Winnipeg ICE Head Coach James Patrick announced today the hiring of Taras McEwen as Assistant Coach. McEwen will be joined by returning coaches Byron Spriggs and Larry Woo for the 2022 – 2023 Western Hockey League season.
McEwen, 31, enters his first season as an Assistant Coach with the Winnipeg ICE. This will be the Whitewood, Saskatchewan products sixth season with the ICE organization. McEwen joined the ICE organization in 2017 in the role of Manager of Scouting.
He has also served as General Manager of the Winnipeg Blues in the MJHL and added Head Coach to his resume in 2020. As Head Coach and General Manager of the Blues, McEwen guided them to a 34-22-1-3 record in 60 regular season games.
McEwen will also be the Head Coach of Team Manitoba U16 Men’s team for the 2023 Canada Winter Games in Prince Edward Island. He previously served as Assistant Coach and Head Scout of Team Saskatchewan. Prior to joining the ICE, McEwen served as an Assistant Coach with the Notre Dame Hounds (SJHL) during the 2016-2017 season.
“We are excited to add Taras to the coaching staff.” said Head Coach James Patrick. “He has contributed in many capacities in our organization over the last 6 seasons including scouting, player development and recently excelled as the GM and Head Coach with the Blues last season. His well rounded player development experience will be a great asset to our players and staff.”
Spriggs, 28, enters his third season as an Assistant Coach, goaltender development lead. The Winnipeg product is Bison alumni, having backstopped their program for five seasons. In three of those seasons, he was named the Bison’s most valuable player. Spriggs also played three seasons for the MJHL’s Winnipeg Blues, winning a league championship and was named playoff MVP in 2014. Spriggs was recently named as a goalie consultant working with Hockey Canada’s U17 Men’s Teams.
Woo, 51, enters his second season as an Assistant Coach, skill development lead. As a player, Woo spent two seasons in the WHL with the Victoria Cougars and Swift Current Broncos prior to his four years at the University of Manitoba. Since founding the Laker Hockey Academy in 2008, Woo has dedicated his time to hockey development in Winnipeg working with many AAA, WHL and professional hockey players.
Patrick, 59, returns for his sixth season as Head Coach. Over the past three seasons in Winnipeg, Patrick has led the ICE to a 109-39-5-2 record in 155 regular season games. This past season, Patrick was the recipient of the Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy awarded to the WHL’s Coach of the Year.
Prior to joining the ICE, the Winnipeg product spent 11 seasons in the NHL as an assistant coach with the Buffalo Sabres and Dallas Stars.
A first round draft pick, 9th overall by the New York Rangers in the 1981 NHL Draft, Patrick played 21 seasons in the NHL with the New York Rangers, Hartford Whalers, Calgary Flames and Buffalo Sabres recording 149 goals, 490 assists for 639 points in 1,280 regular season games. Among his accomplishments as a player, Patrick suited up for Team Canada twice at the World Junior Hockey Championships, five World Championships, one Canada Cup and at 1984 Winter Olympics.
Hockey Operations Staff Confirmed For 2022-2023 Season
President & General Manager Matt Cockell, in association with Assistant General Manager Jake Heisinger and Head Coach James Patrick are proud to welcome back the hockey operations staff for the 2022-23 WHL season:
“We are thankful for the passion, leadership and innovation our staff contributes to our players and growth of our program with the mindset of getting better every day.” said Cockell.
Mel Davidson – Culture and Leadership
Ryan Guenter – Manager, Scouting & Hockey Operations
Tyler MacDonald – Scout
Tanner McCall – Scout
Darris Hardern – Sport Science and Performance Consultant
Cole Hillier – Head Equipment Manager
Nick Lichti – Athletic Therapist, Strength and Conditioning Lead
Derek Tarko – Athletic Therapist, Strength and Conditioning Coach
Dr. Adrienne Leslie-Toogood – Mental Skills Coach
Lindsey Berard – Mental Skills Coach
Raylin Kirsch – Education Advisor
Henry Dueck – Team Chaplain
Max Waddell – Consultant
2022-23 Winnipeg ICE Season Tickets are now on sale. 2022-23 sees the return of the Full Season Access Pass where you can use all 34 tickets at one game or one ticket at all 34 games. The options are endless and they start at under $5.00 a game for youth under 12!
Click Here to purchase yours today!