Sunday, February 7, 2016

Marlies Name Viper Alumni Bourne New Assistant Coach:

The American Hockey League Toronto Marlies have hired-named former Vernon Vipers forward Justin Bourne the teams new Assistant Coach.

Bourne spent the past six-seven years as a hockey writter for USA Today, the Hockey News as well as having-writing his own hockey blogs.

Bourne played two years in Vernon (2001-2003) collected (58-goals-73-assists-131-points) in 120 regular season games with the Vipers. Bourne went on to play four years at the University of Anchorage Alaska as well as attended the New York Islanders training camp in 2007 before a serious jaw injury in semi-pro forced Bourne to retire.

 Justin Bourne's Player Profile:

 Bourne's previous blog for The Score can been seen here,

 Justin Bourne's first hockey blog,

 Justin Bourne's Backhand Shelf blog,

This was posted on the Mapleleaf hotstove website:

Justin Bourne joins Toronto Marlies coaching ranks

By Mark Rackham

Nov 26, 2015

The upward transfer of talent has officially begun for the Toronto Marlies, except it’s not among the player personnel.

Entering his second season as video coach with the Marlies, Ryan Ward has already been moved upstairs to the Maple Leafs.

Ward looks a solid appointment having previously worked with the Islanders for four seasons and in two World Championships for the USA.

Replacing him at Ricoh Coliseum will be Justin Bourne.

Unusual for someone in this kind of coaching role, his name will be known by many.
 Bourne’s playing career never amounted to much after his college days: a total of 85 games split between the AHL and mostly the ECHL, before a broken jaw forced early retirement.

The 32 year old hasn’t looked back since, becoming a far more successful hockey writer than he ever was a player.

Bourne’s article, “It’s time to end the use of gay slurs in hockey,” written for USA Today in 2009,

certainly first brought him to my attention and went some way breaking down the barriers in regards to the homophobic nature in professional sport and especially hockey.

Having had various articles featured in other high profiles titles including the Hockey News, Bourne joined The Score. He was more than a feature writer — the B.C native turned his hand as a stats analyst and appears open to new ideas.

His appointment, then, seems very in-tune with the new look Toronto approach of free-thinking individuals who aren’t afraid to put across their views.

If you take a look at Bourne’s Twitter feed,

you’ll see first hand evidence of this. If you don’t already follow him, I recommend doing so.

This is an interesting acquisition by the Toronto organization and one that sits well with me. It’s all about harnessing the best young brains in the game, and the Marlies now have a head coach, assistant coach, video coach and GM, none of whom are above the age of 35.

For a list of Bourne’s systems analysis and player breakdowns, check out this reddit thread.

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