and the pro level will help move his players on to the next level as they play for the Wings this season.

“He is a quality person and brings with him a wealth of successful Western Hockey League and Junior A GM/coach experience as well a former standout junior and pro player. He has a great understanding of today’s players and is known for having his teams play with speed, structure and his offensive flair as a player follows him into his coaching style that will be exciting for the fans and the outstanding group of players he will have for the upcoming season.”

Mick is 13th all-time in Western Hockey League scoring with 466 points in 267 games and was selected 130th overall in the 1998 NHL entry draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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