The Bonnyville Pontiacs announced the hiring of two associate general managers on Tuesday.
The Yaks hired current staff members in assistant General Manager Neil Langridge and Director of Player Personnel Chad Nelson as associate General Managers for the organization moving forward.
Their shared roles will see Langridge as the associate General Manager of Business, while Nelson will be the associate General Manager of Hockey Operations.
“The Bonnyville Pontiacs are excited in the hiring of these two great individuals to our organization,” said President Ron Rusnak in a press release on Tuesday.
“With their vast experience and connections in the hockey world across North America, we feel we will excel as an organization and deliver an exciting experience for our fans and sponsors.”
This comes after longtime coach and GM Rick Swan parted ways in early April.
After winning four consecutive North Eastern Alberta Junior B Hockey League championships as Coach and General Manager, Langridge first joined the organization in 2014-15 as a scout, and the next season became an assistant coach under Rick Swan.
His duties expanded in the 2019-20 season as he became the assistant General Manager and had key involvement and input with player personnel decisions and transaction negotiations.
Langridge took over the role of Director of Business Operations in 2020-21 and has provided a great face in the community on the sponsorship side of the organization.
“To continue the journey with the Pontiacs organization and work to push them over the edge to be a premier organization on and off the ice is a dream come true for myself,” said Langridge.
“Having the privilege to work under and alongside Rick Swan for the past seven years has not only taught me a tremendous amount, but it has prepared me for the next steps on continuing to build on the great foundation that has been laid,” Langridge continued. “Coming together with Chad Nelson and the board of directors to share the goals, visions and the capabilities of the Bonnyville Pontiacs organization was the pillar and backbone to this new venture for myself.
“I am honoured and humbled with the challenge and belief that has been entrusted in us to bring the Pontiacs to the next level and ensure that we are challenging for an AJHL championship year after year. The great community of Bonnyville and area has continued to support the organization through the highs and lows of the last 30 years and we owe it to this community and all those involved to continue to strive for success on and off the ice.”
Chad Nelson is a former Pontiac player himself who played parts of two seasons with the club from 2004 to 2006.
He became a part of the organization in 2017-18 as a scout. In 2018-19, he was named the Director of Scouting. Then in 2020-21, Nelson was promoted to Director of Player Personnel.
He also has worked with the Chicago Steel of the USHL as a scout for the past two seasons in the Alberta and British Columbia regions.
He has worked closely with the front office staff to find high-end prospect talent for the Bonnyville Pontiacs across the continent, while bringing a sharp mind for the modern game.
“I’m excited and thankful for the opportunity and want to thank the Board of Directors for going with myself and Neil. And I look forward to working in partnership with Neil and hopefully getting this organization to compete for a championship because that’s the ultimate goal,” said Nelson.
“The search for a head coach will begin in the upcoming days. That is an integral part of going forward with this process.”
The Bonnyville Pontiacs welcome these two into their new roles in the organization and are ready to continue the search for a new Head Coach.
-With files from the Bonnyville Pontiacs.