The new major midget Soo Thunderbirds continue to add and plan for the 2014-2015 season.
Having taken the place of the erstwhile Soo North Stars, who went dormant prior to the start of the 2013-2014 campaign, the Thunderbirds will restore a Sault Ste. Marie presence to the Great North Midget Hockey League effective the 2014-2015 term.
All is new about the Soo major midget entry from executive leadership to general manager to team manager to the coaching staff.
Kevin Cain, who is general manager of the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, will serve in a similar capacity with the major midgets.
After long-time local hockey supporter Albert Giommi was granted operation of the new Soo GNMHL entry back in early February, Cain as GM was quick to bring aboard veteran junior, midget and high school coach Jim Capy as bench boss.
And the 57-year old Capy has been busy over the past few months putting together his staff and scheduling tournaments for the 2014-2015 season.
After initially tapping Jim Yardanoff as team manager, Pat Lillie as assistant coach and Billy Thompson as goalie coach, Capy has since added three more to his staff.
John Glavota will serve as development coach for the Thunderbird midgets, Mike McMillan will be a second assistant and Mike Barbeau will be strength and conditioning coach.
After playing at the major midget level in Sault Ste. Marie, the now 38-year old Glavota spent four years as a defencemen with the Laurentian University Voyageurs before embarking on an eight-year, minor-pro career that included stops in the United Hockey League, Central Hockey League and International Hockey League.
Now 29-years old, McMillan played for Capy in the NOJHL with the Thunderbirds and then skated for four seasons as a forward at the Division 1, National Collegiate Athletic Association level with American International College.
Barbeau, meanwhile, is a notable strength and conditioning coach, having worked for teams in the NOJHL and the North American Hockey League.
In addition to a 36-game regular season within the GNMHL, the Thunderbird midgets will compete at a number of major tournaments, including the prestigious Compuware-Honeybaked and Shattuck-St. Mary’s showcases.
Capy has also set up weekend series at a pair of Division 1, NCAA schools: Ferris State University and Northern Michigan University.
“We want to give our players as much exposure as we possible can,” said Capy.
If that isn’t enough, the Thunderbird midgets will also be sending out a twice-a-month digital newsletter to all Division 1 and 3 NCAA schools as well as teams in the Ontario Hockey League.
“We are going to be very pro-active in promoting our players,” said Capy, who added that all home games of the Thunderbird midgets will be shown on Fasthockey.com.
PHOTO: Soo Thunderbirds major midget coach Jim Capy. (Photo by Ali Pearson.)