Lakers Make Big Splash With First Hire

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VIA: St. Thomas Times Journal

When the London Lakers take to the ice this fall a former NHLer will be behind the bench.

The Lakers have hired Jeff Zehr as head coach for the inaugural GMHL season. Zehr was drafted in the second round, 31st overall pick of the 1997 NHL entry draft. He played four years in the OHL, another four in the ECHL and three in the IHL. He played a total of four games in the NHL with the Boston Bruins.

“I am looking forward to the challenge this year,” said Zehr. “Adversity has never scared me away from reaching my goals, nor will it affect my team this year either. We will be champions and leaders on and off the ice in London this year. ”

Lakers GM Hayden Maass is excited Zehr is on board, adding that having a head coach is the first piece of the puzzle for the team, which will call the London Sports Park home for the 2015-16 season.

“For player recruitment, you can only do so much without a coach,” said Maass. “The coach sells your program and he has the experience. He knows what it takes, knows the process, and will push the guys to the next level. Jeff’s a great guy and the guys will really like him.”

“We are extremely excited to have somebody on board with our program such as Jeff,” added owner Mark Hetherman.

The Lakers’ management is also working diligently on recruiting players for the summer training camp. Maass said he’s working the phones and sending daily emails to players who might be interested in donning a Lakers jersey.

“A lot of kids will see that this might be the best option for them,” he said.

There is no restricted territory as far as player recruitment is concerned. Maass said as long as the player’s rights are not owned by another GMHL team, they are fair game.

He expects to sign several players to the roster once other training camps are over.

“Our scheduling really helps,” Maass continued. “We have teams in Komoka, Kingsville, Halton and Cambridge, and I think the furthest will be Niagara, so that is a nice advantage. The kids will be home after every game.

“We really stress success in school, and since we don’t stay overnight’ there is plenty of time to study and do homework.”

The GMHA is an independent league that plays second-tier Jr. A hockey. What differentiates them from other leagues is players are allowed to play as old as 21, while most other leagues only allow players up to the age of 20.

“We’ll have a good brand of hockey and will hopefully be competitive right out of the gate. We want to do our best to win and put a good product on the ice for the fans,” stressed Maass.

When the London Lakers take to the ice this fall a former NHLer will be behind the bench.

The Lakers have hired Jeff Zehr as head coach for the inaugural GMHL season. Zehr was drafted in the second round, 31st overall pick of the 1997 NHL entry draft. He played four years in the OHL, another four in the ECHL and three in the IHL. He played a total of four games in the NHL with the Boston Bruins.

“I am looking forward to the challenge this year,” said Zehr. “Adversity has never scared me away from reaching my goals, nor will it affect my team this year either. We will be champions and leaders on and off the ice in London this year. ”

Lakers GM Hayden Maass is excited Zehr is on board, adding that having a head coach is the first piece of the puzzle for the team, which will call the London Sports Park home for the 2015-16 season.

“For player recruitment, you can only do so much without a coach,” said Maass. “The coach sells your program and he has the experience. He knows what it takes, knows the process, and will push the guys to the next level. Jeff’s a great guy and the guys will really like him.”

“We are extremely excited to have somebody on board with our program such as Jeff,” added owner Mark Hetherman.

The Lakers’ management is also working diligently on recruiting players for the summer training camp. Maass said he’s working the phones and sending daily emails to players who might be interested in donning a Lakers jersey.

“A lot of kids will see that this might be the best option for them,” he said.

There is no restricted territory as far as player recruitment is concerned. Maass said as long as the player’s rights are not owned by another GMHL team, they are fair game.

He expects to sign several players to the roster once other training camps are over.

“Our scheduling really helps,” Maass continued. “We have teams in Komoka, Kingsville, Halton and Cambridge, and I think the furthest will be Niagara, so that is a nice advantage. The kids will be home after every game.

“We really stress success in school, and since we don’t stay overnight’ there is plenty of time to study and do homework.”

The GMHA is an independent league that plays second-tier Jr. A hockey. What differentiates them from other leagues is players are allowed to play as old as 21, while most other leagues only allow players up to the age of 20.

“We’ll have a good brand of hockey and will hopefully be competitive right out of the gate. We want to do our best to win and put a good product on the ice for the fans,” stressed Maass.

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