The Cold Lake Wings Jr. A Hockey Club is excited to announce Marek Babic as the new Head Coach and General Manager.
Born in Slovakia, he emigrated to Canada at a young age and grew up in Ontario. Babic comes to the team with over 14 years of playing experience in North America and Europe, including five years of junior A hockey.
“Jr. A hockey is where I want to be. I think I have a lot to offer these young men,” said Babic. “I played five years of Jr. A hockey myself, I’ve seen a lot. I also know that this isn’t the final spot, this isn’t what their goal is. They want to achieve a scholarship or move onto pro, and I think that’s the kind of coach I am. I can help them with that.”
Having lived in Edmonton, where he owns and operates Pro Euro Training, hockey school, Babic has had the opportunity to see Cold Lake. Noting the Energy Centre is one of the top five arenas he’s seen in the province, he’s excited to move his family to the area and join the community.
When Babic received the offer to coach, it was an easy decision.
“I know the league has been around for about 25 years, but I see the growth and the potential in it and it’s very attractive to me. I think with the opportunity to choose my players, I have a whole plethora of options in Canada, America, and Europe, from a coaching perspective it’s awesome to have those options. There’s not a lot of other leagues that have that option so that’s one of the things that definitely excited me.”
Ready to get right to work, Babic said his first step is to work on team identity. He’s eager to get the team working as a unit, on and off the ice.
“I like to make sure my dressing room is a healthy, positive environment. The boys understand that win or lose, we’re a team and we support each other,” explained Babic, adding he wants to strengthen the Wings reach in the community by continuing to help out and get involved where they can.
In the long-term, he has his sights set on becoming a contender for the Thorne Cup, each and every year.
“I would like to challenge for the championship as soon as possible. We’ve got 28 games left in the season, so I’m just approaching this as a baby step process and taking this one day at a time.”
Having connections in Europe from his time as a player, Babic is looking forward to building onto the Wings roster by bringing high-level international players to the city. With a focus on creating a team for fans to love that will be a mainstay in the community for years to come, he’s excited to get behind the bench and get started.
“It’s baby steps. I’m not expecting major results right away, but I expect players to perform, they’re going to be held accountable, and I expect effort. It’s definitely going to be a challenge, but I’m looking forward to it.”