Just a week after naming Digit Murphy as their first head coach in franchise history, the Toronto Six announced on Thursday morning the addition of Gary Soper as assistant coach.
Gary joins the National Women’s Hockey League while currently scouting for Hockey Canada. He’s also the former head coach of the Whitby Jr. Wolves in the PWHL. Speaking further to that, Soper spent five years with the hockey club, helping to guide them to two PWHL titles. From 2009-2014, he won 70% of games he was behind the team’s bench for.
Given his range of his success, Soper saw a number of players make the move up to U SPORTS and the NCAA. During his tenure coaching Whitby, Soper coached with Team Ontario, helping to guide them to a silver medal finish. This was in 2011 at the Canada Winter Games.
Along with his strong resume in coaching, Soper brings a wealth of experience in both the fields of scouting and player development. He has over 20 years of experience, which will be an asset for the league’s new expansion team.
Speaking to the significance of this hiring, head coach Digit Murphy said on Thursday in a statement, “Gary brings an invaluable wealth of hockey knowledge to the Six. As a Hockey Canada scout, he has watched many of our players develop over the years and will bring insight into how to maximize the talent on our roster and improve it in the future.”
Discussing his decision to join them, Soper stated on Thursday about the chance this provides him, “This is a great opportunity to get involved with the first NWHL team in Canada. I am confident with the ownership and the entire management team on their commitment to developing professional female hockey in Canada. Coaching professional hockey was a personal goal of mine and to do it in Toronto is awesome. Ultimately, my experience in coaching and scouting with Canada’s national team will be an asset to our coaching staff and players and will help guide us to meet our goals and objectives. Our goal as a coaching staff are to empower the female athletes, assist in personal life development, and put an outstanding product on the ice. I am looking forward to achieving this with our group.”
Gary is an NCCP certified coach and has held positions at nearly all levels of the game from junior women’s to the Canadian National Women’s Team. The native of Oshawa, since 2014, has been working closely with the National Women’s Programs. As well, while with Hockey Canada, Soper has also been working as a Regional Scout.
Soper has since joined the Six at Canlan and will help to strengthen them come puck drop in January.