Two weeks after stepping down as general manager of the reigning Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League champion Soo Thunderbirds, Kevin Cain has a new gig.
HockeyNewsNorth.com has learned that the 47-year old Cain has joined Toronto-based TPA Sports as a special assistant to president Allan Donnan.
TPA Sports specializes in elite athlete development and with Donnan as president, also owns five junior hockey teams including the Iroquois Falls Eskimos and the expansion French River Rapids of the NOJHL.
In confirming the addition of Cain to TPA Sports in an advisory capacity, Donnan said the Sault Ste. Marie resident “will focus on our hockey operations in northern Ontario.
“This is a great move for us,” Donnan told HockeyNewsNorth.com. “Kevin thinks and understands the game as well as anyone who I have met in junior hockey. His years of experience and his success speak for itself.”
In five years as GM of the Thunderbirds, Cain led the Soo squad to two NOJHL titles and two Dudley-Hewitt Cup, Central Canada championships. He was also named NOJHL GM-of-the-year three times.
Cain becomes the latest coup for Donnan, who earlier this spring hired former Ontario Hockey League and National Hockey League defenceman Moe Mantha as coach of the NOJHL French River team.
A coach of 20 years experience including time at the OHL and minor pro levels, the 54-year old Mantha is fresh from a five-year stint with the erstwhile Michigan Warriors of the tier 2 junior North American Hockey League. During Mantha’s time with the Warriors, they won two North Division championships.
“Having Moe in charge in French River and having Kevin overseeing our north operations including Iroquois Falls, we are now poised to have two exceptional and elite programs in the NOJHL,” said an excitable Donnan.
From his end, Cain said that after deciding to step down as GM of the Thunderbirds and hand off duties to his former assistant Jamie Henderson, he was prepared to take some time off from the game.
“But Mr. Donnan called me with this opportunity and after talking it over my wife Deb, I decided this was too good to pass up.
“I have had a good relationship with Mr. Donnan from the first time I met him and there’s a respect factor on both sides,” Cain added. “You know me and the passion I have for the game, especially the NOJHL. I guess I just couldn’t stay away.”
One of Cain’s first tasks in his new job will be to find a head coach for Iroquois Falls as HockeyNewsNorth.com has confirmed that Taurean White will not carry on as bench boss of the Eskimos.
On a side note, despite his involvement with TPA Sports, Cain said that he would also like to continue to serve in his volunteer capacity as GM of the Soo Thunderbirds of the Great North Midget Hockey League.