New Flyers coach Bryan Elliott has unfinished business in NPHL

Bryan Elliott will be behind the bench as the new head coach of the Fort St. John Senior Flyers for the 2019-20 season.

Elliott comes to the Flyers with a diverse background, including 25 years in the Canadian Navy, and more than three decades as a hockey general manager, coach, scout, and official at the professional, university, major junior, and junior levels.

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Elliott coached the Grande Prairie Athletics within two games of the NPHL title in 2009, where he lost to the Fort St. John Flyers, and relished the opportunity to come back and try his hand again in the NPHL.

“I have some unfinished business in that league, and want to come back and help the Flyers win a title and get back to where they belong,” Elliott said.

Elliott took over the Athletics half-way through the season, as they were about to fold. After losing the first two games under his helm, Grande Prairie reeled off 25 straight wins, and took a 2-0 series lead on the Flyers in the final, before ultimately coming up short.

Reuniting in Fort St. John

Elliott, who currently lives in Port Colborne, Ontario, heard about the opening with the Flyers through Ryan Carter, current Flyers player and a former player of Elliott’s when he was an assistant coach at the pro level in Corpus Christi, Texas.

“I’m really excited about being reunited with Carter and joining the Flyers. I was there last weekend to visit with Lee (Hartman) and Paul (van Nostrand). They run a very professional organization, first class, and their passion for the organization and the game and the community is what sold me on it,” Elliott said.

The Flyers are equally as excited.

“He has lots of experience and a vast knowledge for the game. We’re happy to have him,” Hartman said.

“Bryan brings an exceptional level of organizational, leadership and personnel skills to our club,” the team said in a press release.

Elliot takes over from Andrew Leriger, who stepped down at the end of last season after five years at the helm.

“(Elliott) has some big shoes to fill in replacing (Leriger),” Hartman said.

Elliott met Leriger last week, and admires the work Leriger did with the team.

“Andrew did a fantastic job there. There will be great communication, he’s done so much for the team, and I’m glad to be an extension of him and he’ll still play a vital part as far as I’m concerned,” Elliott said. 

Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at sports@ahnfsj.ca.

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