Photo by Perry Bergson (Brandon Sun)
When Doug Gasper entered the Subway East Division Hub in early March, he was excited to finally watch some hockey in his role as Assistant GM of the Brandon Wheat Kings.
When he leaves the Hub on April 28th, he will be the man in charge of the Brandon Wheat Kings.
Gasper was named the 17th General Manager in franchise history on Friday morning, replacing Darren Ritchie who is departing to join the scouting staff of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
"It's been a whirlwind of a week," said Gasper from his home in Saskatoon. "It's not something I had planned for. Eventually you plan to move up with an organization long term, but in the hockey world things can happen very quickly. Darren is a great guy to have worked with in hockey operations. We've bounced a lot of ideas off each other and he has been a great resource for me."
Gasper has a long resume scouting junior hockey with stops in the SJHL, WHL and National Hockey League.
After begining his career with the WHL's Prince Albert Raiders and the SJHL's Nipawin Hawks, Gasper served as both a regional scout and eventually the Director of Scouting for the Moose Jaw Warriors from 2015-2017.
After six seasons with the Warriors, Gasper was promoted to the big leagues where he took a job as an amateur scout with the Vancouver Canucks. In 2019 he returned to the WHL as Ritchie's right hand man in Brandon.
Gasper currently resides in Saskatoon and will move to Brandon to begin his new role in May. A number of the Wheat Kings’ current prospects have been scouted by Gasper and he looks forward to tracking their continued development.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for Doug to take over the reins of our Hockey Operations and we are excited for him," said Wheat Kings Owner and Governor Jared Jacobson. "Everyone you talk to in our organization and the industry loves working with Doug and has the utmost respect for him as a person and as a professional.”
Gasper takes over immediately and will oversee a staff that includes Head Scout Mark Johnston and Regional Scouts Jarrett Craig, Dallas Fidierchuk, Frank Harding, Liam Liston, Brian Lundberg, Oscar Marx, Garth Mitchell, Mark Sauer, Brennen York and Mark Gasper.
"This is not a one man job," added Gasper. "Thinking that way is a recipe for failure. You have to use your staff. Part of the allure for me to come to Brandon two years ago was the strong hockey operations group. It's a group of guys I will utilize a lot."
The Wheat Kings are back in action on Saturday afternoon as they take on Gasper's former team, the Moose Jaw Warriors. (5:00 PM on Q Country Radio.)