September 7, 2018
Training camp and preseason are officially over and now the action starts for real as the BCHL regular season fires up off this weekend, the 57th in league history.
As usual there are plenty of storylines heading into the season, after a summer that saw a great deal of change in the league including a new commissioner in Chris Hebb and several coaches changes which are noted below.
- Brian Maloney – Chilliwack Chiefs:
Maloney is in a unique situation where he already has a national title under his belt after winning the RBC Cup last year with the Chiefs, but will make his BCHL regular-season debut as a head coach Friday night in Prince George.
After coaching the Nanaimo Clippers for five seasons, Vandekamp remains in the BCHL’s Island Division as he takes over a Capitals team that finished at the bottom of the league standings last year. This will be his 12th season coaching in the BCHL. It won’t take long for Vandekamp to face his former team as they take on the Clippers on Saturday.
- Tyler Kuntz – Powell River Kings:
Kuntz, who played one year for the Burnaby Bulldogs in 1998-99, will make his BCHL coaching debut Saturday against the Victoria Grizzlies. The Lumsden, Sask. native previously was an assistant coach for the Vancouver Giants, head coach of the UBC Thunderbirds and coached the Daemyung Killer Whales last year in South Korea.
- Geoff Grimwood – West Kelowna Warriors:
After being an assistant coach in the BCHL for several years, Grimwood gets his first chance at being a head coach in the league Friday when his team takes on the Trail Smoke Eaters. He was previously an assistant coach with the Powell River Kings for two years and made coaching stops in the WHL and SJHL before joining the Warriors.
- Jeff Tambellini – Trail Smoke Eaters
After a year spent as an assistant coach at his alma mater, the University of Michigan, Tambellini scored his first gig as a head man when it was announced this past spring. It feels like the perfect fit with Tambellini’s father Steve and grandfather Addie both being hockey legends from Trail.
- Peter Schaefer – Surrey Eagles
Not so much a debut as a return to the fold because Schaefer was an assistant in Surrey in 2012-13 and was head coach in 2013-14 when he had a young Danton Heinen on the roster.