Chatham-Kent Hockey Alumni Movers and Shakers
We are almost at the midpoint of the professional hockey off-season and there are many things a moving and a shaking in the hockey world pertaining to the region of Chatham-Kent.
While I do this largely as a hobby, hobbies are usually passions and I like to keep tapped in and my eye on people that I know or am connected to from my time in Chatham-Kent.
Here are some things going on with some people you may know from Chatham-Kent who are entrenched in hockey around the world.
-All-time great Chatham Maroon and the guy I call the Maroon GOAT Brian Wiseman just got hired as an assistant coach with the Edmonton Oilers. Wiseman will be a wingman for Dave Tippett, the two go way back to the early nineties when Wiseman was a star in Houston and Tippett was his coach.
I have known the family for a long time and grew up with Brian’s sister Brenda, who was a tremendous student athlete in her own right. Brian’s older brother Brad was also an excellent hockey player. It’s great to see the Wiseman family right where they belong, in the NHL.
-Former Chatham resident and University of Michigan alum Chris Wakabayashi is once again getting set for another season behind the bench for the Tohoku Free Blades of the Asian League. Wakabayashi also takes care of the GM duties and recently bolstered his lineup with some key signings.
Chris played his minor hockey in Alaska and in Chatham with the ’72 born crew of Paul Norris, Sandy McGregor, Paul Meredith, Tim Martin and speedster Kyle Mooney before becoming a power forward for Salisbury Prep School in Connecticut. While attending Michigan he also suited up for some games with the Blenheim Blades in the 91’-92’ season under coach Dave Torrie.
Wakabayashi is the son of former Chatham Maroon great Mel and has had a very solid tenure as bench boss for the Hachinohe, Japan based hockey team. The Free Blades are looking for a bounce back after a down season.
If you want to cheer for an Asian League team, the Free Blades are it because a guy who lived in Chatham is the head coach. Small world.
-Blenheim native and one of Chatham-Kent’s most accomplished hockey players Todd Warriner will be an assistant coach with the OUA’s Windsor Lancer Men’s Hockey team this coming season.
Since retiring from an excellent pro career, Warriner has been on reality television, worked in the broadcast booth and has been all over your screen working as an NHL and CHL hockey analyst for Rogers Sportsnet. He also runs the Golden Acres Hockey School in the summer.
Warriner has been successful at pretty much everything he has done and there is no reason to think that coaching at the major University level will be anything different.
CK is represented well throughout the hockey world and aside from following local favorites like Travis Konecny, Bo Horvat and TJ Brodie in their exploits in the NHL, I look forward to watching what this season has in store for all of the above.