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Bobcats look to build on foundation set this season

After his first full season as the head coach and general manager of the Lloydminster Bobcats, Nigel Dube is looking to continue to rebuild the team.

The Bobcats ended their 2019-2020 season with a record of 11-41-6 and missing the playoffs. Dube says it’s been a growth year for the team and points towards the final month as an example of that growth.

“Going 4-4-2 in February I think showed the growth that we did have.”

He says the past year has been all about building a foundation for the future by adding things such as the new performance centre and finding a core group of players to lead the team next year.

“A year ago right now, we were looking to bring a football team to make a hockey team and now we have a hockey team and we’re looking to grow on it.”

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Another item on Dube’s three-year plan after taking the reins in late 2018 was to change the culture within the team and outside of it. He says there’s been a great success when it comes to that aspect of the team.

“Our culture is three years in advance of what I’d thought it would be and it speaks volumes of the players and human beings we brought in and the work our scouting staff did to identify those guys and bring them into our organization.”

Dube is also excited for the new schedule changes in the league which will have 15 AJHL teams playing four games versus each opponent.

“If those [schedule changes] were happening right now then we’d be in the playoffs. It could change the league a lot and I really look forward to it.”

The team is now in the off-season but there’s no time off for Dube as he’s back to scouting for players to join the team next season.

“We’re all over the road and in all directions scouting for this month. From April 3 to 5 we’ll have our prospect camp and we’ll bring 60 players into Lloydminster and put them through the paces for a couple of days.”

The Bobcats will be back for the 2020-2021 season next September.

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