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Voodoos making ownership transition

Photo: Jim Bruce (far right) and Peter Goulet (2nd from right) with Chris Dawson (far left) and captain Alex Little receiving an award at the Voodoos banquet at Average Joes in North Bay on Saturday. Photo by Kortney Kenney.

Jim Bruce, the Voodoos co-owner and president is making a transition out of ownership and transitioning the Jr A franchise to Peter Goulet, head coach and VP of Hockey Operations.

“This is time to pass the torch, and good time to do it. We are in good shape financially and staff wise, I will take a little less role and head to Florida,” said Bruce noting the final transaction will require league approval.

Bruce, who recently bought out owners Ray Seguin and Graeme Bruce, to become the sole owner of the franchise, will remain on as Team President while Goulet will take on the role as Co-President moving forward and stay on as head coach.

Bruce has been the Team President and an owner since the franchise emerged in 2014.

“He’s technically co-president and the transition will take place over a period of time. Then Peter will take over ownership of the team,” explained Bruce.

“It will be a seamless transition.”

Bruce was impressed with Goulet this season, as he came in and led the Voodoos to a 37 win season and a first round playoff series victory over the rival Hearst Lumberjacks.

“His success and how he ran the team was one of the reasons why I was able to be comfortable with this decision,” added Bruce.

Goulet, who took over from Marc Lafleur in July 2022 after Lafleur took on another coaching opportunity in the QMJHL, appreciates the opportunity.

“I am very grateful to Jim for this opportunity and I am truly grateful that Jim and I will be doing this together as partners working on building our team,” Goulet said.

Goulet adds that assistant coach Josh Hardiman will be moved into an associate coaching role, while Voodoos longtime General Manager will continue in his role.

“The other main thing is Chris Dawson staying with us as he has been the cornerstone of this team for close to a decade and we all have a great working relationship together,” said Goulet, who has known Dawson for close to 15 years.

Goulet, who has won championships in the CCHL and the OJHL as a coach, understands the sacrifices it takes to run a solid hockey program.

“Anything you do in life you get out of it what you put into it. To run a hockey team takes countless hours of work along with it a number of let downs along the way,” said Goulet.

“I have wanted to get into ownership for a while now and control my own destiny by relying in myself to get the work done and if thing are not going well and we will have these days, all I have to do is look in the mirror pull my pants up and get to work, I cannot do this by myself I need the support of Jim Bruce and Chris Dawson along with our great coaching staff Josh Hardiman and Josh Dale, everyone one is so important to a hockey team.

“Without a great Billet Coordinator like Marta Bernard and our Sponsorship Coordinator Mike Gelinas and Stephen Boyle our great game day coordinator along with all our other staff, success can’t be possible,” continued Goulet.

Goulet and Bruce will continue to work together moving forward as the team prepares for the 2023-24 season.