Strickland to Coach Mariners

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Updated: November 2, 2019
Juan Strickland Hockey

The Port Aux Basques Mariners recently announced that Juan Strickland will be behind the bench as its head coach for the 2019-20 West Coast Senior Hockey League season. This is not Strickland’s first stint behind the bench in Senior Hockey. In the 2009-10 season, Strickland was coach of the Corner Brook Royals. His time behind the Royals bench was not without controversy. Strickland raised many eyebrows as he questioned the treatment of his players might be racially motivated.

Despite the controversy, there is no denying the contributions that this man has made to hockey in Newfoundland and Labrador. He has excelled at the senior level, has been a respected coach at the minor level and has operated a successful hockey school, passing his knowledge of the game to the younger generation.

The remarks made as part of the Royals coaching staff falls well outside the character displayed by Strickland throughout his career. He has proven time and again he is a gentleman and a sportsman on and off the ice.

Through his involvement with minor hockey, he consistently bestows life lessons on young players.

In the 2018 Atom G tournament, Juan Strickland sent his best player to the dressing room in the third period. When asked why, Strickland indicated it was because he wasn’t being respectful of his opponent. It shows the dedication and part of his commitment to not only help young hockey players become good hockey players, but teach them a thing or two about life. Strickland uses the game to show young boys and girls how to behave and be respectful. Parents and players alike love this aspect of Strickland’s approach to the game.

In looking at how Juan Strickland became one of the most respected and decorated in Newfoundland hockey ranks, you do not have to look far.

Strickland had great success as part of the Atlantic Intercollegiate League where he played for Acadia University at just 16. He spent 5 years with Acadia and played every game. For 3 out of the 5 years, he was in the top ten scorers for the league and recognized as one of the most sportsmanlike players on the ice. The university recognized his contribution, inducting Strickland into their hockey hall of fame in 1995.

Juan Strickland also has a long history when it comes to Newfoundland senior hockey. He has undoubtedly been one of NL senior hockey’s most prolific scorers, capturing several scoring titles throughout his career. His sportmanship was also recognized when he captured the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League’s most valuable player.

On the ice, he was well-known for his skating ability, his hockey smarts and his play making ability.

He joined the Stephenville Jets in 1983 and as part of his rookie season, he was part of the Herder Memorial Championship team, capturing the Rookie of the Year honours. He would go on to win Herders with the Port Aux Basque Mariners in 1989 and with the La Scie Jets in 1994. He also spent time with the Badger Bombers in his career in Newfoundland senior hockey.

In stepping behind the bench with the Mariners, Strickland is returning to an organization he knows well. He played a major role with with this organization during his senior career when he captained the 1989 Mariners squad, leading them to the Herder Memorial Championship and the national Hardy Cup. He would follow up his success with the Mariners by joining the Campleton Tigers and become part of the New Brunswick senior hockey champions.

In securing Juan Strickland as their coach for the 2019-20 West Coast Hockey League Season, the Port Aux Basques Mariners have shown they are serious about winning. The players on the organization will benefit from years of experience that Strickland brings to the team. Seeing Strickland once again playing a role in Newfoundland Senior Hockey is a definite plus for the league and a boost for senior hockey.

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