Tuesday 6 September 2016

Terriers' Cassan headed to the Calgary Hitmen (WHL); O'Brien becomes Terriers new Head Coach/GM

(Trent Cassan & Casey O'Brien celebrating 2014 RBC Cup championship, 
**Photo Compliments of Yorkton This Week) 

Just a couple weeks before the start of the 2016/17 regular season, the Yorkton Terriers have made a coaching change for the upcoming campaign.

Head Coach/GM Trent Cassan is making the move from the SJHL to the Western Hockey League joining the Calgary Hitmen (WHL) as an Assistant Coach & handing the reign of Head Coach/GM duties over to Casey O'Brien for 2016/17.

The 33 year old Medora, MB native has been Head Coach of the Terriers for parts of the last 7 seasons, first becoming the bench boss during the 2009/10 season in a interim basis.

Cassan has compiled an overall regular season record of 177-123-40 while helping the Terriers to 4 league finals appearances, 2 SJHL Canalta Cup titles, 1 Western Canada Cup title and ultimately the franchise's first RBC Cup National title in 2014. He was also named Co-winner of the SJHL Coach of the Year in 2012/13.

O'Brien, a product of Gloucester, Ontario has been a part of 3 of those league finals, and also the SJHL, WCC & RBC Cup titles as well.

Cassan was also on the coaching staff for the World Jr. A Challenge serving as an Asst Coach & Head Coach with Canada West.

Before taking over as Head Coach, Trent served as the team Assistant Coach and Marketing Director. Trent played three season of Junior Hockey with the Terriers from 2001-2004. 
Upon completion of his junior career Trent played four seasons of collegiate hockey at the NCAA Division III level with the Geneseo State Ice Knights. During Trent’s four years at Geneseo the Ice-Knights captured back-to-back League Championships.
For O'Brien, he is entering his 6th year with the Terrier organization serving in the capacity of Asst. Coach for all those seasons while also serving the last 2 years as Assistant General Manager.

Before coming to Yorkton, O'Brien played five seasons for the University of Guelph Gryphons in the CIS,  played two seasons professionally in Norway as a player coach and also was the Player Development Coach at the Banff Hockey Academy for two years.

Audio from:

Terriers President Dave Baron

Newly named Terrier Head Coach/GM Casey O'Brien

Trent Cassan



It's one of those things that have been talked about for quite awhile of when would Trent Cassan get that chance at the next level, well that time has finally come and it's so much deserved.

As I came into the league as a fresh-faced broadcaster almost 4 years ago, Trent and the entire coaching staff and Terrier organization made me feel and sound like a seasoned vet.

With the success of the Terriers over the past number of years, Trent was probably the Coach that I got to spend the most time with and interviewed over the years from our trips to Nanaimo, Dauphin and Vernon (which are times I won't forget and will be a highlight of my broadcast career forever) I will definitely cherish those times spent.

Even if it "was one of those games" or if occasionally I asked a dumb question or a question that I knew Trent might not have wanted to answer, he made sure that he did that, answer the question anyway he could so I wouldn't sound like a dumb broadcaster.

If it was from pre-game to post game interviews to our daily Monday coaching shows on GX94 to the number of hours and time spent on road trips throughout the years, Trent always made sure to make time for me and on almost every occasion he take time to ask whats new in my life, how's my family is doing or hows the success of the baseball team I played for or football team I was coaching was which showed just the type of great person Trent was to deal with.

For the last decade or so, the Yorkton Terriers and the City of Yorkton have had a chance to see a young kid from Manitoba go through a successful 3 year Jr. career go to college then come back and for the last 7 years as Head Coach,  put his heart and soul into the Terrier organization providing the Terriers and their fans with some of the greatest moments in Yorkton sports history while also being a great ambassador and citizen for the community of Yorkton.

I would like to personal thank Trent for what he has done for me over the years and I wish you nothing but the best for you in Calgary and also the best of luck with you and Amy going forward.

The Yorkton Terriers and the City of Yorkton was great for Trent Cassan but importantly Trent Cassan was so great for the City of Yorkton and the Yorkton Terrier organization.

The organization that Trent has left is in good hands and I'm so happy that Casey has gotten the opportunity to be the main man for a Junior A franchise.

There is not many people that I've met through the Jr ranks that work as hard and put as many hours in that Casey does with hockey.

I think he is one of those guys that draws plays and breakouts in his sleep because he is also doing it to try and make his teams and himself that much better. That hard work paid off in 2015/16 as Casey was deservingly named the inaugural winner of the Dwight McMillan award as the league's Top Assistant Coach.

If the season wasn't enough, Casey then spends pretty much his entire offseason running a hockey school for minor hockey, Midget AAA, Junior and professional players to help them prepare for their upcoming season so if that doesn't show commitment I don't know what does.

Also, Casey and Trent have been coaching together for the last 6 years and I don't think much is going to change with how hard the Terriers play and the success of the Terriers I'm sure will continue under O'Brien.

In the end, its one of those things that secret of success is to be ready when your opportunity comes, and for not only two great hockey minds and coaches but 2 great friends  those new opportunities will come, one with the WHL's Calgary Hitmen and one as the bench boss of the Yorkton Terriers and I couldn't be more happier and  proud for both.

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