There is no hockey currently being played by the Ontario Junior Hockey League club, but the Cobourg Cougars have been busy during the past month restructuring their hockey operations department.
Since late February, the Cougars have named Todd Reid the new vice-president of hockey operations, Alex Guiney general manager, Wes Wolfe head coach and John McFarland skills and development coach.
Reid joins the Cougars after serving as general manager and assistant coach with the Wellington Dukes since 2018.
“Todd brings years of experience to the Cougars as a player, as a coach, and a seasoned executive in the OJHL and will be a tremendous asset to our organization as we move forward,” noted Cougars governor Marc Mercier in a statement. “Todd’s proven track record of developing junior players with aspirations for moving onto higher levels of play and building championship teams will set the standard for our program as we continue to pursue our objective of icing a perennial championship-caliber team here in Cobourg and winning another national championship.”
During Reid’s tenure with the Dukes, the club posted a regular season record of 72-28-1-4 and were Buckland Cup finalists during the 2018-2019 season, with their post-season run cut short last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m really excited to have the opportunity to work with the Cobourg Cougars, one of the top junior hockey organizations in the country. The Cougars have strong roots within the community and a championship pedigree,” Reid stated. “Our mandate is to win championships and to move players on to the next level, I look forward to working with the staff in meeting those objectives.”
In his new role, Reid will directly oversee and manage the hockey operations for both the Cobourg Cougars and their strategic partners, the Port Hope Panthers of the Provincial Junior Hockey League.
Cobourg also announced the promotion of Guiney to the role of general manager. He was the assistant general manager and director of analytics for the Cougars and general manager of the Port Hope Panthers, a role he will also continue in.
“Joining the Cougars and Panthers during the off-season, Alex has worked diligently in the face of a global pandemic to ensure the Cougars and the Panthers remain premier franchises in the OJHL and PJHL, respectively, ” Mercier stated. “Alex will work closely with Todd and the rest of the staff in Cobourg and Port Hope to ensure that Northumberland remains a hockey-hotbed and top destination for the best players across North America interested in moving onto higher levels of play within a framework committed to post-secondary education.”
Guiney previously served as assistant general manager with both the Trenton Golden Hawks and Pickering Panthers OJHL organizations.
“It’s an incredible opportunity, and I look forward to working with Todd Reid in building a championship-calibre team, both on and off the ice, here in Cobourg,” Guiney stated about taking on the GM role with the Cougars. “Our collective goal is to compete each year for a championship, while developing and advancing players on to the next level, and positively representing our community.”
On March 12, the Cougars named Wes Wolfe as the club’s new head coach and assistant GM, replacing David DeMarinis. He spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach with the Ontario Hockey League’s Erie Otters.
“I am beyond excited to be joining the Cobourg Cougars organization and look forward to cementing Cobourg as one of the premier programs in all of junior A hockey,” Wolfe stated. “After meeting with the senior management team, I was very confident there is a vision and infrastructure in place to make this happen. We will continue to emphasize the development of our players as people-first, with an eye on combining long-term individual growth and sustainable team success. I am very grateful for the opportunity and can’t wait to begin.”
Prior to joining the Otters, Wolfe was the head coach and GM with the St. Catharines Falcons of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League and in both of his two seasons with the Falcons reached the Golden Horseshoe Conference finals.
“Wes’ player-centric approach to both on-ice and personal development matched our organization’s values and made this a great fit,” Guiney stated. “Wes has a tremendous track record of developing players and aiding them in being the best versions of themselves. We look forward to him contributing to the Cougars success and aiding us in the pursuit of a national championship.”
Last Thursday, March 25, the Cougars announced McFarland as the club’s new skills and development coach. He’s the brother of Paul McFarland, head coach and GM of the Kingston Frontenacs, which the Cougars have a partnership with, and a former OHL first overall draft pick and went on to be a 33rd overall pick of the NHL’s Florida Panthers.
McFarland retired from professional hockey in 2019, after stints in the ECHL, AHL, NHL as well as playing professionally in Switzerland and Finland. He founded Fundamental Hockey, his own skill development company based outside the Greater Toronto Area.
McFarland also serves as the crossover scout for the Frontenacs.
“Player and skill development is a primary focus for our organization, adding John McFarland in this role as our Skills and Development Coach, with his experience and dedication, will help our players develop the necessary habits and techniques to be successful players in our league and progress to higher levels,” Guiney stated. “John’s role with Kingston as well helps us continue to cement our relationship with the Frontenacs as we move forward and prepare for the 2021-2022 season.”