Is it cold in here, or is it just the Manitoba Blizzard?
The Manitoba Gryphons, a lacrosse team, has changed its name to the Manitoba Blizzard. The announcement was made on Sat., Feb. 22 at Canlan Ice Sports (1871 Ellice Ave.).
The renaming of the team is part of its overall rebranding process, according to Dave Gill, one of the five new owners of the Manitoba Blizzard.
"We were in a transition mode, both from a geographical standpoint and ownership standpoint," Gill explained.
Part of the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League, the Manitoba Blizzard used to play its games out of Oakbank. When the season starts on May 24 this year, the team will be playing out of Notre Dame Arena (55 Notre Dame Ave. W).
It’s not just a matter of a new name, though — the Manitoba Blizzard also has new owners, players, and coaches.
"(The other owners) and I are involved in lacrosse. Four of us have coached at a provincial level for multiple years in Manitoba. We have kids that all play the sport, varying in age from peewee to junior," Gill said. "We just felt it was time for somebody to take the reins."
The new head coach for the Manitoba Blizzard team is Kyle Buchanan, who is playing for the Philadelphia Wings in the National Lacrosse League. Buchanan is currently the fifth leading scorer in the NLL.
Alongside Buchanan will be Luc Magnan, who has signed on to be the assistant coach for the Manitoba Blizzard’s 2014 season. Magnan played for the Manitoba Blizzard for two years before going to Robert Morris University to play Division 1 NCAA Lacrosse.
"We’re quite pleased to have them on board," Gill said.
The 2014 season will consist of 20 games, half at home and half on the road.
Gill said the Manitoba Blizzard will be hosting a prospects camps for interested athletes to come out and show off their skills.
The dates for the prospect camps are March 8, 15, 22, and 23 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. There is a prospect camp happening on the weekend of April 5 to 6, but the times have not yet been decided.
Manitoba Blizzard communications manager Lisa Striowski urges interested players to pre-register for the price of $50 so the coaches and owners would know how much people will be attending the camps. The pre-registration fee covers all floor times for all prospect camps.
"People who just walk in will have to pay $60," Striowski said.
Striowski also said that the prospect camp in April will be filmed to be sent to Buchanan and Magnan.
"They can check out how the game’s looking," Striowski said.
To pre-register, email team manager Tim Godson at firstname.lastname@example.org
For information, including specific dates of the prospect camp, contact the Manitoba Blizzard at manitobablizzard.ca or call 204-955-9060.