Story Appeared in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix
Trevor Blevins is back where he started.
Blevins, who played his entire junior career with his hometown Melfort Mustangs, has stepped in to take over as interim head coach of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League squad.
It's a dream come true for Blevins, who had previously spent five years as an assistant coach with the Mustangs prior to a threeyear stint as coach of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League's Tisdale Trojans.
"It was always a goal of mine to get to that level," admits Blevins, who took over the coaching reigns late last week after Gavin Holcomb was relieved of his duties.
"It's probably as good a time to be ready as I can be."
Blevins, who is self-employed in the financial services industry, has the flexibility to take on interim coaching duties. He says it's been a great transition, with support from the board level to fans to the staff. He's also grateful for Dwight Kulchysky, who stays on as assistant coach and GM.
"It's pretty exciting;" says Blevins, whose played 177 games with the SJHL's Mustangs, racking up 114 points and winning an SJHL championship in 1996.
"So far, so good." Up until last week, Blevins watched as a fan this season.
"I didn't miss too many home games," he says. "I'm in tune with the players a bit and how they've been playing, at least home games. It's not like I'm going in without knowing the players at all. I've watched them here for the first three months."
Prior to his arrival, the Mustangs made a few moves in the rebuilding direction. The team traded away assistant captain Matt Saunderson, 20, to the Alberta Junior Hockey League's Drumheller Dragons for forward Jacob Bonin, 19.
As well, Melfort dealt another 20-year-old, forward Clayton Ludlum, to the MJHL'sWinkler Flyers for future and 19-year-old forward Lane Harbor to the Melville Millionaires for the CJHL list rights to 1997 forward Dakota Boutin. Saunderson had been the longest-serving member of the club.
The Saskatoon product appeared in 130 games for the organization and put up 49 points in the process. He was named the club's most valuable defenceman in 2012 and most improved player in 2011.
Bonin comes to Melfort from Sudbury, Ont., where he was captain of the AAA Sudbury Wolves who appeared in the Telus Cup. He had 83 points in 81 midget AAA games before beginning his Junior A career with the OJHL's Aurora Tigers. In 10 games this season with Drumheller, the 5-foot-11 forward had two goals and two assists.
The Mustangs are currently left with only two 1993-born players, Brandon Sloan and Anthony Pickering, to go along with 13 1994s.
"We're looking for wins," Blevins says. "That's the No. 1 goal of the team right now. We're going to put the best efforts together we can each night and hopefully Ws will come our way.
"I don't think any of us can reinvent the game. It's still the same ice. I'm just excited to get going, move forward and see what this group can do."