My old buddy Guy Blanchard has committed to return to coach the North Bay Trappers of the Great North Midget Hockey League for a second season.
The no-nonsense Blanchard, a grizzled veteran of decades of coaching experience, guided the Trappers to a first-place finish during the 2016-2017 Great North regular season before North Bay won the bronze medal at the Ontario Hockey Federation championships.
And just this past Saturday, five Trappers were selected at the Ontario Hockey League’s annual draft of minor-midget-aged players. That total represents the most players selected from a North Bay midget team at an OHL draft since 1984.
Now 57-years old, Blanchard has a lengthy and impressive coaching background.
Besides being a successful minor hockey coach of many years, Blanchard has also coached in the OHL with the Sudbury Wolves and erstwhile North Bay Centennials and Guelph Platers and has multiple Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League championships to his credit from his time with the old North Bay Skyhawks.
As a player in his younger days, Blanchard was good enough to skate at the Division 1, National Collegiate Athletic Association level for the Western Michigan University Broncos.
Blanchard is also a member of the North Bay Hockey Hall of Fame.
While he said he is happy to commit to the midget Trappers for the 2017-2018 season, Blanchard did tell HockeyNewsNorth.com that retirement from coaching is getting near.
“I am getting old, you know,” he said with a laugh. “I am thinking one more year of coaching and that will be it.”
PHOTO: North Bay Trappers coach Guy Blanchard. (Photo by Ali Pearson.)