Although it has been 27 years since the Victoria Cougars relocated to Prince George, many former players are still making an impact in the hockey world. As the 2021/22 season gets underway, we look at twenty Cougar alumni who are in management, scouting and coaching.
(in brackets are the years they played for the Cougars)
Mark Morrison (1979-83) In July 2021, Morrison was named head coach of the Manitoba Moose (American Hockey League). He spent the previous four seasons as an Assistant with the Anaheim Ducks. The last head coaching job for Morrison was in 2010/11 when he guided the Victoria Salmon Kings to the ECHL semi-finals. Morrison is the Cougars all-time franchise leader in goals, assists, points and games played. He won a WHL championship with Victoria in 1980/81 and represented Canada at two World Juniors (1982 and 1983), winning gold and a bronze.
Darren Naylor (1987-89) Nanaimo Clippers head coach since December 2017. He has since added Vice President and General Manager to his title. His son, goaltender Jordan Naylor, played with the Clippers from 2018-2020.
Eric Thurston (1981-84) The former all-star defenseman for the Cougars starts his fourth year as the GM/Coach of the Drayton Valley Thunder (Alberta Junior Hockey League – Junior A). For eighteen years, he coached the University of Alberta Golden Bears, winning five national championships. He began as an assistant with U of A and became head coach in 2005. Thurston was named 2008/09 CIS – Canadian University Coach of the Year. In 2011/12, he guided Hungary at the U-18 and U-20 World Juniors.
Darryl Williams (1985-86) Assistant Coach - Philadelphia Flyers. Williams previously spent ten seasons as an assistant with Vancouver and the New York Rangers, nine of them alongside Flyers coach Alain Vigneault. As a player, Williams split the 1985/86 season with the Victoria Cougars and Sidney Capitals (BCJHL). He joined the Los Angeles Kings in 1988 and became the first player from Labrador, Newfoundland to appear in an NHL game.
Wade Flaherty (1987-89) The former Victoria goaltender is in his eighth season as assistant coach of the Winnipeg Jets. Flaherty was the Cougars starting goaltender during their last winning season in 1988/89. He went on to play 19 seasons of professional hockey with 120 NHL games.
Fabian Joseph (1982-84) Associate Coach - Amhurst Ramblers (Maritime Hockey League - Junior A). In 1983/84, Joseph led the Cougars in scoring and was a 6th round draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Joseph appeared in two Winter Olympics (1992 and 1994). As Captain of Team Canada, he led the squad to a silver medal in 1994 (his second Olympic Silver). After his playing career, he coached Dalhousie University for seven years. He has also worked as an assistant in the AHL and QMJHL.
Larry Woo (1989-90) Enters his first season as an assistant coach of the Winnipeg Ice under head coach James Patrick. Woo played four years at the University of Manitoba and founded the Winnipeg-based Laker Hockey Academy. Woo also appeared in the hockey movie Goon (2011), playing the role of Park Kim. His son, Jett Woo, was a 2018 draft pick of the Vancouver Canucks and currently plays for Abbotsford.
Paul Fricker (1979) Returns for his tenth season as the Vancouver Giants goaltending coach. He only played one game in 1979 with the Cougars. Next year he enrolled at the University of Michigan and was a 1980 draft pick of the Hartford Whalers.
Brent Hughes (1985) The NHL veteran of 357 games is in his second year as head coach of the Ridge Meadows Flames (Pacific Junior Hockey League). He previously coached in the Central Hockey League with Austin and Corpus Christi. In his final season of major junior, Hughes put up 99 points for the 1985/86 Cougars.
Len Dawes (1979-82) Peninsula Panthers - Assistant Coach (Vancouver Island Hockey League). Dawes won a WHL championship with the Cougars in 1980/81 and was a second-round draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in 1980.
Michael Doyle (1985-87) Named Vancouver Canucks President of Business Operations in August 2021. Doyle has thirty years of experience in the sports and entertainment industry, including ten years with Toronto Maple Leaf Sports. Doyle tended net for two seasons with the Cougars and was the team's 1985/86 Rookie of the Year.
Stan Marple (1986) General Manager, University of Alberta Golden Bears since 2012. Marple played three games for the Cougars in 1986, highlighted by a fight with Spokane’s Mick Vukota. He spent many years in Great Britain as a player and coach with the Guildford Flames. In his tenure as General Manager, the Golden Bears have won three CIS championships.
Ken Clement (1982-83) In 2021, Clement became the sole owner of the Wellingdon Bears (Ontario Junior Hockey League – Junior A). He is the only player to appear in a game for the Victoria Cougars, Nanaimo Islanders (WHL), Nanaimo Clippers (BCHL) and the Esquimalt Buccaneers (BCHL). As a member of the Powell River Regals, he won the 1996/97 Allan Cup (National Senior Amateur Championship). The Regals were inducted into the BC Hockey Hall of Fame in 2017.
Scott Fukami (1990-93) Victoria Royals - Senior Regional Scout – Alberta. The former Cougars captain and 1992/93 leading scorer has been with the Royals since 2014. Fukami also owns and operates Calgary-based Finesse Hockey consulting.
Randy Hansch (1983-86) Phoenix Coyotes – Scout. Hansch had an eleven-year tenure with the Edmonton Oil Kings as a Director of Player Personnel/Assistant GM (2007-13) and General Manager (2013-18). In his first year as GM, Edmonton won the 2013/14 Memorial Cup. As a player, Hansch spent two and half years with the Cougars. The popular netminder was traded in January 1986 to the Kamloops Blazers in a six-player deal. Hansch and the Blazers went on to win the 1985/86 WHL championship.
Jim McKenzie (1987-88) Vegas Golden Knights – Professional Scout. Selected by the Hartford Whalers in the 4th round of the 1988 draft after racking up 42 points and 176 penalty minutes with the 1987/88 Cougars. He appeared in 880 NHL games and won a Stanley Cup with New Jersey in 2003. You can watch many of McKenzie’s legendary fights on YouTube.
Dino Caputo (1989-91) A long-time scout for the Tri-Cities Americans (WHL). He spent two seasons with the Cougars and later played five years with the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns. Caputo is currently on an advisory committee working to get the hockey program reinstated at the University of Lethbridge.
Glen Cochrane (1976-78) Anaheim Ducks scout since 2007. In 1977/78, Cochrane led the Cougars with 311 penalty minutes. The Philadelphia Flyers selected him in the third round of the 1978 NHL amateur draft. For three straight seasons (1982-84), he led the Flyers in penalty minutes. Cochrane retired in 1989 after appearing in 411 NHL games.
Tony Feltrin (1978-81) St. Louis Blues – Director of Amateur Scouting. A key member on the blueline for the Cougars 1980/81 championship team. An eye injury in 1985, forced Feltrin into early retirement. He transitioned into a scouting role and enjoyed long tenures with the New York Rangers (1986-96) and the New York Islanders (1996 – 2007). He joined the Blues in 2009 and helped construct their 2019 Stanley Cup championship team.
Archie Henderson (1975-76) Edmonton Oilers - Director of Pro Scouting. Collected 413 penalty minutes in 78 games with the Cougars. He only appeared in 23 NHL games but is considered one of the toughest players in pro hockey. In his AHL career, he accumulated 1,650 penalty minutes. He is the tallest player in Cougars’ history (6’6”) and was Victoria’s head coach for the final two years of the franchise (1992-1994) before relocating to Prince George.
Questions, comments or memories you want to share? Send me an email – CougarsHockeyProject@protonmail.com