Kelly McCrimmon – Owner & Governor
Kelly McCrimmon is the Owner and Governor of the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings, having been with the team since 1988-89. McCrimmon served as Head Coach from 2004-11, and 2013 -16. He has helped the Wheat Kings to five Memorial Cup appearances, once as a player (1979), three times as General Manager (1995, 1996, 2016) and twice as Head Coach and General Manager (2010, 2016). Under McCrimmon’s guidance, the Wheat Kings have captured ten Eastern Division pennants and six Eastern Conference Championships. McCrimmon was named WHL Executive of the Year in 1994-95, 2009-10, 2014-15, and received the CHL Executive of the Year award in 2009-10. Since the 1992-93 campaign, when the club established a CHL record that still stands for the biggest single season improvement of 62 points, the club has won more games than any other team in the Canadian Hockey League and has made the playoffs 22 of the last 24 seasons. McCrimmon is the Wheat Kings All-Time winningest coach, having won over 400 games behind Brandon’s bench. McCrimmon purchased one-third ownership of the Wheat Kings from partner Bob Cornell in 1992, and assumed sole ownership in 2000. A member of the WHL’s Board of Governors, McCrimmon also serves as Chairman of the league’s Competitions Committee.
McCrimmon is proud of the City of Brandon and what the Wheat Kings represent for the region. With many active alumni in the National Hockey League, and even more who have gone on to University using the Wheat King scholarship, the club is honoured and very fortunate to have so many great people come through the organization.
In August of 2016 Kelly McCrimmon was named the Assistant General Manager for the future Las Vegas NHL franchise.
Grant Armstrong – General Manager
The North Delta, B.C. product joined the Wheat Kings after spending 5 seasons with the Victoria Royals. Grant spent the four seasons prior to that as Head Scout for the Portland Winterhawks. Armstrong has been heavily involved in British Columbia hockey for most of his life. During the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, he served as coach of the North Delta Devils Junior B team in the Pacific International Junior Hockey League. At the same time, he served as North Vancouver Minor Hockey Association’s Director of Hockey Operations.
David Anning – Head Coach
A 30-year old Winnipeg native, David Anning joined the Wheat Kings in the 2012-2013 season and was named Head Coach in August of 2016. Anning came to the Wheat Kings with a wealth of MJHL coaching experience, having spent six season with the Winnipeg Saints, Dauphin Kings and the Steinbach Pistons.
Anning won the Anavat Cup as Assistant Coach with the Dauphin Kings in 2010. The following season Anning took over as Head Coach and General Manager of the Winnipeg Saints. Prior to his coaching career, Anning played four seasons as a Defenceman with the Winnipeg Saints.
Don MacGillivray – Assistant Coach
MacGillivray arrives in Brandon with a wealth of coaching experience, having served behind the bench in the MJHL with Portage, Neepawa, St. James and the Winnipeg Blues, the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders as well as three seasons with the University of Manitoba Bisons.
He joins the Wheat Kings after spending the past seven seasons with the Blues, where he served as Head Coach and General Manager. In addition to leading the Blues to the 2014 MJHL Title, his Terriers captured the 2005 Championship. MacGillivray was named the League’s Top Coach in 1995, 2005, 2012 and 2013.
Aaron Rome – Assistant Coach
A 32-year old native of Nesbitt, Manitoba, Rome is a 5-year WHL veteran, having scored 31 goals and 155 points in 304 games during a career that saw him play in Saskatoon, Kootenay, Swift Current and Moose Jaw.
A fourth round draft choice of the Los Angeles Kings in 2002, Rome played several seasons in the National Hockey League, scoring six goals, 28 points and 185 minutes in penalties in 226 career games.
A member of the 2007 Stanley Cup Champion Anaheim Ducks, Rome also played in Columbus, Vancouver and Dallas, where he played his final season on hockey in 2013-14.
Tyler Plante – Goaltending Coach
Selected in the second round by the Florida Panthers in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Plante played three seasons with the Wheat Kings, beginning in 2004-05, when he was chosen the League’s Top Rookie.
A Brandon product, Plante is currently tied with Jordan Papirny for first place on the club’s All Time list with twelve shutouts, including six during his first year in Brandon.
Plante, who played the last three years in Europe, spent six seasons in the ECHL and American Hockey Leagues and as a Wheat King, he compiled an average of 2.89 in 162 career games.
Darren Ritchie – Director of Scouting
Darren Ritchie spent 10 seasons as a Wheat Kings’ Assistant Coach before being named the Director of Scouting. The Minnedosa born Ritchie joined the club in 2007. A former WHL All-Star in Brandon, Ritchie scored 152 goals (7th most in franchise history) and 278 points in 232 career games.
His best year came in 1994-95 when he recorded a team leading 62 goals and 114 points in 69 games and was named to the Eastern Conference First All-Star Team. As well, he was chosen winner of the Brad Hornung Trophy that goes to the league’s Most Sportsmanlike Player. Following his junior career, he spent nine seasons playing professional hockey in both North America and Europe.