After 18 years at the helm, Kim Davis will retire as commissioner of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League on June 30.
The announcement was made on Wednesday at Sport Manitoba.
Davis, 63, began his tenure at the start of the 2002-03 season when he was hired as the league’s first full-time Commissioner. Since his appointment in June 2002there has been more than 6,000 regular season games, more than 700 playoff games and more than 200 regional or national championship games.
Davis was born and raised in Flin Flon, MB, played his minor hockey there and was ultimately selected in both the NHL and WHA Amateur drafts in 1977 (NHL – Pittsburgh 48th Overall, WHA – Edmonton 24th Overall). After a five-year professional career with experience in the AHL, IHL, and NHL he completed his Bachelor of Commerce Degree at the University of Manitoba. Prior to joining the league Davis held marketing positions in the retail banking, provincial lotteries, and food service industries.
The new commissioner will be Brandon’s Kevin Saurette, 39, who was hired buy the MJHL in 2016. A solid player himself, Saurette played nine years of pro hockey in the ECHL and AHL and also played in Germany and the United Kingdom. After a junior career with the Regina Pats in the Western Hockey League (WHL), Saurette played five seasons with the University of Manitoba Bisons (U Sports) and eventually was named captain. Saurette completed Master of Business Administration while playing for the Belfast Giants (EIHL/UK) where his finished his playing career.
In addition to the change at the top of the league the MJHL Board of Directors will also hire a new Director of Operations along with a Manager of Marketing and Partnerships.
“My plan is continue building on what we already have,” said Saurette. “We have a very strong league and we’ve built a successful partnership with the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League as evidenced by our annual SJHL-MJHL series. We also have a U.S. recruiting camp at the University of North Dakota and a very successful annual prospects camp. The plan is to make all of our programs stronger.”
When asked about expansion, Saurette said, “We have had some interest.”
When asked about expansion to the United States, Saurette responded: “No comment.”
Davis will remain in his post until June 30.