VIDEO: Spitfires Name Bill Bowler New General Manager


A familiar face will lead the Windsor Spitfires.

Bill Bowler, a former player and coach has been named the team's new General Manager.

He replaces the retiring Warren Rychel.

Bowler played for the Spits in the early 90's and coached the team in the early 2000's.

His number nine is also hanging from the rafters at the WFCU Centre.

Bowler says when he was drafted by the team, he never thought he would be the General Manager years later.

"Obviously at that time you had no idea that I'd move down to Windsor, coach the hockey club for a couple seasons and now being in this position," says Bowler.  "Raise my family here in Windsor but obviously the city left its mark but in '91 and today is just an honour and a privilege."

He says he will not be making any changes to the coaching staff.

"Our coaches are intact and we look forward to working closely with them so in that respect, no our coaches are expected to have strong season and nothing changes there," says Bowler.               

Meanwhile, Warren Rychel is stepping away from the team after 13-seasons.

He took over as the team's General Manager in 2006 when he, Bob Boughner and Peter Dobrich purchased the team from Steve Riolo.

"People thought we were crazy in '06, we sat down and we wrote things down, we wanted to do and we did them," says Rychel.

Rychel guided the Spitfires to two OHL championships and three Memorial Cups.

He says he'll be a Spitfire forever.

"It's been great here, it's been unbelievable but the goal is to get back to the best league in the world, which is the NHL," says Rychel.  "I had a couple opportunities a few years ago and I didn't take it because obviously everything was invested in here."

During his time as GM, Rychel drafted the likes of Taylor Hall, Ryan Ellis, Cam Fowler, Adam Henrique and Michael DiPietro.

He also acquired Philipp Grubauer and Zack Kassian through trades.

Rychel will remain with the team for the time being as an advisor.