A summer shakeup of the Vancouver Giants’ front office continues, with another hire announced Friday (July 20) by the WHL hockey club.
Surrey resident Bob Brown, a 16-year amateur scout for the NHL Edmonton Oilers and former GM of Kamloops Blazers, has been brought aboard as the Langley-based team’s new senior advisor.
“Bob Brown is one of the most highly respected, knowledgeable hockey minds in the business and he will be a welcomed addition to our hockey operations staff,” Giants GM Barclay Parneta said in a release.
“Over the course of his career in hockey, Bob Brown has experienced so much success, and his experience will be a huge asset for us as we continue our pursuit of a championship.”
In Kamloops, Brown assembled one of the best junior hockey teams in Canadian history. In the late-1980s and early-’90s, the Blazers won 435 games, scored seven WHL division titles, five WHL championships and appeared in five Memorial Cup tournaments, winning three of them from 1992 to 1995. He later spent five seasons as GM of Tri-City Americans.
In those Blazers dynasty days, Brown drafted and signed a number of future NHLers, including Scott Niedermayer, Daryl Sydor, Corey Hirsh, Shane Doan, Jarome Iginla, Darcy Tucker and Tyson Nash. He also brought in some winning coaches, including Ken Hitchcock, Tom Renney and Don Hay.
“I’m extremely excited by the opportunity to join the Vancouver Giants Hockey Club as a senior advisor to their hockey operations department,” Brown said in a release.
“The Giants have established an impressive record in their short tenure in the WHL, winning a league championship and winning the prestigious Memorial Cup,” he added. “I’m looking forward to working with General Manager Barclay Parneta and head coach Michael Dyck.”
In Kamloops, Brown twice won the WHL Executive of the Year award, and was GM of the team when son Rob Brown played there in the mid-1980s before going on to score 438 points in the NHL, most of those with Pittsburgh Penguins.
The ‘94-‘95 Blazers were inducted into the British Columbia Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013, and Brown himself was given that honour in 2009. The team was also inducted into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame a couple of years ago.
• RELATED STORY: Vancouver Giants name Michael Dyck as new head coach, from June 2018.
Brown joins the new-look Giants front office, with Parneta replacing outgoing GM Jason McKee this offseason. Late last month, Dyck was announced as head coach — the fifth one for the team since May 2014 when Hay returned to Kamloops to bench-boss the Blazers.
Also this week, the Giants announced a new deal with radio station Sportsnet 650 to broadcast all games. Play-by-play announcer Dan O’Connor will call games starting with the regular-season opener Friday, Sept. 21, when the Giants host Everett Silvertips.
In other news, the Giants signed 2001-born forward Lukas Svejkovsky, a Point Roberts resident, to a contract. Parneta calls him “an incredibly skilled and dynamic player who we feel will develop into a high-end point producer in the WHL.”
Svejkovsky was drafted by the Giants in the second round (36th overall) of the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft.