Windsor Spitfires athletic therapist Joey Garland. Photo courtesy Windsor Spitfires.

Spitfires Trainer Leaving After 13 Years

A member of the Windsor Spitfires staff is moving on, 13 years and three Memorial Cups later.

The team announced Friday that athletic therapist Joey Garland is leaving the team, expressing a desire to spend more time with his family.

“It’s all about being around more,” said Garland in an interview featured on the Spitfires’ official website. “I want to be around my kids and my wife. Plus we’ve got four cats and two dogs. The time is right for the next phase of my life.”

The Newfoundland and Labrador native joined the Spits in 2005, taking a job on the staff of then-head coach Moe Mantha. He had seen the team through a couple of lean years before they became contenders and won Memorial Cups in 2009 and 2010. He was also around for the team’s Cup-winning season of 2017.

Garland’s career in Windsor spanned five head coaches, two ownership groups and two arenas.

General Manager Warren Rychel said Garland will be hard to replace.

“Joe has been a stalwart for us,” Rychel said in a statement. “He’s done so many good things. His professionalism has always been outstanding. For him, for anyone in his line of work, at any level of the game, to win three Cups is a remarkable achievement. We will miss his presence on and off the ice.”

Garland has also worked on the international level. He served as Team Canada’s athletic therapist for the Ivan Hlinka U-18 tournament in Europe and also worked on Team Canada’s staff for the World Under-18 Championship and the World Junior Hockey Championship.

Rychel said the Spitfires have already begun searching for Garland’s successor, who is expected to be ready to go when training camp starts in late August.