Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League announced today that James Boyd of the Ottawa 67’s is the inaugural recipient of the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award selected by a combination of the League’s General Managers as well as a five-member panel consisting of OHL writers and broadcasters along with a representative from NHL Central Scouting.
First announced last August, the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award is presented annually to the General Manager who best excelled in his role during the regular season. The award honours the memory of one of the game’s great builders in former long-time NHL executive Jim Gregory who passed away this past October at the age of 83.
“My dad would be so proud to have James as the first winner,” said David Gregory, the son of the late Jim Gregory who currently works with NHL Central Scouting. “A couple seasons back, at one of the last games my dad and I scouted together, James was there. We sat together, watched the game and talked hockey, which my dad loved. When we were leaving my dad said to me, ‘that James, he’s a real hockey man.’
“My dad got his start in junior hockey and always loved his continued association with the OHL,” Gregory added. “My family is eternally grateful to David Branch and the Ontario Hockey League for honouring him with the namesake of this award. We’re also so thankful for all those associated with picking such a worthy winner as James Boyd.”
Working alongside back-to-back OHL Coach of the Year Andre Tourigny, Boyd’s 67’s skated to a second straight Hamilton Spectator Trophy atop the OHL regular season standings with a record of 50-11-0-1. Just as they did in 2018-19, the 67’s equalled their franchise record-tying mark of 50 wins, doing so in six-fewer games as a result of the abbreviated schedule. The Barber Poles led the League in goals for (296), surrendered the fewest against (164), owned the OHL’s top power play (29.8%) and third-ranked penalty kill (82.1%). They led all clubs in both home (26) and road (24) wins and strung together a franchise record 17-game winning streak that spanned from November 16 to January 10.
“This is a tremendous honour for our organization to receive this inaugural award in memory of the late, great Jim Gregory, whose exemplary dedication and class touched so many people in our game,” said Boyd. “The shared success of our 67’s team would not be possible without the tireless work of Assistant General Manager and Director of Scouting, Jan Egert, and our team of dedicated scouts. Also, Coach of the Year, Andre Tourigny, our coaching staff and development team with their keen interest in team building and player improvement. Most importantly, our ownership group at OSEG, who provide the resources and support for each of our players to pursue their dreams.”
The 67’s featured several core returning members of their 2019 Eastern Conference championship roster including the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player Marco Rossi, Defenceman of the Year Noel Hoefenmayer, Overage Player of the Year Austen Keating, World Junior gold medalist Kevin Bahl, starting netminder Cedrick Andree and draft eligible 52-goal scorer Jack Quinn leading the way. Boyd’s biggest addition to the talented group this past season was October pickup Joseph Garreffa who went on to record 90 points (36-54–90) over 52 games in his overage season.
An OHL graduate and native of Mississauga, Ont. who played for the 67’s, Kitchener Rangers and Belleville Bulls from 1993-97, Boyd has been working in a hockey operations capacity in the League since 1999 when he broke in as an Assistant Coach in Belleville. Following 12 seasons spent largely as an Assistant Coach and Assistant General Manager, Boyd took the reins as head coach and GM of the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors in 2011-12. Following five seasons in that capacity with the Majors/Steelheads, Boyd signed on as General Manager of the Ottawa 67’s to begin the 2017-18 season. Since then, the club has played to an overall regular season record of 130-52-10-6.
Each of the OHL’s 20 member team General Managers cast their vote to establish a pool of finalists before further deliberations were carried out and an award winner identified by a five-man panel consisting of OHL print and broadcast media in addition to a representative from NHL Central Scouting.
A builder and good friend of the Ontario Hockey League along with countless people across the hockey world, Jim Gregory was a Hockey Hall of Fame inductee in 2007 who made significant contributions to the game throughout his lengthy career. Gregory got his managerial start by guiding St. Michael’s College School and the Toronto Marlboros to great success, winning a total of three Memorial Cup titles before becoming General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1969-79. He then transitioned into an executive role with the National Hockey League, one that spanned the course of four decades as he most recently served as the NHL’s Sr. Vice President of Hockey Operations.