The Saginaw Spirit named Dave Drinkill the teams new General Manager at a press conference at the Spirit store this afternoon.
The Elmvale, ON native joins the team after spending the past nine seasons in various roles with the Barrie Colts. Drinkill has been the Colts' assistant GM since the 2011 season.
“I'm extremely excited to be named the General Manager of the Saginaw Spirit,” said Drinkill in an email from the team. “Saginaw is such a respected organization throughout the entire OHL and it's an honor to be a part of it. I want to thank Mr. Garber and Mr. Goslin for giving me the opportunity to help guide this team to both a Robertson Cup and a Memorial Cup championship. I would also like to thank Howie Campbell, Jason Ford, Dale Howerchuk, and the entire Barrie Colts organization for everything they have done for me and my career.”
Drinkill is filling a position left open when former Spirit GM Jim Paliafito accepted a job as director of player evaluation with the Toronto Maple Leaf organization. Drinkill praised Paliafito for his work building a strong team in Saginaw.
“Mr. Paliafito has left this team in very good shape,” Drinkill said. “It's my job to ensure that we keep heading in the right direction. We have great coaching and support staff in place, and the pieces are all here for us to be successful for years to come.”
Spirit president Craig Goslin praised Paliafito for leaving the team in position to compete for championships in the future and thanked the Barrie Colts organization for their support in the teams search for a new GM.
“On behalf of Dick Garber, we would like to recognize and acknowledge the good work that former Spirit General Manager Jim Paliafito has done to put the Saginaw Spirit hockey operations in good position to compete for championships in the next few seasons,” said Goslin. “We have a talented, deep roster and a draft grid that is full of picks all the way out to 2020. We would also like to thank Howie Campbell, Jason Ford, and the entire Barrie Colts organization for their support during our search process.”
Goslin also noted the importance of hiring a GM with a good working knowledge of the league and its players, as well as hiring a GM with a good work ethic.
“We felt that it was imperative that our next General Manager possess passion and a strong knowledge of the Ontario Hockey League and its players, had deep roots in the league, and a strong work ethic which Dave has demonstrated.”