OHL Coaches Conference


The Ontario Hockey League is pleased to hold the 4th annual OHL Coaches Conference providing minor hockey coaches the opportunity to learn from OHL, AHL, and NHL personnel in an interactive professional development day.

Programs are open to any coach registered within the OHF, OHA, OWHA, HEO, or HNO, coaching Pee-Wee ‘AAA’, Minor Bantam and Major Bantam ‘AE to AAA’, Minor Midget and Midget ‘AE to AAA’.

The event will be held on Saturday June 3, 2017 on the campus of UOIT in Oshawa, ON.

All attending coaches will receive three certification maintenance points towards their Hockey Canada coaching levels.


The cost for the one day program is $200 and will include a welcome gift from the OHL, all presented materials and lunch.


  • 8:30- 9:00am Registration
  • 9:05am Welcome Message, David Branch (OHL)
  • 9:15am Coaching from a Referee’s Perspective, Conrad Hache (OHL)
  • 10:15am Motivating Today’s Athlete, Paul Dennis (Univ. of Toronto)
  • 11:15am Game Day: Prep / Adjust/ Review, Steve Spott (San Jose Sharks)
  • 12:15pm Lunch
  • 1:15pm Forechecking Systems, Bob Jones (Oshawa Generals)
  • 2:15pm Skill Development within Practice, Dwayne Blais (Washington Capitals/London Knights)
  • 3:15pm Special Teams & Playoff Prep, Ryan Oulahen (Flint Firebirds) & Paul McFarland (Kingston Frontenacs)
  • 4:15pm Defensive Zone Systems, Joe Cirella (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
  • 5:15pm Depart


Confirmed Presenters:

Conrad Hache

  • Former NHL & AHL referee and lineman
  • Former OHL referee and linesman
  • Vice President of Newmarket Minor Hockey Association
  • Coached at various levels within Newmarket Minor Hockey Association
  • Currently the Director of Officiating, OHL

Paul Dennis

  • 20 years with the Toronto Maple Leafs as their player development coach. His primary role was to assist players and coaches in their mental preparation. He also worked with the NBA’s Toronto Raptors and Major League’s Soccer’s Toronto FC.
  • Former Head coach of the Toronto Marlboros of the Ontario Hockey League
  • Sports Psychologist to Canada’s World Junior Team in 2002/2003
  • Currently he teaches advanced sport psychology at the University of Toronto.

Steve Spott

  • Former Assistant Coach with the Plymouth Whalers and Kitchener Rangers
  • Former General Manager & Head Coach of the Kitchener Rangers
  • Former Head Coach of Team Canada Under 18 & Under 20 Teams
  • Former Head Coach of the Toronto Marlies and Assistant Coach for the Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Currently the Assistant Coach of the San Jose Sharks


Bob Jones

  • Alumni of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
  • Former assistant/associate coach with Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, Brampton Battalion, Toronto St. Michael’s Major, Sudbury Wolves and Windsor Spitfires
  • Won two Memorial Cup Championships in 2009 and 2010 as an associate coach with the Windsor Spitfires
  • Currently the Head Coach of the Oshawa Generals

Dwayne Blais

  • 20 years of professional power skating and skill development experience
  • Former Assistant coach for the Western Mustangs Men’s hockey team
  • Former Assistant Coach for the Saint John’s Sea Dogs
  • Currently the Skills and Skating Coach for the London Knights and Washington Capitals

Ryan Oulahen

  • Alumni of the Brampton Battalion
  • Played for the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins for four seasons, including one season as captain
  • Assistant Coach of the Brampton/North Bay Battalion
  • Assistant Coach, Team Canada World Under 17 Challenge
  • Currently the Head Coach of the Flint Firebirds

Paul McFarland

  • Alumni of the Windsor Spitfires & Kitchener Rangers
  • Alumni of the Acadia Axeman
  • Former assistant coach with Team Canada Red at the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge
  • Former Head Coach for Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team
  • Former Assistant Coach of the Oshawa Generals
  • Currently the Head Coach of the Kingston Frontenacs

Joe Cirella

  • Alumni of the Oshawa Generals
  • 1st Round NHL draft choice who went on to play 828 NHL Games
  • Former Assistant Coach with the Florida Panthers
  • Former Assistant Coach with the Oshawa Generals
  • Currently the Associate Coach of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds


Registration for the 2017 OHL Coaches Conference is now closed as the event is sold out.


For more information please contact:

Joe Birch

OHL Senior Director of Hockey Development & Special Events

Phone: 416-299-8700 ext. 228