HELENA — The Helena Bighorns organization has been a staple in the community dating back to the mid-1990s when they were the Helena Ice Pirates. Now, two members of the inaugural Ice Pirates team, Mike Greene and Jed Snyder, are the Bighorns' new owners.
With the team firmly in their grasp, the two are not only looking to bring a better atmosphere for the fans but to the players both on and off the ice.
“We want to make it better for the players, we expect to have really good players here. We want to treat the players right. Just like we want to treat the fans right. We want to treat the community right. We want to treat our staff right, and that all starts with the facilities. In the offices, in the boardroom, in the VIP room, in the locker room, and doing everything we can from an ownership standpoint, to make those the best facilities we can,” said Greene.
Though changes to the arena will likely take time, something Greene and Snyder want to do, first and foremost, is be involved with the community, no matter what it takes.
“I think that's going to be the biggest change up front as a community is they're going to see our involvement with the community and then we'll start building from there,” said Snyder. “As an example, they're starting (Revive at Five), I think again this summer. We're going to have players in and out all summer. But we want our business partners to say, ‘Hey, we want a couple of players if you got them to come down to our tent at Memorial Park,’ or wherever they're having it at this time, right? And absolutely send our coaches down. If they can't go I’ll go.”
Damon Hanson will be the new head coach for the Bighorns this season after taking over in an interim position last fall. Having spent the better part of a decade in the Bighorns organization as both a player and a coach, Hanson said going into this position he’s excited to see what the future brings.
"I have two great people at the top with Jeff and Mike to learn from and bounce ideas off of them," said Hanson. "It's going to be exciting. I want a team in here year after year, where it's exciting to watch."
The Helena Bighorns wrapped up their season in March and will be back to training and preparing for their upcoming season this August.