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DAILY DISH: Labor of Love Junior Hockey News

Published: Wednesday, 5 Jun 2019  
By: Stephen Heisler,

Wenatchee Wild (British Columbia Hockey League) bench boss Bliss Littler is the winningest head coach in USA Hockey history at the Tier I and II levels for a reason…he simply puts in the work.

It takes an incredible amount of perseverance to reach the pinnacle of the junior hockey coaching ranks and Littler has refused to cut corners all the way up that trail.

With nearly three decades of experience, Littler continues to raise the bar in each season. The last seven of those years have been in the northwest with the Wenatchee Wild. Prior to arriving in Wenatchee, Bliss spent eleven years in the United States Hockey League as a Head Coach/General Manager with the Omaha Lancers, Tri City Storm, and the Topeka Scarecrows.

Five times he served as a coach for USA Hockey in international competitions. He launched his coaching career by spending seven years with the Billings Bulls of the AFHL and AWHL where he won five Borne Cups. He sported an overall record of 326-210-59 in the USHL, winning one Anderson Cup.

In his career, he has coached over three hundred players that have moved on to play Division I hockey. He has also coached twenty five NHL draft picks including two first round picks. He’s seen over twenty of his former players advance to the NHL.

Yes, Littler is the coaches' coach and one of the most respected names in the game.

“Bliss has a fiery passion for what he does, and his passion fuels the franchise. He is involved in every aspect of the operation on both the hockey side and the business side,” broadcaster Arch Ecker said of his boss and friend. “He works tirelessly to help everyone around him be successful, and people respond positively to that energy.”

“Bliss' mind is constantly on how to get better. He reaches out to others asking how to improve. He reads many motivational books each year, I’m not sure there is one out there he hasn't read,” wife Gretchen said of her husband. “He is a true leader in every sense of the word, his actions and work ethics easily carry over to our family. Bliss' dedication to staying positive, and always seeking on how to get better, have excelled him to where he is today. He has also formed relationships with many and places values each one.”

There are very few within the game that have earned the level of respect that Bliss enjoys. That speaks volumes about who Littler is as a man, teacher, mentor, friend, husband, and hockey coach. I could not be prouder to also have the privilege to call him my friend.

Author: Stephen Heisler from
Stephen Heisler has spent a lifetime in the game of hockey. Stephen is also working with individual teams, coaches, and players as a director with Victorious Hockey Company. Stephen, his wife Deysi, and four children reside in Orlando, Florida.

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