Franchise icon Billy Bowler is taking over from three-time Memorial Cup champion Warren Rychel as general manager of the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League.
In a stunning move, Rychel has stepped away from his role after 13 seasons as the Spitfires GM. Rychel recently sold his 20 per cent stake in the Spitfires to a new majority ownership group led by president John Savage.
The 52-year old Rychel — who managed the Spitfires to all three of their Memorial Cup titles in the 43-year history of the franchise — said he is exploring new opportunities and hopes to land a job in the National Hockey League. He is a former NHL player and scout.
As for the new GM in Windsor, the 44-year old Bowler also has a secure and prominent place in Spitfires history. He is the Spitfires all-time leading scorer with 467 points from a four-year OHL playing career that ended in 1995.
Bowler has spent the past couple of years working in the Spitfires front office in both hockey and business operations.