Thunderbirds name La Forge general manager

Farwell transitions to vice president of hockey operations position

  • Wednesday, June 6, 2018 1:34pm
  • Sports
Bil La Forge. COURTESY PHOTO

Bil La Forge. COURTESY PHOTO

For the Reporter

Bil La Forge has been named the new general manager of the Seattle Thunderbirds, club owners Dan and Lindsey Leckelt announced Wednesday.

La Forge succeeds Russ Farwell, who has been the team’s general manager for the last 23 seasons, guiding the T-Birds to the WHL championship in 2017. Farwell will transition to the role of vice president of hockey operations with the T-Birds.

“Bil is a proven evaluator of talent and has been working hard for this opportunity to be a general manager in the WHL,” Farwell said. “The Leckelts have made a great choice as the team transitions to new leadership. I look forward to working with Bil as the Thunderbirds build for a run towards another championship.”

La Forge has been the director of player personnel for the Everett Silvertips for the past four seasons. He joined the Silvertips as a scout in 2008 and was named head scout prior to the 2011-12 season.

“We highly value the leadership team of the Seattle Thunderbirds, and the addition of Bil La Forge as general manager is a key part of our goal to build the best hockey development program in the world,” Dan Leckelt said. “Bil has a gift for identifying hockey talent, and he believes in the same values of hard work and commitment that have made the Thunderbirds franchise a success over the years.”

Prior to joining the Silvertips La Forge was with the Tri-City Americans and Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL and the Manitoba Moose in the AHL.

“This has been a lifelong dream for me,” La Forge said. “I was fortunate to grow up around hockey and I couldn’t be more excited to join a great franchise like Seattle. This is really exciting for me to join Russ, Dan and Lindsey and help in any way I can.”

“I want to thank the Everett Silvertips for all the opportunities they gave me to grow in the hockey community. Without the support of Garry Davidson, Zoran Rajcic, Scott Scoville, Doug Soetaert and Bill Yuill, I would not have had the opportunity to become a WHL general manager.”

While with the Silvertips, La Forge was also the director of the Mount Carmel Hockey Academy in Edmonton. He has an extensive coaching resumé in minor hockey, winning multiple championships at the bantam level while building a 12-year junior high school teaching career. In his playing days, La Forge skated in the Ontario Hockey League and Alberta Junior Hockey League before competing collegiately at Augustana University College.

Farwell was named the general manager prior to the 1988-89 season. After two seasons with the T-Birds he joined the Philadelphia Flyers as general manager. He spent four seasons in Philadelphia before returning to the T-Birds prior to the 1995-96 season. Farwell put together the ownership group that purchased the T-Birds in the summer of 2002. This ownership group sold the team to the Leckelt brothers in the summer of 2017.

More in Sports

Chargers roll past Trojans for sixth straight victory

Woods, Gonzalez and others power runaway win

Unbeaten Chargers lighting a fuse

Balanced attack has Kentridge in the hunt for a division title and poised for a deep playoff run

Royals rally to stun Raiders, stay in playoff hunt

Kent-Meridian scores two touchdowns in the final two minutes to seize win

Auburn man attempts to set burnout world record

Drag racing’s Ron Buckholz will make his final attempt Saturday at Pacific Raceways

Thunderbirds drill Oil Kings

Kubicek, Philp and Andrusiak each score two goals in 7-3 win over Edmonton

Former Seattle Sounder and 11-year MLS veteran James Riley has joined the Stars for the 2018-19 season. COURTESY PHOTO
Stars sign former Sounder to contract

MLS veteran will add depth, skill to defense

Fight Night, Fright Night Brawl 6: College hosts pro boxing on Oct. 27

Weston-Montoya matchup headlines nine-bout card

Reporter Athlete of the Week: Erika Ito

Kentwood High School’s Erika Ito, girls golf, was selected as the Kent… Continue reading

Reporter Athlete of the Week: Koji Natsuhara

Kentwood High School’s Koji Natsuhara, boys cross country, was selected as the… Continue reading

Most Read