The Uxbridge Bruins have reached into their past to help guide the team's future after recently hiring former player Tim Evans as head coach for the 2016/17 season.
The 47-year-old Uxbridge resident steps back behind the bench for the Bruins after a stint as an assistant coach in the mid-1990's following his playing career at the NCAA level at Kent State University in Ohio. Later, Evans would enjoy success as a coach with Uxbridge Minor Hockey, capturing three OMHA championships and an OHF All-Ontario title with the Stars.
Evans noted that he understands the Bruins place in the Uxbridge community, and he is looking forward to strengthening that bond as the team embarks on its 40th anniversary season this fall.
“I've been a part of this team for more than 30 years. I played here, and so did my brother, my brother-in-law, son and nephew. I understand the connection this team has with the community," Evans told The Standard. "I'm excited for the opportunity to give back to this community, working with local people. It's a positive environment around the team, and hopefully that will translate into success on the ice."
Establishing a culture based around discipline and accountability was the first priority for Evans after being hired on April 29, just days before the Bruins held a prospect evaluation camp at Uxbridge Arena over three nights last week. Last season, the Bruins spent 1,246 minutes in the penalty box, the second-most total among the 65 teams at the Junior 'C' level in the province.
"The first step is to form a culture for our players, coaches and staff. If we can all buy in, then we'll be able to really start moving forward," added Evans.
As he presided over rookie camp, Evans noted that the team will be looking to build on their core, and must cope with the loss of several significant contributors in league: MVP Marco Mastrangelo, Daryl Thomson and goalie Branden Francey.
“I'm a realist. Looking around the league, Clarington was strong last year and can bring back a lot of those players. Port Perry was really good winning the championship and can bring back most of their team. We have some holes to fill, but we'll have a team built around respect for your peers and coaches, discipline, accountability and hard work.”
The Port Perry MoJacks also hired a new coach. Former Whitby Fury and Clarington Eagles coach Tom Boyle will serve as head coach of the MoJacks for the 2016/17 season. Stay tuned to The Standard or follow Darryl Knight on Twitter @DarrylKnight for any developments regarding the Uxbridge Bruins and the Port Perry MoJacks.