The Lloydminster Bobcats Board of Directors decided 4 years ago to focus on stability and longevity with the hiring of Nigel Dube and are continuing on the path extending his contract 5 more years. Dube joined the organization in the middle of November 2018 and was tasked with righting the ship both on the ice and off the ice. The organization has made big steps in both areas and continues to grow as the club is set to begin the 40th season of Junior ‘A’ hockey in the Border City in September. Dube will be the longest serving Head Coach and General Manager this season. He says quoting Henry Ford, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself”.
Dube continued to say “It has been a wild ride at times with Covid creating chaos in the mix interrupting and changing 2 seasons of hockey” but following the pandemic the team moved to a record of 30-26-4. A great accomplishment is 7 players moving on to post-secondary hockey careers, and most importantly instituting a strong community involvement. Off the ice and in the community, the Bobcats have established strong relationships with both the Lloyd Elite Hockey and Lloydminster Minor Hockey working with both groups in development and mentorship.
Brent Mohrbutter, President of the Board says “There is so much more to the Lloydminster Bobcats than is obvious. At the end of the day it is a business that needs strong leadership to look after so many moving parts. The business needs buy in from the whole community to thrive. From fans and billets, and through sponsorship and donation, everyone in Lloyd can contribute. A strong hockey development program to generate some local and area product is also key. Once a plan was put in place there needs to be some constants, so we want to stick to what we are doing.”
A pivotal focus for the Cats was to make sure the club was financially stable and viable year after year, an area where Dube had experience in with turn arounds in two other organizations prior to his move to the Border City. As a community owned team, it is dependent on the corporate partners, fundraising events, volunteers and support of fans to keep the organization moving in the right direction. The club has continued to expand its efforts in those areas with yearly golf tournaments, cash calendars and special events often in partnership with other local organizations and charities. “The community of Lloydminster is very supportive and caring which makes living here and being a part of this organization so enjoyable. Conversations with sponsors, fans, volunteers, billets, and the youth is what makes a person want to stay here. It is those people and groups who make this community and organization thrive” finished Dube.
With growth in organization and stability moving forward the Bobcats also have stability within the team. Kris Wiebe, a local product with great experience and expertise remained with the team through the changes and continues to volunteer as Assistant Coach. Bobcats Director of Player Personnel Andrew Gilbert has been with the club since November of 2018, Business Manager and Director of Game Day Operations Mallory Oleshko who was recently promoted has been with the organization since fall of 2019, and Concession Supervisors Trev Simm and Terri Russell will each be entering their 3rd season. Support staff have also moved to Lloydminster full time and call the Border City home.
The Bobcats will open main camp on August 26th at the Centennial Civic Centre ahead of regular season puck drop at home on September 16th against the Whitecourt Wolverines. Season tickets and Bobcats merchandise are available by calling the office at 780-871-0900!