Dennis Rix is the new face of the Grande Prairie Storm. Former player and current assistant coach has also taken on the role of Business Manager for the struggling team. He plans to hit the ground running.
“Urgent right now in the summer is just getting that interest back. I want to get out there; I want to meet the people; I want our season ticket holders to know who I am and know that the Storm cares about them. Same with our big sponsors too; this doesn’t happen without sponsorship, without community support, so if I’m out there I’ll make them feel like they’re part of it, which they are.”
Rix played for the Storm from 2006 to 2010 and then spent four years playing with Michigan Tech, where he also earned a business degree. He moved to Scotland to be part of the Elite Hockey League and made the move back to Grande Prairie last year for the assistant coach position.
Another major change will come to the Storm’s board in June, as Murray Toews takes over as Swan City Hockey Club president. He and a group of investors stepped up to help save the team after they announced they were $200,000. While his wife might not be as happy about his taking over, Toews believes the Storm are a worthwhile cause.
“To me, it’s got to be a vehicle that we keep in place for many years to come for these young boys to have a place to play Junior A hockey. It wouldn’t be the same not having a Junior A franchise; we’ve had some changes from the North Stars days to the Chiefs to the current Storm, so to keep this program in place is pretty important.”
Improving the club’s finances will be his first priority, along with getting fans into the stands for games. He hopes that having local products like Logan Mazerolle on the ice will help. It was announced Tuesday that the Grande Prairie native has committed to the team, after playing 18 games with the Storm last season.