The Kamloops Storm became the 8th KIJHL team to make an off-season coaching change when they announced today that Greg Hawgood will not be back behind the bench next season. This, according to the release on the KIJHL website, is so he can spend more time with his family.
Hawgood's co-coach from 2009-10, Tyler Liebel, an Osoyoos native, will be the main bench boss. As a player, Liebel was a co-winner of the BCHL Coastal Conference Rookie of the Year with the Burnaby Bulldogs in 1999 (an award he shared with, trivia fans, Ryan Hollweg).
The Storm join the Rebels, Leafs, Dynamiters, Rockets, Lakers, Chiefs and Grizzlies as all having made changes behind the bench since the 2009-10 season ended.
Bits & Bites: A bit late, but 2 deals to report. Grand Forks traded forward Chris Vinette (13-16-29 in 50 games as a 17 year-old in 2009-10) to the PIJHL's Abbotsford Pilots. The Bruins receive future considerations in return. Vinette, for my money, was one of a number of young players with the Border Bruins last year who should improve by leaps and bounds this winter. Creston Valley has found themselves a potential replacement for graduating goalie Sunny Gill. They acquired 19 year-old Lukas Simpson from the VIJHL's Peninsula Panthers in a deal that completes the earlier Joe Densmore trade. Simpson had a 1.92 GAA and .933 save percentage in 19 games with the Panthers last season.