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By Dwight McMillan, 12/29/12, 8:30AM CST



By Dwight McMillan

Thank you to the community of Weyburn.  I am proud of the City and all that we have accomplished over the past 37 years.  Thank you to the Weyburn Red Wings, its founders and the many people who have helped make it one of the winningest Jr. “A” hockey teams in history.  I appreciate the opportunity to have both played and coached for the team.  I’ve learned a lot about life’s lessons over the years.  I especially cherish the friendships built in both good times and the difficult ones.

Unfortunately, my term as Head Coach is over.  Scott Sabados - Team President, and the Board of Directors terminated my employment as Head Coach I then offered to allow them to have me resign and they chose to communicate my dismissal as a resignation. 

Thank you to all of the fans, Past Presidents, Board of Directors, volunteers, alumni and community leaders that have supported the team and kept Jr. “A” hockey alive in Weyburn.   Although too many to name, I especially appreciate the effort of Past Presidents Tom Laing, Tom Zandee, Russ Blischuck, Tom Webb, Pat Maloney, Dan Garringer, Ken Kot, Bill  Rudachuk, Tom Houston, John Nijkolesin, and Ryan Williams who supported me and the direction of the team.  They were true executive leaders and understood what it took for me to coach and be a successful team in Jr. “A” hockey.   

 Thank you to all the players for their dedication, effort and commitment to the Weyburn Red Wings.  Without them we would not have had the success we have had on and off the ice over the years.  Many of them that came to Weyburn to play have remained in our community and are now coaches and community leaders themselves.  I am especially proud to hear stories of the successes they have had in hockey or outside of hockey.  Many have been awarded scholarships after playing for the Weyburn Red Wings and gone on to build successful business careers.  Others have won Stanley Cups and won personal awards in leagues from Junior hockey to the NHL.  I especially like hearing of Weyburn Red Wing players who go on to be Captains of their teams in college or other leagues.  Many of them were not captains here in Weyburn, but credit their time with the Weyburn Red Wings that taught them the leadership skills that made them captains of their new teams.  I can’t begin to name all of the players, but want them to know I hold them in the highest regard.  I appreciate all of their calls and support. 

Thank you to all of the coaches, training staff, rink staff  and scouts who helped to select and develop the Weyburn Red Wing teams over the years.  I have heard from so many of them over the past few weeks and appreciate their support.  I know I will not be able to remember them all now, but a few are Barry Melrose, Bruce Thompson, Wayne Lazar, Tom Sanders, Doug Lumb, Jeff Donnelly, and Jimmy Blazedel, Edward Istace, Don Pindus, Greg Button, Kevin Moldenhour and Mike Johnson.

Thank you to others, who through competition and the love of hockey, I have developed longstanding relationships.  Past SJHL Presidents, Coaches of the other teams, as well as other community leaders throughout Saskatchewan.  Again, there are too many to name, but a few that come to mind at this time are Jerry James, Garry McKechnie, Ray Frehlick, Sonny Famaluck and Terry Simpson.

I am very proud of the accomplishments the Weyburn Red Wings have achieved for the City and to live and be part of our community in Weyburn.  We were fortunate enough to win two National Jr. “A” Championships on home ice.  As well as many Division and League Championships, I am honored to represent the Weyburn Red Wings and the City of Weyburn in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and the SJHL Hall of Fame.  I am proud to have had the opportunity to help coach Team West in the World Jr. “A” Challenge for three years, winning two gold and one silver medal.  Weyburn was a great place to raise my two sons and now their children.  I am proud that both my sons were able to play for the Weyburn Red Wings and benefit from the lessons that are learned when playing Jr. Hockey in Weyburn.  Tyler and his wife, Parise, and their two sons love living here in Weyburn and Wayde and his family come back often to visit.

My wife, Diane, and I cherish the friends and relationships we have here in Weyburn.  I thank her for all of her support.  Despite some rumours we have heard, I want to quickly clarify that other than Diane going in for a routine, elective and pre-scheduled procedure on her hip, she is otherwise healthy.  I can assure you her elective procedure had nothing to do with me being fired at this time.

Thank you again for allowing me to be the Head Coach of the Weyburn Red Wings over the past years.  I look forward to spending more time with my grandchildren and family.