The Brandon Wheat Kings announced a major shakeup in the front office on Friday that sees a new face take over as the team’s general manager. Currently GM Darren Ritchie has resigned from his post, accepting an amateur scouting position with the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, to which he is set to begin.
Ritchie, however, will continue with Brandon through to the end of 2020-21 and remain located in the Wheat City moving forward as a part of his western Canada scouting position. Taking over in the front office will be Doug Gasper, to whom Ritchie will advise and provide assistance for the remainder of the season.
“I’m really excited for this next step and I’m also really excited for Doug to take over as General Manager of the Wheat Kings,” the outgoing GM said in a team-issued news release. “It’s going to feel a little different for me because I’ve been involved with the Wheat Kings for such a long time and I hold the club so close to my heart. But we’re currently enjoying a strong season and fans can expect a solid team moving forward.”
Taking over for Grant Armstrong (who didn’t last long following Kelly McCrimmon’s departure) Ritchie has certainly left his mark on the Wheat Kings, helping the team return to the postseason in what appears to be back-to-back seasons as GM. Currently boasting a 13-3-2 record through 18 games, Brandon will look for victory No. 14 on Saturday evening in a battle with the Moose Jaw Warriors.
Gasper is officially the team’s 17th general manager in franchise history, after serving as assistant GM this season and last. A Saskatchewan product, Gasper previously served as a scout for the Vancouver Canucks, as well as a scout for both the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders and the Moose Jaw Warriors.
“I’m very excited for this new role with the Wheat Kings,” Gasper said in the release. “I’d like to thank the ownership group for trusting me to be the general manager of such a storied franchise and I look forward to continuing the success this club has had for so many years. I’m really excited about the team’s future.”